Richard Addinsell

Last updated

Richard Addinsell
Born13 January 1904
London, England
Died14 November 1977 (aged 73)
London, England
EducationHertford College, Oxford
OccupationComposer
Parent(s)William Arthur Addinsell
Annie Beatrice Richards

Richard Stewart Addinsell (13 January 1904 14 November 1977) [1] was an English composer, best known for film music, primarily his Warsaw Concerto , composed for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight (also known under the later title Suicide Squadron).

Contents

Biography

Early life

Richard Addinsell was born in Woburn Square, London, to William Arthur Addinsell, who was a chartered accountant, and his wife, Annie Beatrice Richards. [2] The younger of two brothers, Addinsell was educated at home before attending Hertford College, Oxford, to study Law but went down after just 18 months. He then became interested in music. [3]

Early career

In 1925, he enrolled at the Royal College of Music but lasted only two terms before leaving, again without obtaining any formal qualification. [2] By this time Addinsell was already collaborating with Noel Gay, among others, in an André Charlot Revue. [3] More work for Charlot in 1927 was followed in 1928 by a collaboration with Clemence Dane on Adam's Opera at The Old Vic. [2] In 1929, he completed his informal education by touring Europe to visit major theatrical and musical centres such as Berlin and Vienna. [3]

In 1932, with Clemence Dane, he wrote the incidental music for the Broadway adaptation of the combined Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Eva Le Gallienne, starring Josephine Hutchinson (produced 1933). [4] In 1947 it was revived, starring Bambi Linn.

Career in film composition

The Warsaw Concerto was written for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight , and continues to be a popular concert and recording piece. The film-makers wanted something in the style of Sergei Rachmaninoff, but were unable to persuade Rachmaninoff himself to write a piece. Roy Douglas orchestrated the concerto. It has been recorded over one hundred times and has sold in excess of three million copies.

Addinsell also wrote the short orchestral piece Southern Rhapsody, which was played every morning at the start of TV broadcasts by the former Southern Television company in the south of England from 1958 to 1981.

As was common with film music until the 1950s, many of Addinsell's scores were destroyed by the studios as it was assumed there would be no further interest in them. However, recordings of his film music have been issued since his death, often reconstructed by musicologist and composer Philip Lane from the soundtracks of the films themselves and conducted by Kenneth Alwyn [5] [6] [7] or Rumon Gamba. [3]

Later career

He collaborated from 1942 with Joyce Grenfell for her West End revues (including Tuppence Coloured and Penny Plain ) and her one-woman shows. He also wrote for West End musical revues directed by Laurier Lister, including Airs on a Shoestring Addinsell's music is in the "English light music" style. [8] He regularly composed at the piano, providing other creative musicians such as Roy Douglas, Leonard Isaacs or Douglas Gamley with broad indications for their full orchestrations. [3] Orchestral works composed (or adapted) for the concert hall include The Invitation Waltz (1950), the Smokey Mountains Concerto (1950) and The Isle of Apples (1965). [4]

Personal life

Addinsell retired from public life in the 1960s, gradually becoming estranged from his close friends. He was, for many years, the companion of the fashion designer Victor Stiebel, who died in 1976.

Addinsell died in Brighton in 1977 aged 73. His cremation took place at Golders Green Crematorium on 18 November 1977. [9] His ashes are buried there in a communal section of the crocus lawn. [10]

Film credits

Note: The source for the television and film appearances is the British Film Institute. [11]

Related Research Articles

Sergei Rachmaninoff Russian composer, pianist, and conductor

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist, and conductor of the late Romantic period. The influence of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, and other Russian composers is seen in his early works, later giving way to a personal style notable for song-like melodicism, expressiveness and rich orchestral colours.

David Helfgott is an Australian concert pianist whose life inspired the Academy Award-winning film Shine, in which he was portrayed by actors Geoffrey Rush, Noah Taylor and Alex Rafalowicz.

Piano Concerto No. 2 (Rachmaninoff) Concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff

The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting.

The Warsaw Concerto is a short work for piano and orchestra by Richard Addinsell, written for the 1941 British film Dangerous Moonlight, which is about the Polish struggle against the 1939 invasion by Nazi Germany. In performance it normally lasts just under ten minutes. The concerto is an example of programme music, representing both the struggle for Warsaw and the romance of the leading characters in the film. It became very popular in Britain during World War II.

Graham Payn British singer and actor

Graham Payn was a South African-born English actor and singer, also known for being the life partner of the playwright Noël Coward. Beginning as a boy soprano, Payn later made a career as a singer and actor in the works of Coward and others. After Coward's death, Payn ran the Coward estate for 22 years.

