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CORENTIN BOISSIER

The Mini Piano Concerto from the Years ’40-’60:


a Trend Triggered by
Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto

Translation of the French thesis


“Le mini piano concerto des années 40-60 :
une vogue déclenchée par le
Warsaw Concerto de Richard Addinsell”

Thesis
Submitted for the Master of Écriture musicale
Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris

Abstract
In the United States in the 1920s, George Gershwin and Hollywoodian cinema gave
the start of the mini piano concerto written in symphonic jazz style. In 1941, the
Rachmaninovian Warsaw Concerto (9') by British Richard Addinsell triggered a
vogue which lasted around thirty years, and touched composers from diverse
backgrounds and nationalities, from George Antheil to Dmitri Shostakovich, from
Arthur Bliss to Miklos Rozsa, from Duke Ellington to Henri Sauguet, from Norman
Dello Joio to Malcolm Williamson… For this thesis, we have established the first
(chronological and alphabetical) repertories of mini piano concertos: more than 300
works.
Frequently updated.
181 p.

Résumé
Aux États-Unis, George Gershwin et le cinéma hollywoodien donnèrent dans les
années 20 le départ du mini piano concerto de style jazz symphonique. En 1941, le
rachmaninovien Warsaw Concerto (9’) du britannique Richard Addinsell lança une
vogue qui dura une trentaine d’années et inspira des compositeurs de tous horizons
et de toutes nationalités, de George Antheil à Dmitri Shostakovich, d’Arthur Bliss à
Miklos Rozsa, de Duke Ellington à Henri Sauguet, de Norman Dello Joio à Malcolm
Williamson… Nous avons établi dans ce mémoire les premiers répertoires
(chronologique et alphabétique) des mini piano concertos : plus de 300 œuvres.
Fréquemment mise à jour.
191 p.

To contact the author: http://www.corentinboissier.net


corentin.boissier@free.fr
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of contents …………….……………..……………..………….…… p. 1

Foreword ………………………………………………………………….…. p. 3

Nota ……………………………………………………………………….….. p. 6

Chapter I: What is a mini piano concerto?

1- Introduction ………………………………………………………………. p. 7

2- “Mini piano concerto”: trial definition ……………………..………… p. 11

3- Parameters that define the mini piano concerto ……………………. p. 13

Chapter II: The Frontiers of a musical genre ……………..….. p. 16

Chapter III: The Precursors of the tabloid concerto ……..….. p. 33

Chapter IV: The vogue of the mini piano concertos

1- The ’20s-’30s: the mini piano concerto from symphonic jazz ….…... p. 48

2- The ’40s: the triumph of the Warsaw Concerto and the Anglo-saxon
vogue of tabloid concertos …………………………………….………….. p. 55

3- The ’50s-’60s: internationalization of the vogue ……….……….…… p. 70

4- From 1970 to today: the decline of the vogue ………………………… p. 85

Chapter V: The most famous mini piano concertos:


the Denham Concertos

1- Denham Concertos: the must of tabloid concertos …………………… p. 92

2- Use of the Denham Concerto in a film ………………………………… p. 101

1
3- Is the Denham Concerto film music? …………………..………………. p. 111

Chapter VI: First chronological (and detailed) Repertory


of mini piano concertos

1- Presentation ……..………………………………………………………. p. 117

2- First chronological (and detailed) Repertory of


mini piano concertos ………………………………………….…………... p. 118

3- Statistics from the First chronological Repertory………………….... p. 133

Provisional Conclusion ………………………………………….... p. 141

Appendix 1
Works of which we have no score or recording, but several clues
suggesting that they are mini piano concertos …..………………….……. p. 147

Appendix 2
First Alphabetical (and detailed) Repertory of
mini piano concertos ………………………………………………….……... p. 151

Appendix 3
Detailed list of fictional composers who wrote a piano concertante
piece featured in a film ………………………………………………………. p. 171

Bibliography and “Sitography” ...………………………………..….. p. 175

***

Biography ….…………………………………………………. p. 181

2
Foreword

It was possible to choose as thesis subject “The Mini Piano Concerto from
the years 40-60: a trend triggered by Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto”
since we had the opportunity, thanks to the web, to get in touch with
collectors and specialists in orchestral music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Thanks to some of them in particular1 we have been able to discover a large
amount of almost-forgotten works. Among them, there were short works for
piano and orchestra, largely written in a so-called cinematographic style,
close to the film music of the Hollywood Golden Age2. These works were
composed mainly during the decades ’40-’60, and several of them within the
cinema realm, like the Warsaw Concerto by British composer Richard
Addinsell (1904-1977), written for the 1941 film "Dangerous Moonlight"3
directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. The Warsaw Concerto, which lasts 9
minutes, has gained a considerable success that never wavered. But it is the
tree that hides the forest, as almost all these brief piano concertante works
have fallen into almost total oblivion, a fate they share – alas – with the great
majority of orchestral compositions of the second half of the twentieth
century4.

1
We would like to thank in particular Dr. Allan B. Ho, teacher at the Southern Illinois
University Edwardsville (USA), author of “Music for Piano and Orchestra: The Recorded
Repertory”, with whom we have been collaborating since 2010 (For “The Recorded
Repertory”, see Bibliography and “Sitography”).
2
According to film historians, the Hollywood Golden Age corresponds to the decades ’30
and ’40. Cf. Douglas Gomery, “Hollywood, l’âge d’or des studios” (1987). Of course, several
great composers of the Hollywood Golden Age wrote mini piano concertos, for the cinema
or outside.
3
In the USA, the film “Dangerous Moonlight” is known under the title “Suicide
Squadron”.
4
The private catalogs of rare works of three of the greatest collectors of orchestral music of
the twentieth century are several hundred pages long: respectively more than 1000 pages,
more than 900 pages and more than 800 pages, written in small (or very small) characters.

3
The Anglo-Saxons – who, unlike the French, have always enjoyed these
short post-romantic pieces for piano and orchestra – use several expressions
to define them, the most common being “micro-concertos” (as David Ades
writes in the Grove Dictionary5) and “mini piano concertos”, as Fred Flaxman
writes to present one of his Compact Discoveries radio programs:

“hour devoted to mini piano concertos written especially for the movies, mostly in
the 1940s”6

All English-language articles repeat that the popularity of the mini


piano concertos has been substantial, and they explain this vogue by the fact
that the most famous of them were written for the cinema. Indeed the
prestige of the cinema has made a big part of their success, but this prestige
does not explain everything. However, these articles hardly go beyond this
observation and, untiringly, they mention only a handful of mini piano
concertos written for films7. A few Anglo-Saxon monographs and theses8
mention some others, but they, too, only approach these works from the
perspective of the history of cinema or of film music. To our knowledge,
there is no synthesis, even sketched, on this musical genre.
We have had the opportunity to discover, to date, nearly three hundred
mini piano concertos from all over the world9 and, for the vast majority,
composed outside of the cinema world. Having taken the measure of this
international “vogue”, it seemed necessary to establish a “First chronological
(and detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos”, which had apparently
never been done before. We opted for a chronological approach. However,
for the convenience of the Reader who wants to be able to find easily a work
through the name of its composer, we have also established an “Alphabetical
Repertory”, presented in Appendix 2. We hope that this “First Repertory”
will be useful for anyone who wants to have a concise and precise overview
of this musical genre, and to know the main composers involved (see Chapter
VI).
One last precision seems useful to us: it is because we appreciate the
piano concerto in all its forms that we have come to appreciate it also in the

5
Article “Williams, Charles” by David Ades (2007) [online (registration required), accessed
September 27, 2017]
6
Cf. on the web “Compact Discoveries”: Program 32 “Movie Concertos” (2017) [online,
http://www.compactdiscoveries.com/CompactDiscoveriesScripts/32MovieConcertos.html,
accessed June 15, 2017]
7
These are invariably Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (1941) ; Hubert Bath’s Cornish
Rhapsody (1944) ; Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto Macabre (1945) ; Miklos Rozsa’s Spellbound
Concerto (1946) ; Charles Williams’ The Dream of Olwen (1947).
8
The articles and thesis are cited at the end of this work, in the Bibliography and
Sitography.
9
The total number of existing mini piano concertos is necessarily much higher.

4
particular form of the mini piano concerto. Writing a thesis about these
works is like discovering a forgotten part of the concert music of the 20th
century. Some Anglo-Saxon musicologists and music critics, more open-
minded than their French counterparts concerning film music, Symphonic
Entertainment, Light Music and Easy Listening10, familiarized the audience
with the mini piano concertos; but, to our knowledge, no one has established
their history or explained the sociological reasons that allowed their vogue,
and then the decline of it.
With this thesis, we hope to bring the first elements for a deeper
synthesis that remains to be written.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Dick D’Ari,


who read carefully and corrected
my English translation.

10
Although they are close, and all led by a popular spirit, these registers are dissimilar: the
Light Music, typically British, had its greatest successes in the years ’30-’60. The Easy
Listening, beyond being a commercial designation used by labels, was a genre much
appreciated by Americans, close to both film music and songs ; it developed in the ’50s and
suffered a sudden decline in the ’70s.

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NOTA

• The mini piano concerto being an exclusively Anglo-Saxon musical realm, we use the
terminology of this language:
- stand-alone piece: movement of a work that can be performed separately
- highlights: the best moments of a work
- Symphonic Entertainment: Orchestral music intended to reach a wide audience (in
Germany, this genre is called: Gehobene Unterhaltungsmusik/Sophisticated Light Music)
• We indicate the timing of each work. The lower minute is indicated if the number of
seconds does not reach 30; the upper minute is indicated if the number of seconds equals
or exceeds 30.

• As most of the composers and arrangers mentioned in this thesis are little known, for the
sake of precision and courtesy we always indicate the nationality and the dates of birth and
of death of every composer / arranger. List of abbreviations used:
Argentina: Arg Germany: Ger Quebec: Que
Australia: Aus Great Britain: GB Romania: Rom
Austria: Aut Greece: Gre Russia: Rus
Azerbaijan: Aze Hungary: Hun Serbia: Ser
Belgium: Bel Italia: Ita Slovakia: Slova
Brazil: Bra Japan: Jap Slovenia: Slove
Bulgaria: Bul Latvia: Lat Spain: Spa
Canada: Can Lebanon: Lib Sweden: Swe
Cuba: Cub Lithuania: Lit Switzerland: Swz
Czech Republic: Cze Macedonia: Mac Ukraine: Ukr
East Germany: GDR Netherlands: Net United States of America:
Estonia: Est Norway: Nor USA
Finland: Fin Poland: Pol Venezuela: Ven
France: Fra Portugal: Por

• The word “musicologist”, that we associate with some proper nouns, does not necessarily
guarantee a university degree.
• Every film title is followed by the name of the director and the release date.

• All quotations have been translated by ourselves (unless otherwise indicated).


• Accented characters specific to each language have been eliminated in order to make
electronic research easy.

• Many of the mentioned mini piano concertos have been uploaded on YouTube by us (on
our channels collectionCB, collectionCB2, collectionCB3, collectionCB4 & collectionCB5).
We can refer to Appendix 2: “Music program made by us and uploaded on YouTube”
where the titles of the listenable works are indicated along with their links.
• In order to make a reliable and useful research tool, the “First chronological (and
detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos” lists only works for which we have been able
to verify that they are either tabloid concertos, simili tabloid concertos, Denham
Concertos, para Denham Concertos or micro-concertos. Idem concerning the “First
alphabetical (and detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos” (Appendix 3).

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CHAPTER I

What is a mini piano concerto?

1- Introduction

In the 20th century, post-romantic composers developed a style that


accentuated dramatic effects more and more. The cinema, for its part,
expressed always more exacerbated feelings. Classical music, in the broad
sense of the term, and film music will – together – magnify a century of
contrasts and frenzy.
In the ’20s and ’30s Hollywood and Broadway begin to make use of a
new popular musical genre: jazz. It is the rise of symphonic jazz, whose most
famous representative is George Gershwin (1898-1937/USA). Gershwin
composed, for the film “Delicious” (David Butler, 1931), the very first mini
piano concerto of cinema history: Rhapsody in Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody,
lasting eight minutes. Many composers, taking advantage of the enthusiasm
created by jazz and cinema, then wrote what the Anglo-Saxons call “mini
piano concertos”, an expression that includes both the “tabloid concertos” of
the cinema world and works written in the same style but outside of the
cinema world, which are simili tabloid concertos. From George Antheil
(1900-1950/USA) to Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975/Rus), from Eduard
Artyemev (b. 1937/Rus) to Teresa Procaccini (b. 1934/Ita), from Arthur Bliss
(1891-1975/GB) to Miklos Rozsa (1907-1995/Hun/USA), from Duke Ellington
(1899-1974/USA) to Henri Sauguet (1901-1989/Fra), from Norman Dello Joio
(1913-2008/USA) to Malcolm Williamson (1933-2003/Aus/GB)…, composers
wishing to please a large audience wrote mini piano concertos.
The vogue of mini piano concertos written in a non-jazz style started in
Great Britain. In the 1940s several British film producers chose to have some
of their films showcase a short piano concerto, in order to express in the best
way what neither the lyrics nor the images could express. Thus, thanks to a

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concert work written in order to produce a cathartic effect on the spectator,
the emotions experienced by the heroes of the film were precisely those felt
by the public.
It was the specificity of Denham Studios, located near London, to
integrate into their films a concertante piece written in the post-romantic
style that had been popularized by the Russian composer Sergei
Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). By the artifice of a false/true concert or of a
true/false piano concerto, these short works succeeded, purely by their
musical virtue, in supporting the morale of the British engaged in World
War II. “Dangerous Moonlight” (1941), realized by Brian Desmond Hurst, in
which we can hear the Warsaw Concerto of Richard Addinsell (1904-1977/GB),
was the first film no longer to submit its music to the diktat of the images
but, on the contrary, to make it an essential element of the plot. For the first
time in cinema history, music became in a way the “brand image” of a film
(very precisely, of a patriotic film). This daring decision, widely acclaimed,
was the starting point of a trend, as subsequent films also included tabloid
concertos, which the British soon dubbed “Denham Concertos”, after the
name of the studios that gave birth to them11. Each film (and each Denham
Concerto) magnified a romantic vision of life that tried to counterbalance the
pains of the war. Despite its short duration – or rather, because of its brevity
– the Denham Concerto is written so as to give the illusion of being the
concentrate of a full-scale concerto. In addition to its conciseness and its
density, its other specificity lies in the quality of its themes/melodies that
always seek to be memorable. According to the historian of film music Pierre
Berthomieu,
“l’existence mélodique garantit une mémoire affective du sens. Sa reprise et sa
répétition, principe du symphonisme, instaurent un état lyrique.”12
“melodic existence guarantees an affective memory of meaning. Its repetitions and
variations, which constitute one of the main principles of symphonism, establish a lyrical
state.”

To make the spectator/listener feel in a “lyrical state”13 was a stroke of


genius of film producers offering a Denham Concerto in one/some of their

11
British radio presenter, essayist and composer Steve Race (1921-2009) is credited for
having invented the formula “Denham Concertos” that designates “piano-concerto like
pieces written for British films”, cf. among several occurrences: David Ades, on the
"Robert Farnon Society" website [online,
http://www.robertfarnonsociety.org.uk/index.php/legends/peter-yorke, accessed June 7,
2017]. Also Michael Darvell, "British Light Classics" (October 30, 2007) [online,
http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=5100, accessed May
25, 2017]
12
Pierre Berthomieu, “La musique de film” (2004), p. 47.
13
Ibid.

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film(s). This way, they entered not only into the history of cinema, but also
into the history of 20th-century culture, since – with a dozen film concertos
and then with all their imitators – they created a new musical genre. The
American academic Yvan Raykoff writes:

“The perennial circulation of these classical and popular works via films and film-
music recordings, together with the many arrangements and popular song derivations of
their well-known melodies, have ensured the piano concerto’s place in the canon of
twenthieth-century popular culture.”14

In the 1950s, the Denham Concertos became a socially established


phenomenon that encouraged composers, on the occasion of the coronation
of Elizabeth II of England in 1952, to dedicate similar works to the Queen15.
In 1956 the Concerto in one movement (12') by Hungarian Janos Gyulai Gaal
(1924-2009) won third prize in Belgian Radio’s Light Music Competition16.
This vogue of the mini piano concerto was well enough established to spark
a parody: the Concerto populare17 that Franz Reizenstein (1911-1968/Ger/GB)
created during the 1956 Hoffnung Music Festival Concert. According to Yvan
Raykoff:

“This 11-minute ‘thematic trafic-jam’ begins as a confrontation between the


Tchaikovsky First Concerto and the Grieg Concerto (the orchestra begins with one, the
pianist insists on playing the other), and soon degenerates into an absurd mixture of
Rachmaninoff’s Second, Beethoven’s Fourth, the Rhapsody in Blue, and the Warsaw
Concerto, along with persistent interjections of Pop Goes the Weasel and Roll Out the
Barrel.”18

The success of the Denham Concertos encouraged composers from


various backgrounds to try out this new musical genre. Therefore, in the ’40s
and ’50s, many other similar works written outside of the cinema field,
almost always in the style of the Hollywood Golden Age, lengthened the list
of the mini piano concertos. The ’60s and ’70s saw the heyday of increasingly
short works that the recording industry labeled “Easy Listening”. Although
of different sizes and origins, these mini piano concertos are all more or less

14
Yvan Raykoff, “Concerto con amore: Relationship and Ritual in the Soundtrack Piano
Concerto” (2000), Part I, p. 1.
15
More precisely, two para Denham Concertos: the Rhapsody for Elizabeth (1952/8')
composed by Stanley Laudan (1912-1992/Pol/GB) & Gordon Rees (GB); the Queen Elizabeth
Concerto (1952/7') of Pete Alman (1901-1965/Ger/Den).
16
This work is often referred to as Concertino in order to avoid confusion with his Piano
Concerto No. 2 in three movements.
17
The Concerto populare (1956) is also titled Concerto to end all Piano Concertos. It has been
performed by various pianists since its premiere.
18
Yvan Raykoff, “Concerto con amore: Relationship and Ritual in the Soundtrack Piano
Concerto” (2000), Part V, pp. 6-7, note 123.

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(often less) written in the post-romantic piano concertante tradition
personified by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943/Rus).
Nowadays, the tabloid concertos (the mini piano concertos written for
a film) are the only ones that interest cinema historians and film music
historians. However, they only constitute the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of
mini piano concertos have been composed and performed in different
countries, almost never getting public recognition. In our metaphore, they
constitute the great submerged part of the iceberg (see below). We have been
able to discover enough of them to establish the “First chronological (and
detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos” (see Chapter VI). There are no
doubt many more, since during the second half of the 20th century many
composers were nostalgic of the time when a romantic musical work could
reach a wide audience and constitute a significant social event.

The history of the mini piano concerto basically extends over half a
century, from the ’20s to the ’70s. During these decades, the mini piano
concerto can be divided into five subgenres:
1- tabloid concerto: short concertante work (not necessarily for piano19)
written for the cinema or arranged from film music.
2- simili tabloid concerto: short concertante work similar in style to the
tabloid concertos, but written outside of the cinema realm. This subgenre
represents the vast majority of the mini piano concertos, as our “Repertory”
shows.
3- Denham Concerto: short work for piano and orchestra written in a
broadly Rachmaninovian style for a film produced by the British studios
Denham, or their competitors, in the ’40-’50s. The Warsaw Concerto (1941/9'),
composed by Richard Addinsell (1904-1977/GB), launched – with resounding
success – this subgenre which immediately became the reference in terms of
mini piano concertos.
4- para Denham Concerto: short work for piano and orchestra written
in the style of a Denham Concerto, but outside of the cinema industry.
5- micro-concerto: concertante work lasting almost always less than four
minutes, which the recording industry classifies in Easy Listening. There has
been an important trend for this kind of work during the decades ’50 and
’60.

In Chapter VI, paragraph 3, we will see what the statistics of the “First
chronological (and detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos” tell us, but
for the moment, it is useful to represent visually the very unequal

19
There are several tabloid concertos for other concertante instruments, see Chapter IV,
paragraph 2.

10
quantitative distribution of the five subgenres of the mini piano concerto
(these results are based on the statistics of the “Repertory”):

In the diagram above, in order that the addition of the five percentages make a
total of 100, the tabloid concertos do not include the Denham Concertos (which
are, nonetheless, tabloid concertos, as explained in the remainder of this thesis)
and the simili tabloid concertos do not include the para Denham Concertos (which
are simili tabloid concertos). There is, therefore, a real total of 19.5% tabloid
concertos and 62.5% simili tabloid concertos.

2- “Mini piano concerto”: trial definition

John Huntley, author of the reference book “British Film Music” (1947;
reed. 1972), gives the following definition:

“A tabloid concerto is a short, one-movement piece, written in the style of a Romantic


piano concerto, specifically for use in a movie.”20

What does the expression “tabloid” mean? The Dictionary of Cambridge


gives this definition:

“A type of popular newspaper with small pages that has many pictures and short,
simple reports.”21

20
John Huntley, “British Film Music” (1947; reed. 1972), pp. 53-54.
21
Dictionary of Cambridge [online,

11
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

“A newspaper that is about half the page size of an ordinary newspaper and that
contains news in condensed form and much photographic matter.”22

And the Oxford Dictionary offers:

“A newspaper having pages half the size of those of the average broadsheet, typically
popular in style and dominated by sensational stories.”23

If we try to make a definition that summarizes the previous ones, a


tabloid concerto is:
A type of popular concerto that is about half the size of an ordinary
concerto, written in condensed form and dominated by sensational themes
and treatments.

