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The music of the late Harold Truscott: an excavation report
by Guy Rickards

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When Harold Truscott died, on October 7th,1992, his reputation as a composer lay in the main on his series of seventeen piano sonatas, ten of which had been issued on LP or cassette1, and a few other instrumental pieces. Although a tireless explorer of some of the deepest backwaters of the Classical tradition and champion of much of what he found there, Truscott was reticent about his own music. He made little effort to promote it, not even bothering to register with the Performing Rights Society (something which has now been rectified). While active as a pianist from the 1930s on, he never became a full-time professional player. He did broadcast occasionally on the BBC Third Programme (or equivalent) in the late 1940s and 1950s, recitals which included one of his own piano suites2 and several of his completions of Schubert sonata movements. When he earned a living from music it was as a teacher, commencing in the late 1930s and culminating with his appointment in 1970 as Principal Lecturer at Huddersfield Polytechnic (now University, where an annual Harold Truscott Prize for post-graduate studies has been established in his memory)3. His broadcasting career followed suit, he becoming well known not as a practitioner but as one of the most erudite of commentators - so much so in fact, that his acclaimed talks on the late Beethoven string quartets were expanded to form a book, published by Dobson in 1968. Despite being a prolific writer on music, with contributions to a legion different journals, magazines and symposia over the years, he only published one other volume, on the orchestral music of Franz Schmidt for Toccata Press (1984, intended as the first in a set of three on the Austrian composer; sadly, neither of its companions were completed).

In early 1993, Margaret, Truscott's widow, asked me to sort through his papers in order to secure the original manuscripts and arrange for the disposal of his huge collection of printed music, with which his own compositions had become chaotically mixed up. It was a mammoth task, requiring six man days of effort merely to sift through the piles of paper located in drawers, cupboards and boxes, without much time for prolonged scrutiny of individual items being unearthed. As my guide, I had the list of compositions drawn up as part of the programme book for the two 75th birthday recitals at the British Music Information Centre in October 1989 (the sole major review of which appeared in Tempo 171). This was based on a definitive list made by the composer in the mid-1980s and listed 44 completed works4, including a Symphony, Suite and Fantasy for orchestra, nearly 30 sonatas for various combinations, plus songs, instrumental pieces and a Trio in A major for flute, violin and viola, the only substantial item of chamber music. Seven other works, including two symphonies in A minor, two concertos, a Suite for strings and two sonatas, were known to be in various stages of incompleteness, with the Sixteenth Piano Sonata undergoing major revision. Since the earliest listed opus dated from June 1945-Piano Sonata No. 1 in D flat-when Truscott was 30, I was hopeful of finding much else besides, not least because he had admitted to starting composing considerably earlier. Indeed, in several of his writings he had alluded to the existence of other works, for example the piano suite precursor of the Sixth Sonata, or the Trio's third movement ("Elegy"), which had originated as part of a Duo for violin and viola, or-most tantalising of all-the series of piano sonatas written "in the style of late Beethoven" from the 1930s and early 1940s. The anticipation of locating a lost or hidden opera, string quartet5 or symphony compelled me to drive the hundred miles to Deal, but I had little idea of the riches that I would find.

(i) The Worklists

One of my first discoveries was a set of four extra worklists, all of which pre-dated that from the mid-1980s, giving considerable information about works not previously known to exist (but which I had already begun to find). The earliest list ("A") was in fact a photocopy of a heavily amended dictionary-style catalogue made at the latest early in 1966 by a friend of Truscott's, Lawrie Burton. This dating is attested by the presence of scores known to have been composed later in that year, e.g. the orchestral Suite in G major, as handwritten additions to the typed original, and by the typed-but ironically inaccurate-completion date for Piano Sonata No. 11 as 1966 (it should have been 1964). "A" set the tone for its successors in its selective inclusions and omissions: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-11 were present as expected, but none of the three for Clarinet, the first of which at least should have been present given its composition date of 1959 and public performance with the composer as accompanist in 1960! Another work missing from "A" which had reached the public ear was the string orchestral Fantasy (1960), originally entitled A window on infinity. These and other omissions were later rectified by hand, probably on several separate occasions. More remarkably, "A" listed four numbered symphonies, with the only previously known example in E major entered as No. 2. I had seen the bound full score of this three-movement work while Truscott was still alive; there is no title page and it is embossed on the spine "Symphony No. 1 in E minor" (my itals), although manifestly in the major key. Lawrie Burton's list confused matters further since his No. 1 was indeed in E minor, dated 1945-51 but in one continuous movement, unlike the E major. This earlier symphony was located and proved to be a quite separate composition, of which more below. Appended to "A", also as a photocopy, was a very roughly written list containing indications of works either in progress or in planning, including sonatas for piano (Nos. 12-18), cello, cor anglais and horn which all eventually materialised, and one for double-bass which did not.

The second worklist ("B") is rather fuller and was made by Truscott himself, probably early in 1968. The Fourteenth Piano Sonata, completed in June 1967, is present as a typed entry, but the never-finished Suite for Solo Clarinet, dated here 1968, had been added in ballpoint. "B" cannot be counted definitive, however, since several of its datings are at odds with the finished manuscripts and, while listing two early symphonies from the mid-1930s and several later ones "in various stages of progress", omits the E minor Symphony numbered 1 in "A". (Truscott did not here, nor ever again in any other of his own catalogues, number his symphonic projects). The completed Symphony in E major is described as being in "E major-C sharp minor", not inaccurately given its internal processes, but with a date of 1955!6 The 1965 Oboe Sonata is also incorrectly shown in "B" as having been written in 1966-7. (In a later addition, "A" gave this as 1969!) One possible cause for these discrepancies may be due to Truscott's having compiled the list relying on either rough notes or memory, but away from the manuscripts themselves so that details could not be checked.7 New works not previously known about were more-or-less accurately indicated, such as three early piano sonatas "written around 1940" and a string quartet in B flat minor "all now discounted", two more quartets in E minor (1943-4) and C minor (1947)8, 4 Preludes and Fugues for solo violin (1946; see section viii below), an Organ Sonata in C, songs and choral pieces, a Suite for wind band (1965), another "Fantasy" for string orchestra (1944), plus two concertos from around 1934, added by hand as "written in short score, neither orchestrated", and the Overture to an opera, Falstaff, "of which only fragments were composed".

The third worklist ("C") is an abbreviated one, part of a typed, dictionary-style biography, made at some time between Truscott's retirement (his tenure as Principal Lecturer recorded as 1970-9) and 1984, when his Schmidt book - omitted here - was published. It is possible that "C" was drafted in preparation for this new publication. If the "18 piano sonatas" are taken to mean those that Truscott numbered, a date of 1981 is the earliest possible, allowing for Sonatas 16-18, all begun that year.9 "C" was found filed in the bound orchestral score of the Symphony in E major, which is also absent from the list as first typed! As with the Suite in G major, the Symphony was added later by hand. Another curious mistake was the description of the Trio in A major as "for flute, viola and piano (broadcast)". The Trio was indeed relayed by the BBC, on April 25th., 1955, in its only known incarnation for flute, violin and viola, an instrumental combination directly suggested by Reger's two serenades. No trace of an alternative arrangement has otherwise been found.

The final new worklist ("D") was a handwritten one, made by the composer before 1985 (the year of composition of the solo cello Meditation on themes from Emanuel Móor's Suite for 4 cellos, which is not included). The typed worklist that I already had in my possession ("E", therefore) drew heavily on "D", which should be considered its direct ancestor.  

(ii) The Writings

As if these new worklists, with their contradictory dates and hints of a rather wider compositional haul than I had hitherto imagined, were not enough, there was a large collection of documents which contained a considerable selection of Truscott's writings. Many of these were on matters musical, often drafts for published articles. The largest were two unpublished books, Schubert and the piano, completed in the early 1950s but intermittently updated since, and another on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Quite unexpectedly though, I uncovered a by no means insignificant batch of short stories (several of them completed), unfinished novellas, essays on non-musical topics - and an autobiography. This last document, entitled Laughter in the dark (it is unclear if any link with Nabokov's novel was intended), would prove to be of inestimable importance to the Truscott story. The typescript is incomplete, breaking off after over 150 pages at the foot of the page in mid-sentence. I have not unearthed any handwritten version, so whether there is more of it to be found, or he simply stopped writing - or typing - it I cannot now determine. The autobiography covers his not uneventful life up to the early years of the Second World War. It is not a straightforward telling of his tale, following some subjects through to their conclusion across many years, even touching on events in the 1950s.

