|Born||13 January 1904|
|Died||14 November 1977 (aged 73)|
|Education||Hertford College, Oxford|
Richard Stewart Addinsell (13 January 1904 –14 November 1977) 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).
Richard Addinsell was born in Woburn Square, London, to William Arthur Addinsell, who was a chartered accountant, and his wife, Annie Beatrice Richards.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.
In 1925, he enrolled at the Royal College of Music but lasted only two terms before leaving, again without obtaining any formal qualification.By this time Addinsell was already collaborating with Noel Gay, among others, in an André Charlot Revue. More work for Charlot in 1927 was followed in 1928 by a collaboration with Clemence Dane on Adam's Opera at The Old Vic. In 1929, he completed his informal education by touring Europe to visit major theatrical and musical centres such as Berlin and Vienna.
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).In 1947 it was revived, starring Bambi Linn.
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 Alwynor Rumon Gamba.
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.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. 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).
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.His ashes are buried there in a communal section of the crocus lawn.
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and rich orchestral colours. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output and he made a point of using his skills as a performer to fully explore the expressive and technical possibilities of the instrument.
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.
Alexis Sigismund Weissenberg was a Bulgarian-born French pianist.
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.
Louis Philip Kentner was a Hungarian, later British, pianist who excelled in the works of Chopin and Liszt, as well as the Hungarian repertoire.
Clemence Dane was the pseudonym of Winifred Ashton, an English novelist and playwright.
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.
Peter Jablonski is a Swedish concert pianist.
Igor Konstantin Buketoff was an American conductor, arranger and teacher. He had a special affinity with Russian music and with Sergei Rachmaninoff in particular. He also strongly promoted British contemporary music, and new music in general.
Roberto Szidon was a Brazilian classical pianist who had an international performing and recording career, and settled in Germany.
Wanted for Murder is a 1946 British crime film directed by Lawrence Huntington and starring Eric Portman, Dulcie Gray, Derek Farr, and Roland Culver.
Richard Roy Douglas, better known as Roy Douglas, was an 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.
Jack Beaver was a British film score composer and pianist. Beaver was born in Clapham, London. He studied at the Metropolitan Academy of Music, Forest Gate and then at the Royal Academy of Music under Frederick Corder. After graduating he worked for the BBC. In the early 1930s he played with the Michael Doré Trio and wrote some concert pieces, including the three movement Sonatina for piano. He also contributed music and arrangements for various BBC radio drama and music features, including most of the radio adaptions of films in collaboration with producer Douglas Moodie, throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
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 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.