Although this definition reflects the specificities of the tabloid concertos


composed for a film – including the Denham Concertos – it is not suitable
for all “mini piano concertos”, a generic expression that includes five sub-
genres (see above, paragraph 1).
A definition that would suit all the mini piano concertos must
imperatively take into account three constants:
- they are always short, often lasting much less than half the duration of a
traditional piano concerto,
- they are in one piece (although some retain a fast-slow-fast
tripartition),
- they are written in a post-romantic style that (more or less) emulates
the style of American and British film scores from the ’40s and ’50s, which
corresponds, in these two countries, to the film’s Golden Age24.
Taking into account these three constants, we propose the following
definition:

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/fr/dictionnaire/anglais/tabloid, accessed June 14, 2017]


22
Merriam-Webster Dictionary [online,
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tabloid, accessed June 14, 2017]
23
Oxford Dictionary [online,
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/tabloid, accessed June 14, 2017]
24
The Golden Age of American cinema coincides with that of British cinema. Anglo-Saxon
historians agree on this point. Cf. in particular Jan G. Swynnoe, “The Best Years of British
Film Music: 1936-1958” (2002), p. 22. Also John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight,
Music in British Film Melodrama of the 1940s” (2008), p. 6.

12
A “mini piano concerto” is a one-movement work rarely exceeding 12
minutes25, often written in a neo-romantic style popularized by
Rachmaninoff and the Hollywood Golden Age.

We can add the following historical complement to this definition:

The most famous ones have been composed for the cinema. Their
trend began in 1941 with Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and
ended in 1970 with Francis Lai’s Love Story Theme.

3- Parameters that define the mini piano concerto

A single definition is not enough to determine, among the innumerable


short works for piano and orchestra that were composed during the 20th
century, which are and which are not mini piano concertos. These works
must meet specific criteria in order to fall within our domain, otherwise
there would be a significant risk of grouping under the term “mini piano
concerto” everything and its opposite. In Chapter II, “The Boundaries of a
Musical Genre”, we will see how difficult it is precisely to identify the mini
piano concerto (which, like many other musical genres, has never seen its
specificity established on a clear basis). Moreover, it is in the very nature of
musical works to be protean: their composition can borrow from such
different styles, and in such a nuanced way, that multiple criteria are needed
for a census to be coherent and effective. The following anecdote is revealing
of the difficulty of delimiting the mini piano concerto:
The composer and concert pianist Cyprien Katsaris26, to whom we told
(by e-mail) our intention to write a thesis on mini piano concertos, drew our
attention to “l’importance du concerto du compositeur américain Leroy
Anderson composé au tout début des années 50” “the importance of the
concerto of American composer Leroy Anderson, composed at the very
beginning of the ’50s” and “[Je vous] recommande la Fantaisie sur des thèmes
populaires russes, Op. 48 d’Arensky d’une durée de 9 minutes. Pour votre
information ce joyau musical avait été utilisé lors de la cérémonie
d’ouverture des Jeux Olympiques de Moscou dans les années 80.”27 “[I]
recommend [to you] the Fantasia on Russian Themes, Op. 48 of Arensky,
which lasts 9 minutes. For your information, this musical jewel was used

25
Concerning the duration, see Chapter II “The Frontiers of a Musical Genre”.
26
Cyprien Katsaris, 1st prize at the 1974 Cziffra International Competition, made in 2014 a
remarkable adaptation/performance of the Warsaw Concerto (1941) by Richard Addinsell
(1904-1977/GB), based on the version for solo piano transcribed in 1942 by Henry Geehl
(1881-1961/GB).
27
E-mail sent to us by Mr. Katsaris on May 5, 2017.

13
during the opening ceremony of the Moscow Olympics in the ’80s.” This
great artist’s answer shows that the musical identity of the mini piano
concerto is almost always subject to discussion. Indeed, the two works
mentioned are not, strictly speaking, mini piano concertos. Certainly the
nine-minute duration of the Fantasia on Russian Themes by Russian composer
Anton Arensky (1861-1906), also known as Fantasy On Ryabinin’s Themes28,
perfectly suits the genre of the mini piano concerto. But because of its date
of composition – 1899 – this rhapsodic work belongs to the classical
repertoire, like all the fantasies and rhapsodies on popular themes written
throughout the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.
As for the Piano Concerto by American composer Leroy Anderson (1908-
1975), mentioned by Mr. Katsaris, his writing indeed belongs to the musical
style that the Anglo-Saxons call Light Music29, which is logical since this
composer has always had the reputation to be one of its most eminent
representatives. However, his Piano Concerto (1953) lasts 20 minutes and is
cast in three movements; it therefore does not meet the criteria of being in
one movement and of having a duration that rarely exceeds 12 minutes.

If we wish to delimit the genre of the mini piano concerto, we must


establish criteria that will allow us to decide whether a particular short work
for piano and orchestra does or does not fall within our field. In the course
of our research and our reflections, several criteria have emerged. According
to these criteria, a mini piano concerto
- must be written in a "cinematographic" style, more or less close to that
of the Hollywood Golden Age (1930-1960),
- must be in one movement,
- rarely lasts more than 12 minutes,
- must have a concertante piano part,
- must not imitate a musical style belonging to an era prior to the 20th
century,
- is not a Main Title or merely a piano piece extracted from a film score,
- is not an arrangement of a work from the classical repertoire, or of a
theme from film music, or of a popular song…

28
Trofim Ryabinin (1791-1885) is “the last of a venerable line of bïlina singers from northern
Russia.”, Michael C. Tusa, National Traditions in Nineteenth-Century Opera, volume II: Central
and Easter Europe, The Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies, Ed. Ashgate Publishing,
USA (2010), p. 347.
29
Famous film composer John Williams (b. 1932/USA) said that Leroy Anderson was “one
of the great American masters of light orchestral music”. Richard S. Ginell, Booklet of the
Naxos CD “Leroy Anderson, Orchestral Works, vol. 5” (8.559382).

14
The first three criteria derive from the three constants inherent in the
genre of the mini piano concerto, which we have indicated in paragraph 2:
“Mini piano concerto: trial definition”. The last four criteria allow us to leave
out of our domain countless short works that do not involve a really
concertante piano part, and countless short popular works for piano and
orchestra that have been arranged from pre-existing works.
Now, we have to check the relevance of each of these seven criteria,
which, when they are associated, delimit in the most effective way possible
the boundaries of the genre of the mini piano concerto.

15
CHAPTER II

The Frontiers of a Musical Genre

Using various examples that are borderline cases, is it possible to define


the boundaries of the genre of the mini piano concerto and to validate the
seven criteria proposed in the previous chapter?

1- must be written in a “cinematographic” style, more or less close to


that of the Hollywood Golden Age (1930-1960)
British composer Richard Ketelbey (1875-1959) is famous for his popular
orchestral pieces30, and it might seem logical to consider his Caprice
pianistique for piano and orchestra (1947/4') as a mini piano concerto. However,
it is a virtuoso piece overall, very “classically” written and therefore far from
the cinematographic style of the mini piano concertos. If we accepted this
short piece, there are hundreds of other works that we should then count,
such as the Juarezca (1935/7') by Harl McDonald (1899-1955/USA), a brilliant
piece with “Hollywoodian” hints which enjoyed some success at its time and
which the composer incorporated the following year as the final movement
of his Concerto for two pianos and orchestra. It is also tempting to include the
Fantasy for piano and orchestra by Jose Iturbi (1895-1980/Spa/USA) because of
its date of composition (1942), its duration (9'), and the personality of its
author (Iturbi was a famous Hollywood pianist). This also applies to the Piano
Concerto (1936/14') by Oscar Levant (1906-1972/USA), a famous pianist who
was George Gershwin’s distinguished performer. However, Iturbi’s Fantasy
and Levant’s Concerto are basically “classical” virtuoso works, like so many
other more or less popular pieces written by composers who worked in the
Symphonic Entertainment and/or cinema realms. We can mention:

30
Richard Ketelbey is, notably, the composer of the famous In a Persian Market (1920).

16
- Paulena Scherzo (c. 1947/3') by American Earl Lawrence (1908-?)
- Festival Scherzo (1951/4') by British Madeleine Dring (1923-1977)
- Capriccio for piano and orchestra (1955/8') by Dutch Cor de Groot (1914-
1993)
- Rondo-Burleske (1956/5') and Harlekinade (1957/5') by Austrian Arthur
Bornschein (?-?)
- Concert Caprice (c. 1960/4') and Piano mobile (c. 1960/3') by German
Heinz Kiessling (1926-2003)
- Gazellen, intermezzo (c. 1960/2') by Danish Julius Jacobsen (1915-1990)
- Piano Concerto No. 3 “Una fantasia” (1974/13') by French (of Uzbek
origin) André Hossein (1907-1983)

It should be noted here that there exists a “brilliant” work dating from
1852 that is often paired with mini piano concertos by the publishers of
anthological LPs and CDs: the Scherzo (7') from the Concerto symphonique No.
4 by British composer Henri Litolff (1818-1891). This recent habit is illogical
because Litolff’s Scherzo is a perfectly “classical” virtuoso piece from the
mid-19th century, and thus stylistically has nothing to do with our domain31.
The conciseness of a “classical” work, in the broad sense of this word, is
not a sufficient indication of its belonging to the genre of the mini piano
concerto. Consider, for example: The Night/Natten (1936/9') by Danish Poul
Schierbeck (1888-1949); the Piano Concerto (1942/12') by Italian Bruno
Maderna (1920-1973); the Piano Concerto (1945/10') and the Ballade (1955/14') by
Estonian Els Aarne (1917-1995); the Fantaisie concertante (1948/12') by French
Suzanne Joly (1914-2012); the Scherzo fantasque (1948/9') by Swiss-American
Ernest Bloch (1880-1959); the Nocturne (1950/8') by Spanish-Mallorcan Jaume
Mas Porcel (1909-1993); Fishing by Moonlight (1949-52/7') by British Robin
Milford (1903-1959); the Rhapsody (1952/10') by Spanish Manuel Oltra (1922-
2015); the Fantasy-Concerto (1956/12') by Georgian Meri (Mary) Davitashvili
(1924-2014); these are short piano concertante pieces32 that are certainly
borderline, but that we would be wrong to consider as belonging to our field
because their writing unambiguously links them to classical music, in the
broad sense of the term.
The difficulty of making a rigorous selection increases when the context
of the creation of a work lends itself to a mini piano concerto, while the style

31
Litolff’s Scherzo can be found in several records devoted to mini piano concertos, notably
in Concertos under the Stars (Capitol Records, 1959) and in Piano Classics from the Silver Screen
(Philips, 1990). Of course, we haven’t listed in our “Repertory” this concerto movement
dating from 1852.
32
Almost all the works mentioned in this thesis have been uploaded by us on YouTube (on
the channels collectionCB, collectionCB2, collectionCB3, collectionCB4 and
collectionCB5).

17
remains undefinable. This is notably the case of three pieces by the
American classical composer Roy Harris (1898-1979): the Concerto « Jamboree »
(1944/14'), commissioned by the jazz conductor Paul Whiteman (1890-
1967/USA); the Radio Piece (1946/5'); and the Fantasy for piano and orchestra
(1954/14'), performed by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Symphony Orchestra.
These are three concise concertante works at the crossroads of several
stylistic influences, without the popular spirit or the Hollywood style really
dominating – let us add, concerning the Radio Piece, that his writing is close
to film music as it was conceived in the ’40s, however the piano part is not
really concertante.
The difficulty increases even more when a “classical” composer
occasionally worked for the cinema. This is the case of Joaquin Turina (1882-
1949/Spa), who composed in 1931 a brilliant and suggestive Symphonic
Rhapsody (Rapsodia sinfónica) for piano and strings, which lasts 8 minutes.
This is also the case of Arnold Bax (1883-1953/GB), whose film scores are
highly appreciated33. His 8-minute concertante piece Morning Song, also
known as Maytime in Sussex, was written in 1947 to celebrate the twenty-first
birthday of Princess Elizabeth of England, who particularly appreciated mini
piano concertos34. And knowing that the pianist Harriet Cohen, who
premiered Morning Song, had already premiered in 1944 the Cornish Rhapsody
of British composer Hubert Bath (1883-1945) – which is one of the three most
famous Denham Concertos – we can logically ask ourselves: is Morning Song
a mini piano concerto? Once again the answer is negative because this work
is related to the pastoral tradition of English classical music. By the way, it is
common that composers working for the cinema industry do not wish to
write in the same style when they compose so-called “serious” works. This is
the case, for example, of French composer Georges Delerue (1925-1992), who
wrote his Concertino for piano and strings (1954/9') in a style that breaks with
the light romanticism that was his trademark in his film music, although he
kept his habit of writing “short” works.
It seems logical to think that composers specialized in film music or
Light Music necessarily make mini piano concertos when they write short
concertante works for piano… but this is far from always being the case. A
particularly significant example is Cascades to the Sea, a symphonic poem for
piano and orchestra (1944; rev. 1998/14') by the Canadian composer Robert
Farnon (1917-2005), who was one of the most prolific composers and one of
the most active conductors in the Light Music field35. Having composed two

33
In particular his music for the film Oliver Twist (1948), directed by British David Lean.
34
See Chapter IV, paragraph 3.
35
The website which brings together the biographies of all the composers who have
specialized in the Light Music field is titled “Robert Farnon Society”. Musicologist David

18
micro-concertos – Mid-Ocean (1954/4') and On the Seashore (1960/3') – Farnon
was a perfect candidate for writing a mini piano concerto. However, in spite
of its conciseness, Cascades to the Sea is a classical composition (in the broad
sense of the term) which joins the shores of Impressionism; it can be
considered as Robert Farnon’s tribute to the classical concert music of the
first half of the 20th century. Idem concerning the Minutenkonzert (1950/13') by
Dutch Cor de Groot (1914-1993), a composer whose Capriccio (1955/8') we
mentioned above. His Minutenkonzert – a title that could be translated by
“Concertante Minutes”, and not by “Miniature Concerto” as the musicologist
Maurice Hinson did36 – have the particularity to propose eleven concertante
miniatures (each lasting just a little over a minute), written in a style rather
similar to Symphonic Entertainment. However, because of this very unusual
form, we haven’t listed this work in the Repertory.

2- must be in one movement


All the tabloid concertos written for the cinema are in one piece. This
tight form has certainly been a big part of the success of these concertante
works written for an audience not used to concert halls. Thus, it is a capital
criterion, and it is clear that the composers who did not work for the cinema,
and who wanted to try this new musical genre, have almost always kept this
concise form which is closer to a rhapsody or to a concert piece than to a
true concerto. It is also easy to notice that the mini piano concertos dispense
with any indication of tonality37, which is logical as they generally have a
“literary” title, in the manner of symphonic poems that do not have
indications of tonality in their titles either. There are, however, some rare
exceptions to this rule: they concern composers who worked for the cinema
industry and who composed their concerto in a style close to that of
Hollywood, but in the optics of a “classical” concert. Among them:

- Ferde Grofe (1892-1972/USA): Piano Concerto in D minor (1931-59/15')


- Isidor Achron (1892-1948/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor
(1937/16')
- Armando Tavares Belo (1911-1993/Por): Concerto romantico in E minor
(1957/15').

Ades, who wrote for the Grove Dictionary several articles related to the Light Music, was the
director of this website until his death.
36
Maurice Hinson, “Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide” Enlarged
Edition (1993), p. 117.
37
The exception that confirms the rule is the Piano Concerto in C minor (1958/3') of the
British David Rose (1910-1990). No doubt it must have been a kind of humorous willingness
to stand out, as David Rose was a star of Easy Listening.

19
However, Ferde Grofe’s Piano Concerto in D minor is also entitled New
England Concerto, as evidenced on pages 13 and 14 of the "Ferde Grofé
Collection" from the "Music Division of the Library of Congress".
It is reasonable to think that these composers wanted – with these
concertos – to free themselves from the constraints imposed by the cinema
world and by the “Symphonic Entertainment” realm, for which they worked.
It is understandable that they wished, while imitating the style and the spirit
of the tabloid concertos, to go beyond their traditional duration.

3- rarely lasts more than 12 minutes


This criterion is imperative because there are many short “classical”
piano concertos, whether in three movements:

- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1910) by Russian Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): 15'


- Piano Concerto No. 2 (1931) by Romanian Filip Lazar (1894-1936): 11'
- Concerto No. 1 for piano and strings (1932) by Dutch Hans Henkemans
(1913-1995): 11'
- Piano Concerto (1950) by Norwegian Fartein Valen (1887-1952): 9'
- Concerto brève (1953) by French Jean Rivier (1896-1987): 10'
- Piano Concerto No. 2 (1956) by Belgian Arthur Meulemans (1884-1966):
13'
- Concerto for piano and strings (1956) by Danish Ole Schmidt (1928-2010):
12'
- Piano Concerto (1960) by Hungarian-German Stephan Cosacchi (1903-
1986): 12'
- Piano Concerto (1963) by Russian Revol Bunin (1924-1976): 13'
- Concerto in Miniature (Concerto en miniature) (1965) by German Peter
Sandloff (1924-2009): 7'
- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1969) by German Wolfgang Rihm (b. 1952): 6'
- Piano Concerto No. 4 (1979) by Russian Dmitri Kabalevski (1904-1987): 12'
- Piano Concertos No. 1 (1979) & No. 2 (1981) by Lithuanian Antanas
Raciunas (1905-1984): 13' each…
- Piano Concerto (1980) by German Thomas Böttger (b. 1957): 12'

Or in one movement:

- Piano concerto No. 1 (1856) by Russian Mily Balakirev (1837-1910): 14'


- Piano Concerto (1883) by Russian Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908):
15'
- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1927) by Swiss Richard Flury (1896-1967): 13'
- Piano Concerto (1927) by Dutch Wilhelm Pijper (1894-1947): 13'
- Piano Concerto No. 2 (1930), No. 4 (1955) and No. 5 (1960) by Estonian
Artur Lemba (1885-1963): 15', 11', 8'

20
- Piano Concerto (1938) by American Robert Palmer (1915-2010): 12'
- Western Star Concerto (1957) by American Linda Babits (b. 1940): 12'
- Piano Concerto (1958) by Canadian Bruce Mather (b. 1939): 7'
- Piano Concerto (1963) by Latvian Romualds Grinblats (1930-1995): 14'
- Piano Concerto (1968) by American Morris Cotel (1943-2008): 10'
- Piano Concerto (1972) by Uzbek Rustam Abdullayev (b. 1947): 11'
- Concerto piccolo (1975) by German Karl-Heinz Pick (1929-2009): 8'
- Piano Concerto in One Movement (1977) by Japanese Teruyuki Noda (b.
1940): 11'
- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1977) by Ukrainian Miroslav Skoryk (b. 1938): 12'
- Piano Concerto “Towards a Yearning” (1977) by Norwegian Oistein
Sommerfeldt (1919-1994): 12'
- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1977) by Belgian Daniel Capelletti (b. 1958): 12'
- Piano Concerto (1978) by Polish Boleslaw Szabelski (1896-1979): 7'
- Piano Concerto (1986) by Belgian Auguste Verbesselt (1919-2012): 13'

The conciseness of these concertos, and the fact that some of them are
in one movement, are of course not enough to count them as mini piano
concertos, firstly because of their date of composition (for the oldest of
them), and more generally because of their typically classical style, in the
broad sense of this term. However, the duration is a criterion which must be
taken into account because, as the statistics of our “Repertory” show (see
Chapter VI), the average duration of a mini piano concerto is 7 minutes (339
works listed for a total of 2406 minutes). A duration far below the average
duration of a classical concerto, which, in the absence of reliable statistics,
can reasonably be circumscribed around 20 minutes. Let us also note that in
the expression “mini piano concerto” (this also applies to “Denham
Concerto” and “tabloid concerto”) the term “concerto” is not to be taken in
its usual sense. The words “rhapsody”38 or “concert piece”39 would often be
better suited to what these short pieces really are (even concerning the
longest of them, whose duration can reach fifteen minutes). Actually the
word “concerto” is given mainly for prestige. The American musicologist
Jack Sullivan reports about the Spellbound Concerto (1946/12') by Miklos Rozsa
(1907-1995/Hun/USA) that Jerome Kern, then director of Chappell Music
Publishing, wanted to edit:
“When Rozsa, who was frequently dismayed by Hollywood gaucheness, protested
that ‘it’s not a concerto’, Kern said, ‘Oh never mind that! The word concerto had sex

38
The term “rhapsody” is undoubtedly the second most used term in the titles of the mini
piano concertos. See the statistics of the “First Repertory” (Chapter VI).
39
Unlike the Anglo-Saxons, German composers willingly use the term “Konzertstück”
(“concert piece”).

