Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Horace E. Randerson: another forgotten and lost composer

I recently noted a number of piano works published under the auspices of John Ireland – The Clarendon Piano Series. Amongst a small number of composers – some well known: others less so –there were two pieces by a certain Horace E. Randerson. A search of the internet has revealed nothing about the man, save that he wrote a handful of musical works. I have collated those listed in the catalogues below. However this only represents the published pieces and there may well be many more works remaining in manuscript. On the Internet, I have come across a pianist called Heather Randerson, who may well be a relation of this composer. There are a handful of reviews in the musical press, but the only worth reporting is from the Musical Times for April 1928: ‘H. E. Randerson's ' Eclogue ' belies its title, for it is dry stuff, not at all pastoral or poetic.’
Work List
1. Brave Autumn' - unison Song, to words by R. Bennett, J. Curwen & Sons, London 1935
Ecologue, for piano, Oxford University Press, London 1928
2. ‘Now Robin lend to me thy Bow’ an Old English song arranged by H. E. Randerson for mixed voices, Oxford University Press, London 1928
3. An Oxford Quadrangle for piano, Oxford University Press, London c1929
4. 'The Piper of Dundee'- arranged by H. E. Randerson for mixed voices Oxford University Press, London 1928
5. Sextet for Voices Oxford University Press, London 1926
6. ‘To the maypole haste away’ arranged by H.E. Randerson for mixed voices Oxford University Press, London 1928


Richard Lawson said...

I was intrigued to see your post about Horace Randerson. I knew his brother Reg, a retired journalist and poet, when I lived in London in the 1960s. I know nothing about Horace Randerson's music, and met him only once, at his house in Bounds Green in 1970. I believe that he was then well into his eighties. I remember him saying that he had been a close friend of John Ireland.

John France said...

Thanks for that! It is amazing how little bits and pieces come to light about 'lost composers' It is probably not a coincidence then, that HR was published by The Clarendon Piano Series under the auspices of John Ireland.

Living in London in the sixties must have been truly amazing - I am must have many tales to tell...


Barbara Biggs said...

I have just heard that Mr. Randerson who taught music at the school I attended, Arnos Secondary Modern in Southgate, North London, was a composer, contemporary with but less well known than John Ireland. I well remember Mr. Randerson's enthusiasm and how he taught us how to sing. He would gesture the way to produce the sound out of the top of our heads. Long after I left school I still saw him occasionally in the Bounds Green area. I understand that he lived to the age of about 100 years.

Anonymous said...

I have just come across the manuscript of a 'Prelude & Fugue for Strings' by H E Randerson, anybody know anything about this piece?
Richard Lea

John France said...

Thanks for that Richard...

Do you have a scan of it? I would love to see it.

I will have a look at various files to see if it has been performed. Something tells me it has not!