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Many, indeed most, composers have been at least competent performers on at least one instrument but this article is concerned with those who were and are known primarily as instrumentalist, but who nevertheless composed to a considerable extent. A few people in this category have been noticed in other articles, for example, the violinist W H Reed and Charles Woodhouse, violist H Waldo Warner, cellist W H Squire and pianist Thomas Johnson. And as all organists, it seems, compose (and in any case we have written a piece on Yorkshire organists) they will with one exception not be considered here. Several of those who are to be considered appeared as performers in my home town, Doncaster, and I hope it will be of interest to recall briefly what they played on those occasions.

Let us begin with a group of harpists. John Balser Chatterton was born at Portsmouth in 1805 and was thus unusually an English harpist (most of the famous British ones have hailed from Wales or Ireland). He became Professor of his instrument at the Royal Academy of Music in 1827, succeeding his teacher Bochsa, and Harpist to Queen Victoria in 1842. He wrote much music for harp especially arrangements of traditional airs of the British Isles - two of his more ambitious pieces were the Fantasias, Chords of Harmony and Peace or Recollections of the Crystal Palace and Bridal Chimes. His brother Frederick was Harpist to HRH the Duchess of Gloucester and played in Doncaster in January 1856 when he programmed several items by "Chatterton" which was presumably himself but it could have been his brother, viz Highland Ballads, Welsh Bardic Illustrations, Morceau Fantastique and Partant Pour Le Syrie. John Chatterton died in April 1871 and was succeeded as Harpist to the Queen by John Thomas.

Thomas was born in Bridgend on 1 March 1826, studied composition with Cipriani Potter and piano and harp (under John Chatterton) at the RAM 1840-6. From 1851 he played for the opera at Her Majesty's Theatre and in 1852 played one of his own concertos at the Philharmonic Society. He toured Europe widely between 1852 and 1862. latterly he became involved with teaching - as professor of the harp at the RAM (from 1871) and at both the RCM and GSM from the 1880s - also adjudicating at various Welsh eisteddfodau and writing, including an article on Welsh national music for the first edition of Grove. He organised a concert of Welsh music at St James' Hall in 1862 (given by 400 voices and twenty (!) harps and formed the Welsh Choral Union in London in 1871) in which year he became Harpist to Queen Victoria. He by no means confined himself to composing for harp as his works included two symphonies, two operas, various overtures and string quartets and the two cantatas, Llewellyn, performed at the Aberdare Eisteddfod in 1863 and later at the 1893 Chicago Fair and The Bride of Neath Valley for Chester in 1866. His works for harp included Scenes of Childhood (1863) and Cambria (1863) for two harps, lovely period pieces, Romance and Rondo Piaccevole, for harp with violin, and two concertos in E Flat and B Flat. He published a large number of arrangements of Welsh Melodies, some for harp with chorus others (often with variations) for harp solo, some 48 studies for harp and many arrangements for harp of classical composers, like Beethoven, Schubert (I have a recording of the Thomas setting of Ave Maria), Mendelssohn and Gounod. His sets of variations on Welsh Airs can still be heard in concert today. They are pleasant if slight; rather better are the four characteristic pieces, The Seasons and the delicious little tone poem, Echoes of a Waterfall. These have both been recorded in the past decade as have the mazurka L'Esperance, the Grand Duo in B Flat for two harps, the Fantasia, Pensive and Joyous, the impromptu Le Apoit, The Tear, Adieu My Native Country and several of the sets of variations. On his appearance in Doncaster on 25 November 1873 he played a Grand Study and various of the Welsh Melodies. He died in London on 19 March 1913.

His younger brother Thomas Thomas (1829-1913) was also a touring harp virtuoso (of Europe between 1851 and 1867 and of America in 1895) who adopted the name Aptommas to avoid the possibility of confusion with his brother. (Nevertheless at least one American Musical Dictionary does confuse them). He too composed: a cantata Pilgrim's Progress and much for harp especially the usual arrangements of national airs. In Doncaster on 18 February 1869, when he was billed as "The Paganini of the Harp", he played some of the latter and at the town's Corn Exchange on 3 November 1880 he also performed among other things his Tarantella for harp with piano. He wrote a short History of the Harp, published in 1859 and died in Canada.