21
appeal, and that’s what he intended to call "Spellbound"’. Rozsa let Kern have his way and
call his piece a concerto.”40

Judging by the recent classical compositions (in the broadest sense of


the term) posted on the websites YouTube and SoundCloud by the
composers themselves, it seems obvious that the word “concerto” is often
used in an abusive way; evidently composers consider it to be more attractive
to the audience than any other term that would be more appropriate,
musically speaking.
We must mention the category of short works dubbed “Concertos for
Children”41. These compositions, suited for young pianists, are generally
written by so-called classical composers. They are almost always written in a
pseudo-baroque or neoclassical – sometimes romantic – style, combining
clarity and melodism, with an airy orchestration in which the strings take the
lead. These works are generally cast in three movements, but to avoid
discouraging or tiring beginner pianists, their duration is substantially
identical to those of mini piano concertos. We can mention, among many
others:

- Miniature Concerto (1947) by British Alec Rowley (1892-1958): 11'


- Children’s Concerto No. 1 (1948) by Russian Vsevolod Zaderatsky (1891-
1953): 13'
- Children Concerto (Kinderkonzert) No. 1 (1954) by Italian Franco Margola
(1908-1992): 13'
- Petit Concerto for Young People, for piano and strings (1976) by Ukrainian
Nikolay Silvansky (1915-1985): 9'
- Small Concerto “For Youth” (1980) by Polish Romuald Twardowski (b.
1930): 9'
- Concerto for a Young Pianist (1993) by Polish Maciej Malecki (b. 1940): 11'
- Concerto pour la jeunesse, for piano and strings (1999) by German Kurt
Schwaen (1909-2007): 11'
- Concerto for Young Pianists, for piano and strings (2004) by Slovenian
Crt Sojar Voglar (b. 1976): 9'

We must make a clear difference between mini piano concertos and


“Concertos for Children”, even if these last works are sometimes also in a
single movement, like the Concertino in A Minor, for piano and strings (c.
1950/5') by Russian Yury Polunin (1913-1982) or the Piano Concerto for Little
Hands (1965/7') by Polish Feliks Rybicki (1899-1978). In the 2000s, a Japanese
40
Jack Sullivan, “Hitchcock’s Music” (2006), p. 120.
41
About these works, see the article by Glenn Riddle, « Concertos for Intermediate-Level
Piano Students » (2015) [online,
http://www.appca.com.au/pdf/papers2015/part1/2015-APPC-Riddle---Concertos-for-
intermediate-piano-students.pdf, accessed June 2, 2018]

22
publisher released, under the title “Piano Schloss Concerto Series”, a
collection of eighteen volumes of scores and fourteen CDs which gathers
“Concertos for Children” (several of which in one movement) specially
written for the occasion by recent composers, most of them being Japanese
and Polish.
The ontological difference between mini piano concertos and
“Concertos for Children” is therefore in their respective artistic conceptions:
the first ones are written in a spectacular and Hollywoodian style; the last
ones, targetted towards a more specific audience, have an obvious
pedagogical purpose. Only their short duration could superficially make
them look alike.
At last, concerning the classical concertinos with a duration equal to the
mini piano concertos – for example the Concertino (1924/11') by Swiss Arthur
Honegger (1892-1955), the Concertino (1927/15') by Australian Arthur Benjamin
(1893-1960), the Concertino (1954/11') by British Gordon Jacob (1895-1984), the
Concertino in E major for piano and strings (1955/10') by British Robin Milford
(1903-1959) or the Concertino (1977/13') by Swiss Jean-Frédéric Perrenoud
(1912-1988) – their style(s) and the context of their composition place them
without contest in the classical music field, as for the concertos mentioned
above.
Is the duration of a composition intrinsic to its nature, and does it
define its membership in a specific musical genre? Composers question
themselves. Thus, French composer Nicolas Bacri (b. 1961) wonders whether
his Symphony No. 6 (1998)42, which lasts 12 minutes, is a symphony in the
traditional meaning of this word43. Certainly other composers have written,
before him, very short orchestral pieces entitled symphonies:

- Swedish Hilding Rosenberg (1892-1985): Symphony No. 1 (1919): 12'


- Dutch Bertus Van Lier (1906-1972): Symphony No. 1 (1928): 12'
- German-Dutch Julius Röntgen (1855-1932): Symphony No. 10 “Walzer-
Symphonie” (1930): 10'
42
Composed at the request of Radio-France for the Orchestre National de France and
Leonard Slatkin.
43
Cf. the website of French composer Nicolas Bacri: “Une symphonie de douze minutes
est-elle une vraie symphonie ? Il me semble que l’on peut répondre oui si l’œuvre en
question répond aux critères de conception présidant à ce genre, cela, au-delà de toute
préoccupation de durée physique si tant est, comme je le crois, que la musique — et ce
n’est pas le moindre de ses paradoxes — n’est pas un art traitant de l’organisation du temps
mais de son abolition.” “Is a twelve-minute symphony a true symphony? It seems to me
that one can answer yes if the work in question meets the design criteria governing this
genre; that, beyond any concern of physical duration, provided that, as I believe, the music
– and this is not the least of its paradoxes – is not an art dealing with the organization of
time but with its abolition.” [online,
http://www.nicolasbacri.net/popup/symphonie6.html, accessed July 11, 2017]

23
- Danish Rued Langgaard (1893-1952): Symphony No. 11 (1945): 8'
- Polish Roman Palester (1907-1989): Symphony No. 4 (1948): 8'
- American Howard Swanson (1907-1978): Short Symphony (1948): 11'
- Romanian Mihail Andricu (1894-1974): Symphony No. 3 (1949): 11'
- American Louis Scarmolin (1890-1969): Symphony No. 3 “Sinfonia breve”
(1952): 10'
- Chilean Gustavo Becerra-Schmidt (1925-2010): Symphony No. 1 (1955):
12'
- Latvian Gederts Ramans (1927-1999): Symphony No. 1 (1957): 13'
- Israelian Josef Tal (1910-2008): Symphony No. 2 (1960): 12'
- Dutch Herman Mulder (1894-1989): Symphony No. 7 (1963): 12'
- Chilean Tomas Lefever (1926-2003): Symphony No. 1 (1964): 7'
- British Havergal Brian (1876-1972): Symphony No. 22 (1965): 9'
- Australian Carl Vine (b. 1954): MicroSymphony (1986): 11'
- Latvian Arturs Grinups (1931-1999): Symphony No. 9 (1989): 12'

…But the question can also be raised concerning these works.


In order to establish a Repertory of the mini piano concertos, it is
necessary to decide on a maximum duration. Having chosen fifteen minutes
is certainly questionable, but any other duration would have also been. This
choice is based on the following factors: the longest mini piano concerto
from the music of a Hollywood film is the Rhapsody for piano and orchestra by
Franz Waxman (1906-1967/Ger/USA), based on his score for “The Paradine
Case” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1947), which lasts thirteen minutes. Outside of the
Hollywood Golden Age, the longest mini piano concerto from a film score is
by the French composer Laurent Petitgirard (b. 1950), The Rosebud Suite
(1980), which lasts seventeen minutes. If we take the middle duration
between these two extreme lengths, we get fifteen minutes, and it provides a
coherent criterion because this duration takes into account the fact that the
composers writing outside of the cinema world do not imperatively have the
necessity of composing the “shortest” work possible44.

4- must have a concertante piano part


During the Hollywood Golden Age, film composers multiplied the
piano pieces because this instrument has always had the reputation of adding

44
For example, when Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957/Aut) arranged the tabloid
concerto for cello and orchestra which he had written for the film “Deception” (Irving
Rapper, 1946) as a classical concert piece, he respected the spirit but extended the duration
by about five minutes (from 8 to 13 minutes).

24
a touch of “glamour”45. For Philip Lane, a prolific English arranger working
in the cinema and Light Music fields:
“With the possible exception of the violin, the piano would seem to have the most
demonstrative voice for the film composer faced with the sizzling emotional température of
high drama, enabling him to convey both romantic flair and subtle character nuance
through the broad canvas of the instrument’s sonorities.”46

But, again, these short pieces cannot be considered mini piano


concertos, because – almost always – the piano part is not concertante
enough. This is the case, notably, of the Main Theme of Marin Gabel’s film
“Lost Moment” (1947), composed by Daniele Amfitheatrof (1901-1983/USA),
which was arranged (with more piano) and performed in 1954 by Victor
Young and His Orchestra47. More recently, British Alex Heffes (b. 1971), who
composed the music of the film “Dear Frankie” (Shona Auerbach, 2004), said
in an interview that he had written: “a mini piano concerto by the end of the
film.”48 However, here again, The Final Letter (5'10) is a piece for piano and
orchestra like thousands of others in romantic films: it does not include solo
piano sections or a piano cadenza, and there is no dramatic interaction
between the soloist and the orchestra.
The fact that the piano has a concertante part is an essential criterion
because the more predominant the piano is, the more the status of mini
piano concerto is justified. For example, Dark Dancers of the Mardi Gras
(1931/11') by American Charles Wakefield Cadman (1881-1946) is subtitled
“Fantasy for orchestra with piano”; since the piano part is only an obbligato,
it doesn’t suffice to make this work a mini piano concerto, although its style
is Gershwinian. Similarly, the Lydian Ode (1956/12') by American Paul
Creston (1906-1985), written in a rather cinematographic style, includes a
piano part, but it is clearly not concertante.
American composer Louis Alter (1902-1980), who was famous in his time
in the field of symphonic jazz, is the author – among other works – of a
Manhattan Serenade (1929/5') that was premiered by conductor Nathaniel
45
Cf. “Hollywood Loves the Piano” (2000), American documentary by Peter Rosen. The
Wiktionary says about the word glamour: “Alluring beauty or charm (often with sex
appeal)” [online, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/glamour, accessed July 24, 2017]. The
Dictionary of Cambridge gives as a common use of this word: “Who can resist the glamour of
Hollywood?” [online,
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/fr/dictionnaire/anglais/glamour, accessed July 24, 2017]
46
Philip Lane, booklet of the Decca CD “Love Story: Piano Themes from Cinema’s Golden
Age” (2016), p. 3.
47
Daniele Amfitheatrof’s Lost Moment lasts 2'53. The pianist is Harry Sukman, known for
his performances of mini piano concertos. Once again, the frontier between film pieces
with piano and tabloid concertos is blurred.
48
Alex Heffes, interview [online,
http://www.buysoundtrax.com/larsons_soundtrax_9_11_08.html, accessed July 20, 2017]

25
Shilkret and which has been frequently performed since then49. It is a
perfect example of the Broadway/Hollywood style in which George Gershwin
made his mark, but in the Manhattan Serenade the piano part is not important
enough. It should be noted that the symphonic jazz compositions of the ’30s
often include a piano in their instrumentation, but it rarely makes them mini
piano concertos because the piano solos are no more preponderant than
those of other instruments. This is the case of several works performed by
the Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra, including the Midnight Reflections
(1927/4') by Matt Malneck (1904-1981/USA). This is also the case of the Park
Avenue Fantasy (1933/5') by the same Matt Malneck (written with the
collaboration of Frank Signorelli, 1901-1975/USA), which does not have
enough piano; however, in 1945 Canadian Robert Farnon (1917-2005), prolific
composer of Light Music and author of two micro-concertos50 – or one of the
members of his arrangers team51 – transformed this work into a simili tabloid
concerto, which was performed by pianist Denny Vaughan. The piece Deep
Purple (1934/5') by American composer Peter de Rose (1900-1953), which is on
the B side of the vinyl featuring the Park Avenue Fantasy, can be considered a
mini piano concerto as it begins and ends with a virtuoso piano solo, a
characteristic element of the future tabloid concertos. One more clue: the
name of the pianist (Dana Suesse) is indicated, unlike those of other
musicians who play a short solo in the work. The composer and pianist Dana
Suesse (1909-1987/USA), who worked with Paul Whiteman (1890-1967/USA),
was nicknamed “the Girl Gershwin”52. Since we have mentioned Dana
Suesse, she has composed several Hollywood-inspired symphonic jazz pieces
with piano, but outside of our field, like, for example, her American Nocturne
(1941/4'). The same can be said of the countless composers who have written
short concertante pieces in pure jazz style, such as Vernon Duke (1903-
1969/Rus/USA) with his American Arabesque (1941/3').
The border is just as narrow in the field of film music. In 1952 Al
Goodman (1890-1972/USA) arranged the main themes composed by Miklos
Rozsa (1907-1995/Hun/USA) for “The Lost Weekend” (Billy Wilder, 1945) into
a short one-movement piece. However, although Al Goodman adds a piano

49
The Manhattan Serenade is notably used in an arrangement by Scott Bradley (1891-
1977/USA) in the cartoon "Mouse in Manhattan" (1945) of the Tom and Jerry franchise. The
composer and arranger Morton Gould (1913-1996/USA) conducted the work in 1958.
50
Mid-Ocean (1954/5') and On the Seashore/Seashore (1960/3').
51
Musicologist David Ades writes about Robert Farnon’s arrangement of the Park Avenue
Fantasy: “[…] it may have been the work of Dick Misener, or possibly one of the regular
team of arrangers which included Gary Hughes and Tony Braden.” [online,
https://www.chandos.net/chanimages/Booklets/GL5184.pdf, accessed July 28, 2017]
52
Cf., among a hundred other sources, The New Yorker, December 16, 1933, p. 12 [online,
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1933/12/16/girl-gershwin, accessed July 23, 2017]

26
part to the original score, he does not use it as a concertante instrument, but
only at the beginning and at the end of the piece.
The necessity for a work to have a concertante piano part in order to be
a mini piano concerto also arises concerning the micro-concertos of Easy
Listening. Although the labels have “imposed” a maximum duration of less
than four minutes, it is still possible for a composer to provide a relatively
concertante role for the piano, often even with a small cadenza. But not all
micro-concertos are written this way, and therefore some of them cannot be
included. This is the case, for example, of the Rhapsody to the Rockies (publ.
1966/3') by Edmond De Luca (1909-2004/USA), who also composed two real
micro-concertos53. Idem concerning the Starlight Rhapsody (c. 1960/5') and
the Rhapsody D’Amour (c. 1960/7') by Joseph Francis Kuhn (1924-1962/USA),
also composer of the Manhattan Rhapsody (c. 1960/5'), of the Midnight
Rhapsody (c. 1960/7') and of Capitol City by Starlight (Washington Concerto) (c.
1960/3'), three works which have a more concertante piano part and are mini
piano concertos.

5- must not imitate a musical style belonging to an era prior to the


th
20 century
There are some short one-movement works for piano and orchestra
pastiching the baroque or classical style. They do not belong to our field. For
example, the piece entitled Solange et Christian (7'), composed by Georges
Delerue (1925-1992/Fra) for the film Préparez vos mouchoirs (Bertrand Blier,
1977), is written in a style imitating Mozart, to whom the main character of
the film, Stéphane, played by Patrick Dewaere, often refers54. Nor can we
count the Virginie Concerto (9') by Claude Bolling (b. 1930/Fra), arranged from
his music for the film Louisiane (Philippe de Broca, 1984), firstly because it is
cast in three short separate movements, and also because it is written in a
musical style supposed to imitate the style of the period around 1830, when
the action of the film takes place. Outside of the film music realm, there is
the typical example of the Concerto for piano and strings (1972/12') by John
William Middendorf II (b. 1924/USA) which is, strictly speaking, a pastiche of
the classical/early romantic style55. We must also exclude the pieces for piano
and orchestra by French Saint-Preux (b. 1950), which are written in a post-

53
Lone Star Concerto (c. 1945; publ. 1966/3') and Motor City Concerto (publ. 1966/3').
54
Cf. Christine Bini’s article: “Dans le film de Bertrand Blier, Préparez vos mouchoirs, sorti
en 1977, il est question de Mozart. Il n’est même question que de lui.” “Bertrand Blier’s
film, Préparez vos mouchoirs, released in 1977, is about Mozart. It’s even only about him.”
[online,
http://lalectricealoeuvre.blogs.nouvelobs.com/archive/2013/01/24/mozart-schubert-bertrand-
blier-et-la-chair-de-depardieu.html, accessed July 27, 2017]
55
This concerto was orchestrated with the help of the Thai Somtow Sucharitkul (b. 1952).

27
romantic, but non-cinematic (let alone Hollywood-inspired), style, with the
exception of his Rachmaninovian piano concerto in G minor Il y a sur la
Terre (1991/6') that we have consequently included in the “Repertory”. It is
not the same concerning his Concerto pour piano en la bémol (1977/5') or La
Tourmente, allegro (1994/3'), among his numerous other short pieces. In these
latter examples, the border between short popular concertante pieces and
mini piano concertos is narrow.

6- is not a Main Title or merely a piano piece extracted from a film


score
The music of the Hollywood Golden Age is characterized by the
overabundance of the piano, especially in the Main Titles. But even those
featuring an important piano part do not belong to our field. Moreover, they
are often too short (less than 2 minutes), like the one written by Heinz
Roemheld (1901-1985/USA) for “The Lady from Shanghai” (Orson Welles,
1947). Typical in its use of the piano as a sparkling and glamorous element,
this one-minute Main Title with a concertante piano part could be the
perfect start of a tabloid concerto. It is indeed very common that a Main
Title, apart from its duration, is close – or even similar – to a tabloid
concerto. Among them:

- Main Title of “Railroaded!” (Anthony Mann, 1947), composed by Alvin


Levin (b. 1921/USA)
- Main Title of “That Forsyte Woman” (Compton Bennett, 1949),
composed by Bronislau Kaper (1902-1983/USA)
- Main Title of “Loophole” (Harold D. Schuster, 1954), composed by
Paul Dunlap (1919-2010/USA)
- Main Title of “Interlude” (Douglas Sirk, 1957), composed by Frank
Skinner (1897-1968/USA)56
- Main Title of “Too Much, Too Soon” (Art Napoleon, 1958), composed
by Ernest Gold (1921-1999/USA)
- Main Title of “By Love Possessed” (John Sturges, 1961) and that of
“The Caretakers” (Hall Bartlett, 1963), both composed by Elmer Bernstein
(1922-2004/USA)
- Main Title of “The Misfits” (John Huston, 1961), composed by Alex
North (1910-1991/USA)
- Main Title of “Two Weeks in Another Town” (Vincente Minelli, 1962),
composed by David Raksin (1912-2004/USA).

56
American Frank Skinner’s film scores often include a piano part. As he was specialized
in sentimental dramas (Skinner was the official composer of Douglas Sirk’s melodramas), a
touch of piano naturally exacerbated the romanticism of his scores. But, to our knowledge,
Skinner never wrote a true mini piano concerto.

28
In France, we can mention the Main Title of “La Vérité sur Bébé
Donge” (Henri Decoin, 1952), composed by Jean-Jacques Grunenwald (1911-
1982), as well as the Main Title of "L’Etrange Monsieur Serge" (Raymond
Bailly, 1957), written by Philippe-Girard (1924-2014).
Lasting two or three minutes, all these Main Titles (and hundreds of
others) could have given substance to a tabloid concerto if the scenario of the
film had allowed it.
To measure what separates a Main Title with piano from a true tabloid
concerto, we must study the case of the film “Crescendo” (1970) directed by
British Alan Gibson. This film was conceived so that the spectator can hear
an entire tabloid concerto composed by Malcolm Williamson (1931-
2003/Aus/GB): we discover it during the Main Title, and then we continue to
listen to it during the first minutes of the film while we see the heroine
inside a chauffeur-driven car, going to an isolated villa where most of the
film will take place. We understand, in the course of the movie, that the
work we heard during the journey of the car carrying the heroine is the
piano concerto written by a mysterious composer recently deceased about
whom the heroine (a young student in American music) wants to write her
thesis. Thanks to this trick, this tabloid concerto – which lasts 4'30 – leaves
the strict framework of a Main Title to become consubstantial with the film
narration. It embellishes the journey by car and sets up the sunny
atmosphere of the beginning of the film, making a sharp contrast with the
continuation of the story since “Crescendo” is a production of the Hammer
Film Productions, specialized in scary or horrifying films57.
Many film scores contain one or more pieces with piano. For example,
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957/Aut/USA) composed for the film
“Between Two Worlds” (Edward A. Blatt, 1944) a two-minute piece abusively
entitled Piano Rhapsody. Among many other pieces that can be confusing, let
us mention the Love Theme with piano written by Benjamin Frankel (1906-
1973/GB) for the film “The Net” (Anthony Asquith, 1953); the Love Theme
with piano that Ennio Morricone (b. 1928/Ita) composed for the film “Cinema
Paradiso” (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) which in 2015 became a concert piece
with an augmented piano part58; the Elegy for piano and strings (1998/5')
composed by Alla Pavlova (b. 1952/Ukr/USA) to be the Main Title of the

57
Two other productions of the Hammer, “Stolen Face” (Terence Fisher, 1952) and “Kiss of
the Vampire” (Don Sharp, 1963), also include tabloid concertos: A Stolen Face: Ballade (8')
by Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006/GB) and the Vampire Rhapsody (7') by James Bernard (1925-
2001/GB).
58
Love Theme for piano and string orchestra, from “Cinema Paradiso” (1988). Pianist:
Marina Seltenreich, LGT Young Soloists, conductor: Alexander Gilman. The arranger’s
name is not indicated.

