Back to list of works index

Daffodils: a graceful sketch                                                                             

Piano piece from 1919, in the style of the well-known Narcissus by Ethelbert Nevin.

                       

Medium

Artists

Label

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Archive

Piano

Rosemary Tuck

Marco Polo 8.223699

CD

UK

1993

BL, NX, PD, TM

cd01

 

                                                                                                                                               

 

Dance of the Merry Mascots: descriptive piece  

First performed at the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) on 29th September 1932.  The composer was the pianist, accompanied by the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Louis Schmidt. 

 

Composer’s synopsis

The Mascots go to a Fancy-dress Ball dressed as Pierrots, Pierrettes, Japanese and Spanish dancers.  They start with a Waltz for the Pierrots and Pierrettes, (during which Weber's "Invitation to the dance" is played as a counter-melody), then follow two movements for the Japanese and Spanish dancers; the Waltz is now resumed, and towards the end some of the Mascots who have got a little bit too "merry", find it rather difficult to keep in time, but they manage to finish all together!  The chimes now indicate that it is near midnight and the Mascots are heard taking their departure.                                                                                                                                                                                           

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Archive

Piano with orchestra

Orchestre Raymonde, Walter [Goehr]               

Columbia DB 1432      

CA 14442-1

10” 78

UK

[Oct 34]        

Oct 34 p.185

BL, (TM CAS), (TM CD)

Piano with orchestra

Michael Reeves, London Promenade Orchestra, Faris

Philips 6514152

LP

UK

1982

Apr 82 p.1423

BL, PD, TM

lp07

 

Re-issue

- Philips 7337152

 

CAS

 

1982

Apr 82 p.1423

WC

 

Re-issue

- Philips 400 011

CD

UK

1982

Apr 83 p.1152

BL, PD, TM

cd14

Re-issue

- Philips 4380772

 

CD

 

1992

 

WC

 

Re-issue

- Philips 4380774

 

CAS

 

1992

 

WC

 

 

Re-issue

- Decca/Universal 4737202

 

CD

UK

2003

June 03 p.50

BL, WC

 

 

Re-issue (cond. Myers) « Danse des joyeuses mascottes »

- Mon Patrimoine Musical

 

mp3

France

2019

 

 

 

 

Walter Goehr uses an amended scoring, including accordeon and saxophone.   In the Spanish Dance there are two new countermelodies for violin.  The recording has numerous small cuts, and the ending is rewritten to include a timpani roll before the chimes are heard.

 

Faris plays the piece complete and almost as written.  The only variant noticed is an extra piano glissando 20 bars from the end.

 

Neither version includes the optional vocal effects.

 

                                                                                               

Danse à la Tarentelle

Performed as a piano piece in 1898.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Archive

Orchestra

Empire Symphony Orchestra, Ketèlbey?

Columbia 26695

S 665

10” 78

UK

[Dec 09]

Re-issue

- Rena 1219

10” 78

 

[Dec 09]

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110869                

CD

 

2003

BL, NX, PD, TM

cd05

Synthesized

Tom McCanna

private recording

 

mp3

UK

2019

 

PD, TM

 

 

The ensemble includes flute, clarinet, cornet, trombone, violin and gong.  There is an extra repeat of 72 bars.  Played at the correct pitch of G major as on the Naxos transfer, the 244 bars take 170 seconds, giving a metronome speed of dotted crotchet = 172; this is considerably slower than the published metronome marking of 200.