Truscott commenced writing Laughter in the dark in 1977 or 1978 when he was 63 years old; details - particularly dates - of works referred to within it need to be treated with caution since, as with his worklists, they do not always tally with the manuscripts as eventually located. However, it is evident that Truscott began composing when he was about 12 or 13 years of age, his earliest efforts being small piano pieces and songs (one of the latter, a setting of Robert Louis Stevenson's Under the wide and starry sky, survives with the title Requiem. It was penned in 1928, in which year Truscott was 14). He had been born into a working-class family in Seven Kings, Ilford, Essex, on August 23rd., 1914, with a club foot. Corrective surgery at the age of three months proved successful but Truscott had still to wear a hip brace and have his leg massaged twice daily until he was 12. His vast knowledge of music, the thirst for which may have been a compensation for his exclusion from sports, was a tribute to the public lending-library system, which he systematically scoured over many years. In order to learn scores from the inside, he would often write them out himself, a habit he retained throughout his life10. This may have had one early traumatic consequence-the autobiography reveals that Truscott's father, with whom the boy Harold never enjoyed an easy relationship, was hostile to his son's intense interest in music. At first, Ernest Truscott refused to accept that his budding composer son (not yet sixteen) was composing, holding to the view that no-one was writing Classical music in 1930. He believed Harold was lying and merely copying the works of dead masters, which he had no doubt seen him do before. The absence of any source score when Harold was writing out his own inventions may have led Truscott senior to think this was some unnatural - and unnerving - feat of memory. In any event, he regarded this precocious talent as a sign of mental illness and found a doctor, presumably a psychiatrist, prepared to endorse this view. A rest cure was prescribed at what can only be described as an asylum ward in a local hospital (in Romford). What damage this temporary commital had on the adolescent Harold is incalculable; it may explain his later sensitive and guarded attitude to his own work. It did not stop the boy composing, though, since the ward nurses kept their charge happily supplied with manuscript paper during his three-month-long stay! Ernest Truscott realised too late his mistake, and his offer of restitution to fund his son's further education was refused11.

Musically, Truscott taught himself in the main, although there were periods of study at the Guildhall School of Music, part-time, in 1934 (piano, with Orlando Morgan), and the Royal College of Music in London during 1943-5, again on a part-time basis, mainly for instrumental tuition (piano, with Angus Morrison, and horn, with Frank Probin). His studies at the Royal College brought him into contact with Herbert Howells (1892-1983) from whom Truscott received instruction in composition as part of the instrumental course. Spells working on board ships of the line for the New Zealand Shipping Co. as pianist and leader of a light-music combo, also gave him valuable practical experience. He worked for two years as a music teacher before the Second World War but gave this up in December 1939 to work for the Royal Mail (having been declared unfit for military service), on near constant night shift until resigning in 1948 to resume teaching.

The last major find amongst this collection of papers was a set of over 50 letters to Truscott from the composer Havergal Brian (1876-1972). They cover a wide variety of topics, both musical and non-musical, although unsurprisingly, Brian's own works are the primary concern. (The letters have been serialized, in transcriptions made by the present writer under the title "From Hitler to Horticulture", in the Newsletter of the Havergal Brian Society during 1993-4.) Truscott's side of the correspondence seems not to have survived. Later on, as the two men came to know each other better, references to the junior partner's music appeared, most notably in a letter of February 25th., 1958, where the elder composer offered some advice:

These Sonatas of yours somehow remind me of Bach and Brahms [something unreadable which could be idioms, although the sense suggests 'in idiom'] a healthy sign. The music is after my own heart, impulsive and unhesitatingly fluid. I offer no criticism for - "It is easier to be critical than to be exact." I admire the smooth skill of the inverted melodies ... You seem most attached to the C major [i.e. the single-movement Seventh Sonata (1956), dedicated to Brian]. I have spent some time on the B minor [i.e. the Fifth (1951-5), in memoriam Nikolai Medtner] with its thunderous first movement. Do you think - at foot of page 17 the passage to the Poco Allegretto is abrupt? I suggest interpolating a bar of rallentando to liberate the mind. Middle of page 23 - 3rd section [&c] reminds me of Brahms (& I think it is slow movement of No. 3) [presumably Brahms' Symphony no. 3 in F]. On page 28 Poco Allargando - does that bass figure lose effect by its repetition. I put a pencil suggestion and also on page 29. A four note figure is often made more emphatic by the elision of the first or fourth note. This movement is big stuff. Of the II-4. [i.e. the remaining three movements of the Fifth Sonata-movement 2 indicated by Roman II, the finale by Arabic 4] I should mark it pp throughout like a closed swell on the organ and only gradually open the shutters to mf the middle of page 32 & closing to pp before entering the finale. I appreciate the dedication of the C major - but - I am not a lucky person. What I have written about the influential idioms & manipulation of your technique applies to this extension in one movement. It is a tour de force.

Brian's remarks on the Fifth Sonata are at first sight contradictory. The passage referred to on p. 17 is the close of the first movement (the Poco Allegretto being the marking for the second movement which starts at the top of p. 18 and concludes with the Poco Allargando on pp. 28-9); as a master of the abrupt himself, it is curious that Brian should criticise Truscott for a lack of transition, especially between the end and beginning of clearly distinct movements. The music of pp. 23, 28-9, followed by "This movement is big stuff. Of the II-4", implies that Brian understood them to all belong to the opening movement, although if this was a misreading, the sonata would surely have appeared to be in only three movements. As far as I can judge, Truscott did not implement the suggested changes, and there are no surviving pencilled emendations by Brian on any of the scores I located.

(iii) The Manuscripts

The main bulk of my activity was concerned with the music manuscripts themselves. Sketches were generally made in pencil, with fair copies of the early works being written out in ink in a studiedly neat, if undistinguished hand, that he seems to have evolved in the later 1930s. From 1957, however, Truscott adopted the ballpoint almost exclusively, coinciding with his arrival at the College in Huddersfield. The quality of his calligraphy began to suffer, probably due to increased rapidity of writing facilitated by the new-style pens. His scores therefore can appear very different to the eye - almost as if by a different person, although his signature did not change greatly over the years. A couple of manuscripts, one of a Piano Quintet whose attribution remains to be confirmed as the title page and signature are missing, the other a copying out of Mahler's Das Klagende Lied, are in a seemingly different hand again, although this may be accentuated by the use of a thin-nibbed fountain pen. It is possible (see below) that these date from the very early 1930s.

In the process of securing almost all of those compositions on the 1989 catalogue (only the Tenth Piano Sonata and the completed original - as opposed to the unfinished revision - of the Sixteenth continue to elude me), I uncovered a host of additional, hitherto unknown items, many of them either finished or at least with completed movements, more than doubling the total number of pieces. These include a 60-page fragment of a single-movement symphony (begun in 1945, the "No. 1" of "A"), two string quartets (1943-5), an undated suite for harp, four further sonata movements for solo violin originally conceived as a set with the one already known from 1946, three unnumbered piano sonatas from 1941-2 and other piano music including two sets of preludes and an incomplete Sonata for the left hand (1963). In the field of vocal music, Truscott had admitted to nine songs, a total which now extends to over two dozen, including several part-songs one of which, the Hymn on the Passion (c. 1957) which I have found only the first page of, had been performed in Huddersfield in 196012. An unlisted a cappella setting in ten parts of the Kyrie had long been known of (a photocopy residing in the collection of the BMIC), but a second in six parts dating from 1963 turned up as did five movements of a Mass (for unison voices and organ, 1955) and the unfinished Variations on "Once In Royal David's City", scored for the unusual array of boy's voices, solo violin, wind quintet and strings. The most tantalising manuscripts are the sketches. These hint at several works from the 1930s the existence of which would be known otherwise only from the worklists and autobiography, including the 3-act Shakespearean opera Falstaff and two symphonies, the first in E flat from c.1936 dedicated to his revered Franz Schmidt-then still living-and the second in F inspired by Grasmere in the Lake District.

I had concentrated my attention initially on those piles of documents which contained the highest proportion of manuscript paper. Many of these "manuscripts" were of course copies, but almost the first original item that I found was the fair copy score of the orchestral Suite in G (1966). Truscott had claimed on more than one occasion in the last few years of his life that he could not locate this score (and that of the Fantasy for strings of 1960, which I located about ten minutes later), despite knowing that a BBC producer was interested in seeing them. This was followed in rapid succession by the work's rough score - in biro - and a piano reduction, the latter described as being "arr. for piano", so not an original orchestrated later. The documents that lay underneath these in the first pile showed no pattern in their distribution. Pieces that I expected to find were mixed up with the printed scores of chamber or orchestral works by all sorts of composers with no discernible connexion between them. I had begun to wonder at first whether neighbouring printed scores related to the original Truscott pieces, but I learned later from Margaret Truscott that they had simply been unpacked in that order and, after a desultory attempt at some kind of re-organization - barely noticeable I have to say - had been left crammed that way into any available safe space. Thus photocopies of little-known Korngold compositions rubbed title-pages with Harold's own works, alongside printed scores of Tovey, Paul Juon, Clementi, Dussek, Kilpinen, McCabe, Rubbra, Holbrooke, Kornauth, Medtner, Brun ... the list would be near endless and read like a lexicon of composers active in the past three hundred years. Even the spread of his own manuscripts betrayed little or no logic: after the Suite came the parts of the E major Symphony's Adagio-Finale used in the student performance in Huddersfield in 1961 (the familiar green cloth-bound score of the whole work being in another cupboard altogether), then the two short organ works (a Toccata and Trio-Sonata), Piano Sonatas Nos. 17 and 18 (1981), the Horn Sonata (1975-81), an undated completion of an unfinished Fugue (for klavier) by J. S. Bach, the 1960 Fantasy, the unfinished Suite in E minor for strings (with rough sketches and notes for the conclusion), Piano Sonata No. 11 and the first of what proved to be a whole series of exercise books crammed full of finished and unfinished pieces, sketches, ideas from all points of Truscott's career. A description of the first few will show how jumbled even the internal contents were:

  1. Actually two books, interleaved, of a set of piano pieces in ink, probably from the early 1940s. Book 1 starts with a Prelude in F minor, continuing with two numbered movements (I Molto maestoso in B flat minor & II Lento) and culminating in an unfinished and unnumbered Fugue in G major, with pencil sketches. Book 2 contains two further numbered items, both called Prelude. "B" had included "Four Pieces, 1943"; Lawrie Burton confirmed that 4 Preludes had been performed by Truscott in 1946, which may mean four of the five completed items of this set13.

