A 222nd GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
Brief mention first of all, for yet more singletons
of the British musical comedy stage. Tony Kinsey and Bill
le Sage joined in 1960 to provide the music for The Lily White
Boys, which struggled to 45 outings at the Royal Court Theatre.
In 1963 What Goes UpÖ! was put on at the Theatre Royal, Stratford
East, Murray Graham being the provider of the score. And Elizabeth
Quinn wrote both lyrics and music for Fancy Free, produced
in Belfast, also in 1963.
Lionel Tertisís skill as a viola player
and his tireless proselytising for his instrument are both well known
but we should also remember that Tertis (1876-1975), in addition to
major arrangements like the re-jigging for viola of Elgarís Cello Concerto
and compositions like the Variations on a Four Bar Theme of Handel
for viola and cello unaccompanied published a number of shorter pieces
for viola and piano (although some were also arranged for violin or
cello) which we may properly count as light music: arrangements of the
Londonderry Air, a (different) Old Irish Air and French
Air; and the original compositions Hier Air Soir and Sunset
(Coucher du Soleil). As a player Tertis came from a generation
who, as often as not, believed in composing their own pieces for use
as encores in their recitals.
And so finally to Norman Demuth (1898-1968),
a Francophile composer and author, who studied at the Royal College
of Music and was later a professor at the Royal Academy. His rather
austere melodic gift means that one does not immediately associate him
with the lighter forms of music but he did make substantial contributions
in that direction: much incidental music, especially for radio (e.g.
two productions of The Tempest, Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound,
Allís Well That Ends Well, MacBeth and The Queen of Cornwall),
film music (e.g. for Pink String and Sealing Wax, 1945), an Overture
For a Joyful Occasion, some music for military band including the
Regimental March of the Royal Pioneer Corps (1943: Demuth served in
both world wars) and a considerable number of miniatures for piano Ė
Canzonet and Reverie (1925), Tambourin (1928),
Three Dance Movements (1956), Album Leaf (1959), Country
Caper (1960), Two Meadow Melodies (1960), Vilanelle (1961)
and, for duet, Waltz For Two.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.