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