  2. The only finished items this contained were the Drei Märchen, Op. 9, by Medtner and further pieces from that composer's Opp. 31, 34 and 43. There were, however, sketches for a Horn Sonata and a Kyrie, and the first page of a Sonata for piano, four hands, all undated.

  3. After a loose-leafed page (not the first) of a piece for horn and strings, the next contained sketches for a series of Duets for horn and harp, none of which came to fruition, a score and separate violin part for the Fifth Sonata in E for violin and piano that Truscott began in 1960, followed by three songs: In no strange land (setting Francis Thompson, dated 1957), The door (setting Mary Webb, undated) and Independence (setting A. A. Milne, also undated).

This pattern, of at first glance unconnected sketches, completed works and arrangements - or outright copies - of other composers' pieces, repeated itself time and again, both in the juxtapositions of whole manuscripts and scores in particular bundles of paper and in the internal contents of individual books. The vagaries of the method of unpacking also caused some manuscripts to be become split up, often waiting until my next visit before the constituent parts could be collated. As far as can be judged, the collection at Truscott's home in Deal accounts for all that has survived: no documents remained at his childhood home in Ilford (where his elder brother, Len, resided until his death in 1994), nor have any turned up as yet at the Royal College, Blackheath Conservatory (where Truscott taught in the early 1950s) or Huddersfield University. It is not impossible that further manuscripts, particularly those dating from the 1930s, remain to be found, perhaps in private hands. With the exception of the three final examples detailed below, all the piano sonatas "in the style of late Beethoven" (and nowhere did Truscott specify how many existed) were listed as destroyed. In the last year of his life, before the final onset of illness rendered him chairbound, he did dispose of an unknown amount of documentation including, according to his widow, some sketch books. When she asked him what else, he replied "Nothing of any importance"; Margaret does not believe any complete works were lost in this way, but the loss of any sketch books is a great shame since some of the ones that were recovered contained finished works-such as the 1928 Stevenson setting mentioned above.  

(iv) The Symphonies.

"E" had included a solitary completed Symphony, the E major dated 1948-9 (see note 6), plus two others, both unfinished and in A minor, dated respectively 1962-8 and 1967-72. It is now clear that there were four separate attempts to write a symphony in A minor. The first was made in 1943 and is dedicated to Howells; the fragment of its first movement runs to 19 pages of inked full score. A second A minor work was under consideration in 1950, with some rudimentary sketching being made, but came to nothing (although it may be no coincidence that the first movement of what turned out as Piano Sonata No. 11, in the same key, was written in this year). Of the two fragments from the 1960s, neither has a completed movement although the first of these runs to 24 pages before giving out (the second expires after just 5).

The E major remains the only completed symphony to have been located, but seems to have been Truscott's fifth essay in the genre. It is yet to be confirmed whether either of the two symphonies from the 1930s listed in "B" were ever finished since only pencil sketches were found amongst his papers; yet Laughter in the dark intimates that the second at least, the so-called Grasmere Symphony14, was finished. Since the origins of this work lay in visits to the Lake Districts with his then fiancée, Barbara Campbell (a former pupil), it may be that she-if still living-or her heirs retain a copy15.

The most substantial symphonic fragment to be located was that in E minor. Two apparently fair copy scores exist, the second (longer) of which extends to 60 pages before breaking off in full cry. The first pages of both bear an inscription to the conductor Harry Newstone, are dated 1945 and headed "I", as if denoting a first movement. However, interleaved in the later score was an essay (written in faded pencil) entitled "The single-movement symphony" and its identification with "No. 1" in "A" seems secure. As the torso of an unfinished work, it is large enough to be performed as it stands (unlike either of the larger A minor fragments). Whether a completion is feasible or even desirable remains to be seen; its appearance on the page suggests it to be a work of substance, the more so given the quality of the earlier Elegy found with it (see below).

A word needs to be said here about the various scores of the Symphony in E major. The definitive bound score was recalled by the composer (having been sent to Martin Anderson who had tried in vain to arouse the interest of several conductors) because he wished to add a part for trombone in the finale. This he did, in pencil, on an unused stave at the top of the relevant pages of the score, in general doubling and adding weight at crucial points to the lines of the cellos and double-basses, and in one place the violas. What is curious is that in "E", made 4 years before, he had defined the symphony's instrumentation as "2/2/2/2-2/1/2/0-timp.-str.", i.e. already specifying two trombones before setting down a note of the addition, in the event made apparently with just a single instrument in mind. This change, made most likely in 1991, was the last music that he wrote. A segment of the scherzo middle movement was found, following a different disposition on the page (but identical musically) with the final score. Also located was a piano score which explains much of the work's genesis and expressive concerns and would seem to represent the original working manuscript, containing as it does markings for the later orchestration. This work clearly did not start out as a symphony, however; the first title was erased (it may have been a suite, sonata or sonatina) with "Symphony II" written first in pencil then overwritten in ink. The numbering II does coincide with that in "A", with the large E minor torso still being at this time thought of as I16. The course of the piano score is identical in structure with the orchestrated version. The first movement at first bore the marking "Alla marcia"; while march-like elements are predominant, the progress of the music is subjected to constant dislocation, which rendered such a description inaccurate, accounting no doubt for its absence in the orchestral score. The tempo of this movement also proved problematic, with quaver = 55, 84 and 69 all being considered; 69 would seem to be the final-and in my view most satisfactory-choice. The finale, which runs attacca from the scherzo, bears two revealing superscriptions:

"There was a shout about my ears, and palms before my feet" (G. K. Chesterton, The Donkey); and

"And they took Jesus, and led him forth, and bearing his own cross he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew, GOLGOTHA" (St. John's Gospel, chpt. 19)17.

These may give some clue as to the symphony's expressive direction: the relentless tread of the finale clearly represents the march to Calvary, the scherzo (perhaps) the trial and scourging of Christ; the tortured, turbulent opening Allegro would then be the prelude to these events, perhaps as a resumé‚ starting with the entry into Jerusalem, or even Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. Laughter in the dark reveals that Truscott was a converted Roman Catholic; it may be that faith provided the impetus for him to complete this one only amongst his various symphonic projects. It has now been recorded, with a single tenor trombone, for Marco Polo (8.223674), conducted by Gary Brain.

Truscott himself never evolved a settled numbering for his symphonic projects, although one or two hastily sketched first pages show the title "Symphony No. 2", particularly that in F minor of c. 1954 which may ironically be the "No. 4" of "A". Of that list's "No. 3", in C major (1951), not a trace has yet been found, though there is a 1967 start at a Symphony in C which gives out after 5 pages. None of the orchestral scores to have survived in ink bore numbers; that on the spine of the E major's bound score, given also its wrong key, must be considered aberrant. Here then is a list of Truscott's symphonic projects (in this list and in those for succeeding categories, complete works and those with either finished movements, or which are large enough to be viable in performance as they stand, are marked in bold type):-

1. Symphony in E flat major, dedicated to Franz Schmidt c.1936-7 Lost

2. Symphony in F major (Grasmere) c.1937-8 Lost

3. Symphony in A minor "a", dedicated to Herbert Howells 1943 Unfinished-19pp

4. Symphony in E minor, inscribed "For Harry Newstone" 1945-? Unfinished-60pp

5. Symphony in E major 1948-50, rev. 1991

6. Symphony in A minor "b" 1950 Sketches only

7. Symphony in C major 1951 Unfinished; lost

8. Symphony "No. 2" in F minor 1954 Sketches only

9. Symphony "No. 2" (no key) Undated; Unfinished-7pp

10. Symphony in A minor "c" 1962-8 Unfinished-24pp

11. Symphony in A minor "d" 1967-72 Unfinished-5pp

12. Symphony in C major 1967 Unfinished-5pp

13. Symphony in B minor Undated sketch

(v) Other Orchestral Works

Aside from the Symphony in E major, only two other completed pieces involving the orchestra were listed in "E": a Fantasy for string orchestra written in 1960, whose original title of A window on infinity was later suppressed, and the Suite in G major for full orchestra, mentioned earlier. Three works-in-progress were also included: a piano concerto, sketched in 1950, an unfinished Suite in E minor for string orchestra (1961), and an oboe concerto, begun in 1968 but left unfinished18. As with the symphonies, these merely represented the tip of the iceberg. "B" had already added a good deal more to the prospective list, but of these potential new items no trace at all was found of the earlier (1944) Fantasy for strings, nor of the two "short score" concertos, one for violin in B flat minor written "around 1934", the other for piano in F major "about 1934-8"; however, the Falstaff Overture did exist in versions for piano as well as orchestra, neither of them complete but both entitled Prelude.

If Truscott's description in "E" of the 1950 piano concerto as "sketches only" was accurate, then he was presumably referring to a work in F-the same key as that written in short score in the 1930s-of which sketches do indeed exist. (Whether there was any connexion between these two F major concertos is probably now unfathomable.) However, Truscott actually started two piano concertos in 1950, the other-in D major-considerably more than a sketch; indeed there is a fragment of a 'fair copy' score, not unlike the larger symphonic torsos, that runs for 23 pages before being abandoned. Both of these 1950 concertos were envisaged for what would have been the standard Truscott orchestra of double woodwind, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings. Ironically none of the works employing these precise forces-including the 1945 E minor Symphony-was ever finished; the orchestra of the Suite in G major comes the closest, using an additional tuba and side drum. The Oboe Concerto was cast for a reduced ensemble, dispensing with oboes, one pair of horns and the trombones.

