Willem de Fesch (1687 - 1761) was a virtuoso Dutch
violin player and composer. He wa the pupil of Karel
Rosier, who was a Vice-Kapellmeister at Bonn, de Fesch
later married his daughter, Maria Anna Rosier.
De Fesch was active in Amsterdam between 1710 and 1725.
From 1725 to 1731 he served as Kapellmeister at Antwerp
Cathedral. Thereafter he moved to London where he gave
concerts and played the violone in Handel's orchestra
in 1746. In 1748 and 1749 he conducted at Marylebone
Gardens. He apparently made no public appearances after
His works included the oratorios Judith (1732) and
Joseph (1746), as well as chamber duets, solo and trio
sonatas, concertos and part songs. Both oratorios were
thought lost until 1980 when a copy of a manuscript of
"Joseph" was found in London's Royal Academy of
The influences upon De Fesch's music were apparent.
Melodic lines were influenced by the Italians,
particularly Vivaldi. De Fesch was also influenced by
Handel (though he held friendships with persons not
favorble to Handel) but his shorter compositions
demonstrate an individual character that can only be
considered enigmatically De Fesch. The process of his
works show periodization; compositions from Antwerp
were expecially virtuostic -- though simpler towards
the end -- and London compositions can be characterized
in terms of pastorale serenades, concertos and
oratorios with English texts. De Fesch was not only an
accomplished composer, as can be understood by the
diversity of his music, but a virtuoso violinist as
Although originally written for Recorder & Continuo, I
created this arrangement for Flute & Strings (Violins
(2), Viola, & Cello).