Another Welsh harpist to visit Doncaster at that period was Ellis Roberts, Harpist to the Prince of Wales who appeared there twice in 1857, performing his own Air with Variations and arrangements - perhaps his own - of a medley from Weber's Der Freischutz and of Rule Britannia! A more recent harp virtuoso Marie Goossens (1894-1991), from a remarkable musical family, composed Harp Music for Beginners and more famously the theme music for the long running radio serial Mrs Dale's Diary and arranged Fourteen Tunes for the Celtic Harp.

Reginald Kell, born in York in 1906, was one of the finest clarinettists of his generation. He studied with Haydn Draper at the RAM and joined Beecham's legendary LPO in 1932 moving to the LSO in 1937. He taught at the RAM 1935-48 and much to our loss emigrated to the USA in 1948. He published a Clarinet Method and two books of studies, also - mostly early on in his career - a few short concert pieces, An Autumn Tune, A Graceful Tune, A Humorous Fantasy and Moods.

Among string players we consider first the case of Arnold Trowell, born in New Zealand in 1887 but properly regarded as British for our purpose as he made his career as a virtuoso cellist while based in this country. He trained in Frankfurt and Brussels and first appeared in England in 1907. As a cello virtuoso he appeared in Doncaster in February 1909 playing works by Boccherini, Cui, Davidoff, Popper and Victor Herbert. but nothing by himself although he wrote prolifically for cello. His compositions were in demand as examination tests as well as for concert use and included: Menuet, Gavotte and Petit Marche Opus 4, various dances published as Opus 11, Six Pieces in Ancient Style Opus 15, Nocturne Opus 16, a Caprice Opus 20, three folk arrangements (The Foggy Dew, Londonderry Air and Irish Lullaby) Opus 49, the Caprice Ancien Op 52 and Old-Time Measure Opus 59. His largest scale composition was a Cello Concerto Opus 33 (1909). By no means all has music was purely for cello however. There was a Violin Sonata in G, Opus 24, a Piano Quintet in F Minor (the same key as Brahms'), Opus 45, a String Quartet in G, Opus 25, often played by the Brodsky Quartet and a Trio on Ancient Irish Folk Tunes in D Major Opus 32 for piano, violin and cello. I heard this some years ago in Doncaster and found it a charming compilation if hardly an important work.

Another cellist was Cedric Sharpe, born in 1891, the son of pianist/composer Herbert Francis Sharpe. Cedric studied at the RCM with W H Squire and later became prominent as a chamber music and orchestral player in London especially with the Philharmonic Quartet and as a principal cellist with the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, His compositions written manly between the wars, were principally for cello and included The Angelus, Chansonette, Gavotte in G Minor, Humoresque Rumbaesque, An Old-Time Dance, An Old World Love Song, Romance in A, Le Soir, Valse Capricieuse, Pavane, The Vesper Bell (an old Breton folk tune) and sundry arrangements of Bach, Arne and English and Irish traditional airs, also Scots folk tunes originally arranged for piano solo by his father. His cello compositions showed a knowledge for what the instrument could do in the lighter forms and a pleasing lyricism if Midsummer Song, which I have heard in a recording by the composer, is anything to go by. He also composed pieces for light orchestra, like the Holyrood Suite and the Pompadour Suite, both in the "ancient pastiche" style so beloved of British light music composers. The movements of Holyrood are entitled Ruffs and Laces (Gavotte), M. Le Marquis (Sarabande), Lute Song (Ariette) and Kitchen Boys' Dance (Gigue) - the instrumentation is single woodwind with a second clarinet, trumpet, percussion and strings. And Sharpe also composed a number of songs in ballad style, like The Fairy Fiddler, In Praise of Ale, It was the Time of Roses and The Year's at the Spring. (W.H. Squire, incidentally, I deal with in my (first) Garland of British Light Music Composers.)