Several pieces were omitted from the official canon of "works-in-progress" in "E". A final idea for a piano concerto, this time in F sharp major, was toyed with in 1970, but did not advance much beyond the initial sketch. Slightly more substantial, inasmuch as what survives today, was an orchestral concerto in variation form entitled Symphonic Movements. Only three variations were completed, in c. 1968, requiring 17 pages of full score. A little earlier, Truscott had started writing a Sinfonietta in D flat, the same key as Janácek's, although there the resemblance ends. What remains of this project is, yet again, a fragment of a 'fair copy' score, 25 pages long, representing presumably Truscott's primary inspiration and initial development. Perhaps the experience of finally hearing some of his own orchestral music during the 1960s provoked this burst of activity: the finale of the E major Symphony and A window on infinity were both performed in Huddersfield in 1961-the latter probably directly responsible for his undertaking that same year the Suite in E minor for strings-and the Suite in G major had received a cursory play-through in 1966. Ultimately, however, a sense of futility may have scuppered nearly all of these various new projects; after all, if hardly anyone was interested in performing those few works he had finished, was there any point in composing any more? Yet the seeds for new works still kept coming, but the impetus that led him to begin three symphonies, four concertos and a sinfonietta in close succession eventually petered out in the early-to-mid-1970s, after which he appears never to have tackled an orchestral score again.

This was a sad end to a (largely unrequited) compositional love affair with the orchestra that had begun in or around 1932. According to Laughter in the dark, it was at that time that Truscott had first tried his hand at an orchestral work, although it gives no hint as to what form the piece took or what title it bore, other than that it was short. An undated fragment of an Allegro moderato turned up early on in my first day of excavation, at first sight an early work though impossible to date accurately. Bars 64-125 of an untitled orchestral piece were also located amongst his manuscripts, interleaved with papers connected to the Falstaff Prelude. Whether these 61 bars constitute a further continuation or expansion of the operatic overture, or were associated with it by mistake, will require detailed analysis.

Illustrative music seems to have held no attraction for him, the Grasmere Symphony aside; I have found not the slightest trace of, nor any reference to, any tone poem or such like, though the origins of A window on infinity have yet to be clarified. Even given the likely programme behind the Symphony in E major, the music is intelligible enough without knowledge of it. However, that most expressive of ensembles, the string orchestra, did attract him over a much wider span of his life than could be gleaned from the two scores from 1960-1 catalogued in "E". The earliest, and most astonishing given its relationship stylistically and in content to the rest of his output, is the Elegy, dated October 1943 and a fully finished composition taking some thirteen minutes in performance. Truscott never publicly acknowledged its existence and it does not appear on any of his worklists, even as one "now discounted", unless it doubles as the Fantasy for string orchestra of 1944; Truscott may simply have mis-remembered the Elegy's title and date. The score itself gives no clue as to its genesis, beyond the cryptic note that the "partial quotation from George Butterworth's Shropshire Lad Rhapsody at bars 53-56 is intentional." (I am indebted to Michael Barlow, Butterworth's biographer, for tracing this quotation back through the Rhapsody to its use in the original setting of Housman's Loveliest of trees, at the words "Is hung with bloom along the bough".) A big, symphonic adagio in E flat, the Elegy is a work fully worthy of the English string orchestral tradition and is no student or apprentice study. Truscott's personal voice (as manifested in the post-war piano sonatas) may still not have emerged, yet this is a work of complete mastery. A public performance in post-War Britain might well have changed his life and established him as a composer first and foremost. Its recent recording, as a coupling to the Symphony and Suite, should begin to redress the balance.

The fluency of the writing evident in every bar of the Elegy may have prompted him to start a Fugue for strings, probably in 194619. This got no further than 18 bars of full score, although there are sketches in pencil for the work as a whole. The Fantasy, A window on infinity, followed in 1960, being premiered in Huddersfield the next year by the local Education Authority's string orchestra under the composer's direction-the only instance (aside from the E major Symphony's finale) I have found of Truscott conducting. The Suite in E minor which ensued has two completed movements, a slow first succeeded by a scherzo. The third movement is also slow in tempo and is approximately half-finished; why it was never carried through to the end is a mystery since the work was never repudiated and he left pages of notes for its completion. Unusually, this involved concluding with a quote from Berwald's overture, Estrella di Soria, Truscott's undated completion and solo piano arrangement of which I found in an exercise book, nowhere near the score of the Suite, in one of my later excursions through the piles of paper. No hint of any fourth movement has as yet been found. The Suite's completion as a viable slow-fast-slow three movement work, while not exactly a formality, is a more straightforward prospect than that of any other of Truscott's unfinished works.

Truscott did commence one other work for a reduced orchestra: yet another suite, for double woodwind, 4 horns and double-basses, in 1965. This was included in "B" alone and only the first movement, Prelude, is extant. The composer thought sufficiently highly of it to have parts made of this first movement; I have not been able to trace any performance. A very brief start of a succeeding movement and one or two sketches of a third are all that remains of its planned progress; they were found with sketches for a wind quintet, though whether any real connexion exists is still unclear. Here is a list of the non-symphonic orchestral works:-

1. Untitled short piece (c. 1932) Lost

2. Concerto in B flat major for violin and orchestra (short score only) (c. 1934) Lost

3. Concerto in F major for piano and orchestra (short score only) (c. 1934-7) Lost

4. Prelude/Overture: Falstaff (from abandoned opera) (c. 1937-8) Unfinished

5. Elegy for string orchestra (1943)6. Fantasy for string orchestra (1944) ? = Elegy7. Fugue for string orchestra (c. 1946) Unfinished

8. Concerto in D major for piano and orchestra (1950) Abandoned, 23pp

9. Concerto in F major for piano and orchestra (1950) Sketches only

10. Fantasy for string orchestra (originally A window on infinity) (1960)

11. Suite in E minor for string orchestra [3 movts.] (1961) Movt 3 unfinished

12. Suite for winds and double-bass [1 movt. extant] (1965) Unfinished I Prelude Complete

13. Suite in G major [4 movts.] (1966)

14. Sinfonietta in D flat major (c.1966) Abandoned, 25pp15. Symphonic Movements/Concerto in variation form [3 vars. extant] (c.1968) Unfinished,17pp

16. Concerto in F sharp major for piano and orchestra (1950) Sketches only

17. Concerto for oboe and orchestra (1950) Abandoned

18. Allegro moderato Undated fragment

(vi) The Chamber Music

As stated previously, the expected haul of chamber music was very limited: aside from the A major Trio and the Variations on a minuet of Schubert for clarinet choir (1974), nothing was known. This was odd for a composer of Truscott's avowed inclinations, author of a book on Beethoven's late quartets, and known to have a passion for the medium in general (cf. note 5). The final list of his projects is still fairly small in comparison to the piano sonatas and symphonic essays, but rather more than just two works. "B" had listed two string quartets and I found two, even if one of the key designations was wrong (cf. note 8). Laughter in the dark mentions the composition of several chamber pieces from around 1929 on, including two more string quartets and a piano quartet in D minor. No vestiges of these were found amongst his papers, unless the piano quartet was mis-recalled in place of a Piano Quintet in C minor. The title page of this last has disappeared, there is no signature or date, and the calligraphy and layout on the page seem rather immature, even down to the termination of movements, where double bar-lines are missing. The hand is the same as that of the copy of Das Klagende Lied, as mentioned above; the latter score has a front page added much later-when the score needed some repair-definitely in Truscott's handwriting of the 1940s onwards. Would he have done this to someone else's copy? If so, why not do likewise with the Quintet? I think the latter unlikely to be a copy of another composer's work, since throughout his life Truscott was assiduous in identifying his copies as such; but if it is one of his own creations it might even be the very work that precipitated the traumatic confrontation with his father in the early summer of 1930.

Of the two string quartets that were found, the three-movement first is in B flat and was dedicated to Howells. It appears complete in all respects. The second-also unnumbered-is in C minor and was inscribed to Robert Simpson (b. 1921)20. The manuscript contains just one movement, although a second was considered, and with it were found handwritten parts-though not in Truscott's hands. Sketches for a C major work of the same period cannot conclusively be linked to the C minor-as for a possible finale, for example. Here at least Truscott does not seem to have entertained thoughts of many more quartets; two undated and fragmentary sketches for quartets in G major and A are all that came to light.

