Thursday, 13 August 2009

Jane Joseph: A brief discussion of her published music by Gustav Holst

Following on from a short but sympathetic appreciation of Holst’s former pupil, he gives some account of her music and a partial list of works. It is worth quoting the entire list as it does not seem to appear in any other publications.

Among her published works my favourites are:
I.-‘Venite' for chorus and orchestra. After its first public performance by the Philharmonic Choir under Kennedy Scott at Queen's Hall, the Spectator of January 30, 1923, contained an article on Jane Joseph in which it called this work "a very notable addition to modern British music. Miss Joseph's 'Venite' is written in a great tradition ... however much the 'Venite' owes in spirit to the Tudor composers, it is an individual and self-supporting growth from that great tree, and its roots draw energy and life from fresh, unvitiated ground."
II.-'Bergamask’ for orchestra. This was produced by the 'Patron's Fund' on November 14, 1DlD. It received very eulogistic Press notices and was the first piece to be performed at the London Coliseum under an excellent scheme of Sir Oswald Stoll's for the popularizing of British music.

III.-'Morris Dance' for small orchestra. This was written for a Morley College Whitsuntide Festival at Thaxted. It is a charming and brilliant little work, well within the scope of a good amateur band.

IV.-'A little childe there is ibore' for women's voices and strings. This is the best of Jane's many carols, and perhaps the hardest to perform well. The MS. orchestral score and parts are lost. If any reader of The Monthly Musical Record can give me any information about them I shall be most grateful [a bit late now as the magazine has ceased production - but you could let me know! .ed]

V.-'Whitsunday.'-A flawless little motet for mixed voices. It is both beautiful and easy.

In the death of Jane Joseph we lost an artist before her powers were fully developed. Those who knew her are rich in possessing the memory of one whose genius for friendship will remain a living inspiration.

Published Works of Jane Joseph

Three old carols for women's voices (unaccompanied) 'The Three Kings'; 'Adam lay i-bounden '; 'Of one that is so fair.'
Seven two-part songs for sopranos (piano accompaniment) 'The Ladybird'; 'Wind Flowers'; 'Boats and Bridges '; The Pig'; 'Hope and Joy'; 'The Rose '; 'Lullaby,'
'Hymn for Whitsuntide '; chorus (unaccompanied).
'Noel': Carol for voices in unison (piano accompaniment).
'Wassail Song' and' The Carrion Crow': Women's voices (unaccompanied)
'Morley Rounds'; Sets I. and II,
'A little Childe there is ibore '; chorus and orchestra.

Playing Time Duets.
Five Progressive Pieces.
'Scrap Book'
Suite of Five Pieces: Minuet; Bourree; Sarabande; Air; Jig.
Seven short pieces: Little Piece; Sonatina; Song without words; Court Dance; Legend; Cradle Song; Humoresque.
Morris Dance.


Morris Dane

Unpublished works

Rabbit Dance (strings);
Cradle Song (strings);
Country Dance (strings);
Sonatina for School Bands (strings);
Passepied (full);
'I will give my love an apple' (full) ;
Andante (full);
Symphonic Dance (full);
'The Enamoured Shepherd,' ballet (full).

Chamber Works
Miniature Quartet (oboe, violin, viola and violoncello);
String Quartet

Variations on an American Air (horn and piano);
Duet (violin and cello);
Allegretto (two flutes, two oboes, one clarinet, one bassoon);
Two Short Trios (violin, cello and piano).

Songs with String Accompaniment
‘Two Doves '; 'Oh, Roses'; 'One foot on sea'; 'Sleep, cast thy canopy'; 'I'll give my love an apple' (with oboe); ‘The seeds of love.'

Chorus with Orchestra
Christmas Cantata
A 'Wedding Antiphon
Christmas Song
'The Night '
'The Morning Watch'

Incidental Music to Plays.
‘Amy Clarke's Play'
‘With the Dawn'
'Famine Song '
'Awake the Shade '
'Spirit Music'
'The Moon's Eclipse '
‘Procession and Ballet’

Also: Nine piano pieces; 4 unaccompanied songs; 29 songs with piano; 2 two-part songs with piano; 26 choral pieces, unaccompanied; 10 orchestral arrangements (including folk-dances); 28 unison songs (arranged with orchestra); 5 choral pieces (arrangements, unaccompanied); 5 rounds.

Gustav Holst The Monthly Musical Record April 1 1931 p.98 (with minor edits)

1 comment:

Karen said...

This post and your previous post on Jane Joseph are important additions to our knowledge about women in music and another example of how the contributions of women tend to fall by the wayside or disappear from view. Her name does not appear in any of my reference books not even the Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers! Beyond what he writes his tribute to Joseph after her premature death, he thought so highly of her that he wanted his daughter Imogen to study with her.
Now the question arises -- where is her music? Do we know?
Thank you for both posts because they bring to life a woman who has been forgotten.