McCanna’s piano realisation follows the printed metronome mark.  Did the composer really play it this fast? Hear it at http://www.albertketelbey.org.uk/mp3/synth/Danse a la tarentelle for piano sync.mp3

 

 

Danse macabre, op.19 by “Anton Vodorinski

Piano piece from around 1906, a forerunner of the composer’s cinema music.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Format

Country

Date

Locations

Synthesized

Tom McCanna

private recording

mp3

UK

2019

PD, TM

 

The realisation includes parts for violin and cello, which formed part of an orchestral version made some 20 years later. Hear it at http://www.albertketelbey.org.uk/mp3/synth/Danse macabre for piano trio sync.mp3

 

                                                                                               

A Desert Romance: descriptive sketch               

Written in 1923 for Henry Lyell-Tayler, the conductor of the Brighton Municipal Orchestra.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Archive

Orchestra

Casino Orchestra, Ketèlbey

Columbia 3342

A 313

10” 78

UK

[Jan 24]

BL, PD, TM,  (TM CAS)

7805

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110869

CD

 

2003

BL, NX, PD, TM

cd05

Orchestra

Pathé Concert Orchestra

Pathé 1859

?

10” 78

 

[June 25]

Re-issue

- Actuelle 10821

10” 78

 

[Aug 25]

 

Among the instruments omitted in the composer’s recording are bassoon, tom-tom and bass drum.  In the second section (in the major key), 32 bars are cut.  It can be heard at http://www.mgthomas.co.uk/Soundfiles/Orchestral/Soundfiles-Orchestral.htm

 

                                                                                                                                                               

Devotion: mélodie passionnée

The work was originally published in 1924 under the title “Love’s Devotion”.   The music is prefaced by the quotation from Twelfth Night: "If music be the food of love, play on!"

               

Medium

Matrix

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Orchestra

Philip Lewis & his Palladium Octette

Edison Bell Winner 3529               

6853E

10” 78

 

[1921]

 

BL

Organ

Terance Casey (mighty Tivoli Theatre organ)  

Columbia 5384

WA 8646-1

10” 78

UK

[June 29]

July 29 p.76

BL

Orchestra

Viennese Orchestra

Piccadilly 270               

XX 1760-2

10” 78

UK

[July 29 or  earlier]

BL, (TM CAS), (TM CD)

Organ

Martin Zonnenberg (Lohman organ, Dutch Reformed Church, Farsum)

Te Deum 8718011585264

 

CD

Netherlands

1997

 

NX

?

?

HMV     

?

78

 

? ad.1929

?

?

Metropole

?

78

 

? ad.1929

 

The Viennese Orchestra makes 3 small cuts, totalling 15 bars.  Their ensemble includes a piano.                                                                                                                                                             

Zonnerberg doesn’t use the standard organ arrangement by Gatty Sellars.  He cuts 6 bars, and has several moments of unexpected rubato, but successfully conveys the mood of the work’s subtitle.                                                     

 

The Dollies’ Dancing Lesson, by “Raoul Clifford”

An action song devised by Adam Watson in 1896, using words by Florence Hoare, an existing polka by P.H. Fahrbach and new music by Ketèlbey.  An advert categorises it for Infant and Junior Schools, while the narrative mentions only girls of differing ages.  The scene consists of a piano introduction, a soprano solo, the polka and a waltz sung first by soloist then chorus.  The whole piece is then repeated.  Ketèlbey’s music is unusually Mozartian. 

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Format

Country

Date

Locations

Synthesized

Tom McCanna

private recording

mp3

UK

2020

PD, TM

 

The realisation allocates the solo part to oboe, with other woodwind joining in the chorus. The repeat is omitted. http://www.albertketelbey.org.uk/mp3/synth/Dollies dancing lesson for oboe sync.mp3

               

 

A Dream of Christmas 

When this piece was published in 1926, it was advertised as

“A novelty for Christmas, speciality for "community" singing…  A feature of A.W. Ketèlbey's new orchestral piece A Dream of Christmas is the opportunity afforded by the author for the audience to join in the carol Christians awake.  This should specially appeal to children's concerts and such-like where community singing is now so much favoured.”

A contemporary review ran

“We cannot escape the music's winsome appeal, its charm and spontaneity, its variety and freshness of touch”. 

The Wolf’s music may have come from a production of Little Red Riding Hood in Aberdeen in 1898, where K had been musical director for the pantomime season.

