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Three composers from more or less the present day start this latest collection. Leslie Russell published, mainly during the 1970s, various arrangements, plus a number of Christmas carols, Suite One for flute (or violin) and piano (1971) and some orchestral Variations on Blaydon Races (1974). Nick Russell-Pavierís incidental music includes, most recently, some for a BBC Radio adaptation of Agatha Christieís Philomel Cottage (January 2002). The Ulsterman Philip Hammondís compositions include an attractively tuneful Sonatina for flute and piano. I heard this recently and felt this was high-class light music.

Philip Christian Darnton (1905-81), born near Leeds and educated at the Matthay School, at Cambridge and abroad, is mainly a classical composer with concertos, cantatas, symphonies and an opera to his credit but in an accessible idiom. He merits notice in these Garlands for his film music, perhaps some of his songs, maybe the Epic Suite for violin and piano, written for and performed by David Wolfsthal, a light music violinist noticed previously in these Garlands and also for the Cantilena for string orchestra.

Alan Danson is an arranger/composer of the present day, especially for small wind ensembles. If he is an arranger rather than a composer, his arrangements are, as I heard recently, notably inventive. His titles include Three Winds in a Boat (shanties for trio), Cowboys Out West and a selection of drinking songs.

The Suffolk composer Jack Hawes has been quite prolific in a wide variety of musical forms. His work includes church service music and a number of extended orchestral works (a Sinfonietta and the Concerto Lirico for flute and strings have both been performed in Doncaster) but his lyrical impulse suited the composition of lighter morsels as well and of these we may cite as examples: A Handful of Pieces, Three Whimsical Pieces, Burlesque and Pastoral and Nocturne, all for piano solo; the Five Diversions for organ; the Birthday Bagatelles for oboe and piano; and a number of Christmas carols.

Philip L Scowcoft

January 2002

Enquiries to Philip at

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Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

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