Still another cellist was William Edward Whitehouse (1859-1935), who studied at the RAM where he was later taken on to the staff before becoming a professor at Cambridge and at the RCM. He played in the Classical Monday Pops, and under Wagner at the Royal Albert Hall. He performed with Joachim and between 1889 and 1904 in the London Trio with whom he toured widely. His pupils included Felix Salmond and Beatrice Harrison, both of whom were associated with the Elgar Cello Concerto in its early days. He wrote textbooks for the cello and in 1930 Recollections of a Violoncellist. His compositions were primarily for his own instrument, having titles like Introduction and Allegro Perpetuo, Remembrance, Ballade in G (1916), Gedanken, Melody in D, Serenade and Caprice. In addition he edited works for cello by baroque composers.

Two famous viola players of the early 20th Century were Lionel Tertis, crusader extraordinary for viola music, who inspired much, arranged plenty (including the Elgar Cello Concerto for viola) and composed a bit, pieces like the miniature, Sunset. Bernard Shore of the BBC Symphony Orchestra who continued playing as I can vouch, into the mid-1970s, published a Scherzo but for violin(!) and piano.

Violinist, Albert Sammons was born in London on 23 February 1886 and is remembered with affection today for his performances of the Elgar and Delius violin concertos both of which he recorded. Taught by his father, he was heard playing in a London hotel by Beecham and was engaged to lead the Beecham Orchestra on the strength of it. He also led the orchestra of the Philharmonic Society, played for the Russian Ballet and the Dieppe Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the King's private band.

Between 1910 and 1919 he was first violin of the New, later the London, String Quartet in which Waldo Warner was the viola player and later of the Chamber Music Players, who played together for 22 years. Sammons toured widely and his sonata recitals with William Murdoch attempted with less success than he would have wished to champion modern music. He was Professor of the violin at the RCM and published a book, Secret of Technique. He also composed. Many of his works were, as we would expect, for violin and piano. Berceuse, Opus 6, Bouree, Opus 12, Dance Caprice, Opus 15, Gypsy Dance, Lullaby, Plantation Dance, Op 24, A Rumanian Air, a Fantasia on Irish Airs, many studies, Six Scottish Tunes and the Welsh air, The Faithful Bird. Both his visits to Doncaster on 9 November 1920 and 27 November 1930 featured his Hungarian Dance; on the latter occasion the Rumanian Air figured also, along with Beethoven, Mozart and sundry "lollipops". Sammons' published work also included a few for small orchestra like the entr'acte Little Columbine and An Angel's Song. His Phantasy Quartet for strings in B Minor Opus 8, is described by Cobbett as of marked originality and it was well received in a 1915 performance. Sammons died at his Sussex home in 1957, aged 71.

Another fine English violinist from roughly the same period, but one whose basic achievements were as orchestral leader and chamber musician rather than as soloist, was George Stratton, born in London on 18 July 1897 who led the LSO from 1933 to 1953 and also the Glyndebourne Festival Orchestra from its inception in 1934. The Stratton String Quartet which he formed in 1925 (it lasted until 1942) gave many fine performances and its recording of the Elgar Piano Quintet with Harriet Cohen made in 1933, has passed into legend. He also led the Reginald Paul Piano Quintet. Stratton also composed and won a prize for composition as a student at the GSM; his most ambitious works were the 15 minute long Pastorale Concerto for viola and piano, published in the year of his death, 1954 and an Oboe Concerto, lightly accompanied by an orchestra of strings, two clarinets and bassoon. In 1935 he published with Alan Frank, a book on The Playing of Chamber Music. It was reprinted in 1951. He also contributed an article "On Leading the LSO" to Hubert Foss' London Symphony. He taught at the RCM from 1942 and was awarded an OBE in 1953. The distinguished violinist John Dunn was born in Hull in 1866 and died in Harrogate in 1940. He studied in Leipzig from the age of 12 making his London debut in 1882. He wrote a Manual on Violin Playing and also composed considerably: a Violin Concerto, violin and piano solos in some profusion, like the Soliloquy and Berceuse, also a Sonatina for piano solo.

