Instrumentation: Trumpet, Keyboard
Difficulty (I-VI): III
Trumpet in Bb, Keyboard
Series: Music for the King's Trumpeter
Editor: Crispian Steele-Perkins
John Weldon was born in Chichister and subsequently educated at Eton College. He began to study with Henry Purcell in March 1693, but was appointed as an organist (organ scholar? In any event, he was paid for his services) at New College, Oxford, in 1694. Subsequent appointments were as organist of St. Bride’s in Fleet Street (1702); the Chapel Royal (1708) and St.-Martin-in-the- Fields (1714, presumably in addition to the Chapel Royal). In 1715 he was created Second Composer to the Chapel Royal, a new post.
All Weldon’s compositions except one are of a religious nature. “The Judgement of Paris”, his only known theatre piece, was submitted in competition with three others, all being musical settings of Congreve’s play. He is said to have won by flooding the audience with his own youthful supporters. The piece was produced in the Lincoln’s Inn Fields theatre in 1702, sponsored by the Duke of Bedford. The text is typical of lewd Restoration drama and full of suggestive innuendos, a stark contrast to Weldon’s devotional compositions. It may be mentioned, however, that some of his songs remained popular for 60 years or more, particularly “Let Ambition fire thy Mind”.
Weldon died in 1736 after being afflicted by ill health (possibly asthma) for many years.