29
never-made film “The American Healys” and which is now an independent
classical work. But none of these concertante pieces presents the four
characteristics of a tabloid concerto:
- Rachmaninovian lyricism of the piano writing,
- glamour of the Hollywood-like orchestration,
- almost constant dramatization,
- sequential construction (juxtaposition of highlights).
To this observation, we can add the argument that a tabloid concerto,
because of its very nature as a bridge between classical writing (in the
broadest sense of the term) and cinematographic writing, is necessarily
something more than a mere piece with piano extracted from a soundtrack,
even in the case of Elmer Bernstein’s Pursuit (5'), composed for Vincente
Minnelli’s film “Some Came Running” (1958). Without any doubt the writing
of Pursuit is Hollywoodian, but – once again – it is only a piece that features
piano in its orchestration, not a mini piano concerto, let alone a tabloid
concerto.

7- is not an arrangement of a work from the classical repertoire, or of


a theme from film music, or of a popular song…
In the 1950s, American labels produced so many pieces catalogued in
the Easy Listening realm that arrangers took over the famous themes of the
classical and jazz repertoires. Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893/Rus), Edvard
Grieg (1848-1907/Nor) and George Gershwin (1898-1937/USA) are composers
whose works were the most adapted, but the excessively small format of
these arrangements never allowed a truly convincing result. Therefore, in
1957, George Greeley (1917-2007/USA) arranged the 1st movement (Allegro
molto moderato) of Grieg’s Piano Concerto (1868)59. He did the same with
Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue in 1957; An American in Paris in 1959)60. The same
year as Greeley, American Gordon Robinson also arranged Grieg’s concerto
for the famous popular pianist Liberace. Al Goodman (1890-1972/USA)
arranged a five-minute tabloid concerto for the film “Undercurrent”
(Vincente Minnelli, 1946) from the famous third movement (Poco allegretto)
of Symphony No. 3 (1883) by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897/Aut). None of these
short concertante arrangements of works from the classical repertoire61 have
been included in our “Repertory”.

59
George Greeley (1917-2007/USA): Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor (1957/6').
60
Each of these two arrangements lasts 6 minutes.
61
The arrangers spared no “famous” work of the classical repertoire; for example the 1st
movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 (1801), commonly known as
Moonlight Sonata: George Greeley (1917-2007/USA): Moonlight Sonata (1959/4').

30
The same can be said of the concertante arrangements of film themes,
which also proliferated. Among the film themes frequently arranged for
piano and orchestra, we find:

- “Laura” (Otto Preminger, 1945), which launched the career of


composer David Raksin (1912-2004/USA)
- Tara’s Theme, which Max Steiner (1888-1971/USA) wrote for “Gone
With the Wind” (Victor Fleming, 1939)
- The famous theme written by Ernest Gold (1921-1999/USA) for the film
“Exodus” (Otto Preminger, 1960), in the concertante arrangements of Robert
Russell Bennet (1894-1981/USA) and George Greeley (1917-2007/USA), takes
on the appearance of a mini piano concerto under the respective titles
Exodus, an orchestral tone-picture with piano solo (1961/8') and Main Theme from
Exodus, concert version (1961/11').

The large number of these concertante arrangements is the very reason


for the necessity of the seventh selection criterion.
Concertante arrangements of songs must not be included, either. This
criterion is essential because it allows us, once again, to keep away thousands
of arrangements, sometimes rather close to our field, such as the famous
Aquarela do Brasil62 by Ary Barroso (1903-1964/Bra), better known as Brazil.
This song, written in 1939, was arranged by Morris Stoloff (1898-1980/USA)
for George Sidney’s film “The Eddy Duchin Story” (1956) in order to
showcase the virtuosity of jazz pianist Eddy Duchin. For this same film,
Morris Stoloff also metamorphosed Manhattan, a 1925 song composed by
Richard Rodgers (1902-1979/USA) with lyrics by Lorenz Hart. These very
Hollywoodian versions, which last respectively 3' and 5', are on the border of
the mini piano concerto genre, but they can’t be considered as such since
they are arrangements of songs. Idem concerning the famous Donkey
Serenade performed by Jose Iturbi, accompanied by a large swing orchestra,
in George Sidney’s film “Anchors Aweigh” (1945). We deliberately choose
this short concertante piece because, having informed Mr. Philippe Cathé,
professor of musicology at the Sorbonne, of our intention to write a thesis
about the mini piano concertos, he immediately asked us: “S’agit-il bien du
style de ces concertos comme celui joué par Jose Iturbi dans le film ‘Anchors
Aweigh’ (avec Gene Kelly) ?”63 “Is this the style of these concertos like the
one played by Jose Iturbi in the movie ‘Anchors Aweigh’ (with Gene Kelly)?”.
Here again, the choice of this work shows that the nature of the mini piano

62
The original song was arranged with vocals for the needs of the 1942 animated film
“Saludos Amigos” from Walt Disney Studios, and in 1943, still with vocals, for Busby
Berkeley’s film “The Gang’s All Here”.
63
E-mail that Mr. Philippe Cathé sent us on February 17, 2017.

31
concerto is open to discussion. In this highly virtuoso cinematic version, the
Donkey Serenade is actually an arrangement made by Axel Stordahl (1913-
1963/USA) – one of the orchestrators of the film’s music – of a piano piece
titled Chanson (1918) composed by Rudolf Friml (1879-1972/Ger), soon
orchestrated by Adolf Minot (18??-19??/USA). In 1937 the Donkey Serenade had
already been arranged into a song by composer Herbert Stothart (1885-
1949/USA) for the musical film “The Firefly” directed by Robert Z.
Leonard64.
We can also mention the concertante piece composed by Marvin
Hamlisch (1944-2012/USA) for the film “The Way We Were” (Sidney Pollack,
1973). Written in a very Hollywoodian style and lasting 3', this piece also
originates from a song, performed during the Main Title of the film by the
singer Barbra Streisand.
We finish with one last characteristic example: I Got Rhythm by George
Gershwin (1898-1937/USA). This famous theme was written in 1928 for the
musical “Treasure Girl”. In 1930 it became a song, with lyrics by Ira
Gershwin. Nowadays I Got Rhythm is best known for the set of variations for
piano and orchestra that George Gershwin composed in 1934. Certainly the
9-minute duration of the Variations on I Got Rhythm is identical to that of
many mini piano concertos; however, the very genre of the theme and
variations is specific to so-called “classical” music65. Thus, we must not count
this brilliant piece as a mini piano concerto, despite the personality of its
composer, unlike the Rhapsody in Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody (9') that
Gershwin composed for David Butler’s film “Delicious” (1931) (see Chapter
IV, paragraph 1), and which became a concert work, in a revised and
extended version, under the title Second Rhapsody (1932/14').

The seven criteria we selected allow the genre of the mini piano
concerto to be separated from all sorts of piano-and-orchestra pieces that the
film industry and the recording industry, on the one hand, and the
independent composers, on the other, have produced in such large numbers
and in contexts so varied that it is often difficult to make a separation as
rigorous as it must be.

64
In Robert Z. Leonard’s film, the Donkey Serenade is sung by Alan Jones.
65
American musicologist Steve Elman writes about this work: “This isn’t a concerto, but
it’s not exactly a typical theme-and-variations piece either. Each of the variations is actually
a slow prelude followed by a variation, usally in a brighter tempo.” in “Chronology of Jazz-
Influenced Piano Concertos and Related Works, compiled by Steve Elman” (2005) p. 10.
Pdf online:
http://artsfuse.org/downloads/JIPC-Overall_chronology-4.pdf, accessed August 2, 2017]

32
CHAPTER III

The Precursors of the tabloid concerto

The first characteristic of the Romantic style in music, at any moment


of its evolution, is to put emotions and feelings in the foreground through
sensitive and expressive writing and orchestration. In this perspective, the
melody is an essential component as it is the most effective way of “touching”
the listener. The romantic artist always tries to seduce. This specificity
largely explains the longevity of romanticism in all areas of art, an attraction
that was strong enough, especially in music, for an English label to launch in
1991 a collection entitled: “The Romantic Piano Concertos”… This collection,
which features mostly never-before-recorded piano concertos, is still active
today and presently includes more than 70 CDs66.
The mini piano concerto seems to be the last great musical
manifestation of the romantic spirit. Produced, promoted and popularized by
the cinema, it redoubled concision, multiplied the dramatic effects, used the
melody and the “striking theme” as prompted by the tastes of the public.
This triple characteristic – conciseness, dramatic effects, melodism – defines
the very style of the mini piano concerto. It is therefore logical to find
precursors of the tabloid concertos, and especially of the Denham
Concertos67, among romantic and post-romantic composers.
Historically the first of these composers is Edvard Grieg (1843-
1907/Nor). In 1868 Grieg is twenty-five years old. The highly lyrical style of
his Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 16, will set the tone – no pun intended – for

66
The complete catalog is available on the website of Hyperion Records [online,
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/s.asp?s=S_1, accessed September 2, 2017]
67
See in particular Chapter V: The Denham Concertos, the must of the tabloid concertos.

33
a whole line of concertante works that will retain Grieg’s spectacular68 way of
expressing lyrical feelings: a non-academic lyricism that, almost a century
later, will be at the heart of what will be called “Denham Concertos”. It is
significant that the American producers of “Song of Norway” (Andrew L.
Stone, 1970), a film that romances Grieg’s life, asked Roland Shaw (1920-
2012/GB), then musical director of DECCA, to arrange the Piano Concerto in A
minor in a kind of ten-minute Denham Concerto69.
In 1882 Grieg sketched three themes for a Piano Concerto No. 2 in B
minor that he never composed. It is interesting to note that in 1997 the Oslo
Grieg Society organized its Third International Competition for Composers
on the theme “‘re-imagine’ Grieg’s second concerto”, for which the
contestants had to write a work for piano and orchestra based on Grieg’s
sketches70. Among the participants, Vladimir Belyayev (b. 1948/Rus) proposed
a Piano Concerto No. 2 based on Grieg’s sketches for a Concerto in B minor (15')
conceived in the spirit of a tabloid concerto and written in a style close to a
Denham Concerto. He did not win the competition71, but Belyayev’s choice
is, from our point of view, quite logical since the filiation born of the
innovative style of Grieg in his A minor concerto has historically resulted in
the Denham Concertos.
It is not surprising that we consider as a precursor – if we are allowed
to use this term – Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893/Rus), whose introduction to
his Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor (1875) is, in a sense, the first micro-
concerto ever72. Musicologists have difficulty explaining this
introduction/overture of about four minutes, written in a different key (D-flat
major) from the rest of the work, and whose main theme, both grandiose and
glamorous73, is never played again during all the rest of this concerto, which

68
“Spectacular” in the meaning used by French composer Thierry Escaich (b. 1965), who
entitled a CD containing several of his improvisations on the organ: “Improvisations:
Organ Spectacular” (Accord, 2008).
69
We haven’t listed the tabloid concerto arranged by Roland Shaw in the “First Repertory”
because it is based on a pre-existing work (cf. Chapter II, criterion n°7: a mini piano
concerto is not an arrangement of a work from the classical repertoire, or of a theme from
film music, or of a popular song…)
70
Cf. the presentation texts written by two participants of the competition: Belgian Laurent
Beeckmans: http://www.grieg.be/artConcertobminor.htm
and Norwegian Helge Evju:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0134/6772/files/Evju_Concerto_Introduction.pdf
71
The first prize of the 1997 Oslo Grieg Society International Competition for Composers
was awarded to Italian Alberto Colla for his Piano Concerto No. 1 basato su frammenti e schizzi
incompiuti di E. Grieg (19'), written in a resolutely modernist style.
72
The micro-concerto is a concertante work that almost always lasts less than four minutes,
which the recording industry classifies in Easy Listening.
73
Let us recall what the Wiktionary says about the word glamour: “Alluring beauty or
charm (often with sex appeal)” [online, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/glamour, accessed

34
lasts almost forty minutes. The historian of Russian music Francis Maes
notes that, because of its independence from the rest of the work, the
introduction has long been an enigma to analysts and critics. Is it sacrilege to
think that this section is a small work in itself and that it prefigures the
concept of a Main Title? At least we can observe that this introduction
became a real “hit” in the field of popular music: it has been arranged in all
ways and, as a stand-alone piece, it has established itself as the perfect
pattern of the micro-concerto.
In the opinion of musicologists, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943/Rus) is
one of the composers who, with his four piano concertos74, has best
embodied post-romantic writing. His second piano concerto (1901) became so
emblematic of the 20th century musical romanticism that the cinema used it
several times75, in particular in the English film “Brief Encounter” (David
Lean, 1945) whose success was largely due to the osmosis between music and
melodramatic scenography. The frequent use in the film of the most
memorable sections (the “highlights”) of this concerto has caused this work,
in the memory of the spectators, to be transformed into a tabloid concerto.
The price of success, the various themes of this concerto have been arranged
several times in mini piano concertos, and even in songs76. But as early as
1891, with the 1st movement of his first piano concerto, Rachmaninoff
anticipated the style of the future Denham Concertos, inspired by the
spectacular writing of Grieg’s concerto. For the American musicologist
Jeremy Norris:
“The initial idea of composing the Concerto in F-sharp minor probably occurred
while Rachmaninoff was spending his summer holidays on the Satins’ country estate,
Ivanovka, in 1890. There he heard, on an almost daily basis, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A
minor, as his cousin Alexander Siloti was practicing it in preparation for forthcoming
concerts. The influence of Grieg’s Concerto imprints itself not only on Rachmaninoff’s
piano style but also substantially on the principal musical ideas of the new concerto.”77

This same Rachmaninoff in 1934, while exiled in the United States,


composed his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, whose eighteenth variation

July 24, 2017]. The Dictionary of Cambridge gives as a common use of this word: “Who can
resist the glamour of Hollywood?” [online,
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/fr/dictionnaire/anglais/glamour, accessed July 24, 2017]
74
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s four piano concertos: No. 1 in F-sharp minor, op. 1 (1891); No. 2 in C
minor, op. 18 (1901); No. 3 in D minor, op. 30 (1909); No. 4 in G minor, op. 40 (1926).
75
We can hear excerpts of Piano Concerto No. 2 in many movies, including “I’ve always
loved you” (Frank Borzage, 1946), “The Seven Year Itch” (Billy Wilder, 1955) and “The
World of Henry Orient” (George Roy Hill, 1964).
76
These include Full Moon and Empty Arms (1945), sung by Frank Sinatra, and All By Myself
(1976) by pop singer Eric Carmen.
77
Jeremy Norris, “The Russian Piano Concerto: The nineteenth century, Volume 1”, 1994,
p. 100.

35
(Andante cantabile) – which lasts just three minutes – was immediately
performed as a stand-alone piece; because of its memorable theme, it gained
a kind of Hollywood status. Variation n°18, used in many films78, became the
unsurpassed model of composers who wrote micro-concertos (mainly in the
USA during the 1950s and 1960s).
The Russian composer Georgy Catoire (1861-1926), today almost
forgotten, was far from imagining that the 4-minute introduction (Moderato,
con entusiasmo – Dramatico – cadenza) and the 3-minute conclusion (Tempo
del comincio, maestoso) of his Piano Concerto in A-flat major (1909) – these
two sections sharing the same thematic material can almost be considered as
a single section, separated by the rest of the concerto which is thematically
different – would form a perfect Denham Concerto. A statement shared by
music critic Don O’Connors:
“Although very much in the grand line of Rachmaninoff concertos, the music rarely
sounds Russian. […] The conclusion recaps the theme from I in a blaze of glory.”79

For British music critic Martin Anderson:

“The Catoire adopts the Rachmaninoff style of concerto-writing, in both style and
manner, with big, splashy piano textures against expansive orchestral lines […]”80.

Two music lovers also testify, one of them anglophone:


“The glamorous opening of the piece is perfect film music, years and years before
Hollywood, let alone the talkies.”81

and the other francophone:


“Tout cela nous donne une musique extrêmement romantique avec les parfums de
la musique de film hollywoodienne avant l’heure (nous sommes en 1909 !)”82.
“All that gives us an extremely romantic music with the flavor of a Hollywood
movie, music ahead of its time (we are in 1909!)”.

78
Variation n°18 was used, in particular, in “The Story of Three Loves” (Vincente Minelli,
1953), in “Rhapsody” (Charles Widor, 1954), in “Somewhere in Time” (Jeannot Szwarc,
1980)…
79
Don O’Connor, review published on American Record Guide, August 2012 [online,
http://hiroakitakenouchi.com/2012/08/american-record-guide-2/, accessed July 20, 2017]
80
Martin Anderson, review published in International Record, June 2012 [online,
http://hiroakitakenouchi.com/2012/06/international-record-review-2/, accessed August 12,
2017]
81
Comment of the anglophone music lover [online, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Georgy-
Catoire-Concerto-Sherwood-1932-33/dp/B007G8PDU6, accessed August 12, 2017]
82
Comment of the francophone music lover [online,
https://www.amazon.fr/Georgy-Catoire-Percy-Sherwood-Concertos/dp/B01K8LYR3G,
accessed August 12, 2017]

36
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) was Rachmaninoff’s teacher at the
time when the latter was writing his first piano concerto. With the 1st
movement (13') of his own Piano Concerto No. 1 (1911), Glazunov wrote what
would be, if we don’t take into account its date of composition, a Denham
Concerto. This first movement is a kind of stand-alone piece since the
second movement is a Theme and variations. The two main themes of this 1st
movement fit so well with the musical style of the Hollywood Golden Age
that in 1954 they were arranged in the form of a micro-concerto83. Although
Glazunov’s work is not particularly famous in the United States, the arranger
Michael Fredericks certainly thought that this concerto was perfectly suited.
Another composer anticipates the style of the Denham Concertos: the
Ukrainian-Austrian of Polish origin Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952). About his
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major (1912) – in particular its first two
movements (Allegro deciso, 13'; Andante sostenuto, 6') – music critic John
France writes:
“[…] It has all the hallmarks of Hollywood. […] The Bortkiewicz Concerto in B-flat –
film music in all but name. I suppose parts of it remind me of the "greatest" work that
Rachmaninoff did not actually write – the Warsaw Concerto.”84

Same opinion from music critic Jeremy Nicholas:


“Hollywood never had it this good – close your eyes and black-and-white films of
lost love, heartache and yearning passion are conjured up. If the other two movements are
less successful they are only slightly so; the second is a gorgeously tuneful Andante, the
Finale a Russian dance. Chronologically, of course, Hollywood has nothing to do with
Bortkiewicz and his First Concerto. Dedicated to his wife, the work was premiered in 1912
(and published the following year), after which it was taken up enthusiastically.”85

Likewise, the orchestral introduction (1'30) of his Piano Concerto No. 2


in E-flat major (1923) announces the dramatic Main Titles that will be written
in the late 1930s by composers such as Max Steiner (1888-1971/USA), the most
famous of the Hollywood composers of this time86. The following three
minutes, led by the piano, keep anticipating the style of the future Denham
Concertos.

83
Michael Fredericks: Concerto Theme (1954/3'). An extremely short duration imposed by the
Easy Listening industry.
84
Detailed review by John France published on MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/Aug01/Winding.htm, accessed
August 12, 2017]
85
Jeremy Nicholas, booklet of the CD “The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol. 4”, 1993
(Hyperion Records 66624).
86
The famous music of Victor Fleming’s 1939 film “Gone with the Wind” was the work of
Max Steiner, an Austrian-born composer who emigrated to the USA in 1914.

37
Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974), now considered one of Sweden’s major
composers, composed in 1929 a 13-minute concertante piece entitled
Konsertstycke, which was performed as such. In 1936 this piece became the
first movement of his Piano Concerto in B-flat minor. For music critic David
Hurwitz:
“Take the first movement of the Piano Concerto – a brief nod toward the famous
opening of the Grieg – and we’re off to the races with what sounds like the Warsaw
Concerto on steroids.”87

We must also include as a precursor Janis Medins (1890-1966), one of


the great Latvian composers (along with Janis Ivanovs and Adolfs Skulte),
who composed a Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor (1932) in such a “touching”
romantic style that it seems to have been written for a 1940s Metro-Goldwin-
Mayer film. For music critic Will Crutchfield:
“[…] the models for Medins’s 1932 Piano Concerto are clearly those of
Rachmaninoff”88

Of course, not all precursors lived in Northern Europe. Charles


Loeffler (1861-1935/Fra/USA) composed his A Pagan Poem for orchestra and
piano obbligato (24') in 1906 in the United States, where he settled in 1881. In
this work, Loeffler successfully merges the impressionist style of Claude
Debussy89 (1862-1918/Fra) and what will become the romantico-expressionnist
style of Hollywood in the 1930s. To our way of thinking, the performance
recorded in 195790 by conductor Leopold Stokowski and pianist Robert
Hunter is an eloquent demonstration that many sections “sound” like a
tabloid concerto, especially the last six minutes (the final part). We must also
mention Norge, symphonic poem for orchestra with piano (1909; rev. 1919/16'), by
American Philip Greeley Clapp (1888-1954), because of its cinematographic
style and its very fragmented structure. In 1922, Clapp composed a piano

87
David Hurwitz, on the website classicstoday [online,
https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-3148/, accessed August 27, 2017]
88
Will Crutchfield, music critic for the New York Times [online,
http://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/09/arts/concert-latvian-composers.html, accessed August
26, 2017]
89
It is interesting to note that the most suggestive sections of Claude Debussy’s works have
often been used in Hollywood movies. For example, Dimitri Tiomkin (1894-1979/Rus/USA)
and Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975/USA) arranged parts of various compositions by Debussy
to constitute the entirety of the soundtrack of “Portrait of Jeannie” (William Dieterlee,
1948).
90
The date 1959 is also often mentioned, in particular in William Ander Smith, “The
Mystery of Leopold Stokowski” (1990), p. 207. However, we decided to choose 1957 because
it is the date indicated on the official website of the conductor, which is very precise and
well documented [online,
http://www.stokowski.org/Stokowski_Discography_1941-1959.htm, accessed May 24, 2018]

38
concerto written in the usual three-movement form (10'/6'/8') whose style
also anticipates the mini piano concerto.
Young French composer Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) wrote a Fantaisie
pour piano et orchestre (1912/20') in three linked movements, whose first two
parts (lasting fifteen minutes), form a sort of fragmented and evocative
tabloid concerto where highlights follow each other (the work was first
entitled Fantaisie variée). In the music review Le Ménestrel, critic Amédée
Boutarel wrote:
“Au point de vue mélodique, les idées sont jolies, agréables et non dépourvues
parfois de vivacité entraînante. L’orchestration paraît excellente ; elle laisse apercevoir une
tendance heureuse à employer les cuivres, non sans une certaine insistance, pour des effets
moelleux dans le pianissimo.”91
“From the melodic point of view, the ideas are pretty, pleasant and sometimes not
devoid of lively vivacity. The orchestration seems excellent; it reveals a happy tendency to
use the brass section, not without some insistence, for obtaining mellow pianissimo
effects.”