We come now to pianists. Musical history can point to many pianist composers. Not many of these were British; but there are a few for us to notice. Herbert Francis Sharpe (1861-1925) we have already mentioned. A Professor at the RCM and a regular recitalist, he composed prolifically (his opus numbers reached at least the seventies), mainly for the piano and mainly miniatures, plus one or two songs like The Mahogany Tree and, apparently his major work, the Suite Opus 2 for flute and piano.

Frederick Lamond, born on 28 January 1868 in Glasgow, studied piano at the Raff Conservatory, Frankfurt and had composition lessons with Liszt. His debut as a pianist was in Berlin in 1885; he played at the St James' Hall in 1886, his English debut. He was later Professor at the Hague Conservatory. As a concert pianist he became famous for his interpretations of Beethoven, about whose sonatas he published a booklet in 1944 (his memoirs appeared posthumously in 1949), and of Liszt whose First Piano Concerto he played with the BBC Scottish Orchestra on his 75th birthday. Lamond lived in Germany until in 1938 the approach of the Second World War drove him back to this country; he died in Stirling on 21 February 1948 having been a professor at the Scottish National Academy for the previous nine years. He composed and indeed originally wanted to be a composer rather than a performer. Obviously his list of works included several for solo piano but they embrace also a Piano Trio, a Cello Sonata and other chamber music, a Symphony in A Opus 3, scored for double woodwind, four horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings, and overtures, of which From the Scottish Highlands Opus 4, a very early work as its English premiere was in 1886 was more lavishly scored than the Symphony with triple woodwinds and trombones, tuba and other percussion added.

Harold Samuel (1879-1937) studied at the RCM (where he later taught) with Dannreuther and Stanford and with Parry's influence also important, and made his London debut as a pianist in 1894. This was followed by many recital tours and concerto appearances here and abroad. He visited America in 1924 and subsequently. He became known especially after 1921 for his interpretations of Bach and as a fine chamber music player. His earlier visits to Doncaster in 1907, 1908 (twice) and 1912 were as accompanist but on 2 December 1926 he did indeed play Bach (three of the "Forty-Eight" and the Second English Suite) among other things. Like Lamond he wrote music for piano solo (his Two Sketches, entitled Campden Hollow and A Carol, are attractive) and also in other musical mediums. He even penned a musical comedy, Hon'ble Phil', short "operettas", incidental music for plays and songs for Shakespeare's As You Like It and published other songs like Diaphenia, Joggin' Along the Highway, The Fairy Boat, The Top of the Hill, Goodbye Pierrette, The Toy Band and Three Old-World Songs.

Herbert Fryer (1877-1957), educated at Merchant Taylors' School, the RAM and RCM (at which latter establishment he became Professor of Piano, retiring in 1947) was a festival adjudicator, examiner and recitalist, playing programmes from 1898 onwards, not only in Britain, but all over Europe and in Canada, the United States, Australia, South Africa and the Indian sub-continent. His compositions included songs (The Virgin's Cradle Hymn became quite popular) and naturally piano solos. Titles included the Etude Caprice, Opus 9 No 1 (1910), a Morris Dance Opus 18 No 5, Three Preludes Opus 16, a Suite for Piano, Opus 11 and sundry arrangements of Bach and traditional Irish and English tunes.

Norman Fraser, born in 1904 in Valparaiso in Chile studied there and in Lausanne, Switzerland and elsewhere on the Continent, at King's College, Wimbledon and the RCM. As a pianist he toured Europe; he settled in London, working for the BBC between 1936 and 1943 and again between 1954 and 1967. He kept returning to South America, however, teaching at the University of Chile 1934-6 and acting as a British Council representative in Buenos Aires 1944-6. His compositions were by no means confined to the piano. He produced a Rondo Campesio for soprano voice and orchestra and Four Chilean Dances for full orchestra. Chamber music included an early String Quartet (1923 possibly a composition exercise), Chanson d'Automne for soprano, flute and string trio, Elegy for woodwinds and harp (1935), Orientale for violin and piano, Cueca for two violins and piano and a Chilean Dance for violin and piano, possibly one of the orchestral ones already mentioned. Many of his songs were arrangements of South American melodies, but he set German words in Drei Rilke Lieder of 1939, while his English songs included the Six Songs of 1946, Lullaby (1939), The Snowdrop in the Wind and Venice Twilight (both 1946), A Sea Dirge and Chanson Triste (1935). A few partsongs - This Year Next Year, Christmas Day, Two Polish Carols and A Phantasy - were published. His piano works included sonatas, studies, the "romantic prelude" Chandolin (1933), Medaillon Retrouve (1936) and Study and Toccata (1936). Two of his Suite of Six Short Pieces (1933) - Encanto and Prelude - were first performed, though not by him, at a recital in Doncaster on 27 April 1933.