During the 1940s Truscott did make plans for other ensemble pieces, such as for a Clarinet Quintet (in D minor) and a Passacaglia and Fugue for horn and string trio, this latter prompted presumably by his studies in horn at the Royal College, although what remains has no date. The largest of the fragments is of a C major Piano Quintet which expires after two dozen pages of the first movement; it seems to have been started in 1945 prior to the C minor String Quartet and Piano Sonata No. 1. Otherwise, the only substantive item arose from his concentration in the mid-1960s on the oboe. In 1968, he wrote the first movement of a Trio for 2 oboes and cor anglais. Little survives of the succeeding two movements, but the first appears to be a viable piece. Around 1976, Truscott gave thought to a piano trio, but not for long, the manuscript book being used instead for a copy of Rubbra's Sinfonia da camera (of which he possessed the printed score, along with many other Rubbra works). The full list of Truscott's chamber pieces is:-

1. Quintet in C minor for piano and strings [4 movts.] (c. 1929-30)

(title page lost-may be the Quartet in D minor of Laughter in the dark)2. String Quartet "no. 1" in E minor (1943-4) Lost

3. String Quartet in B flat (ded: Herbert Howells) [3 movts] (1943-4)

4. Quintet in C major for piano and strings [Movt I] (1945) Unfinished, 24pp

5. String Quartet "no. 2" in C minor [1 movt.] (1945)

6. String Quartet in C major (1945) Sketches only

7. Clarinet Quintet in D minor (c. 1940s) Fragment

8. Trio in A major for flute, violin and viola [4 movts.] (1950)

9. Trio for 2 oboes and cor anglais [1 movt. extant] (1968) Unfinished10. Variations on a theme of Schubert for 6 clarinets [1 movt.] (1974)11. Piano Trio in A minor (c. 1976) Sketches only

12. String Quartet in G major Undated sketches

13. String Quartet in A major Undated sketches

14. Passacaglia and Fugue for horn and string trio Undated sketch

15. Wind Quintet Undated sketch

(vii) The Piano Music

The most voluminous part of Truscott's output was his music for piano, dominated by the seventeen sonatas written between 1945 and 1982. Aside from these, the only items known prior to my searches were the three Suites (cf. note 2), two Preludes and Fugues of 1957 and the Variations and Fugue on an original theme in B minor (1967). I knew in advance of the possibility of finding at least some of the early sonatas "in the manner of late Beethoven"; "A" listed one of these, in B flat (1941), as well as a Sonatina in A minor, whose year-of-composition was given as 1945; "B" listed three "discounted" sonatas "written around 1940", though without any mention of a Beethovenian connexion. It is now clear from a variety of sources, including Laughter in the dark, that from the mid-1930s Truscott wrote a whole series of such sonatas (their number, however, seems never to have been recorded). All were subsequently destroyed before 1977, although he thought highly enough of the final sub-set of three to retain the manuscripts, if not include them in his official canon. What I eventually found, therefore, were these three final sonatas, inscribed with the 'Late Beethoven' tag, in A major (1941; four movts.), in B flat major (1941-2; four movts.) and F major (1942; three movts.21), plus the Sonatina No. 1 in A minor, also in four movements, composed in fact during 1942-3. These works appear to be the immediate predecessors of the collection of Preludes, &c. described in (iii.1) above.

Nearly all of the numbered sonatas were found, Nos. 10 and 16 aside, some of them in multiple copies. At one point-given the use of ink pen rather than ballpoint, some time before 1957-Truscott decided to write out his sonatas in bound volumes: the only example that I have located is Volume I. It is full and contains Nos. 1, 2 and 4 (1948-9). There were relatively few sketches for the earlier sonatas, but with the later ones the process of composition can be followed: for instance with Nos. 12-14, conceived in 1967 as a set of three Sonatinas. The composer was half-way through the third when he realised that they were really short sonatas, and wrote them out in fair copy under their present titles. However, the idea to create sonatinas remained, and early in 1968 he composed Sonatina 'I' in G minor; unfortunately, he only got as far as page 1 of Sonatina 'II'. The G minor, therefore, should really stand as Truscott's Second, given the extant A minor work completed in 1943.

Between 1967 and 1981, Truscott made several attempts to write further Sonatas for the piano. There are several false starts at a Sonata No. 15, and one for No. 16 in A major (1968). What became No. 15-in B minor-does not seem to have originated until 1976, being completed only five years later after he had retired from teaching. No. 16 turned out to be in E flat major in the end; it is related to a sonata in that key that was started in 1939, taken up again in the late 1940s-but not to be confused with No. 4 which is in the same key-and set aside until the mid-1960s, when further tinkering took place. Whether a finished work emerged at that time cannot ever now be verified, I suspect, although if so it implies that the composer regarded one of the abortive No. 15s as viable. "E" listed No. 16 as "was complete, but part now being rewritten". The manuscript score of the final No. 16 that I found shows a work in the process of thoroughgoing revision - no less than Truscott claimed - but with no trace of a completed first version remaining. The 1981 rewrite may have been intended to form part of another set of three sonatas, with Nos. 17 and 18. The Seventeenth is in G minor; despite being in four movements it requires just five minutes playing time. Truscott was adamant that it was a sonata not a sonatina and the work was once tellingly described in astronomical terms by Robert Simpson as a "black dwarf" on account of its terrific density. The manuscripts of this, the shortest of all Truscott's sonatas, reveal that originally the finale was at first intended to be rather longer, going beyond the present conclusion, but was never completed in this way. Truscott wrote it out again in another exercise book, with the curtailed ending; the rump of the first movement of No. 18, to be in A flat, is present in both manuscripts. After finalizing No. 17 in 1982, Truscott does not appear to have returned to No. 18, at least; it cannot be said with any certainty when No. 16 was last worked on.

One further sonata-fragment was unearthed in a sketch-book: two movements of a work for the left hand, which seems to date from 1963. The work is written roughly in biro; the second movement-a scherzo-was to have been succeeded by a slow third, which does not proceed far. These discoveries have raised the total of complete sonatas (counting the early F major, that for left hand and No. 16 in, but not the Eighteenth) to twenty-one, with two sonatinas, in the following sequence:

1. unspecified number of sonatas "in the style of Late Beethoven" (mid-1930s-; cf. 3-6 below)

2. Sonata in E flat major (?precursor of No. 16) (1939; 1948-9; 1966-?)3. Sonata "in the style of Late Beethoven" in A major [4 movts.] (1941)

4. Sonata "in the style of Late Beethoven" in B flat major [4 movts.] (1941-2)5. Sonata "in the style of Late Beethoven" in F major [3 movts.] (1942)6. Sonatina no. 1 in A minor [4 movts.] (1942-3)7. Sonata no. 1 in D flat major [4 movts.] (1945)8. Sonata no. 2 in C major [5 movts.] (1945-7)9. Sonata no. 3 in G sharp minor [3 movts.] (1947-8)10. Sonata no. 4 in E flat major [4 movts.] (1948-9)11. Sonata in E minor [4 movts.] (1949) Unfinished; lost12. Sonata no. 5 in B minor: i m Nicolai Medtner [4 movts.] (1951-5)13. Sonata no. 6 in E major [4 movts.] (1955-6)

14. Sonata no. 7 in C major [1 movt.] (1956)15. Sonata no. 8 in E minor [4 movts.] (1958-60)

16. Sonata no. 9 in E minor [4 movts.] (1960)

17. Sonata no. 10 in E minor [4 movts.] (1962)

18. Sonata for the left hand [2 movts. extant] (1963) Unfinished19. Sonata no. 11 in A minor [2 movts.] (1950; 1964)20. Sonata no. 12 in C major [4 movts.] (1967)21. Sonata no. 13 (in A minor/C sharp minor/E major) [3 movts.] (1967)22. Sonata no. 14 in G major [3 movts.] (1967)23. Sonatina [I] no. 2 in G minor [4 movts.] (1968)24. Sonatina [II] [? movts.] (1968) 1-page sketch

25. Sonata "no. 15": several rejected fragments [? movts.] (1967) Abandoned26. Sonata "no. 16" in A major [? movts.] (1968) Abandoned

27. Sonata no. 15 in B minor [3 movts.] (1976-81)

28. Sonata no. 16 in E flat major [3 movts.] (1981) Incomplete

29. Sonata no. 17 in G minor [4 movts.] (1982)

30. Sonata no. 18 in A flat major [4 movts.] (1982-) Abandoned

One additional suite was found, an arrangement of the 1966 orchestral Suite in G major. No trace remained of the B minor Suite precursor of Sonata No. 6, confirming the composer's assertion that it had been destroyed, but there were two sets of preludes: the unfinished concoction in two exercise books mentioned earlier and an undated set of 5 Preludes, complete in all respects. A few solitary items came to light, one a Fugue in E flat minor. From the handwriting, I would guess that this last is quite a late work and it may be linked with Sonata No. 16, but neither this nor the provenance of the other small complete pieces can be averred with any certainty. From the calligraphy of the earlier, inked scores, I doubt if any can be identified with Truscott's first efforts, as related in Laughter in the dark22; they appear to have been written during the 1940s and 1950s. Devotees of music for piano duet will be disappointed to learn that no finished opus could be found, despite several attempts most of which did not proceed very far. One that did was a large-scale composite, Prelude, March, Variations and Finale. Begun in 1968, it was laid aside the following year with its first two sections complete but the Variations only half so; there was no hint of what form the Finale was to take. In the following list, compositions are for solo piano unless otherwise stated:

1. Moderato [1 movt.] (undated)

2. Un poco allegretto, quasi andante [1 movt.] (1940s)

3. Prelude/Overture: Falstaff (arr. from abandoned opera) (c. 1937-8) Unfinished

4. 6 Pieces: Prelude in F minor; I Molto maestoso in B flat minor; II Lento; Fugue in G [unfin'd]; III Prelude: Poco allegretto giacondamente;

IV Prelude: Molto allegro (1943)

