Fairies of the Stream: valse brillante                                                          Back to list of works index

 

This waltz was originally published in 1919 for piano.  The orchestral version followed in 1921.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Orchestra

Pathé Concert O 

Pathé 5703

?

12” 78

[June 22]

Re-issue

- Actuelle 15111

12” 78

[June 22]

Piano

Eric Halstead

private recording

CD

2003

TM

 

Markus Staab

private recording

 

Web

2009

 

 

The Halstead recording is available at http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/4904172-fairies-of-the-stream-by-ketelbey-mp3

The Staab recording can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=UG&feature=relmfu&hl=en-GB&v=d25jFmh_GPE

                                                                       

                                                                                                                           

Fairy Butterfly

 

This song was written for Florence Smithson, who was appearing at the Drury Lane Theatre as Princess Rosabel in the pantomime Puss in Boots from 27th December 1915.  Other characters listed in the cast included Fairy Queen, and Queen of the Butterflies.  The recording pre-dates the publication of the sheet music, and probably represents what was sung in the original pantomime.

 

Words as written by the composer (Florence Smithson varies these a little)

Butterfly, butterfly, winging so brightly,

Fluttering busily there,

Butterfly, butterfly, dancing so lightly

Scattering perfum’d air,

Butterfly, butterfly, will you not tarry,

Circling ev’rywhere.

Ah, ah, ah, ah,

Circling ev’rywhere.

 

Twirling,

Whirling,

Ah, ah, ah.

White wings,

Bright wings,

Ah.

 

Let me catch you,

Naught can match you.

Ah.

Like shadow airy

You are so wary

Ah.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Song with orchestra

Florence Smithson (s), orchestra, Ketèlbey

Columbia L 1030               

6724

12” 78

[May 16]

BL 

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110848

CD

2002

BL, NX, PD, TM

The Naxos transfer is played at 74rpm, sounding in Bb major.  Any faster would sound unnaturally hurried and squeaky – though the sheet music does say that the original key was C major.

The recording contains several sections not in the published music, including a cadenza.  The singer sometimes varies both words and music, ending on a breath-taking pianissimo high D.

           

                                                                                                                       

Three Fanciful Etchings - complete

 

This suite was arranged in 1928 from three of the Six Vignettes, a set of piano solos published in 1916.  Nuages qui passent was merely orchestrated to become A Passing Storm Cloud on a Summer Day, but the other two movements were substantially re-written.  Papillon bleu was set to a new rhythm to form a substantial part of  Quips, and Cranks, and Wanton Wiles.   

 

The biggest transformation was wrought on La brume: representation d'une ville industrielle, à la nuit.  The whole piece was "greened" to become The Ploughman Homeward Plods his Weary Way, with the city at night with its smog becoming evening countryside, perhaps with a bit of autumnal mist.  Musically this is achieved by three main technical changes:

- altering the layout of notes within the ostinato chords to make them sound opulent major chords rather than discordant and atonal

- adding a lengthy sustained melody above these ostinato chords

- keeping the whole piece no louder than mezzo forte.

 

Composer’s synopsis

The composer has attempted to illustrate three poetical quotations in a slightly modernist manner.  They are scored for muted strings, woodwind, harp, celeste and a little brass.

1. A Passing Storm Cloud on a Summer Day. The first piece represents a calm summer sky with just a few clouds breaking the blue expanse; thunder-clouds presently appear and threaten to break into a shower; it subsides quickly and the blue sky once more prevails.

2. The Ploughman Homeward Plods his Weary Way.  The second piece represents the ploughman plodding along in an autumnal twilight; after a time his steps become slightly intermittent and he starts to whistle a short phrase softly to himself; he rests a while and contemplates the scene in a reflective mood.  He resumes his homeward journey, whistling his little tune occasionally, and gradually begins to slow up as he reaches home.

3. Quips, and Cranks, and Wanton Wiles.  The third piece represents an imaginary scene at the Russian ballet.  After a short introduction, light-footed nymphs dance about executing fantastic twirls and rushings hither and thither.  They observe an old Satyr and try to lure him on to dance with them – he rejects their overtures rather brusquely; they run away and after a pause resume their dancing among themselves.  The old Satyr watches them and eventually joins them clumsily in their dance.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Orchestra

Concert O, Ketèlbey

Columbia 9406/7

WAX 3218, 3219, 3220, 3221

12” 78, 4 sides

[July 28] rec.Mar 28

July 28 p.61

BL, PD, (TM CAS)

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110174               

CD

2001

BL, NX, PD, TM

Orchestra

Louis Voss & his O      

Bosworth BC 1217/8

CP 1577 (CTP 17450), CP 1578 (CTP 17451), CTP 17474

10” 78, 3 sides

[1947]

BL (lacks movt.3), (TM CD)

 

The Naxos transfer lacks movement indexes.  Movement 2 begins at 3’ 58”, movement, 3 at 10’ 05”.

 

Ketèlbey follows his own metronome markings fairly closely in two of the movements, and Robinson (see below) is not far different.                                                                                                                    

Passage

Length

Metronome

Ketèlbey

Voss

Robinson

Movt.1 bar 1-16

58 crotchets

crotchet = 60

60 seconds, crotchet = 58

crotchet=53

60 seconds, crotchet = 58

Movt.1 bar 26-43

72 crotchets

no metronome

38 seconds, crotchet = 114

crotchet=90

41 seconds, crotchet = 105

Movt.2

436 crotchets

crotchet = ca.88 

363 seconds, crotchet = 72

crotchet=64

79 seconds, crotchet = 69

Movt.3

386 dotted minims

dotted minim = 92

246 seconds, dotted minim = 94 

dotted minim=83

not recorded   

 

The Voss recording makes numerous cuts.  The first movement only loses 12 bars, but the second has 4 cuts totalling a massive 68 bars out of 109, and the third 6 cuts totalling 145 bars out of 386.  In the second movement, his harp plays many more notes than written, suggesting that the ploughman is plodding not homeward but heavenward!

