Saturday, 26 March 2011

One Hundred Years Ago: English Music at Bournemouth in March 1911

A glance at British music played at the Bournemouth Symphony Concerts in March 1911 reveals five works. One of them is well established in the repertoire with some thirteen versions currently in the CD catalogues. Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s Overture Cricket on the Hearth has managed to hang on by a hair’s breadth -with a single recording available from Hyperion. However the other three works have disappeared totally from view. In fact the names of the composers are unknown quantities to all but a few experts and enthusiasts. The unfortunate thing is that the three forgotten works are probably lost for all time, unless the scores were retained by family, friends or institutions. It is a tale that reverberates throughout the history of British Music.

Davis, John David (1870-1942) Prelude to The Cossacks
Elgar, Edward (1857-1934) Froissart Overture
Holloway, Henry [1871-1948]Symphony No. 2 in D minor
King-Hall, F Concert Overture
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander Campbell (1847-1935) Overture Cricket on the Hearth

Certainly, it would be good to hear what Mt Holloway's Symphony sounded like. Next time I am in Bournemouth I will look up the concert programme and see what the programme notes say about this work. And perhaps it will also give a little bit of biographical detail about Holloway himself?

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