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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    

A 188th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS

The series of Garlands has thrown up mention of many who have written much incidental music for film, TV and radio. Another one of these is Andrea Gomez, whose latest score, for a small instrumental group, was for Radio 3's production of the play She Stoops To Conquer (May 2001), by Oliver Goldsmith, a classic drama which has inspired other attractive music, notably Alfred Reynolds' charming song for the heroine Kate Hardcastle "Ah Me When Shall I Marry Me?" and, to go much further back, an opera by George MacFarren (1813-1887).

H Cyphus is not exactly a name to conjure with, but in 1933 he did write incidental music for a staged version of Alice in Wonderland and his music was published. Does anyone know anything else about him (or her)? Another in the same category is George Tootell, also probably active in the 1930s and whose orchestral suite, Manx Scenes sounds evocative, judging by its movement titles: "Crag and Sea", "At the Trysting Place" and "A Manx Wedding", but I have no further information on Tootell. On a Mr Andrew, composer of the catchy novelty number The Doll's House, I know less, not even his Christian name, but he was active in the 1920s.

And so finally to two composers who have composed a fair amount for children, though Ronald Tremain (1923-) has by no means confined himself to that as his output includes a number of Shakespearean and other partsongs and an Allegro for strings dated 1958. But unison songs like I saw a Fishbird and Shepherd Boy's Song and the Eight Children's Pieces for piano show his devotion to the "young idiom". In the early 1980s James Leisy brought out a number of musical plays with younger performers in mind: Tiny Tim's Christmas Card (1981), for unison voices, Alice, based on both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (1981), and The Pied Piper (1982).

Philip L Scowcroft

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount

DONCASTER

S YORKS DN2 5PJ

Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


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