Cockney Suite                                                                   Back to list of works index

 

This suite was published in 1924.  It has received several “complete” recordings, but latterly individual movements have been recorded separately.

 

Cockney Suite – complete

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Military band

2LO Military Band, Godfrey    

Velvet Face (Edison) 1170/2  

?, ?, 9878, 9879, ?

10” 78, 5 sides

rec.Jan 1926

Aug 26 p.128

TM, (TM CD) (both only 1171)

Orchestra

Homochord (Premier) O

Homochord D 991/3

HH 8797-2, 8698-1 (sides 3-6 not known)

10” 78, 6 sides

rec.July 1926

Sept 26 p.171, Aug 28 p.102

TM, (TM CD)  (both only D 991)

Orchestra

Concert O, Ketèlbey

Columbia 9860/2

WAX 4516, 4517, 4518, 4522, 4523

12” 78, 5 sides

[Dec 29] rec.Jan 29

Dec 29 p.321

BL, (TM CAS)

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110869

CD

2003

NX, PD, TM

Re-issue

- This England C104

LMS Autumn 06

TM

Orchestra

Palm Court Theatre O, Godwin

Chandos FBCD 2002

CD

1998

BL, PD, TM

 

Re-issue

Chandos CHAN 6676

 

CD

 

 

NX

Dempsey says the Homochord Orchestra was conducted by Bert Firman. D 993 contained Elegy on two sides.

 

Ketèlbey’s own recording has a single cut, omitting the reprise of the opening section in Elegy. 

 

Godwin’s recording uses a small orchestra with reduced wind, strings one to a part, and also a piano in some movements.    

                                                                        

 

- 1. A State Procession (Buckingham Palace)

 

Composer’s synopsis

One is to suppose that the King and Queen are going to open Parliament and Pall Mall is crowded with onlookers. Pomp and pageantry, brilliant uniforms and military bands all combine to make a brilliant spectacle, and this march is what might be played by the regimental bands as they pass along the route.

 

One of the passing regimental bands is playing Ketèlbey’s march Ypres 1914.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Military band

Band of HM Coldstream Guards, Pope

RCA SF 5037

LP

[?1959]

Aug 59 p.105

 

Re-issue

- RCA RD 27126

 

LP

[?1959]

Aug 59 p.105

BL

Re-issue

- Eclipse ECS 2101

LP

Military band

Regimental Band of Coldstream Guards, Marshall

Bandleader BNA 5119

CD

[Feb 97]

Feb 97 p.126

BL, PD, TM

 

Re-issue

- Bandleader BND 65119

 

CAS

[Feb 97]

Feb 97 p.126

 

Concert band

University of Illinois Concert Band, Hindsley

Columbia

 

LP

?

 

WC

Ketèlbey’s own recording adds a tenor saxophone, contributing towards the colour of a military band.  He, Godwin and the Homochord Orchestra all march at 128 steps to the minute, following the trilingual instruction “Tempo di marche militaire (briskly)”.  Marshall’s conducting score lacks the word “briskly”, and consequently he follows his training as a professional marcher and solemnly processes at 110 steps a minute. 

 

 

-2.  The Cockney Lover (Lambeth Walk)

 

Composer’s synopsis

The Cockney whistle, “’Arf a pint of mild and bitter”, has here been employed as the leading theme in a little Cockney serenade.  The suggestion (in the accompaniment of the 2nd part) of “Little Brown Jug” indicates that the lovers have retired to a public-house, and the chimes of Big Ben and other buildings are intended to indicate that it is night and very near closing-time.  The sweethearts leave the public-house and the young fellow once more sings his melody softly to the girl.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Military band

Regimental Band of Coldstream Guards, Marshall

Bandleader BNA 5119

CD

[Feb 97]

Feb 97 p.126

BL, PD, TM

 

Re-issue

- Bandleader BND 65119

 

CAS

[Feb 97]

Feb 97 p.126

 

The metronome marking suggests this movement should only last about 1’ 45”.   Ketèlbey was perhaps embarrassed at taking a whole 12 inch side for such a brief time, that he protracts it to 2’ 55”.  The Homochord Orchestra, Marshall and Godwin take 2’ 30”, 2’ 26” and 2’ 18” respectively.  Godwin uses a piano throughout.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                               