Sydney Rosenbloom, born in Edinburgh in 1886, studied at the Blackheath Conservatory and the RAM (he taught at both places respectively in 1911-16 and 1907-10) and made his London debut as a pianist in 1920. He then went to South Africa where he taught and toured extensively. His works are naturally enough mainly for piano: Concert Studies of which the one in G Flat, Op 5 No 1 became moderately popular, Waltzes, Six Preludes Opus 7 (1910), the Scherzo in B Flat Minor Opus 12, which Moiseiwitsch took up, the Valse Poem, Opus 15, the Prelude Impromptu Opus 29 (1937) and the substantial Variations and Fugue Opus 16 for two pianos. In addition he had a Suite for two violins and strings Opus 18, played in Johannesburg in 1922 and he published songs (e.g. Daffodil) and violin pieces (e.g. the early Waltz Scherzo, Opus 4) also. Mantle Childe, a pianist who was active especially after the Second World War, published settings of traditional French and Welsh melodies: Lazy Sheep (1947) and Suo Gan (1949).

On the lighter side Alberto Semprini, who died in 1990 and was of Anglo-Italian parentage, produced a large number of arrangements and some original compositions like Mediterranean Concerto used as the signature tune for his popular radio feature Semprini Serenade, the piano solo Variations on a Boogie, even songs like the Echo of a Melody. Dalhousie Young (1866-1921), born in India, was a pianist who studied with Leschititzky and enjoyed a notable career as such. He also composed. His orchestral Christmas Hymn and Suite were both performed at Bournemouth under Dan Godfrey. His stage music included the "gesture plays" Prince Pierrot, Pierrot on Toast and Robe of Feathers and incidental music to Netta Syrett's Six Fairy Plays. He wrote a cantata The Blessed Damozel, but he was best known for smaller scale vocal items like Bredon Hill and other Housman songs (which have understandably sunk without trace), the eight piece In a Gondola cycle, the Six Oriental Epigrams and the intriguing Dithering Ditties: Antigua, Kidderminster, Calcutta, Spain and Powder and Paint. His published piano output appears to be curiously sparse and I have traced only a Rigaudon and a Sicilienne. Eric Gritton, born in 1889 and sometime accompanist to the violinist Campoli, produced a Lullaby for violin (or cello) and piano and songs like Daffodil Time, How Far Is It To Bethlehem? and We saw Him Sleeping. The original compositions of the distinguished scholar- pianist Denis Matthews apparently date from before the last war as those I have found, a Rhapsody in D Minor and a Scherzo in G, were published in 1938.

Adelina de Lara - or to give her her full name - Lottie Adelina de Lara Shipwright - was born in Carlisle on 23 January 1872 and was thus 89 when she died in Woking on 25 November 1961. Educated in Frankfurt she studied the piano with Fanny Davies (1885) and Clara Schumann (1886-91). Her debut took place at the St James Hall in 1891 and she played in public for over sixty years thereafter. As an example she played the Schumann Concerto with the Hallé Orchestra in 1897 and broadcast it in 1945. She played at the National Gallery for Myra Hess during the Second War, organised War Fund concerts in both wars and broadcast frequently, appearing on television on her 82nd birthday. She recorded copiously, mainly Schumann, and published her autobiography Finale in 1955. Her compositions included many ballads, two song cycles, two suites for string orchestra, of which In The Forest, is quite attractive, and of course much for piano including two concertos.

