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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 261st GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS

There are at least five types of light music composers which have constantly recurred throughout the bulk of these Garlands: film/TV, "music theatre", military/brass band, orchestral and ballad, although some composers overlap two or more of these categories. We have one from each this time.

The "orchestral" exponent is Harry Stewart Somers, who is worth a mention for his Movement for Orchestra (full orchestra, that is) and the four movements for strings entitled North Country.

Out film/TV representative is Toby Langton-Gilks, who most recently (April 2002) provided an appropriately spare and brief score for the Falklands War documentary Simon’s Heroes.

For our band exponent let me put forward the name of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Kingston, who is at present (2002) Principal Director of Music (Army), who had been in Army bands since 1964 and who is known for his arrangements and for his march, composed in 1978, The Staffordshire Yeomanry

Now for the light music theatre. William Fullerton, American-born and Leipzig–trained, settled in Britain and provided the music for the comic opera The Lady of the Locket (1885: 120 performances in the West End) and contributed to Frankenstein or the Vampire’s Victim (Gaiety, 1887), after which he slips from our view.

Finally for our ballad composer Vincent O’Brien (1870-1948), who also arranged a number of folk and popular songs. He composed, most notably, the two titles, still sung, The Fairy Tree and The Fairy Fiddler.

Philip L Scowcroft

April 2002


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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