Music Webmaster Len Mullenger
AN EIGHTY-NINTH GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
We start with brief mentions of two "library" (or "production music") composers, both primarily for the Paxton Recorded Music Library and both active in the 1950s. EDWIN GREY, composer of Nocturne in Mists and other titles; and EDWARD CARMER, who portrayed the moods of Upheaval and Frustration. Composers of this type of music should be saluted for their ability to catch a mood or a scene in the concise, evocative terms so many of them did.
DALHOUSIE YOUNG (1866-1921) was born in India and was a concert pianist and composer; lighter elements of his output included a Rustic Suite and Five Bagatelles for string orchestra, both premiered at Bournemouth. WALLACE SUTCLIFFE, who died in 1912, was born in Yorkshire and was a violinist in the Queen's Hall Orchestra, then after 1904, the London Symphony Orchestra. His compositions included a Prelude and Two Dances.
DR. HENRY HOLLOWAY (1871-1948) is another figure having particular associations with Bournemouth. He was an organist in the town for many years and was also Chorus Master of the Bournemouth Municipal Choir and Conductor of the Dorset Philharmonic Society. His compositions included a couple of symphonies and, on the lighter side, Three Novelettes, an Egyptian Suite and Sea Fancies.
SAM HARTLEY BRAITHWAITE was born at Egremont in Cumberland on 20 July 1883 and died at Arnside, in Westmorland, on 13 January 1947, though he actually lived much of his life in Bournemouth. He was a pianist, though he studied clarinet, too, while at the Royal Academy of Music where he was later a Professor. Some of his piano composition, like English Dance and a Suite of Ancient Dances (surely he orchestrated these?) seem lightish in feel and he composed an Overture for military band for a Pageant of Empire at the Crystal Palace. But most of his works were for orchestra and several of them were light or lightish. His overture The Fighting Temeraire, Idyll, Oriental Fragment, By the Hot Lake, a scherzo, Night By Dalegarth Bridge and - perhaps an echo of Albert Ketèlbey - Near an Eastern Bazaar. Most of these titles were performed in Bournemouth.
BERTRAM LUARD-SELBY (1853-1918) was an organist, latterly at Rochester Cathedral (1900-1916). Unsurprisingly his output was mostly serious organ music including three sonatas, service music, much large-scale chamber music, two operas and three cantatas. But his "musical duologue", Weather Or No was used as a companion piece to The Mikado at the Savoy in 1896, and among his orchestral works Village Suite, premiered at the Henry Wood Proms in 1908 and an Idyll seem to be on the lighter side.
A number of our composers in this and recent Garlands have earned their living as instrumentalists and our last in this offering is another, REGINALD KELL, born in 1906 and a student at the Royal Academy of Music, who emigrated to America in 1948 after playing in the LPO under Beecham with the LSO, was one of the greatest clarinettists of his age. His short pieces for clarinet (he wrote a Tutor as well) are all light: An Autumn Tune, A Graceful Tune, A Humorous Fantasy and Moods. The title of the latter brings us back to our starting point. © Philip L. Scowcroft
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