The Allegro for piano and orchestra (1915/10') by Dutch Willem Pijper
(1894-1947), nowadays better known under the curious title Orchestral Piece
with piano, has a very fragmented structure which provides many contrasts,
as if the work was intended to depict the highlights of a dramatic story.
In 1917 Portuguese composer Luis de Freitas Branco (1890-1955) wrote
a Balada for piano and orchestra (13') which clearly announces the style of the
tabloid concertos. Is this composition already indicative of the interest that
Freitas Branco will take in film music as early as 1931?92
In 1919 Croatian composer Dora Pejacevic (1885-1923) composed, with
her Phantasie concertante (14'), the first work, historically speaking, to be a
tabloid concerto, both stylistically and structurally. This opinion is shared by
music critic Bob McQuiston:
“A delightful romantic wallow, it anticipates the likes of Hekel Tavares’ (1896-1969)
Concerto in Brazilian Forms (1936), Richard Addinsell’s (1904-1977) Warsaw Concerto (1941),
and Sir Hubert Bath’s (1883-1945) Cornish Rhapsody (1944).”93

Women composers of mini piano concertos were not rare. They


include: Maria Luisa Escobar (1898 or 1903-1985/Ven), Joyce Cochrane (1908-
1988/GB), Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-1981/USA), Esther Allan (1914-

91
Musical review Le Ménestrel, February 15, 1913, n°4273 (79th year, n°7), p. 5 (section “Revue
des Grands Concerts”) [online,
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k56159271/f5.item, accessed September 4, 2017]
92
Freitas Branco wrote the score of the documentary “Douro, Faina fluvial” (1931) directed
by Manoel de Oliveira. He composed the music of at least five films including “Gado
Bravo” (Lopes Ribeiro, 1934).
93
Review by Bob McQuiston, “Pejacevic”, on “Classical Lost and Found” [online,
http://www.clofo.com/Newsletters/C110622.htm, accessed August 19, 2017]

39
1985/Pol/USA), Rebekah (Betty) Harkness (1915-1982/USA), Antoinette (Toni)
Mineo (b. 1926/USA), Teresa Procaccini (b. 1934/Ita)…
Bulgaria’s most famous composer and concert pianist, Pancho
Vladigerov (1899-1978), deserves a special place in the list of the precursors.
Vladigerov is undoubtedly one of the composers who wrote the most
powerful and dramatic piano concertos ever – they announce, at the end of
World War I, what the music of the melodramas of the Hollywood Golden
Age was to be. As his biographer Boriana Buckles points out, the young
“Pancho also admired the music of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, and
especially Rachmaninoff. According to his mother, he planned to study in Russia with
either Glazunov or Rachmaninoff […]”94.

As early as 1918, with his Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Vladigerov


composed romantic music full of dramaturgy. In 1927, on the occasion of the
French premiere of this concerto, music critic Albert Doyen focused on the
essence of Vladigerov’s style:
“The composer performed his own Concerto for Piano and Orchestra – an extreme,
fiery work, in which everything is in motion, full of energy and bursts of vitality. The work
sometimes lacked tasteful restraint; however, we heard evidence of youth, health,
individuality, and a composer confident of his own talent. These are traits we observe too
rarely to let them pass unnoticed.”95

The first movement (14') of Vladigerov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor,


composed in 1930, can be considered, thanks to its intense dramatic power,
as the equivalent of an archetype for a composer of the Hollywood Golden
Age. However, because of its flamboyant orchestration and its dazzling piano
part, Vladigerov reaches such a continuous climax that if this music were
integrated in a film, it would make the images superfluous! To our
knowledge, the naturally dramaturgical specificity of his writing is found in
no other composer with such obviousness and longevity96.

94
Boriana Buckles, “The Significance of selected piano compositions by Pancho
Vladigerov, a Monograph”, Louisiana State University (2004), p. 11.
95
Cited and translated into English by Boriana Buckles in “The Significance of selected
piano compositions by Pancho Vladigerov, a Monograph” (2004), p. 17.
96
Music critic Lorenzo Ciavarini Azzi writes about Vladigerov’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (1921):
“Quant aux parties lentes de l’œuvre, elles font voyager les auditeurs jusqu’à Hollywood,
rappelant les mélodies nostalgiques des films de Charlie Chaplin” “As for the slow parts of
the work, they make listeners travel to Hollywood, recalling the nostalgic melodies of
Charlie Chaplin’s films.” [online, http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/opera-
classique/musique-classique/roussev-interprete-vladigerov-et-sibelius-fire-and-ice-un-son-
venu-de-l-est-227835, accessed July 7, 2017]. This anticipatory similarity with what will
become the musical style of the Hollywood Golden Age can also be found, just as clearly,
in Vladigerov’s Three Impressions for orchestra (1920), Traumspiel Suite (1924) and Symphony
No. 1 (1939), among other orchestral works.

40
The Russian-American composer and pianist Leo Ornstein (1893-2002)
invented in his 1921 Piano Concerto a dark, “scary”, violent style which was to
reign about thirty years later in the music of Hollywood’s film noir.
The Concertante Piece (1926/6') by Slovak composer Eugen Suchon
(1908-1993) occupies a special place among the works we discuss. We do not
know the genesis of this composition, performed only very recently97. It is
therefore not possible to know what Suchon’s intentions were, at age
eighteen, when he composed it. But we can see the audacity of his writing:
while based on a mainly Lisztian style, there is not the slightest note that
does not show a sense of urgency, as if, in his passion, the young Suchon
systematically modernized what he learned from his masters and amused
himself to divert the listener. The juxtaposition of highlights in a work of
only six minutes, complemented by many stylistic shortcuts, makes this
Concertante Piece the forerunner of the tabloid concertos. And, by its extreme
brevity, this work anticipates the tabloid concerto of a similar duration which
Bronislaw Kaper (1902-1983/USA) arranged from Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto
No. 1 (1851) for the film “Schumann’s Love Song” (Clarence Brown, 1947)98.
In Ukraine, Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938) wrote in 1928 a Piano Concerto
in C minor in which the direct connection between the Rachmaninovian style
and the Denham Concertos is particularly evident in the first movement
(20'), which is the only movement composed by Kosenko – the other two
having been completed/arranged after his death99. In this concerto, where we
can hear one of Rachmaninoff’s famous idioms, the young Kosenko
frequently anticipates the style of the Denham Concertos100.
In France, Cyrnos, symphonic poem for piano and orchestra (18'),
composed in 1929 by Henri Tomasi (1901-1971/Fra), is written in a post-
rachmaninovian idiom which is already the one of the Denham Concertos of
the ’40s. Henri Tomasi, who also composed film scores from 1938 onwards,
explains in his program note:

97
Eugen Suchon, Concertante Piece (1926), premiered around 2010 by Tomas Nemec and the
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Kosik.
98
We have not listed the tabloid concerto arranged by Bronislaw Kaper in the “First
Repertory” because it is based on a pre-existing work (cf. Chapter II, criterion n°7: a mini
piano concerto is not an arrangement of a work from the classical repertoire, or of a theme
from film music, or of a popular song…)
99
In addition to the Allegro movement of Kosenko’s concerto, Ukrainian composers Levko
Revutsky (1889-1977) and Heorhiy (Georgiy) Maiboroda (1913-1992) added an Andante con
moto and an Allegro moderato, without any connection to the style of the tabloid
concertos.
100
In 1935 Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938) composed the music for Arnold Kordyum’s film “The
Last Port”.

41
“Cyrnos exprime les sentiments personnels de l’auteur qui tressaille au souvenir de
son pays [la Corse]…”101
“Cyrnos expresses the personal feelings of the author who shudders at the memory
of his land [Corsica]…”

But, apart from this specificity, the principal sections of Cyrnos are
written in the lyrical and flamboyant romanticism which was to be the one of
the Denham Concertos.
In England, it was Arnold Bax (1883-1953) who, with his 11-minute
concertante piece Saga Fragment (1932), laid the foundations of what would
be the tabloid concertos of the 1950s and 1960s, even though the scores he
wrote in the ’40s for the cinema remain attached to the canons then in force.
Similarly, the first movement (11') of the Piano Concerto (1934) by Austrian
composer Rudolf Kattnigg (1895-1955), mainly known for his operettas, is
written in a violent and frenetic style that opened the way to the tabloid
concerto written in 1947 by Leith Stevens (1909-1970/USA) for the film "Night
Song" directed by John Cromwell (see Chapter IV, paragraph 2).
Czech composer Vitezslava Kapralova (1915-1940) also anticipates the
style and form of the Denham Concertos in the stand-alone102 first
movement, Allegro entusiastico (9'), of her Piano Concerto in D minor (1935).
In these piano concertos which we consider precursors of the tabloid
concertos, we can notice that, most often, it concerns the first movement.
This is natural because a “big size” tabloid concerto almost always has the
form and structure of the first movement of a “classical” piano concerto. For
reasons of brevity, there is little or no orchestral introduction (the piano
immediately enters in a way that can be described as theatrical), and the
piano cadenza is generally reduced to its most spectacular part, that is to say
some ascents and descents in octave without thematic development. Thus,
since the duration of the first movement of a “classical” romantic/post-
romantic concerto is usually between 12 and 15 minutes, the duration of a
“big size” tabloid concerto, thanks to these cuts, is 9-12 minutes.
Let us also note that these first movements are all characterized by a
spectacular lyricism inaugurated by Grieg’s and Tchaikovsky’s examples.
Among the previously mentioned works, here are the titles of their first
movements:

101
Notice of Cyrnos published by the Editions Lemoine [online,
https://www.henry-lemoine.com/fr/catalogue/fiche/22326R, accessed June 8, 2019]
102
Article by Dr. David C. F. Wright on Musicalics: “Her graduation work was her award-
winning Piano Concerto in D minor, Op 7, the first movement of which she conducted at the
Prague Conservatory with Ludvik Kundera as the soloist. This was at the Stadion Hall,
Brno, on 17 June 1935 at the Brno Conservatory Graduation Concert. On 15 October 1936 it
was performed by Kundera with the composer conducting and broadcast on Brno radio.”
[online, http://musicalics.com/en/node/91026, accessed July 17, 2017]

42
- Piotr Tchaikovsky (Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, 1875): Allegro
non troppo e molto maestoso
- Georgy Catoire (Piano Concerto in A-flat major, 1909): Moderato, con
entusiasmo (1909)
- Sergei Bortkiewicz (Piano Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major, 1923): Allegro
dramatico
- Kurt Atterberg (Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, 1929/36): Molto
espansivo
- Vitezslava Kapralova (Piano Concerto in D minor, 1935): Allegro
entusiastico.

The concertante works presented in this chapter as precursors are


those in which we can notice, in the most striking way, the idioms that will
become those of the Denham Concertos in particular, and of the tabloid
concertos in general. Of course, these specific melodic and harmonic
sequences can be found in many other post-romantic piano concertos, but in
lesser amounts and in a less obvious way. On the other hand, the works
mentioned above almost all have particularly memorable themes, a
characteristic that is not so common in works written after 1900 when other
factors tend to dominate the thematic element per se. With very rare
exceptions103, the thematic element will be the core of all mini piano
concertos.
This post-romantic tradition, which lasted through the first half of the
th
20 century and which evolved from the Rachmaninovian style to the
Denham Concertos of the 1940s, naturally continued outside of the cinema
world, and beyond the ’40s. For example, about the first movement (Allegro
vigoroso, 10') of the Piano Concerto (1947) by Danish composer Siegfried
Salomon (1885-1962), music critic Rob Barnett describes:
“Salomon’s late-romantic style fitted him like a glove and he was not going to
change it. His 1947 Piano Concerto stuck with determination to the Rachmaninovian idiom.
The work’s opening gesture is pure Warsaw Concerto; grand romantic gestures are the
order of the day.”104

We can also mention:

- Julia Smith (1905-1989/USA): Piano Concerto in E minor (1938; rev. 1971)


– especially the 1st movement “Assai lento – Alla marcia vivace” (12')

103
The most notable of these resolutely modernist cinematographic exceptions is the Piano
Concerto written by Ken Lauber (b. 1941/USA) for the film “The World of Henry Orient”
(George Roy Hill, 1964). See Chapter IV, paragraph 3.
104
Rob Barnett’s review on MusicWeb-International [online, http://www.musicweb-
international.com/classrev/2004/oct04/malling.htm, accessed July 22, 2017]

43
- Isidor Achron (1892-1948/Russia/USA): Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major
(1940) – especially the 1st movement “Allegro” (11')
- Jules-Toussaint De Sutter (1889-1959/Bel): Piano Concerto (c. 1940;
premiered posthumously in 1960) – especially the 1st movement (11')
- Andre Mathieu (1929-1968/Que/Can): Piano Concerto No. 3 “Quebec
Concerto” (1943)105 – especially the 2nd movement “Andante” (10')
- Theo Mackeben (1897-1953/Ger): Piano Concerto in B-flat minor (1945) in
one movement (26') [also exists in 20-minute and 15-minute versions]
- Andre Mathieu (1929-1968/Que/Can): Piano Concerto No. 4 in E minor
(1947) – especially the 2nd movement “Andante” (15')
106

- Borys Lomani (1893-1975/Pol): Piano Concerto No. 1 in B major, op. 98


(1947/18’) – especially the 1st movement (6')
- Gonzalo Curiel (1904-1958/Mex): Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major
(1948) – especially the 1st movement “Moderato” (9')
- Ruth Gipps (1921-1999/GB): Piano Concerto in G minor (1948) –
especially the stand-alone107 1st movement “Allegro moderato” (13')
- Paul Creston (1906-1985/USA): Piano Concerto (1949) – especially the 1st
movement “Allegro maestoso” (6')
- Bernd Scholz (1911-1969/Ger): Piano Concerto (c. 1950) – especially the
rd
3 movement “Rondo appassionato” (7')
- Yevgeny Svetlanov (1928-2002/Rus): Piano Concerto (1950; rev. 1976) –
especially the 1st movement “Andante” (9')
- Nicolas Flagello (1928-1994/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 (1950) –
especially the 1st movement “Allegro maestoso” (16').

All the classical composers on this list also worked for Symphonic
Entertainment. About Paul Creston’s concerto, music critic Paul Hume,
strong advocate of modernism, writes in The Washington Post:
« It has all the allure of the Warsaw Concerto, and the rich orchestration of the
concertos of Rachmaninoff. [Earl] Wild handled its tricks and tough lines with perfect
technique an assurance. But it is not worth the time and effort put into it. »108

105
Let us recall that extracts from Andre Mathieu’s Quebec Concerto were used in the
Canadian film “Whispering City” (Fedor Ozep, 1947), and that the Symphonic
Entertainment industry made two micro-concertos from the slow movement of this work: a
five-minute one that was arranged in 1943 by André Kostelanetz (1901-1980/Rus/USA) and
Andre Mathieu, and a three-minute one arranged in 1949 by Charles Williams (1893-
1978/GB). See Chapter IV, paragraph 2.
106
In 1948 Andre Mathieu recorded an arrangement of the second movement of his Piano
Concerto No. 4 under the title Nocturne for piano and orchestra (4'). See Chapter IV, paragraph
2.
107
The 1st movement of Ruth Gipps’ Piano Concerto in G minor (1948) was performed as a
stand-alone work by pianist Eileen Broster with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra
conducted by the composer herself.

44
Let us speak about Nicolas Flagello’s first piano concerto. It is not
exaggerated to say that the 1st movement is, in a way, a kind of simili tabloid
concerto written in a style that is very close to that of the Concerto macabre
(1945/11') composed by Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975/USA) for the film
“Hangover Square” (John Brahm, 1945). Flagello probably added the 3-
minute cadenza at the pianist’s request, increasing the duration from
thirteen to sixteen minutes. About this concerto, American musicologist
Walter Simmons writes:
“The finale of the concerto bears a strong resemblance to the Concerto Macabre
composed in 1944 by Bernard Herrmann for the film Hangover Square. Flagello was a great
admirer of Herrmann’s music in general and of the music for this film in particular.”109

After 1960, the purely romantic style of the Denham Concertos became
extremely rare among the so-called “serious” composers. These composers
generally used a more nervous and aggressive writing, closer to that of the
tabloid concertos written for film noir, the most famous ones being the
Concerto Macabre (1945/11') by Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975/USA) and the
Concerto for Sweeney (1947/8') by Leith Stevens (1909-1970/USA). Among the
“classical” piano concertos written from 1960 onwards, let us mention:
- Anatoly Kos-Anatolsky (1909-1983/Ukr): Piano Concerto No. 1 in F
minor (1955) – especially the 1st movement “Rubato e pesante – Allegro
moderato” (11')
- William Lovelock (1899-1986/GB/Aus): Piano Concerto in C major
(1945/60) in one movement (18')
- Spencer Norton (1909-1978/USA): Partita for two pianos and orchestra
(1960) – especially the 1st movement “Sinfonia” (5'), in the musical style of a
film noir
- Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008/USA): Fantasy and Variations (1961) –
especially the Fantasy (9'), in the style of a film noir110
- Vladimir Soukup (1930-2012/Cze): Piano Concerto (1961) – especially the
st
1 movement “Allegro moderato – Vivace” (10'), in the style of a film noir
- Ervin Litkei (1921-2000/Hun/USA): Piano Concerto “Peace and
Remembrance” (1963) – especially the 1st and 2nd movements: “Home, Peace
Before War” (4') and “War and the Prison Camp” (19')

108
Paul Hume, article in The Washington Post, November 2, 1950, p. 16, quoted in William
Phemister, “The American Piano Concerto Compendium” (second edition, 2018), p. 55.
109
Walter Simmons, “Voices in the Wilderness: Six American Neo-Romantic Composers”
(2004, republished in 2006), p. 343.
110
Norman Dello Joio, a classical composer who also worked for film and television, is the
composer of a simili tabloid concerto that we have listed in the “Repertory”: A Ballad of the
Seven Lively Arts (1957/10').

45
- Vladimir Bunin (1908-1970/Rus): Piano Concerto in F minor (1965) in
one movement (19')
- John Ogdon (1937-1989/GB): Piano Concerto No. 1 (1968) – especially
st
the 1 movement “Energico” (15'), in the style of a film noir
- Janos Gyulai Gaal (1924-2009/Hun): Three in Paris (before 1969) –
especially the 1st movement “The Big City and the Loneliness” (7'), in the
Gershwinian style
- François Glorieux (b. 1932/Bel): Manhattan for piano and Large
orchestra (1974) – especially the 1st and 2nd movements: “First Impressions of
Manhattan” (6') and “Broadway” (4'), in the Gershwinian style
- Alexander Yossifov (1940-2016/Bul): Piano Concerto No. 2 (1976) –
especially the 3rd movement “Allegretto” (6')
- Allan Stephenson (b. 1949/GB): Piano Concerto (1977) – especially the
st
1 movement “Furioso – Allegro risoluto” (13')
- Istvan Sarkozy (1920-2002/Hun): Confessioni (1979) – especially the last
movement “Allegro” (10'), in the style of an action film
- Janusz Sent (b. 1936/Pol): Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major (1979) –
especially the 1st movement “Andante ma non troppo” (9')
- Janusz Sent (b. 1936/Pol): Manhattan Fantasy for piano and orchestra
(c. 1980?) – especially the 1st movement “From Brooklyn Heights: Allegro ma
non troppo e maestoso” (9'), in the Gershwinian style
- Bechara El-Khoury (b. 1957/Lib/Fra): Piano Concerto (1984) – especially
st
the 1 movement “Drammatico” (11')
- Laszlo Dubrovay (b. 1943/Hun): Piano Concerto No. 2 “Concerto
romantico” (1984) – especially the 1st movement “Allegro con fuoco” (11'), in the
style of a film noir
- André Waignein (1942-2015/Bel): Three Movements for piano and concert
band (1988) – especially the 1st movement “Journey through Romanticism”
(14')
- Crawford Gates (b. 1921/USA): Pentameron: Reflections on the Trek
(Piano Concerto No. 2) (1991) – especially the last section “Iowa 1846 – But In
Our Hearts” (11')
- Stanko Sepic (b. 1941/Ser): Piano Concerto (c. 1995) – especially the 1st
movement “Allegro moderato” (7')
- Vladimir Belyayev (b. 1948/Rus): Piano Concerto No. 2 based on Grieg’s
sketches for a Concerto in B minor (1997) in one movement (15')111
- Miroslav Skoryk (b. 1938/Ukr): Piano Concerto No. 3 (1997) – especially
st
the 1 movement “Prayer” (12')
- Alain Payette (b. 1953/Que): Concerto pour piano et orchestre (2000) –
especially the 1st movement “Modéré – Passionné” (12')

111
About Vladimir Belyayev’s concerto, see more details at the beginning of this chapter.

46
- Edward Hart (b. 1965/USA): A Tidal Concerto for piano and orchestra
(2002) – especially the 3rd movement “Flood” (7')
- Richard Bissill (b. 1956/GB): Rhapsody for piano and orchestra (2003/16')
– Written as a tribute to the Denham Concertos, the composer states in his
program notes: « My Rhapsody… is romantic and dramatic in style and very
much in the same mould as these two film pieces [the Warsaw Concerto and
The Dream of Olwen]. »112
- Heather Schmidt (b. 1975/Can): Piano Concerto No. 4 “Phoenix
Ascending” (2005) – especially the 1st movement “Soaring” (9'), in the style of a
film noir
- Sergei Firsanov (b. 1982/Rus/Bra): Rapsodia (before 2005) – especially
st
the 1 section (6'), in the Gershwinian style
- Anna Kuzina (b. 1984/Ukr): Piano Concerto (2006) in one movement
(26')
- Mona A. Ahdab (b. 1966/Lib/Fra): Piano Concerto No. 1 “Renaître” (2011)
– especially the 1st movement “Allegro” (12')
- Lucas Richman (b. 1964/USA): Piano Concerto “In Truth” (2013) –
especially the 1st movement “To One’s Self” (9').