 

 

Three Fanciful Etchings – 1. A Passing Storm Cloud on a Summer Day

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Orchestra

New SO of London, Robinson

Decca LW 5115  

10” LP

[July 54]

July 54 p73

PD, (TM CAS)

Re-issue

- Decca 452987-2               

CD

1997

BL, PD, TM, (TM CD)

Re-issue

- Decca/Universal 473720-2               

CD

2003

June 03 p.50

WC

 

                                                           

Three Fanciful Etchings – 2. The Ploughman Homeward Plods his Weary Way

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Orchestra

New SO of London, Robinson

Decca LK 4080

LP

[June 54]

July 54 p.73, Mar55 p.464-465

BL

Re-issue

- Decca LW 5140               

10” LP

[Dec 54]               

PD

Re-issue

- Ace of Clubs ACL 1044

LP

[1961]               

BL

Re-issue

- Eclipse ECS (+ECM) 2016

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

- Decca 452987-2

CD

1997

BL, PD, TM

 

Re-issue

- Decca 473720-2

 

CD

2003

June 03 p.50

(TM CD)

 

                                                                                   

Fanfare for a Ceremonial Occasion

 

Ketèlbey wrote at least seven fanfares, but only his earliest, Fanfare for a Ceremonial Occasion, has been recorded.  It dates from 1935, and is scored for 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and side drum.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Wind

(trumpets, saxophones, trombone, side drum)

Bosworth BD 101

CP 397

10” 78

[1936]               

BL, WC, (TM CD)

Brass

Trumpets of HM Royal Marines & others, Haigh

Waverley SZLP 2019

LP

1963               

BL

Brass

Central Band of the RAF, Wallace

HMV CLP 1705

 

LP

1964

Feb 64 p.389

BL, TM

 

Re-issue

- HMV CSD 1526

 

LP

1964

Feb 64 p.389

 

Brass

Black Watch Trumpets and Drums

Decca SKL (+KL) 4571

LP

?

May 64 p.526

BL

Brass

Band of the Royal Canadian Regiment, Collins

Decca SB 704

LP

1973

Dec 74 p.1621

BL

Brass

Thurrock Marching Brass, Loader (arr. Hendle)

Grosvenor GRS 1096

LP

1981

 

BL

Brass

Virginia Grand Military Band, Schssl

VGMB 1171

(American)

CD

[2002]

Brass

Trumpets of Royal Military School of Music (Kneller Hall), Roberts

Decca F 9281

DR 14174-1

10” 78

?

 

WC

The Bosworth version is included on a disc of library music containing 7 fanfares.  The tenor trombones are replaced by tenor saxophones.

The RAF recording is of a Passing Out Parade at the RAF College, Cranwell.  The band uses cornets rather than trumpets.

 

 

Fiddle Fun

 

Composer’s synopsis

[Part One] of this little Fantasia Burlesca starts with a few bars of Liszt's Rhapsody interrupted by "Three Blind Mice" treated slightly a l'Hongroise.  "Pop Goes the Weasel" leads to a Melodramatic episode, with the 4th string as the Villain; the Maiden shrieks and runs away - presumably with a Scotsman, as we hear the bagpipe imitation immediately afterwards.  "Winding up a rusty clock" and the clock striking three, leads into a weary rendering of "What Can the Matter Be?"  An Oriental March (with Drum effect by the Violin) leads into "Poet and Peasant" interrupted by a snatch of a Hornpipe; after a resumption of "Poet and Peasant" this part finishes with banjo-like run down the Violin played pizzicato.

 

[Part Two] starts with the Ranz des Vaches from "William Tell", interrupted by "Cockcrows" and "Clucking of hens". A Cadenza of Bird imitations by the Violin alone leads in a "Cuckoo" episode in Galop tempo.  The donkey brays during a fragment from the "Midsummer Night's Dream" and again during "Home Sweet Home" harmonised in a rather Debussy-like manner.  Someone suggests a drink here by the street whistle "Half a pint of mild and bitter" played by the Violin, responded to (cordially) by the piano; a hymnlike tag suggests the restraining presence of a village "Stiggins". A portion of the last movement of "William Tell" overture interrupted by various musical(?) sounds brings the novel record to a conclusion.

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Violin and piano

Louis and Lewis

Regal G 6927               

29318, 29319

10” 78, 2 sides

[July 15]               

BL, PD, (TM CD) 

Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110869

CD

2003

BL, NX, PD, TM

There can be no doubt that the pianist is Ketèlbey himself, but the identity of the violinist is unknown.

 

                                                                       

From a Japanese Screen

 

This intermezzo was published both for orchestra and for piano solo in 1934. 

 

Synopsis from notes accompanying Ogawa’s recording below:

From a Japanese Screen mixes Japanese and Chinese motifs that are unfolded like a folding screen.  The first part describes a Geisha girl, the second flowers and birds, and the third Samurai warriors.  The Japanese national anthem Kimigayo is displayed in the third section. 

 

Medium

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Piano

Noriko Ogawa

BIS CD 1045

CD

1999

Mar 00 p.84

NX, TM

Piano

Markus Staab

private recording

 

Web

2011

 

 

Staab’s recording can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh47VOG7MCU