Thursday, 27 January 2011

New British Musical Works from1892

For the historian or the musicologist, it is always an interesting diversion to browse old newspapers. Certainly, with the advent of the Internet, it has become so much easier to explore those tracts of music criticism from previous generations. I was recently looking through a copy of the Glasgow Herald for January 2 1893. Being a Scottish newspaper, there had been no issue on New Year’s Day! I was delighted to discover a list of works that had caught the music critic’s eye from the previous twelve months. It makes fascinating reading and exemplifies an important view of musical survival (or otherwise). There are a number of works that have taken their place in the 'canon’ of British music, many that have sunk without trace and a few that demand revival. Perhaps, more surprising are the composers who have survived the past 118 years and those that have not. As always, it can be inspiring (or is it depressing) to consider the huge amount of music that demands exploration.
The article opened with a sobering reflection that 1892 had witnessed the death of Prince Albert, the Duke of Clarence. Of interest was the fact the due to the Royal mourning, the theatres were almost deserted, but that concert rooms were full. Of musical interest was the critic claim that in 1892, the operatic revival had continued and increased.
I scanned down the article to the new orchestral and choral works by British composers. I give these in list form, with the orchestral works firts followed by the ‘new choral’ works. Certainly from the point of view of recent recordings, the orchestral music has survived best. My desideratum would be the Bright and Ames concertos along with the Cliffe Symphony.

Frederick Cliffe: Summer Night Symphony in E minor
William Wallace: The Passing of Beatrice - a tone poem
Granville Bantock: Egyptian Ballet Suite (derived from the incidental music the composer’s own play Rameses II)
Charles Stewart Macpherson: Nocturne
John Ames: Cello Concerto
Edward German: Gypsy Suite
Hubert Parry: Incidental Music to the Frogs of Aristophones.
Walter Wesche: Suite, The Lady of the Sea
Dr.F.J. Read: Funeral March
C.A Lidgey: Orchestral Ballad: A Day Dream
W. Barclay Squire: Overture in C minor
Dora Bright: Piano Concerto

Hubert Parry: 'Job' – a sacred cantata & also 'The Lotus Eaters'
Hamish McCunn: 'Queen Hynde of Caledon'
Dr. Alfred Robert Gaul: 'Israel in the Wilderness'
Joseph Parry: 'Saul of Tarsus'
Alan Gray: 'Arethusa'
Rosalind Elllicot: 'Birth of Song'
Lee Williams: 'Gesthemene'
Dr. J.H. Edwards: 'Constance of Calais'
Dr. F.J. Read: 'Sigurd'


Paul Brownsey said...

The Duke of Clarence was named Albert but he was not the Prince Consort, his dad, who died in 1861.


John France said...

Thanks for that comment!!