- 3. At the Palais de Danse (Anywhere)

 

Composer’s synopsis

A feature of the Jazz bands in any “Palais de Danse” is the way in which the key of the music is suddenly changed.  This waltz has been treated in this manner (in the 2nd part), and other “Jazz” effects are introduced.  The changes in orchestration music must be emphatically marked.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Orchestra

Concert O, Ketèlbey

- Pearl GEMM CD 9968

from Columbia 9861

CD

1992, rec.1929

BL, PD, TM

Orchestra

Czecho-Slovak Radio SO, Leaper

Marco Polo 8.223442

CD

1992

Apr 94 p.48

BL, NX, PD, TM

Once again Ketèlbey adds a tenor saxophone, this time to add the colour of a dance band, while Godwin’s piano is ever-present.  The 2LO Band plays very crisply and rhythmically.

 

 

- 4.  Elegy (Thoughts on passing the Cenotaph)

This movement has only been recorded as part of the complete suite.  However, it was reworked under the title Remembrance, which has been recorded in its own right.       

                                   

Composer’s synopsis

This represents the serious thoughts which would occur to anyone on passing the Cenotaph in Whitehall.  The 2nd part, in the major key, suggests the feelings of affection and tender remembrance which would prevail in the hears of sweethearts and wives, yet with a feeling of gratification that their loved ones had died in a noble cause.

 

Ketèlbey’s original metronome marking is crotchet = about 80.  In this recording he averages 58, the speed he indicates in the revised version, Remembrance.  To accomodate the movement on a single 12-inch side, he has to cut the reprise of the opening section.  He also dispenses with the timpani part after the initial section. 

 

The 2LO Band makes a massive cut of 30 out of 77 bars.  The average metronome is 57, but much rubato is used.

 

Godwin adopts the same slow tempo as Ketèlbey.  He uses a piano not only to play the harp part, but to fill out the chords throughout, adding an obtrusive percussive element to the otherwise smooth texture.

 

 

 

- 5. Bank Holiday ('Appy 'Ampstead)        

 

Composer’s synopsis

Hampstead Heath on a Bank Holiday is here represented by a lively dance tune of a country-like character, then the mouth-organs are heard as a preliminary introduction to a one-step tune to which ‘Arry and ‘Arriet dance.  While it is proceeding, a blatant cornet in the vicinity plays snatches of various other tunes, roysterers bawl a few bars of “Tell me the old, old story”, another band plays a bit of “Semiramide” Overture, shouts of the showman (with a rattle) and a noisy steam-organ playing the old waltz “Over the Waves” are all heard while the dance is still in progress.  A return to the opening dance-tune brings this Suite to a lively conclusion.         

 

A music-hall song by John Crook with the title 'Appy 'Ampstead had been published in 1893. 

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Orchestra

Concert O, Ketèlbey

- Pearl GEMM CD 9968

from Columbia 9862

CD

1992, rec.1929

BL, PD, TM

Orchestra

Concert O, Ketèlbey

Decca F 7616

DR 4750 or 4761-1?

10” 78

[Nov 40]               

Dec 40 p.154-5

WC (TM CD)

Orchestra

Louis Voss and his O

Bosworth BC 1231               

CP 1684

10” 78

[1948]

     Re-issue

- Bosworth BOCD 162

CD

1989

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- Bosworth BPM 219

CD

2001

TM

Orchestra

New SO of London, Robinson

Decca LK 4080

LP

[June 54]

July 54 p.73, Mar 55 p.464-465   

BL (TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Ace of Clubs ACL 1044

LP

[1961]

BL

     Re-issue

- Eclipse ECS 2016 (+ECM)

LP

1969

Feb 70 p.1332

BL, PD, TM

 

     Re-issue

- Decca DDX 190039

(Dutch)

LP

1969

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- Decca NUX 390044

(Dutch)

LP

1969

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- Guild GLCD 5195

 

CD

[July 12]

 

 

Orchestra

Vienna State Opera O, Aliberti

Westminster WP 6082

 

LP

rec.June 57

 

(TM CD)

 

     Re-issue

- Westminster WST 15005

 

LP

 

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Sonotape SWB 7019

 

2-track tape

1957

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- World Record Club TP 359

 

LP

1963

 

BL, PD

 

