A 227th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
Here we have another sheaf of little known composers
of Victorian musicals. Isidore de Solla was active in the 1880s
with School of Hearts, produced in Camden Town in 1880, Five
Hundred Francs (Vaudeville, 1885) and the operetta (one-act), Minna,
or The Fall From the Cliffs, aired at the Crystal Palace, no less,
in 1886. J. Pary Cole sounds to me a bit like a pseudonym because
of its similarity in sound to Offenbach’s popular operetta La Périchole
to which G & S’s Trial By Jury was a fore-piece, but he is
credited with a fore-piece of his own, The Golden Wedding (Avenue
Theatre, 1885). Ernest Trowbridge was responsible for the "farcical
musical comedy" Our Agency, which achieved just seven performances,
also at the Avenue, in 1886, and T.
W. Haddow’s comic opera Atlantis had just one performance,
at the Gaiety, also in 1886. C.E. Howells was both a conductor
and a composer, in the latter capacity writing the operatic burlesque
Eastward Ho! (1894: but it had had two previous versions, one
of which had surfaced briefly at the Opéra-Comique) and the extravaganza
The Golden Plume, toured in 1886.
J.C. Bond Andrew’s main theatre piece was Herne’s
Oak, or The Rose of Windsor, heard in Liverpool and, under the title
Herne the Hunter, in Birmingham in 1887. Then, in 1889, this
was toured provincially as The Rose of Windsor. Andrews was responsible
also for a number of monologues and some songs, basically of the music-hall
type: The Costers’ Oneymom, Alice and Vulcan.
Finally and staying with roughly the same period I
mention two figures we might confuse if we look hurriedly at their surnames.
F R Kinkee (can that name be real?) was one of those who arranged
music from comic operas for the Victorian ballrooms, ever-hungry for
music – The Chieftain Lancers, on tunes from Sullivan’s piece
of 1896 is an example. Charles Kinkel also published for piano,
his titles included an arrangement of Home Sweet Home and a little
geave piece, Un Rêve du Ciel.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.