Piano duet teams often have to arrange their own music. Ethel Bartlett (1896-1978) and her husband Rae Robertson, whom I recall playing Martinu's Concerto for two pianos in Sheffield in 1951, were doubtless an exception but most of Ethel Bartlett's publications I have found were, unusually, violin and piano arrangements: An Ancient Lullaby, Golden Slumbers and My Love's An Arbutus. Joan Trimble, Enniskillen born in 1915 and trained at Dublin and the RCM appeared both as a solo pianist and with her sister Valerie as duettist. She published music for two pianos both original and arrangements of Scots and Irish traditional airs, and additionally songs like Green Rain, County Mayo and My Grief on the Sea and the Three Diversions for wind quintet. Charles Spinks, a regular broadcaster during the 1950s playing harpsichord, piano and organ, published, inter alia, a Dance Suite Opus 12 and Five Greek Pictures Opus 8, both for solo piano, Variations on a Greek Folk Song Opus 6 for two pianos and a Suite for flute and strings, Opus 14 (1958).

The race of British pianist composers is not quite dead. John Vallier, who died only in 1991 was trained by the distinguished pianist Mathilde Verne (his aunt) and was noted for his Chopin interpretations. He composed among other things for piano solo, Five Cornish Sketches (1953), which end, perhaps inevitably, with Helston Flora, a Toccatina (1950), Witches' Ride (1956), Humming Bird, a miniature inspired by a visit to South America, Variations on John Peel (1963) and, especially commissioned, The Royal Suite and Royal Lullaby, both published and first performed as recently as 1988. These latter are attractive pieces in the English light music tradition, if a trifle obvious. His last work, completed just before his death, was a Piano Concerto in A Minor.

Lionel Salter, born in 1914, is still alive. The New Grove lists adequately his work, notably for the BBC, as harpsichordist, pianist, writer and critic, arranger and editor of old music, administrator and even conductor, but says little or nothing of his compositions, many of which have been for radio productions (including quite popular shows like The Barnstormers, a pantomime and the Coventry Nativity Play as well as relatively minor incidental music), but which also include songs like The Shepherdess and Counsel and for piano solo two sets each of Seven Miniatures (1951-2), a suite of colourful Picture Postcards (Braemar, Killarney, Havana, Naples and The Tyrol) (1960) and Spooks. For piano duet he published A Grey Day and Out in the Sun (1954) and for two pianos A Scottish Reel (1946). His output includes many traditional arrangements for solo voice or chorus. Much of it appears to date from the decade after the last war though he has remained active up to the present (1994) as a music editor and composer of piano pieces for the Associated Board.

Listening to an enjoyable recent recording of piano encores played by the Cheshire born Stephen Hough, which includes his own inventive transcriptions of songs by Roger Quilter, Amy Woodeford-Finden and Richard Rodgers, reminded me that some years ago I heard in Doncaster his Quartet for three clarinets and bass clarinet which to me sounded delightfully fresh and full of good ideas; but as he was only 15 when he composed it he may well have disowned it by now.

Finally although I have attempted to deal with some organist-composers elsewhere I will mention Frederick William Holloway here briefly. Born in 1873, he died on 20 January 1954, aged 80. A FRCO at 19 and Assistant Organist at Crystal Palace at twenty, he was organist of St Paul's, Herne Hill 1892-1909 moving to All Saints, Dulwich where he remained for a remarkable 41 year span up to 1950 combining this for part of the time (1932-49) with the conductorship of the Crystal Palace Choral and Orchestral Society. He was actually rehearsing the Choral Society when the Palace caught fire; everyone escaped but Holloway's organ and all his music perished. His works were numerous being mainly for voices, piano and organ. The organ music included two symphonies in E Minor (Opus 40) and C Minor (Opus 47), the Cantilena, Concert Toccata Opus 33 and the Suite Arabesque Opus 57 and many miniatures.

Many, probably most, instrumentalists of the past composed music for their own use. Fewer do so now possibly because recital tours are more hectic nowadays. It is relatively rare for others besides the performer-composer to play these pieces however and probably this was, generally speaking, always the case.

Philip Scowcroft

Rev 1994

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