     Re-issue

- Westminster WGS  8139

(American)

LP

1981

 

TM

 

     Re-issue

- Voix de son maître 2CO 59392502

(French)

LP

 

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Voix de son maître C 24592502

(French)

CAS

 

 

WC

Military band

Band of HM Coldstream Guards, Pope

RCA SF 5037

LP

[?1959]

Aug 59 p.105

 

     Re-issue

- RCA RD 27126

 

LP

[?1959]

Aug 59 p.105

BL

     Re-issue

- Eclipse ECS 2101               

LP

July 72 p.253

Orchestra

New SO of London, Sharples

Decca SKL 4077

LP

[1959]

Feb 60 p.434

BL, PD, (TM CAS)

     Re-issue

- Decca SPA 187

LP

1971

July 72 p.253

BL, PD

 

     Re-issue

- Decca LXT 4329

(Spanish)

LP

[1960]

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Decca SKC 4077

(Spanish)

CAS

[1969]

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Decca 841203

(Spanish)

CAS

1982

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Decca 452987-2

CD

1997

BL, PD, TM

     Re-issue

- Evergreen Melodies C 62

CD

[1999]

PD, TM

 

     Re-issue

- Decca 473 720-2

 

CD

2003

June 03 p.50

PD,  (TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Vocalion CDLF 8143

CD

[2011]

LMS Aut 11 p42

PD

Orchestra

Royal Philharmonic O, Rogers

Decca PFS 4170

LP

1969

Nov 69 p.833

BL, TM

 

     Re-issue

- Decca DGS 16

(American)

LP

1980

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- Decca 6594064

(Spanish)

LP

1981

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Decca 444 786-2LPF

CD

1996

Aug 96 p.60

BL, PD, TM

     Re-issue

- Decca 4520572

LP

BL

Orchestra

London Promenade O, Faris 

Philips 6514 152

LP

1982

Apr 82 p.1423

BL, TM

 

     Re-issue

- Philips 7337152

 

CAS

1982

Apr 82 p.1423

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 400 0112

CD

1982

Apr 83 p.1152

BL, PD, TM

 

     Re-issue

- Philips 4380752

 

CD

1992

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Philips 4380754

 

CAS

1992

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 4626572

CD

1999

BL

     Re-issue

- Decca/Universal  473720-2             

CD

2003

June 03 p.50

BL, WC, PD

Orchestra

Czecho-Slovak Radio SO, Leaper

Marco Polo 8.223442

CD

1992

Apr 94 p.48

BL, NX, PD, TM

Organ (Wurlitzer)

Walt Strony (Berkely Community Theatre)

North California Theatre Organ Soc.

 

CD

1993

 

WC

Military band

Regimental Band of Coldstream Guards   Marshall

Bandleader BNA 5119

CD

[Feb 97]

Feb 97 p.126

BL, PD, TM

 

     Re-issue

- Bandleader BND 65119

 

CAS

[Feb 97]

Feb 97 p.126

 

Orchestra

Pelly Concert O, Barnard

private recording

CD

[2005]

TM

Piano

Guy Rowland

private recording

DVD

rec. 26.11.2009

PD, TM

Organ (Möller)

Piet van Egmond (BBC, London)

Festivo FECD 140

 

CD

?

 

 

Decca 473720-2 wrongly names the conductor as Stanford Robinson

                                                                                                                               

Ketèlbey recorded this movement twice.  The former is timed at 2’ 37”, includes both of the vocal effects demanded in the score.  The latter is faster, at 2’21”, and has the showman shouting in the distance but no singing. 

 

The other recordings vary in speed from a leisurely 3’ 04” from Marshall to a manic 2’ 10” from Sharples.  Only Marshall and Godwin include singing and shouting (with ladies roystering in Godwin), but Rogers has the added effect of a real mouth-organ, or possibly a harmonium.  There is a wide difference of tone quality produced by the various cornets playing “half open”, and by the trombones playing smears.  Sharples puts a sudden pianissimo in the brass phrase “’Alf a pint of mild and bitter”, probably thinking of the alternative words “Steady boys, here comes a copper.”   Both Voss and Sharples cut the final chord short, rather than sustaining it as in the score.  The piece benefits immensely from the clarity of Godwin’s chamber orchestra.

 

webpage updated 8 Jan 2017