But, obviously, composers who after 1960 continued the stylistic


tradition of the Denham Concertos (or that of the tabloid concertos of the
Hollywood Golden Age) become less and less numerous. The reason is
simple: during the second half of the 20th century, industrial societies moved
further and further away from the romantic spirit – and this can be felt in all
artistic fields.

112
Article by Marc Bridle, on the website MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2003/May03/film95.htm, accessed January
15, 2018]

47
CHAPTER IV

The Vogue of the mini piano concertos


“Les noces de la musique savante
et de la musique populaire ne seront
pas toujours simples à consommer.”113
Michel Chion

1- The ’20s-’30s: the mini piano concerto from


symphonic jazz

It is through symphonic jazz that the short form in one movement,


specific to the mini piano concerto genre, quickly became the standard of
popular music in Anglo-Saxon countries. As early as the 1920s, jazz
composers conceived works suited for audiences unaccustomed to concert
halls; these pieces were necessarily short, but rarely written for solo piano
and orchestra. It is George Gershwin (1898-1937/USA) who composed the
first true concertante work for piano and orchestra written in symphonic jazz
style. Rhapsody in Blue, orchestrated by Ferde Grofe (1892-1972/USA)114, was
premiered in 1924 under the direction of Paul Whiteman (1890-1967/USA),
with Gershwin himself as soloist. With an original duration of 9 minutes,
this work set the tone for all kinds of popular orchestral compositions in
which the piano is highlighted.
In the immediate aftermath of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the Jazz
Symphony (1925) by George Antheil (1900-1959/USA)115, which lasts 8 minutes,
inaugurated – in a sense – the mini piano concerto genre because, despite its

113
Michel Chion, “La Musique au cinéma” (1995), p. 104.
114
Rodney Greenberg, “George Gershwin” (2008), p. 69.
115
In addition to his classical works, George Antheil (1900-1959/USA) composed the music
for about 60 films of the Hollywood Golden Age.

48
title, it is really a “sort of piano concerto with jazz orchestra”116. Antheil sent
the score of his Jazz Symphony to Paul Whiteman, a conductor who was
famous for his popular concerts. But this work was never featured in any of
Whiteman’s concerts, and it was eventually premiered by W. C. Handy’s
orchestra on April 10, 1927, at Carnegie Hall117.
In 1926, once again orchestrated by Ferde Grofe (the usual “rewriter”
of Paul Whiteman’s Concerts), Rhapsody in Blue, in its 13-minute version, was
so successful that it propelled Gershwin to Hollywood studios. It is Hugo
Friedhofer (1901-1981/USA), Fox Studios’ own orchestrator, who arranged
Gershwin’s second rhapsody – the Rhapsody in Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody –
into a nine-minute version for the romantic comedy film “Delicious” (1931)
directed by David Butler. So, in 1931, this same George Gershwin became the
first composer ever to write a tabloid concerto. It is significant to note that
during the entire sequence in which we listen to the Rhapsody in
Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody, the film is wordless to let Gershwin’s music
“speak”. Unlike a soundtrack, in which music only has to underpin the
images, a tabloid concerto must enhance the prestige of a film thanks to its
own artistic value. So, since as early as 1931, the film’s allegiance to the
tabloid concerto is established – an allegiance which is and will remain the
basis of the good relations that these two forms of art will maintain118.
Outside of the cinema world, Gershwin presented his Rhapsody in
Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody as a 14-minute concert work, under its definitive
title Second Rhapsody.
Although it is the third work listed in our “First chronological (and
detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos” (see Chapter VI), the
Divertimento (1926/7') by Edward Burlingame Hill (1872-1960/USA) already
has, in its structure and its writing, the two main characteristics of the mini
piano concertos from the ’40s onwards: an extreme density and a constant
use of dramatization. In this work, Edward Burlingame Hill, who was
basically a “serious” composer, did not follow the path opened by Gershwin
and borrowed very little from jazz; instead, he seemed to be looking for a
new way of composing which was not understood by music critic Lawrence
Gilman who, on the occasion of the world premiere of the Divertimento,
wrote in the New York Herald Tribune:

116
James M. Keller, “Antheil: A Jazz Symphony” [online,
https://www.sfsymphony.org/Watch-Listen-Learn/Read-Program-Notes/Program-
Notes/Antheil-A-Jazz-Symphony.aspx, accessed September 20, 2017]
117
Ibid. In 1955 George Antheil shortened his Jazz Symphony and reorchestrated it in a more
Hollywoodian style.
118
This allegiance of the film to the tabloid concerto will be even stronger in the ’40s, in the
case of the British Denham Concertos (see Chapter V).

49
“He has again amused himself by flirting with Jazzarella… He is admirably
detached, and a bit amused... we wish, indeed, that he had been a trifle less casual; for his
piece would bear extension and development. We wanted to hear more of it.”119

Express the most in a minimum of time and string together the
“highlights” with a calculated casualness: this is the effect sought by any
author of mini piano concertos. What is remarkable is that Edward
Burlingame Hill did it as early as 1926. Of course, this brevity is not due to a
lack of musical material; quite the contrary, it demonstrates the desire to
surprise the listeners – in a way, to force them to say to themselves “We
wanted to hear more of it”120. At the same time, other American composers
wrote semi-popular piano concertante works whose brevity and “popular
style” were major assets. Among them, the Afro-Americans James Price
Johnson (1894-1955) – Yamekraw, a Negro Rhapsody (1927/15') – and William
Grant Still (1895-1978) – Kaintuk’, tone poem (1935/11'). Interestingly, Still was a
noted orchestrator and arranger121 in Hollywood when Gershwin was working
there.
During the 1930s, Brazilian Francisco Mignone (1897-1986), who
worked both as a classical composer and as a film composer, wrote his four
Brazilian Fantasies (Fantasias Brasileiras): No. 1 (1929/10'), No. 2 (1931/9'), No. 3
(1934/11'), No. 4 (1936/13'), all premiered by famous pianist João Souza Lima.
These pieces belong to our domain because of their affirmed popular flavor,
their syncopated writing and their sequential form; by the way, No. 4 gave
birth to a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine122, represented in
Santiago de Chile on August 27, 1941.
From Gershwin’s 9-minute Rhapsody in Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody
(1931) to Richard Addinsell’s 9-minute Warsaw Concerto (1941), the
characteristics of the tabloid concertos remain the same: melodic, dramatic,
sequential and short.
Alfred Newman (1901-1970/USA), then a composer at the Samuel
Goldwin Company, narrowly missed being the first composer to write a
tabloid concerto. In 1931, for the film “Street Scene” directed by King Vidor,
Newman composed a 6-minute concert piece that soon became a standard of

119
Lawrence Gilman, in the article “The American Orchestral Society Makes Music at
Aeolian Hall”, New York Herald Tribune, 29 March 1927.
120
Ibid.
121
William Grant Still was the orchestrator of Dimitri Tiomkin (1899-1979/USA) for “Lost
Horizon” (Frank Capra, 1937).
122
Cf. the website “The George Balanchine Foundation” [online,
http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/display_result.jsp?num=200, accessed January 14,
2018]

50
Hollywood’s symphonic jazz music123. Street Scene, which is featured in its
entirety at the beginning of the film, is a tabloid concerto… but for orchestra
alone124. For film historian Laurence E. MacDonald:
“With its clever combination of jazzy and sentimental styles, the music of Street
Scene is uncomfortably close to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which was composed
seven years earlier, especially in its bluesy main theme.”125

Had Newman written a concertante piano part, he would have


“outdone” Gershwin.
Austrian composer Max Steiner (1888-1971), who emigrated to the
United States in 1914, composed Unfinished Sonata (3') for George Cukor’s
film “A Bill of Divorcement” (1932). It is in this film that, for the very first
time in the history of talking movies, a piano became a key element of the
scenario: the two main characters, a father and his daughter (played by John
Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn), perform together a romantic four-
handed piano piece written by the father, and imperceptibly, the music of
the film (orchestral and non-diegetic126) adds a dramatic dimension that
pleased the public. The Unfinished Sonata made Max Steiner the official
creator of the micro-concerto subgenre. Since this date, the general public
grew fond of these very short pieces with a memorable melody, like the
Twilight Interlude (1939/3') by Gordon Jenkins (1910-1984/USA) which
established the style of all future micro-concertos based exclusively on a
“glamour” melody played at a rather slow tempo.
As early as the 1930s, several film scenarios included musical works
which were supposed to be diegetic and presented as “classical” works (and
which are heard in their entirety in the films). Thus, in 1936, in the Swedish
film “Intermezzo” directed by Gustaf Molander, the short romantic piece for
violin and piano Souvenir de Vienne by Austrian composer Heinz Provost
(1890-1959) became so famous that in 1939 Hollywood director Gregory Ratoff
made a remake of the film, in which this piece is retitled Intermezzo. Since
then, there have been countless arrangements of this Intermezzo that stirred

123
Street Scene can be heard in at least four subsequent movies, including the famous “How
to Marry a Millionaire” (Jean Negulesco, 1953) where we see Alfred Newman conducting his
composition during the opening sequence of the film.
124
Domenico Savino (1882-1973/USA) made a reduction of this work for piano solo; Charles
Gerhardt (1927-1999/USA) conducted an excellent orchestral version with the National
Philharmonic Orchestra, in his collection “The Classic Film Scores of…”.
125
Laurence E. MacDonald, “The Invisible Art of Film Music: A Comprehensive History”
(1998), p. 29.
126
It is usual to make a difference between diegetic music (songs or background music that
the characters supposedly hear themselves) and non-diegetic music (music written
specifically for a film, and accompanying its dramatic action).

51
the love of a violinist (played in the remake by Leslie Howard) and a
pianist/accompanist (Ingrid Bergman).
In Chapter III, we discovered that it was Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-
1943/Rus) who gave its popularity (and a true status) to the micro-concerto
subgenre, thanks to Variation No. 18 (Andante cantabile) of his Rhapsody on a
Theme of Paganini (1934). This variation, frequently broadcast by American
radios as a three-minute stand-alone piece, undoubtedly allowed the exiled
composer to be definitively loved by the American public, especially in
Hollywood127.
Between Gershwinian-style symphonic jazz and cinema (which shuttled
stylistically between Hollywood and Broadway), the mini piano concerto was
gradually becoming a new musical genre in its own right, even if it never
fully succeeded in establishing itself as such, first competed with by jazz and
song, then by “pop music” in the ’50s.
During the ’30s, American concerts offered the general public multiple
performances of symphonic jazz works. For example, at the concert given in
Carnegie Hall on November 4, 1932, conducted by Paul Whiteman (1890-
1967/USA), all the following works were performed128:
- Concerto in Three Rhythms for piano and orchestra (1932) by Dana Suesse
(1909-1987/USA), orchestrated by Ferde Grofe (1892-1972/USA) – world premiere;
- a fox trot arrangement made by Carroll Huxley (1903-1999/USA) of Maurice
Ravel’s Bolero (1928);
- Second Rhapsody for piano and orchestra (1931) by George Gershwin (1898-
1937/USA);
- Caprice viennois (1910) and Tambourin chinois (1910) by Fritz Kreisler (1875-
1962/Aut);
- I Got Rhythm (1930) by George Gershwin, arranged by Fud Livingston (1906-
1957/USA);
- Grand Canyon Suite (1931) by Ferde Grofe – world premiere;
- American Concerto/Jazz Fantasy for Violin and orchestra (1931) by Michel
Gusikoff (1893-1973/USA) and Benjamin Machan (1894-1966/USA);
- An American in Paris (1928) by George Gershwin, arranged by Carroll Huxley.

The production of symphonic jazz works, which Paul Whiteman called


the “cross-fertilization of jazz and classical concert music”129 declined
dramatically in the late ’30s.

127
Variation No. 18 became the Main Theme of the film “The Story of Three Loves”
(Vincente Minelli, 1953); it was even recorded in Light Music albums under the title Theme
from The Story of Three Loves. It was also used in several other films, including “Somewhere
in Time” (Jeannot Swarc, 1980).
128
Cf. Dana Suesse, “Jazz Nocturne” introduced and edited by Peter Mintun (2013), p. 10.
129
Quoted in: James M. Keller, “Antheil: A Jazz Symphony” [online,

52
Composers from diverse backgrounds, whose works are a synthesis of
Gershwinian jazz and what the Anglo-Saxons call “Symphonic
Entertainment”, also wrote mini piano concertos. Almost all these composers
were close to the cinema, theater or radio industries. Among them:

- Rio Gebhardt (1907-1944/Ger): Concerto in E-flat major for piano and jazz
band (1932/11');
- Gail Kubik (1914-1984/USA): American Caprice (1936/8');
- Frank Denke (1906-1988/USA): Piano Concerto (c. 1937/14')130;
- Earl Wild (1915-2010/USA): Adventure (1939/11')131.

The combined and ubiquitous influences of Hollywood and Broadway


were increasingly attracting American “classical” composers of the mid-20th
century to the writing of film music. The examples of Alex North (1910-1991)
and Ernest Gold (1921-1999) are revealing. In 1939 Alex North was a young
“contemporary” composer who wrote Blues/Lament for Gershwin (9'); in 1957
this mini piano concerto became the central part of the three-movement
Rhapsody he composed for the film “Four Girls in Town” directed by Jack
Sher. On his side, the young Ernest Gold, who had just escaped Austria,
gave the world premiere of his Piano Concerto in 1943 in Carnegie Hall; this
work, written in three movements in the Hollywoodian style, earned the
admiration of several film composers…, and for Ernest Gold it opened the
doors of Columbia studios132. About this concerto, whose each movement is
stylistically similar to a tabloid concerto, music critic R. James Tobin writes:
“It sounds like an old film soundtrack, in fact, and much of the music itself has a
Hollywood sound to it. As it happens, Gold, who also studied with [George] Antheil, wrote
the scores for several major films, including ‘Exodus’, ‘On the Beach’, ‘Judgment at
Nuremburg’ and ‘Ship of Fools’. Bright, lively and upbeat, dramatically full-blown rather
than subtle, but with some mellow and lyrical writing, sometimes jazzy, Gold’s concerto
sometimes reminds me of Gershwin.”133

Thus, from the popularity of symphonic jazz music to that of


Symphonic Entertainment, from the success of Hollywood music to that of

https://www.sfsymphony.org/Watch-Listen-Learn/Read-Program-Notes/Program-
Notes/Antheil-A-Jazz-Symphony.aspx, accessed September 20, 2017]
130
Frank Denke’s Piano Concerto is written in a Gershwinian style and is scored for piano
and jazz orchestra.
131
Famous American classical pianist Earl Wild also worked for film and entertainment; for
example, under the direction of Charles Gerhardt he recorded the tabloid concerto
Spellbound Concerto (1945) by Miklos Rozsa (1907-1995/Hun/USA). Wild’s own composition
Adventure was premiered on NBC radio in 1939; Wild was both soloist and conductor.
132
Tony Thomas, “Film Score”, Riverwood Press (1992), pp. 47-55.
133
R. James Tobin’s review on ClassicalNet [online,
http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/p/pie00010a.php, accessed December 8, 2018]

53
Broadway, everything, in the Anglo-Saxon countries, contributed to the
vogue of the mini piano concertos, whether written for the cinema, for the
publishers of Light Music, or for radio broadcasts like the Concertino (1940/11')
by Wladyslaw Szpilman (1911-2000/Pol). About this last work:
“On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played the last live piano recital heard
over Polish radio before it was blown off the air by German bombing. [...] That evening, as
German artillery again battered Warsaw, Szpilman worked on a Concertino for Piano and
Orchestra, pausing at dusk to look out the window to see what new damage had been done
in the neighbourhood. […] Szpilman continued writing his Concertino as the Germans
subdued the city and began the repressions that eventually wiped out most of its half-
million Jews, including Szpilman’s mother, father and three siblings. You can imagine how
his fear and apprehension expressed itself in the music he was writing in the family
apartment. You can imagine it – but you won’t hear it anywhere in the music. The
Concertino, which like Szpilman himself survived the war (he died in 2000 at age 88), is a
breezy souvenir of the symphonic jazz age. Blue notes, rag-time rhythms and suave
orchestrations suggest the kind of music George Gershwin might have written if, like
Szpilman, he had studied with a high-brow German composer like Franz Schreker.”134

Hollywood made a biopic about the life of Polish virtuoso pianist


Wladyslaw Szpilman: “The Pianist” (Roman Polanski, 2002).
About the Piano Concerto No. 1 (1937/16') by Isidor Achron (1892-
1948/Rus/USA)135, which announced the British Denham Concertos of the
1940s, American musicologist Walter Simmons notes:
“Achron’s Concerto No. 1 is a 17-minute work cast in a single movement. […] On the
whole, one might place the work in the general stylistic neighborhood of Addinsell’s once-
popular Warsaw Concerto.”136

British music critic Rob Barnett describes Isidor Achron’s first concerto
with a periphrase that perfectly defines a tabloid concerto:
“The single movement First Piano Concerto […] is a grandiloquent piece torn
emotionally between torment, tragedy and triumph.”137

134
Robert Everett-Green, “The Pianist and the Pop Star”, published on May 3, 2003 and
uploaded on April 18, 2018 on the website The Globe and Mail [online,
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/the-pianist-and-the-pop-star/article1014514/,
accessed December 1, 2018]
135
Isidor Achron, pianist accompanist of the famous violinist Jascha Heifeitz (1901-1987/Lit),
was the younger brother of the well-known composer Joseph Achron (1886-1943/Rus), who
emigrated to the USA in 1923.
136
On Walter Simmons’ website [online,
http://www.walter-simmons.com/articles/353.htm, accessed September 13, 2017]
137
Review on MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicwebinternational.com/classrev/2006/May06/Achron_Concerto_KL5134.ht
m, accessed October 2, 2017]

54
The years from 1940 to 1950 saw the multiplication of these short
concertante works, before they were swept in the ’50s by their four direct
competitors that were closer to the true enthusiasm of the general public:
songs, pop music, rock and movie music.
But among these numerous mini piano concertos, there is one that
durably marked the spirits: the Warsaw Concerto.

2- The ’40s: the triumph of the Warsaw Concerto


and the Anglo-Saxon vogue of tabloid concertos

It is important to point out, as British film historians John Morris and


Jan Swynnoe have done, that the Hollywood Golden Age corresponds
exactly to the Golden Age of British cinema138. This synergy explains the
blistering start of the vogue of the tabloid concertos. The English Denham
Studios, in the person of their musical director and conductor Muir
Mathieson (1911-1975/GB), wanted to prove to the world that British film
music could rival that of Hollywood. For musicologist John Morris:
“Muir Mathieson is credited with the responsibility for convincing both Ralph
Vaughan Williams and Arthur Bliss to wrote for the cinema. He created such a high
standard that the British experience became the envy of Hollywood.”139

Producer Michael Balcon, who directed the British Gainsborough


Pictures in the 1930s, states that Muir Mathieson:
“[…] was destined to become the most important single figure in the history of British
film music.”140

The producers of the Denham Studios, for whom Muir Mathieson was
working, could not convince the famous Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-
1943/Rus) to compose a new short piano concerto for one of their films (see
Chapter V). So Mathieson asked British Richard Addinsell (1904-1977) to
compose the first “classical” tabloid concerto in the history of cinema, as the
concerto featured in this film absolutely could not be a jazz piece in the style
of Gershwin: when one talks about the heroism of the English airmen and
the Polish resistance, one needs music that can recall both Rachmaninoff

138
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), p. 6. Also Jan G. Swynnoe, “The Best Years of British Film Music: 1936–
1958” (2002), p. XVII.
139
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), p. 75
140
Michael Balcon, “Michael Balcon presents… A Lifetime of Films” (1969), p. 34.