Sidney Torch MBE was a British pianist, cinema organist, conductor, orchestral arranger and a composer of light music.

Louis Philip Kentner was a Hungarian, later British, pianist who excelled in the works of Chopin and Liszt, as well as the Hungarian repertoire.

<i>Your Hundred Best Tunes</i> Radio programme

Your Hundred Best Tunes was a BBC radio music programme, always broadcast on Sunday evenings, which presented popular works which were mostly classical excerpts, choral works, opera and ballads. The hundred tunes which made up the playlist were initially selected by the creator and presenter, Alan Keith. Subsequently, tunes were suggested by requests and polls of listeners.

Clemence Dane English novelist and playwright

Clemence Dane was the pseudonym of Winifred Ashton, an English novelist and playwright.

Saint-Preux is a French composer of contemporary classical music which also combines elements from popular music and electronic music. His real name is Christian Saint-Preux Langlade.

<i>Dangerous Moonlight</i>

Dangerous Moonlight is a 1941 British film, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Anton Walbrook. Among the costumes, the gowns were designed by Cecil Beaton. The film is best known for its score written by Richard Addinsell, orchestrated by Roy Douglas, which includes the Warsaw Concerto.

Philip Lane is an English composer and musicologist. He is noted for his light music compositions and arrangements, as well as his painstaking work reconstructing lost film scores.

Philip Fowke is an English pianist.

Philip Braham was an English composer of the early twentieth century, chiefly associated with theatrical work. From 1914, he composed music for such musicals and revues as Theodore & Co (1916) and London Calling! (1923), including several revues produced by André Charlot. His best-known song is "Limehouse Blues," which has been recorded by many artists. He wrote for film in the 1930s.

Roy Douglas

Richard Roy Douglas, better known as Roy Douglas, was a English composer, pianist and arranger. He worked as musical assistant to Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, and Richard Addinsell, made well-known orchestrations of works such as Les Sylphides and Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto, and wrote a quantity of original music.

Yuri Boukoff was a Bulgarian-French pianist. He was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

Kenneth Alwyn British conductor and composer

Kenneth Alwyn was a British conductor, composer, and writer. Described by BBC Radio 3 as "one of the great British musical directors", Alwyn was known for his many recordings, including with the London Symphony Orchestra on Decca's first stereophonic recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. He was also known for his long association with BBC Radio 2's orchestral live music programme Friday Night is Music Night, appearing for thirty years as a conductor and presenter, and for his contribution to British musical theatre as a prolific musical director in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and married the actress Mary Law in 1960. His website and the first volume of his memoirs A Baton in the Ballet and Other Places were both published in 2015. The second volume Is Anyone Watching? was published in 2017. A Book of Remembrance was opened on his website in December 2020.

This is a summary of 1941 in music in the United Kingdom.

Daniil Trifonov discography

The recording career of Russian pianist and composer Daniil Trifonov initially focused on the music of Frédéric Chopin. His first three albums, recorded in 2010 and released in 2011, exclusively consisted of works of Chopin: the first album, Daniil Trifonov plays Frédéric Chopin, consisting of music performed live in recitals in Italy, was released by Decca Records in April; his second album, Chopin: Mazurki; Konzert, containing performances from the 16th Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, was released in May; and finally, his third album, Chopin, a studio recording, was released in July. Trifonov's next album, Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, released in 2012, included a performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.

References

  1. Randel, Don Michael, ed. (1996). "Addinsell, Richard (Stewart)" . The Harvard biographical dictionary of music. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press. pp.  5. ISBN   0-674-37299-9.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. 1 2 3 Lamb, Andrew (2004). 'Addinsell, Richard Stewart (1904–1977)'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 September 2011.(subscription required)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Lane, Philip (2003). 'The film music of Richard Addinsell' (pdf). Chandos Records. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  4. 1 2 Ades, David. 'Addinsell, Richard (Stewart)' in Grove Music Online (2001)
  5. Lane, Philip (1999). 'Richard Addinsell: film music'. ASV Records [sleevenotes to CD reviewed by Lace, Ian (1999) on MusicWeb International. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  6. 'Richard Addinsell: Goodbye Mr Chips / A Tale of Two Cities', recording released on Marco Polo Records (1994). Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  7. 'Music of Richard Addinsell including Warsaw Concerto'. ASV Records [CD reviewed by Seeley, Robert (1997) in Gramophone, September 1997, pp 121–122. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  8. Lamb, Andrew (2002). 'British light music: sound good, feel good', Gramophone November 2002, pp.34–38. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  9. Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 508-509). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  10. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More than 14000 Famous Persons, Scott Wilson
  11. "Addinsell, Richard", British Film Institute, accessed 11 February 2012