5. Rondo Hommage à Schubert, for piano duet (1940s?) Abandoned

6. Suite (originally no. 1) in B minor [6 movts.] (1948-9) Destroyed

7. Symphony in E major (arr. of orchestral score) [3 movts.] (1949-50)

8. Suite no. 1 (originally no. 2): 12 Bagatelles [12 movts.] (1949)

9. Prelude and Fugue in E flat minor (1957)

10. Prelude and Fugue in C major (1957)

11. Suite no. 2: 20 Short Pieces [20 movts.] (1962)

12. Suite in G major (arr. of orchestral score) [4 movts.] (arr. 1966?)

13. 20 Variations and Fugue on an original theme in B minor (1967)

14. Prelude, March, Variations and Finale, for piano duet [4 movts.] (1968-9) Unfinished

15. Piano Duet in F (1978) 1-page fragment

16. 5 Preludes (undated; post 1957)

17. Allegro molto (1970s?)

18. Fugue in E flat minor (late?)

19. Sonata for piano duet (undated)

Brief mention must be made here of Truscott's arrangements and completions for piano of other composers' works. He seems to have undertaken this activity both as a recreation and a learning exercise. The Schubert editions have long been known of, and were broadcast in 1958. Never precisely catalogued, they do not form a comprehensive attempt to finalise all of the Viennese master's incomplete sonatas (unlike those by Martino Tirimo). Nine movements were found-two of them not from sonatas at all, along with the Berwald Overture linked to Truscott's own E minor Suite for strings, and an unfinished Fugue of Bach's. This last is not the famous item from The Art of Fugue, Tovey's completion of which Truscott also laid out for 2 pianos. Other non-keyboard works reduced for piano include four of Robert Volkmann's string quartets (Nos. 3-6) and one in E major (Op. 58) by Fuchs, Berwald's Sinfonie Capricieuse and movements from Tovey's Piano Quintet in C, Sibelius' First Symphony and part of the Adagio from Schmidt's Fourth.

(viii) Instrumental Music

As with the piano music, "E" had itemised a substantial body of instrumental compositions, both completed and in progress, which were confirmed and expanded upon by "A", "B" and "C"; Laughter in the dark, however, cast scant light on possible finds from the 1930s. Unlike the orchestral and chamber music, very little was actually uncovered which dated from before 1945; probably the earliest are the various fragments of pieces for horn-particularly an unaccompanied Sonata in B flat. "A" lists this work as lost, or at least its first and third movements. A handwritten note to "A" might indicate that these were all that were written in the first place; only two pages of the opening span were found. The most likely period of its composition would be during Truscott's sojourn at the Royal College of Music (1943-5), when he studied the instrument under Frank Probin. It may be that the undated sketches of the Sonata for four horns and the Passacaglia & Fugue for horn and string trio also date from this time23. Sketches for an unspecified number of Duets for horn and harp cannot be securely dated; as they are written in biro, they are most likely post-1957, and were found in the same book as the ultimately abandoned E major Violin Sonata (No. 5). In the event, Truscott did not complete a work for his instrument until 1981, i.e. the initially productive period of his early retirement, with the Sonata in E flat with piano accompaniment begun in 1975 which was also designed to be playable on the cor anglais.

The first of Truscott's sonatas for violin and piano was composed between February and August 1946. Music for stringed instruments was evidently a preoccupation in the immediate postwar period, from which dates the C minor Quartet and, in December 1946, the complex of Sonata(s) for unaccompanied violin. The manuscript is unclear whether one sonata in five movements, five sonatas in one movement, or some other disposition, was intended. The works were gathered together in a brown manila envelope on which was written "Sonata(s) for solo violin". The movement designated I, the C major work played at the 1989 BMIC recitals honouring his 75th birthday and included on Marco Polo's CD (8.233727), has its pages numbered separately from the rest (1-7); movements II-V start again at page 1, and V is titled "Finale". II looks to be a potentially independent work, so a set of two one-movement and one three-movement sonatas may have been a possible final outcome. It is likely that Truscott's indecision over the set's precise disposition, as opposed to any doubts about the relative merits of the individual movements, led him to release only the obviously stand-alone First. The remainder are probably what became translated in "B" as "Four Preludes and Fugues for solo violin, 1946", no traces of which have otherwise come to light. Another vanished work is the D minor Sonata for viola and piano, listed as lost in "A" (dated 1945-6 with a handwritten note of its loss) and "C", but implicitly extant in "B" (where it is dated 1946-7). The piece is currently missing, though tantalisingly a viola part of two movements-seemingly covering the entire work-was found. On March 1st, 1948, Truscott wrote out in pencil the first movement of another piece involving the viola: a Duo, with violin. The existence of this piece had been made known by the composer's note to the A major Trio for flute, violin and viola (1950) on the occasion of the first 75th birthday recital, where the later work's third span-an elegy-was said to have originated as the slow movement for this Duo. Nothing remains of this movement in its first incarnation, but the Duo as it survives is a viable piece.

Between the Duo and Trio came the Second Sonata for violin and piano, in the unusual key of G sharp minor, completed in June 1949. Like the Trio, this Sonata was one of the few works of Truscott's to receive an early broadcast, by Max Salpeter and Cyril Preedy in 1954. Before this BBC relay, Truscott started and quickly discarded another violin sonata, in B minor-even assigning it the number 3-but it was not until the end of the 1950s that a finished Third Sonata appeared. This work, in C major, was completed in June 1959 and premiered at a lunchtime recital in Huddersfield with the composer accompanying Herbert Whone24. Truscott seems then to have taken up again a discarded Sonatina/Sonata in A major, the first movement of which I found to have been set down in 1947; "E" merely lists it as having been started in September 1959. As previously, only the first movement reached a final form, its two successors being only sketched. A Fifth Sonata-this time in E major-fared less well, though both it and its immediate predecessor have violin parts written out for their extant portions. Some time after drawing up "E", Truscott amended the typescript "This I have stopped" against no. 5 and crossed the entire entry out.

No works for solo cello were located to join the two late ones already known from "E": the Sonata in A minor (with piano), sketched in 1982 but only worked on seriously in 1986-7, and the unaccompanied Meditation on themes from Emanuel Móor's "Suite for 4 cellos", written in two days in April 1985. These two pieces were the last he wrote; indeed the final original creations of his career. No trace of the Sonata for double-bass and piano, listed in the addendum to "A", was found.

In the mid-1960s, writing for solo wind instruments suddenly began to exercise Truscott's creative faculties. Unfortunately, very little in the way of new completed works have been found; rather, it is now clear that the Third Sonata for clarinet and piano (1966) was not finished, contrary to all previous indications. The catalogue in "E" of three sonatas for clarinet, and one apiece for oboe and horn (or cor anglais), was affirmed by "B" and "C" collectively. To these works can be added a B flat minor Prelude & Fugue for clarinet and piano, definitely separate from the Third Sonata of that same year but which turned up alongside the final Fifteenth Piano Sonata of 1981, and a fragmentary Suite for unaccompanied clarinet dating from 1968. A set of 5 Pieces for oboe & piano (c. 1966) miscarried, although the first was nearly finished, with two others rudimentarily sketched. In 1967 and 1971, attempts at a Sonatina and Sonata for flute and piano, and what would have been a Fourth Clarinet Sonata, failed; an undated 55-bar fragment of a "Finale in C major" may be connected to this last.

Truscott was known from "E" to have composed two organ works, a Toccata in A minor (1956) and a Trio Sonata in E flat (1972). The Toccata had been played in Huddersfield Town Hall in June 1965; the unplayed Trio Sonata was originally planned as the first of a set of six; none of the others have survived, if they were ever written down. In the mid-to-late 1950s (datings vary between the sources), Truscott had ideas for a full-scale C major Sonata. "A" and "B" imply that it was complete (the former gives no date, the latter 1960); "C" and "E" omit it altogether. What survives is rough and fairly insubstantial; the only real addition to his organ output is a transcription of Havergal Brian's Double Fugue in E flat that was known to have existed beforehand. The last and one of the most unexpected of all these discoveries amongst the composer's papers, however, gives every appearance of wholeness: a four-movement Suite for harp, undated and unsigned, written in biro. It shows signs of very rapid composition and I wondered whether it might be a copy of another work, but given Truscott's thoroughness in labelling his copies, I believe the Suite to be original. What led him to contemplate a work for the harp is unknown, although he did have connexions with a professional player through the College in Huddersfield.