55
and… Hollywood. Addinsell rose to the challenge. English academic Mervyn
Cook writes:
“In 1941, Richard Addinsell composed his Warsaw Concerto for the British film
Dangerous Moonlight (US title Suicide Squadron; dir. Brian Desmond Hurst), its romantic
plot concerning an amnesiac Polish pilot serving in the Royal Air Force during the battle
of Britain. The Warsaw had been commissioned partly so that the film’s audiences would
not be distracted by the associations which using a well-known pre-existing classical piece
might have elicited – a common concern amongst many observers of the plundering of the
classics in the silent era – though it had originally been planned to use a piano concerto by
Rachmaninoff for which the reproduction rights could not be obtained. The Warsaw
Concerto proved to be hugely popular on both sides ot the Atlantic in live performances,
broadcasts and on record, the interpretation of the work featured in the film (performed by
Louis Kentner and the London Symphony Orchestra) have been issued as one of the
earliest examples of a soundtrack recording. Addinsell was a versatile composer, who went
on to compose a flamboyant witty and impressionistic score for David Lean’s Blithe Spirit
(1945), but it was the romantic pastiche of this first example of what soon became dismissed
as “tabloid concertos” that proved to be his most influential achievement.”141

The success of the film, due in large part to the patriotic fervor of the
time and to the general sympathy towards the Polish people, made the
Warsaw Concerto an emblematic work of the efforts of British cinema to fight
against Hitlerism, independently of its intrinsic value as a tabloid concerto.
Originally performed by pianist Louis Kentner and the London Symphony
Orchestra conducted by Muir Mathieson142, more than three million copies
were sold in just a few months143, a commercial triumph that motivated the
music industry to promote this new musical genre that seemed to please a
particularly heterogeneous audience. And this prompted the film industry to
give the tabloid concerto a place of choice in many of its productions.
Hollywood immediately replied with the film “Phantom of the Opera”
(Arthur Lubin, 1943) for which composer Edward Ward (1900-1971/USA)
wrote a six-minute tabloid concerto: Lullaby of the Bells, of which we hear
only short extracts during the movie. In 1944, British cinema gave Hubert
Bath (1883-1945) the opportunity to compose what turned out to be the
second most famous Denham Concerto: Cornish Rhapsody (7'), written for
Leslie Arliss’ film “Love Story”144. When, at the end of the film, the heroine-
pianist (played by Margaret Lockwood) performs the entire work with
orchestra in concert, the emotion of the public, provoked by the music (of
141
Mervyn Cooke, “A History of Film Music” (2008), USA, Cambridge University Press
(Third printing with corrections, 2010), Chapter 11 “Classical Music in the Cinema” (pp. 422-
453), paragraph 1: Romantic Concerto and War Film.
142
The original recording of the Warsaw Concerto, lasting eight minutes, took place in
London, at the Columbia Studios, on November 19, 1941.
143
From Roy Douglas, orchestrator of the Warsaw Concerto, quoted in Jan G. Swynnoe:
“The Best Years of British Film Music: 1936–1958” (2002), p. 216.
144
In the USA, the film “Love Story” (1944) is known under the title “A Lady Surrenders”.

56
Hubert Bath) is at its peak, as was the case with the Warsaw Concerto three
years earlier. Since these short concertante works benefitted from growing
public interest, Clive Richardson, a famous composer of Light Music, wrote a
London Fantasia (1944/9') that he subtitled “A Musical Picture of the Battle of
Britain”. Written outside of the cinema realm, this work is historically the
first para Denham Concerto145. According to musicologist David Ades, one of
the contributors to the Grove Dictionary:
“Clive Richardson (1909-1998) was part of ‘Four Hands in Harmony’ (with Tony
Lowry), but that was just a small interlude in a long and successful career. He accompanied
several artists on the piano, and was an early contributor of scores to British films
(especially some of the Will Hay comedies, although he wasn’t credited on-screen). London
Fantasia was a big success in the 1940s, when mini-piano concertos were all the rage
(thanks to the ecstatic reception given to Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto in the 1941
film ‘Dangerous Moonlight’)”146.

David Ades adds the following precisions:


“Towards the end of the war the publishers Lawrence Wright asked Richardson to
compose an eight-minute work similar to Richard Addinsell’s hugely successful Warsaw
Concerto, which had been featured in the 1941 film ‘Dangerous Moonlight’ starring Anton
Walbrook, Sally Gray and Cecil Parker. The work was originally conceived as The Coventry
Concerto being a tribute to the Midlands city where Clive Richardson had been stationed.
But as the score developed, the composer realised that it was more suited to our capital
city, and it eventually appeared in 1944 as London Fantasia.”147

Still in the Light Music realm, we find the Concerto incognito (c.1945/4')
by Sidney Torch (1908-1990/GB), who was a famous composer and prolific
conductor. The same David Ades writes:
“The rarely heard work for piano and orchestra is reminiscent of many similar pieces
that were spawned in the 1940s following the success of Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw
Concerto. It has a broad melody in the style of many that featured in numerous British films
of the period.”148

David Ades writes that Torch’s Concerto incognito “is reminiscent of”…
However, the only two references on the web (the database Musicalics149 and

145
We will see this in more detail in Chapter V, paragraph 1: The Denham Concertos: the
must of the tabloid concertos.
146
Booklet by David Ades for Guild [online,
https://www.chandos.net/chanimages/Booklets/GL5195.pdf, accessed November 2, 2017]
147
Article by David Ades on the “Robert Farnon Society” website [online,
http://www.robertfarnonsociety.org.uk/index.php/legends/clive-richardson, accessed
November 3, 2017]
148
Booklet by David Ades for the NAXOS CD 8.223443 [online,
http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?item_code=8.223443&catNum=223443&f
iletype=About%20this%20Recording&language=English#, accessed November 5, 2017]
149
Page about the Concerto incognito on the website “Musicalics” [online,

57
the OhioLINK Music Center150) indicate the date of composition “1940”. We
can notice that, after 1941 (date of the Warsaw Concerto), many Light Music
composers wrote mini piano concertos, but all of them took the Warsaw
Concerto as the pattern. But the Concerto incognito seems to have no direct
filiation with this work, because of its duration (4 minutes: a duration which
would be extremely short for a para Denham Concerto, but which is rather
long for the Light Music industry) and its style, which is not directly
Hollywoodian.
Among other significant para Denham Concertos:

- Albert Arlen (1905-1993/GB): El Alamein Concerto (1944/8');


- Alexander Laszlo (1895-1970/USA): Hollywood Concerto (1944/10')151;
- Gerard Tersmeden (1920-2004/Swe): Solitaire (1945/4');
- Esther Allan (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Norman Concerto (c. 1945/6')152;
- Willy Mattes (1916-2002/Aut): Concerto melodioso (1949/10')153;
- Henryk Wars (1902-1977/Pol/USA): Piano Concerto (1950/10')154.

Of the works cited above, the one that had the most success is Albert
Arlen’s El Alamein Concerto. Music critic Philip L. Scrowcroft writes:
“Albert Arlen, born in 1905, achieved transient fame with his Alamein Concerto (1945),
one of many film-inspired ‘concertos’ (usually singly movement Rachmaninoff-like
rhapsodies which followed up the astonishing success of Addinsell’s still-popular Warsaw
Concerto).”155

The date 1945 indicated by Philip L. Scowcroft is incorrect. It stems


from the fact that this concerto was broadcast by the BBC on March 13, 1945,

https://musicalics.com/en/node/454121, accessed March 13, 2018]


150
Page about concert pianist Philip Martin’s recordings, on the website of the OhioLINK
Music Center [online,
https://music.ohiolink.edu/browse?type=artist&value=Martin,+Philip, accessed March 13,
2018]
151
To be precise, Alexander Laszlo’s Hollywood Concerto (1944/10') synthesizes the romantic
style of the Denham Concertos and the Broadway jazz style. Musicologist Maurice
Hinson describes this work: “Jazz influence, many added-note chords associated with
popular music”, in “Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide” Enlarged
Edition (1993), p. 163.
152
After her Norman Concerto, Polish-born American composer and pianist Esther Allan
(1914-1985) wrote several other mini piano concertos whose dates of composition are
unknown to us: Meditation (7'), Ocean Rhapsody (6') and Romantic Concerto (9').
153
Willy Mattes’ Concerto melodioso (1949) is also known as the Vienna Concerto.
154
Polish Henryk Warszawski took the pseudonym Henry Vars when he became a film
composer in Hollywood. 1948 is sometimes indicated as the date of composition of his
piano concerto.
155
Article by Philip L. Scowcroft on the website MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/garlands/238.htm, accessed September 4, 2017]

58
performed by pianist Peggy Cochrane with Jack Payne and His Orchestra.
However, the world premiere of the concerto took place in Cairo in 1944 with
Phil Finch as soloist and Hugo Rignold conducting156. In 1945 the El Alamein
Concerto had the honor of a “Theme from…” edition157. The genesis of this
work deserves to be told because it perfectly illustrates the link that has
always united this new musical genre and cinema. Arlen, who was an officer
in the Royal Air Force in 1942, was wounded…
“While he was recuperating in a Cairo hospital from a beating sustained in Tripoli,
he conceived the idea of composing a piano concerto to celebrate the Allied victory at El
Alamein.”158

Eventually, this concerto – which in Arlen’s mind was a kind of


descriptive music – was used as action music in a Pathé News documentary
on the anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein.
Still in the context of World War II, Dutch composer Felix Kwast (1918-
?) wrote his Arnhem Concerto (1945/13') whose title refers to the battles led by
the Allies (from September 1944 to April 1945) for the liberation of the Dutch
city Arnhem, which was occupied by the Germans. This concerto is
“Dedicated to the Airbornes of 1944”.
In the symphonic jazz register, the Concerto in Jazz (1947/8') by Donald
Phillips (1913-1994/GB) stands out:
“A composer active in the generation after the Second World War is Donald Phillips,
whose best known piece is Concerto in Jazz for piano and orchestra, a kind of up-tempo
Warsaw Concerto or Cornish Rhapsody.”159

The piece New World A-Comin’ (1943/12') caused more sensation thanks
to the fame of its composer: Duke Ellington (1899-1974/USA). Musicologist
Steve Elman writes about it:
“This is the first ‘jazz piano concerto’, at least as the composer envisioned it. It is one
of Ellington’s least-known long-form pieces, and the only one that is notated from start to
finish, with no improvised contributions from members of his band, although the
composer, as piano soloist, felt free to embellish at will. Despite Ellington’s intentions, this

156
Cf. “Arlen, Albert (1905-1993)”, article by James Keohne, in Australian Dictionary of
Biography [online,
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/arlen-albert-22073, accessed September 12, 2017]
157
See in this paragraph, below.
158
Cf. “Arlen, Albert (1905-1993)”, article by James Keohne, in Australian Dictionary of
Biography.
159
Chronicle by Philip L. Scowcroft on the website MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/garlands/13.htm, accessed September 4, 2017]

59
is a rhapsody – an elaboration on a series of themes – not exactly in Gershwin’s wake, but
at least in some ways a nod to his work.”160

Famous Cuban pianist and composer of popular songs Ernesto Lecuona


(1895-1963) came to the United States in 1928 for a series of concerts during
which he notably performed George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (1924).
Lecuona, who was nicknamed the “Cuban Gershwin”161, also worked for the
cinema. The composer gave the world premiere of his Rapsodia negra (known
in the USA as Black Rhapsody) for piano and orchestra (10') on October 10,
1943, at Carnegie Hall. The magazine Newsweek comments:
“Black Rhapsody turned out to be very Gershwinesque in conception — which is not
too remarkable because Lecuona is a great admirer of Gershwin’s and George himself was
crazy about Cuban rhythms. […] Black Rhapsody may not have been 'great' music, but it
certainly made great listening.”162

In 1944, the Rapsodia negra was used as ballet music, on a choreography


by Eugene Van Grona, in the Broadway magazine “Fiesta” by Vincent
Youmans163.
In Hollywood, Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975/USA) was asked to write the
music of the movie “Hangover Square” (John Brahm, 1945). This film –
whose story takes place in London and tells the violent end of a
composer/pianist who is also a murderous psychopath – gave Herrmann the
opportunity to write the Concerto Macabre (11'), subtitled Molto appassionato,
in which he introduced a certain modernity into the romantic writing then in
force in Hollywood. According to American film music specialist Tony
Thomas, “Hangover Square”:
“[…] is especially interesting on the musical level because the composer is in the
process of writing a piano concerto… one of the most interesting virtuoso pieces ever
written for a film. Dark and dazzling, it was too cerebral a work to become widely
popular.”164

For Steven C. Smith, a biographer of Herrmann:


“‘Hangover Square’ required a ten-minute concerto for piano and orchestra, to be
written before shooting began. Herrmann always enjoyed working on a project from its
earliest stage, a privilege few Fox composers shared. His Concerto Macabre, a diabolical,

160
Steve Elman, “Chronology of Jazz-Influenced Piano Concertos and Related Works,
compiled by Steve Elman” (2005), p. 13.
161
This nickname is commonly used, cf. Olga Perez Flora, “Ernesto Lecuona: His Life and
His Songs” (2013), p. 5. Also in José Gil & Rafael A. Lecuona, “Ernesto Lecuona: the
Genius and his Music” (2004), p. 57.
162
Review in the magazine Newsweek of October 18, 1943, quoted in Gloria Castiel Jacobson,
“The Life and Music of Ernesto Lecuona” (1982), p. 117.
163
Cf. Dan Dietz, “The Complete Book of 1940s Broadway Musicals” (2015), pp. 228-229.
164
Tony Thomas, “Music for the Movies” (1973, 1st edition), p. 144.

60
Lisztian work that compressed the usual three movements into one, was unlike any of the
‘film concertos’ then prevalent in Hollywood, which usually paraphrased existing works in
rhapsodic, overscored fashion.”165

As recently noted by his biographer Vincent Haegele:


“le Concerto macabre […] demeure à ce jour la pièce non filmique la plus enregistrée
de Bernard Herrmann (version chez Naxos, Koch, Chandos, Naïve)”166
“the Concerto Macabre [...] remains, to date, Bernard Herrmann’s most recorded non-
film piece (recordings by Naxos, Koch, Chandos, Naïve)”

Also in Hollywood, Roy Webb (1888-1982/USA) composed in 1945, for


the film “The Enchanted Cottage” (John Cromwell), a concertante piece that
also lasts 11 minutes, but whose writing is the exact opposite of the nervous
and dramatic style of Bernard Herrmann, since this film is a kind of modern
fairy tale.
Famous film composer Miklos Rozsa (1907-1995/Hun/USA) is the author
of one of the most famous Denham Concertos written for Hollywood: the
Spellbound Concerto (12'), arranged from his music for Alfred Hitchock’s film
"Spellbound" (1946). This work was often performed at the Los Angeles
Hollywood Bowl, and has many recordings. British Philip Lane indicates167
that the arrangement of the Spellbound Concerto is the work of Eugene Zador
(1894-1977/Hun/USA), who was Rozsa’s official orchestrator. However, when
we checked Miklos Rozsa’s original score – dedicated to his friend, pianist
Leonard Pennario, who premiered the concerto – there was no mention of
an orchestration by someone else168. An editor of the 1998 American Record
Guide finds, as we did:
“The former includes expert notes by Philip Lane […] — but I question Lane’s
attribution of the Spellbound [Concerto] arrangement to Eugene Zador, a claim I have seen
nowhere else.”169

We can add that, in his autobiography, Miklos Rozsa does not mention
Eugene Zador in connection with the Spellbound Concerto:
“I had already made an arrangement of music from Spellbound for piano and
orchestra, the Spellbound Concerto (which Pennario also played and recorded) […]”170

165
Steven C. Smith, “A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann”
(1991, republished in 2002), p. 117.
166
Vincent Haegele, “Bernard Herrmann, un génie de la musique de film” (2016), p. 187.
167
Philip Lane, Booklet for the CD “Warsaw Concerto and Other Piano Concertos from the
Movies” (Naxos 8.554323, 1998), p. 1.
168
Cf. the website of the Leonard Pennario Foundation [online,
http://www.pennario.org/Pages/Posters/Rozsa-Spellbound-Cover.html, accessed October 5,
2017]
169
“American Record Guide”, vol. 61 (1998), p. 235.
170
“Double Life: the Autobiography of Miklós Rózsa” (1982), p. 187.

61
The Spellbound Concerto was then recorded in a faster and slightly
abridged 8-minute version by conductor Charles Gerhardt (1927-1999/USA),
with Earl Wild as soloist. At the end of his career, Rozsa also arranged this
work for two pianos and orchestra, in a much extended 22-minute version
incorporating other material from his film score; this new version is of
course beyond the frame of the mini piano concerto.
In the ’40s, the cinema industry, which always searches to take
advantage of the fashions it launches, encouraged its composers to enrich
the mini piano concerto repertoire: Mischa Spoliansky (1898-1985/Pol/GB)
wrote A Voice in the Night (5') for the British film “Wanted for Murder”
(Lawrence Huntington, 1946). American composer Mischa Portnoff (1901-
1979) wrote the 57th Street Rhapsody (5'), which happens to be the first tabloid
concerto with two solo instruments (piano and trumpet); this piece, in a jazz
spirit, is given in concert at the end of the movie “Carnegie Hall” (Edgar
George Ulmer, 1947).
Among the most prestigious Hollywood composers, Max Steiner (1888-
1971/Aut/USA) presented in concert his orchestral work Symphonie moderne
(6') written in 1939 for Michael Curtiz’s film “Four Wives”. To satisfy the fans
of tabloid concertos, Steiner allowed conductor and arranger Charles
Gerhardt to make, with pianist Earl Wild, an 8-minute version with an
augmented – but not really concertante – piano part. In 1973, Wild and
Gerhardt recorded the work as part of the series “The Classic Film Scores
of…”171. But even this version remains a borderline case. However, we have
decided to include the Symphonie moderne in our “Repertory” (see Chapter
VI), since this work is generally considered a mini piano concerto and is
presented on CDs as such.
Other great composers of Hollywood are not left out: Victor Young
(1900-1956/USA) composed and recorded his very Gershwinian Manhattan
Concerto (1946/9'); Franz Waxman (1906-1967/Ger/USA) arranged a Rhapsody,
subtitled Moderato appassionato, from his music for “The Paradine Case”
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1947); this 13-minute work has the particularity to be the
longest tabloid concerto of the Hollywood Golden Age. For the movie “Night
Song” (John Cromwell, 1947), whose main character is a composer, RKO
studios allowed Leith Stevens (1909-1970/USA) to compose a tabloid
concerto that the spectators are able to listen to in full during the film,

171
The 1998 CD “Earl Wild Goes to the Movies” presents the same recording, allegedly
dated from 1965, and credits the conductor Eric Hammerstein (which happens to be one of
the pseudonyms of the conductor Robert Mandell) and the RCA Symphony Orchestra,
instead of the National Philharmonic Orchestra created by Gerhardt. But it seems that the
RCA Symphony Orchestra never existed (the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra existed, but
it ceased in 1963). Furthermore, apart from the booklet of this CD, there is no trace of a
recording made in 1965.

62
performed by prestigious musicians: concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein and
conductor Eugene Ormandy at the head of the New York Philharmonic
Orchestra. This 8-minute Piano Concerto in C minor (also known as Concerto
for Sweeney) constitutes the longest concert sequence in the history of
Hollywood Golden Age tabloid concertos.
In Quebec, one of the main characters of Fedor Ozep’s film
“Whispering City” (1947), who is a composer, performs “his” piano concerto,
which is in fact the Quebec Concerto by Andre Mathieu (1929-1968/Que). We
hear various sections of this work throughout the film172. The Quebec Concerto
(Piano Concerto No. 3) (1943/22'), in three movements, is written in a
Rachmaninovian style fully assumed by the young composer – one of his
titles of glory is to have been congratulated by famous Russian composer
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) when he was only twelve, on the occasion of
a competition for young composers organized in 1941 by the New York
Philharmonic Orchestra which was celebrating its centenary. Rachmaninoff
declared to him: “Vous êtes le seul pouvant avoir la prétention d’être mon
successeur”173 “You are the only one who can claim to be my successor”. To
take advantage of the vogue, Mathieu recorded a 5-minute arrangement of
the second movement (10') of the Quebec Concerto as early as 1943,
accompanied by the CBS Orchestra conducted by André Kostelanetz (1901-
1980/Rus/USA), who specialized in Symphonic Entertainment. In 1949,
British Charles Williams (1893-1978) made another arrangement of the main
theme of the slow movement, which he conducted and recorded in the Light
Music world as a 3-minute micro-concerto. And to finish, Andre Mathieu
recorded in 1948 an arrangement (4') of the second movement (15') of his
Piano Concerto No. 4 (1947), under the title Nocturne for piano and orchestra,
with the Radio Canada Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jean Deslauriers.
Another significant clue that the vogue was in full swing in the ’40s: film
composers even wrote tabloid concertos for other instruments than the
piano. In the USA:

- Artie Shaw (1910-2004): Clarinet Concerto (8'), for the musical film
“Second Chorus” (H. C. Potter, 1940)
- Leo Shuken (1906-1975): Trumpet Concerto (9'), from his music for “Our
Wife” (John M. Stahl, 1941);

172
The film “Whispering City” (Fedor Ozep, 1947) constitutes one of the best uses of
concertante music in a movie. The rest of the soundtrack was composed by Morris Cecil
Davis (1904-1968/Can).
173
On the website dedicated to Andre Mathieu, biographical page [online,
http://www.da-go.com/musique/mathieu-a/, accessed October 29, 2017]

63
- Franz Waxman (1906-1967): Athanael the Trumpeter, Overture for
Trumpet and orchestra (7'), arranged from his music for “The Horn Blows at
Midnight” (Raoul Walsh, 1945);
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957): Cello Concerto in C major (12'),
extended from his tabloid cello concerto written for “Deception” (Irving
Rapper, 1946);
- Leo Shuken (1906-1975): The Dorsey Concerto, for Trombone, Alto
Saxophone and orchestra (8'), for the musical film “The Fabulous Dorseys”
(Alfred E. Green, 1947); retitled The Dorsey Brothers Concerto for its 1950 re-
release.

