A 225th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
This time we begin with two present day composers: Adrian Jack, worth
a mention for his Menagerie for piano, violin and cello, premiered by
the Lake Trio in 2001; and Brian Fraser, Director of Music at Buckingham
High School, Fife, in Scotland, whose prolific compositions include
many for wind band, of which examples are Carnival of the Insects and
Henry Charles Litolff (1818-91), pianist, publisher and composer, is
often reckoned as French, but he was born, of a Scots mother and an
Alsatian father, in London. He is known for one work, the scherzo from
his 4th Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra; there are five
of these concertos altogether and their scherzi all have such delicacy
and tunefulness so we can count them as light music. His Robespierre
overture includes a rousing setting of the Marseillaise; other overtures
included Les Girendins, Chant des Belges and King Lear. His copious
piano output included many lightish pieces, dance music especially,
and, most famously Spinnelied.
Ed Welch is known for his music for the 1978 film remake (its third
version in the "talkie" era) of The Thirty Nine Steps with
Robert Powell as Hannay; Welch's other titles include a piece for wind
band, Dartmouth Mariner.
Finally, three figures noted for their recent incidental music for
radio plays are Will Gregory, Derek Nesbit and Billie Cowie the latter
for BBC Radio 3's 2001 production of Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.