1. Sonata no. 1 in F sharp minor for violin & piano [4 movts.] (1946)

2. Sonata in C major for solo violin [1 movt.] (1946)

3. Sonata(s) for solo violin [4 movts.] (1946)

4. Four Preludes and Fugues for solo violin (1946) Not found

5. Sonata in D minor for viola & piano [2 movts.] (1946-7) Lost

6. Duo for violin & viola [1 movt.] (1948)

7. Sonata no. 2 in G sharp minor for violin & piano [4 movts.] (1948-9)

8. Sonata "no. 3" in B minor for violin & piano [? movts.] (1950) Abandoned

9. Sonata in C major for organ (?1955-60) Sketches only

10. Toccata in A minor for organ [1 movt.] (1956)

11. Sonata no. 3 in C major for violin & piano [1 movt.] (1959)

12. Sonata no. 1 in C major for clarinet & piano [4 movts.] (1959)

13. Sonata no. 4 in A major for violin & piano [3 movts.] (1946-59)

I complete, movts. II-III, fragmentary

14. Sonata no. 5 in E major for violin & piano [1 movt.] (1960) Abandoned

15. Sonata no. 2 in D major for clarinet & piano [5 movts.] (1965)

16. Sonata in G major for oboe & piano [3 movts.] (1965)

17. 5 Pieces for oboe & piano (1966) Unfinished

18. Sonata no. 3 in C sharp minor for clarinet & piano [3 movts.] (1966) Unfinished

19. Prelude and Fugue in B flat minor (1966)

20. Suite for solo clarinet [? movts.] (1968) Sketch only

21. Sonata/Sonatina for flute and piano (1967) Sketch only

22. Sonata [No. 4?] for clarinet and piano (1971) Sketch only

23. Trio-Sonata in E flat major for organ [1 movt.] (1972)

(intended as the first of six; no trace of nos. 2-6 survives)

24. Sonata in E flat major for horn/cor anglais & piano [4 movts.] (1975-81)

25. Suite for harp [4 movts.] (c. 1970s)

26. Meditation on themes from Emanuel Móor's Suite for 4 cellos

for solo cello [1 movt.] (1985)

27. Sonata in A minor for cello & piano [4 movts.] (1982-7)

28. Sonata in B flat major for French horn unaccompanied (c. 1943-5?) Unfinished

29. Sonata for 4 horns Sketch only

30. Duets for French horn and harp (c1959-60) Sketch only

31. Finale: Allegro in C for clarinet and piano Unfinished

(ix) Vocal Music

"E" had listed just nine songs, all for voice and piano: two from 1946 setting Mary Webb and Robert Bridges; five from 1956 to words by, respectively, Thomas Hood, Emily Brontë, Belloc, Tennyson and Francis Thompson; and a final pair from 1971, Herrick's An Epitaph upon a Virgin and Mannyng's Praise of Good Women. 1946-71 in itself represents quite a wide spread across Truscott's career, but when I collated the various manuscripts of the 1946 Mary Webb song The Vision I found that it had originally been written in 1938. When it was linked by the composer to Bridges' I love all beauteous things eight years later, the two were collectively titled Songs for Melanie25. But the roots of Truscott's songwriting went back still further, to some of his very first compositions. This was hinted at in the worklists: while "A" and "C" listed no vocal items whatsoever, "B" included the 5 Songs in "E"-with a variant dating of 1960-as well as two early ones from 1928: Requiem, a setting of Stevenson's Under the wide and starry sky mentioned in Laughter in the dark, and Everyone suddenly burst out singing (Siegfried Sassoon). The Sassoon song has disappeared, alas, but Requiem survives in two versions, the first what looks to be a pencil sketch but is, I believe, a later, hurried 1930s copy (in a book entitled "Falstaff Sketch Book"; see below) and an ink copy. A cursory inspection revealed no immediately obvious differences between them.

Probably at around the same time as The Vision, Truscott set G. K. Chesterton's The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap and W. H. Hudson's At noon, within the woodland shade. Attempts at larger canvasses, whether orchestral songs or small cantatas, generally came to naught, as with the concert aria Oh, Heavenly mercy, intended ultimately for soprano and orchestra but sketched in the 1940s only in piano score, The Making of Viola for bass, chorus and small orchestra, or what would have proved a notable setting, for soprano, alto, tenor, bass and piano, of Southey's How beautiful is the night. Circa 1951, Truscott wrote his only songs (at least that have survived) to German texts, two of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus: Du stiegt ein Baum and Und fast ein Mädchen. The score containing both is clearly marked "Two Sonnets", but nevertheless contains a brief fragment of a third: Ein Gott vermags.

Shortly after the 5 Songs-and I follow "E" in dating this to 1956 as it is an ink score, not biro which it would almost certainly have been if the 1960 of "B" was correct-Truscott wrote (in ballpoint) a group of three songs, setting Francis Thompson (In no strange land), Mary Webb (The Door) and A. A. Milne (Independence). Thompson was clearly a favourite of the composer's since a little earlier Truscott had set four of his poems for chorus and piano: Insentience, July Fugitive, When music's fading's faded and Envoy. This last is a completely different setting to that contained in the 5 Songs (1956). Shortly after arriving at the College in Huddersfield, Truscott wrote two a cappella choruses to anonymous medieval texts: a Love ditty from the thirteenth century and Hymn on the Passion from the fifteenth. Both were written in red biro, but only the first page of the Hymn remained amongst Truscott's papers; oddly, this was the one that was performed in 1960 by the College's madrigal group: the only performance as far as I am aware of a complete Truscott vocal work. In December 1963, Truscott suddenly produced in the space of three or four days four more part songs, three on verses by Herrick, plus a tiny Kyrie for a Mass in A minor for 6-part chorus. A Sanctus is listed in "B" as having been written but is missing and no sketch remains; however, a 4-part and equally brief Benedictus from early the next year was found and may have been meant to be part of the same work. After two related but distinct settings of Rosetti's Mary's Girlhood, both for soprano, altos and piano (c. 1964) as the first of 3 Sonnets for Pictures, only the 2 Songs from 1971 were written. Here again, a third-the anonymous An ancient love song-was started but left in limbo.

The titles of several songs betray a religious connexion, not least the Chesterton and Rosetti settings, or the 1963 Herrick part songs Matins and Ode on the Birth of our Saviour. In the catalogue for the 75th birthday recitals, I had included the Kyrie for 10-part chorus, a photocopy of which I had seen at the BMIC, but which had been omitted from all other lists. This was scored for 4 sopranos and pairs of altos, tenors and basses, and is all that remains of Truscott's second attempt at a Mass, in C major (it shares its manuscript with one of the Schubert sonata movement completions which was written in April 1958). Truscott's first Mass setting dates from 1955 and like that of 1963-4 is a brief affair, ten minutes in duration at most, in F sharp major for unison voices and organ. Four movements are extant: Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei, with 73 bars of an unfinished Credo as fifth movement.

Perhaps the two most extraordinary of Truscott's vocal conceptions are the projected Shakespearean opera, Falstaff, and the set of 6 variations (of which only three were written) for boy's chorus, solo violin, wind quintet and strings on the carol "Once in Royal David's City". Of the opera, very little now remains beyond piano and orchestral versions of the unfinished Prelude. Truscott worked on this in the years immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War and I find it hard to believe that more of it did not at one time exist. No trace of the libretto (which he fashioned himself, presumably from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor) has come to light. Sketches do survive, most of them assembled in the "Falstaff Sketch Book" that also contained a copy of his first song. Little can be gleaned of the opera's projected structure, although it was to have had two acts. The Variations on "Once in Royal David's City" only advance to near the end of the third variation, although Margaret Truscott recalled that a part at least of the piece was performed at a school in Dulwich in or around 1950, but with piano accompaniment. No piano score exists now amongst his papers, but the composer could have played the work on the piano from an orchestral or other short score which has not come to light. A provisional chronological listing of Truscott's vocal pieces runs:-

1. Song: Requiem ('Under the wide and starry sky') [R L Stevenson] (1928)

2. Song: 'Everyone suddenly burst out singing' [Sassoon] (1928) -Lost

3. Opera: Falstaff [Shakespeare] (1937-9) -Abandoned

4. Song: 'The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap' [Chesterton] (c. 1938)

5. Song: 'At noon, within the woodland shade' [W H Hudson] (1940s)

6. Concert aria: 'Oh, Heavenly mercy' for soprano and orchestra (1940s) -Piano sketch only

7. Two Songs (originally titled variously "for Melanie" or "from the Melanese")

I The Vision [Mary Webb] (1938)

II I love all beauteous things [Robert Bridges](1946)

8. "The Making of Viola" for bass, chorus and small orchestra (1940s)-Unfinished

9. "Once In Royal David's City": 6 variations for boys' chorus, solo violin, wind quintet and strings (1950)-Unfinished

10. Two Sonnets to Orpheus for contralto and piano [Rilke] (c. 1951)

I 'Da stiegt ein Baum'; II 'Und fast ein Madchen';

( III 'Ein Gott vermags' - sketch)

11. Poems by Francis Thompson for SATB chorus and piano (c. 1952?)

I Insentience; II July Fugitive; III 'When music's fading's faded'; IV Envoy

12. Mass in F sharp major for unison voices and organ [5 movts.] (1955)-Unfinished

I Kyrie; II Sanctus; III Benedictus; IV Agnus Dei; V Credo-Unfinished

13. Five Songs (1956)

I No! [Thomas Hood]

II Tell me, tell me, smiling child [Emily Brontë]

III The Birds [Belloc]

IV Flower in the crannied wall [Tennyson]

V Envoy [Francis Thompson]

14. Three Songs (c. 1957)

I In no strange land [Francis Thompson] (1957)

II The Door [Mary Webb] (undated)

III Independence [A A Milne] (undated)

15. Mass in C major for 10-part chorus (SSSSAATTBB) [? movts.] (c. 1957-8)

I Kyrie (very fragmentary sketches only for succeeding movements)

16. Two choruses [anon.] (1957)

I Love ditty [text c. 1300]; II Hymn on the Passion [text c. 1530] (partially lost)

17. Two Songs (SATB) [Herrick] (1963)

I Matins, or Morning Prayer; II Ode on the Birth of our Saviour

18. Two Songs (SSA) (1963)

I Song to a serenader in February [Praed]

II To Music, to becalm his fever [Herrick]

19. Mass in A minor for 6-part chorus (SSATBB) [? movts.] (1963-4)-Unfinished

I Kyrie; II Sanctus - lost; III Benedictus (SATB)

20. 3 Sonnets For Pictures for soprano, altos and piano [D G Rosetti] (c. 1964)-Unfinished

I Mary's Girlhood (two versions)

21. Two Songs (1971)

I An Epitaph upon a Virgin [Herrick]

II Praise of Good Women [Robert Mannying]

22. Song: An ancient love song [anon.] (1971)-Unfinished


23. Song: A Prayer [Ben Johnson] -Unfinished

24. Song: Twilight it is, and the far woods are dim [unattrib.]

25. Song: 'Now that the dayspring' [Eden Philpotts] -Unfinished

26. Song: 'How beautiful is the night' for sop., alto, tenor, bass & piano [Southey]-Unfinished

This makes a total of twenty-nine completed songs and part-songs (including the Hymn on the Passion and both versions of Mary's Girlhood), plus eight other choral movements that could be performed separately.  