 

Composer’s synopsis (from the published orchestral parts)

A child falls asleep and dreams of Christmas.  The melodies of Carols become mixed up in the dream with dancing fairies, the waits and the "Wolf" in the pantomime.  The child is awakened by the joyous ringing of church-bells and the carol "Christians, awake", sung by the Carol Singers.  The Carols employed are "Good King Wenceslas", "While Shepherds watched", Portion of "God rest ye merry Gentlemen", "The first Nowell", and "Christians, awake".  (The audience is invited to sing "Christians, awake" with the orchestra.)

An expanded version of this is read as an introduction to some of the recordings below.

 


Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Archive

Chorus with orchestra

baritone, Court Symphony Orchestra, chorus, Ketèlbey                                                                                        

Columbia 9138

WAX 1999-2

12” 78

UK

[Dec 26] rec.Oct 26

Jan 27 p.315

BL, PD

7812

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110848

CD

 

2002

BL, NX, PD, TM

cd04

Orchestra

?

Homochord D 1177

?

10” 78

UK

[Dec 27?]

Orchestra

London Palladium Orchestra, Sheldon

Edison Bell/Electron X 517

12” 78

UK

Feb 28 p.384

Organ

F. Roland-Tims (Capitol Cinema, Haymarket, London)                

HMV B 2867

BR 2174-2, 2178-2T1

10” 78, 2 sides

UK

[Dec 28?]              

BL

Chorus with orchestra

Nellie Walker (c), bass, narrator, W.G.Webber   (organ), Albert W. Ketelbey’s Concert Orchestra, chorus, Ketèlbey               

Columbia 9767

WAX 4618-1, 4619-1

12” 78,

2 sides

UK

[Nov 29]

Dec 29 p.320

TM, (TM CD)

Orchestra

Ernest Leggett’s Orchestra

Trusound T1

78

10” 78

UK

[1930?]

 

 

 

Orchestra

John Johnson and his International Orchestra, narrator, singer               

Decca F 2620

GB 3273-1,2. 3274-1,2

10” 78,

2 sides

UK

[Dec 31]

Dec 31 p.281

Chorus with organ

Charles Saxby (Astoria, Finsbury Park), chorus

Regal MR 710

WAR 1492-2,

1493-1

10” 78,

2 sides

UK

[Nov 32]

Dec 32 p.276

Chorus with orchestra

Essie Ackland (c), Stuart Robertson (bt), Alan Howland (narrator),

Westminster Singers, Herbert Dawson (organ), Grand Orchestra, Greenwood

HMV C 2490

2B 3432-3, 3433-2

12” 78,

2 sides

UK

[Dec 32]

Dec 32 p.280

BL, (TM CAS)

Chorus with orchestra

Robert E. Sherwood (narrator), American Folk Singers of Boston,

Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Attila Poto

RCA MSO 58444

?

?LP 16”

US

[1941?]

WC

 

Ketèlbey’s 1926 recording can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xxrI6PDs6M

 


The baritone soloist on Columbia 9138 has been identified by Peter Dempsey as Robert Easton.  The chorus sounds like a vocal quartet.  The organ is replaced by brass at its only solo.  The First Nowell has the scoring augmented by a tuba, the carol is cut by 16 bars.

 

Columbia 9138 lasts a single side, taking 3’ 56”, with just one small cut to the published music.  When 9767 came to be recorded on two sides, much additional material had to be added, bringing the playing time to 7’ 07”.  An expanded synopsis is read at the beginning, taking 48 seconds.  Hush-a-bye baby is sung in full by Nellie Walker, instead of only being 4 bars of clarinet.  An additional verse of While Shepherds Watched is sung, and Christians Awake is first sung unaccompanied then repeated with organ and orchestra.  The bass soloist sings an extra 6 bars about the Wolf baying.   The scoring is expanded include strings doubling the celeste solo during the Fairies’ Dance, and all the carols are sung, mainly be a vocal quartet.  The cornet playing the melody in The First Nowell uses the excessive vibrato favoured by some brass band players.  The tubular bell part is varied slightly, and omits the final descending scale.  The Gramophone review suggests Debroy Somers as narrator and Harold Williams as bass, but the latter is doubtful. 

