Gabriel, (Mary Ann) Virginia
- Sophie Fuller
(b Banstead, Surrey, Feb 7, 1825; d London, Aug 7, 1877). English composer. Born into an Irish military family, she studied the piano with Johann Pixis, Theodor Döhler and Sigismond Thalberg and composition with Bernhard Molique and possibly Saverio Mercadante. Her earliest song to be published was The Blind Boy (1836). Most of her published music from the 1850s consisted of complex, difficult piano pieces, such as the nocturne La previdenza (1852) or the romance sans paroles La reine des aulnes (1853), and elaborate, operatic songs to Italian texts, such as the recitative and aria Ciel, che veggio! (1852). She also published somewhat simpler English ballads such as the dramatic Weep not for me (1851), written for and sung by Charlotte Dolby. Her first commercial success, The Skipper and his Boy (c1860), was also sung by Dolby and had reached a third edition by ...