(x) Conclusion

The scores as found to date have now been passed to the Royal College of Music, as has the printed collection. Copies (microfiche and photocopy) of the original manuscripts-except for the two published compositions, Piano Sonata No. 3 (Lynwood Music) and Meditation on themes from Emanuel Móor's "Suite for 4 cellos" (Bardic Edition)-have been made and distributed to other institutions, such as the BMIC and the British Library in London, and Huddersfield University. The Royal College will retain the manuscripts for the indefinite future. Some scores remain to be found: definitely finished articles such as the Tenth Piano Sonata or the choral Hymn on the Passion, as well as others whose existence is more speculative, such as the two symphonies from the 1930s. Gaps still remain in Truscott's composing career, particularly in the 1930s, the early 1950s (up to 1955) and the late 1970s. Considerable further research and analysis of the music itself is required, which may well overturn many of the provisional findings I have drawn up here. Without external funding, this will be a very slow process.

Parallel with recovery as a priority is performance. The Altarus LPs in the 1980s, worthy as they were, failed to ignite sustained public interest, partly due the advent of CD at the time and its subsequent popular take-up. These recordings have never been reissued in the new format, so the two Marco Polo CDs, both initiated as projects before Truscott's death, are now the standard-bearers of his reputation in accessible format. The transfer to CD of the BMS cassette of Piano Sonatas Nos. 6 & 17 is also highly desirable for the same reason. The inclusion on the orchestral disc of one of the newly discovered works, the Elegy, could in itself provide impetus to the recovery and consolidation process; its potential in purely commercial terms is particularly promising though as at yet unfulfilled.

Guy Rickards


  1. Nos. 3, 5-7, 9, 11-13, 15, 17 by Peter Jacobs, cf. Tempo 153, 158, 171. John Ogdon recorded No. 10 for Altarus in the late 1980s (not issued), having premiered it (& No. 7) on Radio 3 in August 1969; Donna Amato premiered Nos. 4 and 8 in October 1989 (with a further performance of the latter in 1990). The composer himself played Nos. 1 and 2 in the late 1940s at recitals of the Exploratory Concert Society; their subsequent performance history is unknown, but they are unlikely to have been given in public in the last quarter-century. Nos. 14 and 16 appear never to have been heard (an Eighteenth, co-eval with No. 17, was never completed).

  2. I.e. the set of 12 Bagatelles, known since the early 1960s as No. 1 but billed in Radio Times in February 1954 as "No. 2". The original First had been composed in 1948 or 1949, at much the same time as the Bagatelles, and is thought to be that work recast in 1955-6 in a much expanded form as the Sixth Sonata (cf. the composer's notes accompanying Peter Jacobs' recording of Sonatas 6 & 17, BMS 410). Margaret Truscott informed the present writer that around 1949 she attended a composition class given by Benjamin Frankel (1906-73), one of her exercises being to compose some bagatelles. This may well have sparked off Truscott's own set, although it would seem to be the only occurrence of such an influence: the two composers maintained a distance from each other, not least due to a disagreement over Nielsen's merits as a composer.

  3. Colleagues at the faculty of music included Wyndham G Williams (former Head of Department), Peter Clare (the present Head), the composer Arthur Butterworth and Richard Steinitz (present director of the Huddersfield Festival). The three last-named were contributors to a collective suite of variations (on an Albumblatt in G of Schubert's) written in honour of Truscott's retirement in July 1979.

  4. counting the two Preludes and Fugues as two distinct opera. If the nine songs, arranged in three groups of two, five and two respectively, are counted individually as nine works, the total rises to 50.

  5. I once asked Truscott whether he had ever written a string quartet. He replied categorically, "No."

  6. The bound full score shows dates of August 1949-January 1950 on the final page, under the composer's signature.

  7. From the late 1950s until his retirement in 1979, Truscott was working full time in Huddersfield but his family remained in Deal on the Kent coast, a distance still impractical to commute.

  8. The dates on the manuscript of the B flat are those here assigned to the E minor, of which I have otherwise found no trace. The C minor quartet was actually written in 1945, not 1947.

  9. It is by no means out of the question that the three early sonatas "written around 1940", or others in progress (such as one in E flat which was begun in 1939 and worked on intermittently in the 1940s and 1960s, or the 1963 Sonata for the left hand that I found in a sketch book), could have been in his mind, in which case an earlier provenance should be inferred.

  10. This made the "excavation" of his own music even more arduous, since there were one hundred manuscripts in his own hand of other composers' works jumbled up with his own works and his printed collection. Several had become separated from their title pages (such as of a sinfonia by one of the Stamitzes), leading to some short-lived wild speculation about even more unknown Truscott!

  11. One incidental repercussion of the committal was that Harold was removed from school just weeks before his school examinations: the 1930 equivalent of the 'O' Level/GCSE examinations of today. On his return from a further 6 weeks' "convalescence" in Kent, re-admittance to his old school seems not to have been an option and Truscott found himself adrift in a heavily overcrowded employment market.

  12. conducted by the then Music School Head, Wyndham Williams.

  13. Just to confuse matters further, I later found a quite separate set of 5 piano Preludes, but as these were written in ballpoint almost certainly date from after 1957.

  14. one sketch gives the key of the Grasmere as F major, so-unless there were two F major symphonies under way during the mid-to-late 1930s-its identification with the second of the two early symphonies in "B" would appear safe; Laughter in the dark records that the title was later excised.

  15. Attempts to trace Barbara Campbell or her heirs have proved thus far fruitless. Laughter in the dark relates that Miss Campbell, of the Cumbrian Presbyterian faith, was the daughter of a wealthy butcher, or meat merchant, resident in Keswick though her father owned or administered three butcher's shops in the area. The connexion with Grasmere arose because the family had a holiday or second house near the lake, where Truscott stayed. Enquiries at Cumbria County Council failed to locate any record of a butcher or equivalent enterprise owned by a Campbell, but did reveal that during the 1930s two brothers with the surname Cartmel (a common enough local name connected no doubt with the famous priory of Cartmel in what was then Westmorland) did own a butcher's shop at No. 6, St. John's Street, Keswick (now a Next boutique!). No further record was forthcoming, and my attempt to contact the fourteen surviving Cartmels in the Cumbrian telephone directory was met with absolute silence (except for the return of one letter marked "Gone away").

  16. This might explain the bound score's lack of title page-if written out originally as "Symphony No. 2 in E major"-the later rejection of the E minor leading the composer to suppress any thought of a predecessor. This is however totally speculative, with little chance of any proof turning up.

  17. From verses 16-17.

  18. The oboe was an instrument which featured much in Truscott's thinking at this time, partly due to the presece of a gifted student player, Glyn Butler. Truscott had already completed a Sonata in 1965, and the following year began and abandoned a set of Five Pieces with piano accompaniment; in the same year as this concerto he completed the first movement of a Trio for 2 oboes and cor anglais. Only sketches remain of movements 2 and 3.

  19. i.e. one year after he terminated his studies at the RCM. The Fugue was evidently not an academic exercise from Howells' class.

  20. This was news to the dedicatee, a long-standing friend of Truscott's, when I informed him of it in 1993, although he and Truscott must have only recently met at the time this work was being written.

  21. The completed status of the F major Sonata of 1941-2 must remain debatable. It has a fast-faster-slow disposition, and while there is a fragment of a quick fourth movement, it may well be that Truscott was content to leave the work in three.

  22. One of these was apparently undertaken as a piano concerto-Truscott would have then been 14 or 15-but developed far enough as a solo work for the budding composer to play it at home for some of his relatives (not his father, however).

  23. Unlike Tippett, Truscott would not have needed the example of Hindemith's Sonata for 4 horns in 1955 to have tackled a piece for a quartet of horns, being aware of earlier examples such as Schumann's Konzertstück. However, it cannot be ruled out that either the Hindemith or Tippett triggered this abortive project.

  24. "E" suggests that this was in c. 1959, but "B" is more categoric with 1965. Given the closer proximity of "B" to the premiere, I am inclined to follow it in preference to the much later list. (May 1965 is also given elsewhere.) However, it must be borne in mind that "B" gives the years of composition of Violin Sonatas Nos. 3, 4 and 5 incorrectly as 1957, 1957 and 1958 respectively, out in each case by roughly two years.

  25. I have as yet not the slightest notion of who "Melanie" was-if indeed a real person. There are at least three separate manuscripts of the two songs (the untitled last dating from 1978); one of the early ones bears the curious title variation Songs from the Melanese. I cannot identify the source of the name. (It does not obviously relate to the modern Pacific state of Melanesia!)

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