 

The recording on HMV C 2490, also on two 12-inch sides, has many of the same expansions as Columbia 9767:  there is a spoken synopsis, the Hush-a-bye verse is inserted but at a slightly different point, there are extra verses of While Shepherds Watched and Christians Awake, and the singers join in the other carols. 

 

 

A Dream Picture: lyric poem 

A 1915 piano piece.  The publisher Joseph Larway advertised a reprint thus:

“… a lyric poem of unusual charm.  I am issuing this with a delightfully illustrated new title page and believe that its success needs no prophecy on my part.  It carries the credentials of success in every bar, for it is a melody that never falters from the beginning to the end.” 

 

By 1925 Ketèlbey’s reputation was at a peak, and the publisher Edwin Larway decided to issue versions of A Dream Picture for orchestra and for violin and piano.  The work was done by the Australian conductor Eric Mareo, real name Eric Pechotsch.  He used another pseudonym for the violin version – Evan Marsden.  Mareo was to emigrate to New Zealand, where a few years later he was convicted of murdering his wife, allegedly because she was having an affair with another woman.  The McCanna realisation is of Mareo’s delightful orchestral arrangement.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Archive

Piano

Rosemary Tuck

Marco Polo 8.223700

CD

UK

1993

BL, NX, PD, TM

cd02

Synthesized

Tom McCanna

private recording

mp3

UK

2020

 

PD, TM

 

                                                                                                           

 

The Elephants' Parade (by “André de Basque”)

 By 1926, Ketèlbey’s music had become so popular that a negative reaction had arisen; this can be seen in many of the reviews in the Gramophone magazine.   Perhaps to avoid such prejudiced criticism, his publisher launched a series of 6 pieces under the pseudonym of André de Basque.  No.1 was The Elephants' Parade, No.2 A Japanese Carnival.  The remainder were never published as Basque pieces, but No.3 Butterfly’s Frolic was reworked as Sunbeams and Butteflies, and it is likely that No.4 Taormina, No.5 Confetti and Laughter and No.6 Under the Fairy Lamps were also recycled under different titles.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Country

Date

Gramophone Review

Locations

Orchestra

Bijou Orchestra

Bosworth BC 1003

CP 1996

10” 78

UK

[Apr 37]              

(TM CD)

 

Re-issue

- Guild GLCD 5234

 

CD

UK

2016

LMS Spring 16

 

 

This recording lacks effects specified in the parts such as elephants trumpeting (the drummer is instructed to “roar through a glass lampchimney”).                                                                                                           

 

Evening Calm: nocturne

First published as a piano solo in 1922, the orchestral version followed in 1924.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Format

Country

Date

Locations

Orchestra

Pelly Concert Orchestra, Barnard

private recording

CD

UK

[2005]

TM

Synthesized

Stephen Berry

private recording

mp3

UK

2016

TM

 

To hear Berry’s orchestral realisation, click here. http://www.albertketelbey.org.uk/mp3/synth/Evening Calm orch synth.mp3

 

               

Every Good Gift: harvest anthem

Published in 1896, when Ketèlbey had just been appointed choirmaster at St John’s Church, Wimbledon.  It’s in four sections: Every good gift and every perfect gift – Lift up your eyes on high – Harvest Hymn: God with plenty fills the hours – Praise ye the Lord.  The third section was also sold separately under the title God with Plenty Fills the Hours.  The final cadence bizarrely shifts to a different key.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Format

Country

Date

Locations

Synthesized

Tom McCanna

private recording

mp3

UK

2019

PD, TM

 

The realisation replaces the choir with trombones, and the two soloists with oboe and bassoon.  http://www.albertketelbey.org.uk/mp3/synth/Every good gift sync.mp3

 

                                                                                                               

Webpage last updated 19 Jan 2021