Outside of the cinema world, George Kleinsinger (1914-1982) composed


his Street Corner Concerto for harmonica and orchestra (1942/9'), and Phil
Moore (1918-1987) – a composer and arranger of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
studios – recorded his Trombone Concerto (1947/9'), which is also a simili
tabloid concerto in symphonic jazz style.
After 1950, we can mention the Rhapsody for Hammond Organ and
orchestra (Hammond-Rhapsodie) (c. 1960/8') by German Richard Muller-
Lampertz (1910-1982), Toledo, Spanish Fantasy for Harmonica and orchestra
(1960/7') by British James Moody (1907-1995) and the Rhapsody for Harp and
orchestra (1965/13') by American Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-1981).
In France, Roger Roger (1911-1995)174 wrote his Jazz Concerto for Harp and
orchestra (1943/7'), while in England in 1946 Arthur Bliss (1891-1975) composed
a six-minute mini violin concerto, as musicologist John France explains:
“The Theme and Cadenza (1946) is a Warsaw Concerto for fiddle. Derived from the
radio play ‘Memorial Concert’ written by Trudy Bliss, it features an imaginary composer,
beginning in his student days and concluding with his tragic death as he approaches
success. […] The present piece featured in the ‘memorial concert’ itself and was an ‘early
composition.’ This gorgeous Theme and Cadenza works well as a stand-alone piece.”175

At last, there are also the mini concertos for orchestra (without solo
instrument), written in a strong hollywoodian style. Among them: the
Waukegan Concerto (1947/6') by David Rose (1910-1990/USA) and the Copper
Concerto (recorded in 1958/4') by George Melachrino (1909-1965/GB), without
forgetting the Symphony in Jazz (1950/7') by Otto Cesana (1899-1980/USA), a
famous orchestrator who worked for the MGM studios.

More than ever, the British continued to be in first position regarding


mini piano concertos. At the request of Muir Mathieson (1911-1975) – a famous
174
Roger Roger is his real name.
175
John France’s review on MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Apr/Tippett_sy2_PASC460.htm,
accessed October 5, 2017]

64
conductor who was the musical director of Denham Studios – Arthur Bliss
wrote for the film “Men of Two Worlds” (Thorold Dickinson, 1945) the
concert piece Baraza (7'), which has the peculiarity of featuring a men’s
chorus ad libitum. British academic John Morris details:
“The film opens with one of the most potent symbols of the war years, a performance
– at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square – of a piano concerto by Kisenga (Robert
Adams), an African composer and pianist who has been in Europe for ten years but who is
returning to his native Tanganyika. The ‘Denham’ concerto was released as the ‘concert
piece’ Baraza for piano and orchestra by Decca in 1946 conducted by Muir Mathieson.”176

On the other hand, Reginald King (1904-1991/GB) arranged in 1946 his


Fantasy for piano and orchestra (13') originally composed in 1923, in order to
make it a para Denham Concerto, as British musicologist Geoffrey Self
explains:
“It [Fantasy for piano and orchestra, from 1923] foreshadows the film concertos that
would achieve such popularity in the 1940s. King’s dusting down of his work in 1946 may
even reflect an understandable hope to get in on the act.”177

To our knowledge, King’s Fantasy never ended up in Symphonic


Entertainment; on the other hand, his Runnymede Rhapsody (1947), in its
shortened version Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody (4'), achieved some
success.
George Melachrino (1909-1965), who was an important figure of British
Light Music, composed in 1936 a First Rhapsody for orchestra (7')178 which was
used as the “Signature Tune” of his popular orchestra. In 1948, he arranged
the work with piano for the film “House of Darkness”, directed by Oswald
Mitchell. This concertante version (3') was recorded during the ’50s by
famous popular concert pianist Alberto Semprini, accompanied by
Melachrino and His Orchestra.
In 1950 Peter Yorke (1902-1966/GB), a prolific composer of Light Music,
wrote a para Denham Concerto titled Dawn Fantasy (6'), about which David
Ades writes:
“It is largely forgotten today, but achieved considerable popularity during the era
when Warsaw Concerto spawned a glut of similar works which broadcaster Steve Race
astutely dubbed ‘the Denham Concertos’, because it seemed that most films emanating

176
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight: Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), p. 96.
177
Geoffrey Self, “Light Music in Britain since 1870: A Survey” (2001, republished in 2016),
p. 190.
178
As Light Music industry required extreme brevity, Melachrino’s First Rhapsody (1936) was
recorded only in two abridged versions: without piano (4'), with piano (3').

65
from that once-prolific British studio had a full-blown piano pseudo-concerto on the
soundtrack.”179

It is Charles Williams (1893-1978/GB), a great composer of Light Music


and conductor of film music, who wrote the third most famous Denham
Concerto180, entitled The Dream of Olwen, for the film “While I Live” (John
Harlow, 1947). This 5-minute work, which we hear in its entirety in the film
where it is supposed to be broadcast on the radio, became so famous that the
movie “While I Live” was renamed “The Dream of Olwen” in 1950.
The vogue spreaded beyond the English-speaking countries: in Italy,
famous classical and film composer Nino Rota arranged an orchestral work
without piano entitled Legend of the Glass Moutain (4') from his music for the
British film “The Glass Mountain” (Henry Cass, 1949). This work immediately
underwent various arrangements for piano and orchestra, the first of which
was made as early as 1949 by Arthur Wilkinson (1919-1968/GB). Thus
arranged, Legend of the Glass Mountain was to become one of the most
recorded Denham Concertos.
In France, Henri Sauguet (1901-1989) composed his Reverie concertante
for Henri Decoin’s 1948 film “Les Amoureux sont seuls au monde/Monelle”
(>5')181.
In Sweden, a concertante work was to become one of the most famous
tabloid concertos. The genesis of this piece is difficult to establish and
several untruths have been written about it. Based on our research, we shall
try to be as precise as possible: Willy Mattes (1916-2002/Aut) composed
Romans i moll (8') for the Swedish film “Brott i sol/Murder in the Sun” (Göran
Gentele, 1947). The Romans i moll for piano and orchestra was recorded on LP
as early as 1947, played by Sixten Ehrling with the Kungl Hovkapellet
orchestra conducted by the composer. This work was then adapted at least
twice in song. From 1948 onwards, Willy Mattes used the pseudonym Charles
Wildman and changed the title of his work to Swedish Rhapsody, probably for
copyright reasons and to take advantage of the success of the Cornish
Rhapsody (1944) by Hubert Bath (1883-1945/GB). In 1948, famous jazz pianist
Billy Mayerl (1902-1959/GB) published a solo piano arrangement of the main

179
Article by David Ades on the “Robert Farnon Society” website [online,
http://www.robertfarnonsociety.org.uk/index.php/legends/peter-yorke, accessed October 1,
2017]
180
During the ’50s, The Dream of Olwen (played by pianist Arthur Dulay) was used as a Main
Title for the Sunday night radio program “Hallmark Hall Of Fame”, hosted by actor Lionel
Barrymore.
181
In the film, we probably do not listen to Sauguet’s entire Reverie concertante, but only to
five minutes and thirty seconds. However, the complete work was performed in concert in
1948 by pianist Jacqueline Robin. As we did not manage to get a recording other than the
film soundtrack, we do not know the total duration of the work.

66
theme under the title Theme from Swedish Rhapsody. The following year, the
complete work, arranged for solo piano by Henry Geehl (1881-1961/GB), was
also published under the title Swedish Rhapsody. The piano-and-orchestra
version was then used in the Franco-Swedish film “Gypsy Fury/Singoalla”
(Christian-Jaque, 1950), as well as in the American film “Madame X” (David
Lowell Rich, 1966)182. All this makes Willy Mattes/Charles Wildman’s Romans
i moll/Swedish Rhapsody the only tabloid concerto featured in three different
films!
It should also be noted that German-Danish Peter Deutsch (1901-1965),
who wrote a para Denham Concerto titled Queen Elizabeth Concerto (1952/7')
under the pseudonym Pete Alman, composed (this time under his real name)
The Magic Picture (1950/15')183, alternatively subtitled piano concerto or fantasy
for piano and orchestra, which has only been radio broadcast, like many
other works of popular spirit.
We must also mention the Piano Concerto (1950/10') by Polish Henryk
Wars (1902-1977), who settled in the United States after World War II. This
work, which today is cataloged as a classical work, was first written as a mini
piano concerto, Wars having essentially made a career as a film composer.
According to Polish academic Marek Zebrowski:
“One thing is beyond doubt: according to Elizabeth Wars [Henryk Wars’ widow],
Richard Addinsell’s 1941 Warsaw Concerto was apparently one of Wars’s favorite pieces of
music.”184

Marek Zebrowski adds that the lyrical theme of the concerto:


“[…] it is a beautifully lyrical arrangement of Wars’s hit song, Po mlecznej drodze/Along
the Milky Way, composed in Iraq in 1942 to text by Feliks Konarski and sung by Rena
Anders for the Polish Second Corps soldiers on their trek from Persia to Monte Cassino.
This song was also successfully used in Michał Waszyński’s 1946 feature film, Wielka
droga/La Grande strada, with Rena Anders in the lead. […] the inclusion of this material
may have inspired Wars to consider giving his work the title of ‘Milky Way’ or ‘Starlight’

182
It should be noted that there is no tabloid concerto in the American drama film
“Madame X” (1966) directed by David Lowell Rich; only an excerpt (the principal theme) of
the Swedish Rhapsody, supposed to represent the heroine, is used in the Main Title and at
the very end of the film.
183
In “Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide” Enlarged Edition (1993), p. 80,
Maurice Hinson indicates a 10-minute duration for Peter Deutsch’s The Magic Picture
(Concerto for piano and orchestra). However, the program notes of the Danish Radio, which
broadcast this work on January 26, 1963, are precise: 14 minutes and 40 seconds [online,
http://files.danskkulturarv.dk/A-1963-01-26-S-0431.pdf, accessed January 14, 2018]
184
Marek Zebrowski, “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Henryk Wars: Discovering a
Masterpiece”, in “Musica Iagellonica”, vol. 9 (2018), p. 104 [online,
http://www.muzykologia.uj.edu.pl/documents/6464892/140681430/06_Zebrowski.pdf/ea3ccd4
f-c3a5-4e40-be46-63fa54b303e5, accessed April 29, 2019]

67
Concerto, as evidenced in various sketches for the work held in the Henryk Wars
Collection at the Polish Music Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.”185

From Hubert Bath (1883-1945/GB), who finished his career with the
Cornish Rhapsody (1944/7'), to Annunzio Mantovani (1915-1980/Ita/USA) – a
famous conductor of Light Music – who began his career with the Poem to the
Moon (1948/4'), the ’40s were the era which allowed mini piano concertos in
general, and tabloid concertos in particular, to benefit from both the cinema,
the radio and the recording industries, then in full swing. Here, we must also
mention the very active role of music publishers, especially those who
published arrangements for solo piano of the most famous themes under the
title “Theme from…”. We drew up the following list – as comprehensive as
possible – of the mini piano concertos published in this form (in
chronological order of their dates of publication):
- Richard Addinsell: Theme from Warsaw Concerto (USA: Chappell, 1942, 7 p.,
reduction by William Stickles)
- Hubert Bath: Theme from Cornish Rhapsody (Sydney: W.H. Paling & Co., 1944, 7
p.)
- Albert Arlen: Theme from El Alamein Concerto (Sydney: Chappell & Co., 1945, 8
p.)
- Clive Richardson: Theme from London Fantasia (Chappell & Co, 1945, 7 p.)
- Vivian Ellis: Theme from Piccadilly Incident (Chappell & Co. Ltd., 1946, 7 p.)
- George Melachrino: First Rhapsody: the signature tune of the George Melachrino
Orchestra (London: Arcadia Music Pub. Co., 1946, 5 p., reduction by Harry Ralton)
- Miklos Rozsa: Theme from Spellbound Concerto (Sydney: Chappell & Co., 1946, 6
p.)
- Gerard Tersmeden: Theme from Solitaire (Chappell & Co. Ltd., 1947, reduction by
Albert Sirmay)
- Andre Mathieu: Theme from Quebec Concerto (London: Chappell & Co. Ltd., 1948;
Liber Southern, 1949, 7 p.)
- Charles Wildman: Theme from Swedish Rhapsody (Leeds Music Corporation, 1948,
7 p.)
- Reginald King: Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody (New York: Leeds Music, 1950, 4
p.)
- Alberto Semprini: Themes from Mediterranean Concerto (London: Ascherberg,
Hopwood & Crew, 1950, 4 p.)
- Kenneth Leslie-Smith: Theme from The Mansell Concerto (London: Chappell &
Co., 1952, 6 p., reduction by Robert Gill)
- Stanley Laudan & Gordon Rees: Theme from Rhapsody for Elizabeth (Melbourne:
D. Davis & Co., 1953, 5 p.)
- Jimmy Sheldon: Blue Mist Theme, from Nob Hill Nocturne (Del Courtney Music Co.,
19 October 1953)
- Reynell Wreford: Theme from The Last Rhapsody (London: Ascherberg, Hopwood

185
Ibid., pp. 107 and 124.

68
& Crew Ltd., 1953)
- Howard Kasschau: Theme from Candlelight Concerto (Sam Fox, 24 December 1957)
- Philip Moody: Theme from Laguna Concerto (Hi-Ti Music Corp., 23 September
1966, 15 p.)

We note the absence of Charles Williams’ famous The Dream of


Olwen (1947): as this work lasts only four minutes, the reduction for solo
piano corresponds to the entire work, and consequently it was not published
under the title “Theme from…”. On the cover page of “Themes from the
Mediterranean Concerto”186, composed by Light Music pianist and composer
Alberto Semprini (1908-1990/GB), we read: “containing his Famous
Signature Tune”187. It proves that the (mainly amateur) pianists interested in
these “Themes from…” were only looking for the “catchy” themes (all being
more or less in a Rachmaninovian style) and not for the works themselves.
Hence the absence of abridged versions of Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto
Macabre (1945) or of Leith Stevens’ Piano Concerto in C minor/Concerto for
Sweeney (1947), as these two tabloid concertos do not have “romantic”
themes. In the same way, almost all works listed above have been recorded in
abridged piano-and-orchestra versions; this clearly shows that these works
gained relative celebrity in their time, but also that the listeners tended to be
attracted only by the principal theme, and not by the composition in itself:
for example, some mini piano concertos such as the First Rhapsody (1936) by
George Melachrino (1909-1965/GB) and the Runnymede Rhapsody (1947) by
Reginald King (1904-1991/GB) have been commercially recorded only in their
abridged versions. The same is true of the Bristol Concerto (1959/?) by Trevor
Herbert Stanford (1925-2000/GB), alias Russ Conway – a famous popular
pianist and composer – which appears to have been recorded only in an
abridged version, with an added women’s choir, under the title My Concerto
for You (1960/3'); a not very successful arrangement, musically speaking,
which proved very successful commercially…
To conclude, it will be noticed that even works by extremely
unknown composers had a “Theme from…” edition for solo piano. This thus
proves that it was not the celebrity of the composers that mattered, but the
quality of the themes – or more precisely, their memorability. In any case,
generally speaking, the mini piano concertos are almost always more famous
than their respective composers.

186
“Themes” with an “s”, because there are two memorable themes in this 1950 work,
whose original (complete) version for piano and orchestra lasts 7 minutes.
187
Music critic Philip Scowcroft writes: “Alberto Semprini […] produced a large number of
arrangements and some original compositions like Mediterranean Concerto used as the
signature tune for his popular radio feature ‘Semprini Serenade’” [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/July01/britinst.htm, accessed
November 5, 2017]

69
3- The ’50s-’60s: internationalization of the vogue

During the ’50s and ’60s, the congruence between tonal classical music
and film music reached its highest point in the Anglo-Saxon countries. On
both sides of the Atlantic, composers such as the Americans Aaron Copland,
Norman Dello Joio, Paul Creston, Nicolas Flagello, Robert Russell Bennett –
and their English counterparts William Walton, Benjamin Frankel, William
Alwyn, Richard Rodney Bennett and Malcolm Arnold – did not appear to
mark a real stylistic difference between their personal productions and the
music they wrote for the cinema. The first striking examples of this fusion
were given by British Arthur Bliss (1891-1975), who arranged a famous concert
suite from his music for “Things to Come” (William Cameron Manzies, 1936),
and by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958/GB), whose Symphony No. 7 is an
arrangement of his film score “Scott of the Antarctic” (Charles Frend, 1948).
Musicologist John Morris quotes this statement from Arthur Bliss:
“In the last resort film music should be judged solely as music – that is to say, by the
ear alone, and the question of its value depends on whether it can stand up to the test.”188

In the ’50s, almost all composers became ambivalent. So much so that


Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971/Rus/USA) recycled the music he had composed for
the American film “Commandos Strike at Dawn” (John Farrow, 1942) under
the title Four Norwegian Moods, whose world premiere was given in 1944 by
the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Stravinsky did the same with the music he
composed (and which was refused) for the film “Jane Eyre” (Orson Welles &
Robert Stevenson, 1944), which he reused the same year in his Odes189. In
parallel, American composer Gail Kubik (1914-1984) reworked his film scores
and gave them the following titles: Scenario for orchestra (1957) and Scenes for
orchestra (1962)190. Since 1942 the ASMA (American Society of Music
Arrangers) organized concerts where film composers presented their works
written outside of the cinema world191. This state of mind was very favorable

188
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), Introduction, p. 7.
189
Stravinsky’s Odes (1943) were premiered on October 8, 1943, by the Boston Symphony
Orchestra conducted by Serge Koussevitzky, who commissioned the work.
190
Gail Kubik’s Scenario for orchestra (1957) reuses his music for the film “The Desperate
Hours” (William Wyler, 1955), while his Scenes for orchestra (1962) reuse his music for the
film “I Thank a Fool” (Robert Stevens, 1962).
191
The ASMA of California brought together composers such as Clifford Vaughan, Edward
Plumb, Walter Scharf, Adolph Deutsch, Hugo Friedhofer, Leo Shuken, David Raksin,

70
to the mini piano concerto which, by its very nature, is a hybrid genre, as it
results from the effort to combine a compositional quality worth of being
played in concert halls with the three major elements of the cinematographic
writing (melodism/dramatic effects/conciseness). In addition, the film and
recording industries, which were more than ever active, gave composers
opportunities to write for a wide, almost world-sized, audience.
In the United States, the 1950s and 1960s were decades characterized
by the industrial production of short songs catalogued in the Easy Listening
genre, whose duration rarely exceeded three minutes. There were countless
popular orchestras which recorded LPs whose titles (mainly the most
popular tunes of the moment) attracted millions of listeners reluctant
towards so-called “serious” music. Some conductors even became stars192, as
several pianists already were (the most famous of them certainly being
Valentino Liberace). Pianist and arranger George Greeley (1917-2007/USA)
made a bestseller with his album “The World’s Ten Greatest Popular Piano
Concertos”193, which featured only mini piano concertos and concertante
arrangements of famous film themes. Easy Listening arrangements were
suitable for romantic evenings or dance parties, and provided a pleasant
background for those who listened to them on the radio or on a
phonograph/turntable. There are, however, some Easy Listening micro-
concertos which deserve to be mentioned, such as Starlight (1951/3') by Otto
Cesana (1899-1980/USA), who was the music director of Columbia; and the
Prelude to Peace (1953/4') by British female composer Joyce Cochrane (1908-
1988).
In parallel, composers of Light Music produced para Denham
Concertos which were written in a “classical” way, following the lines of the
Warsaw Concerto and Cornish Rhapsody. For example, in 1950 concert pianist
Alberto Semprini (1908-1990/GB) wrote the 7-minute Mediterranean Concerto,
which was frequently played in its shortened three-minute version in order
to fit the Light Music frame. And the same year Robert Docker (1918-
1992/GB) composed Legend (1950/7'), about which the music critic Barry
Knight writes:

Robert Russell Bennett, Arthur Morton, Earl Lawrence… cf. The Score, January 1944, pp. 3-
4 [online,
http://www.asmac.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ASMAC-Newsletter-1944-01.pdf,
accessed September 12, 2017]
192
Among the many stars of Easy Listening: George Melachrino and His Orchestra, Carmen
Dragon and His Orchestra, Annunzio Mantovani, Morton Gould, Russ Conway, Victor
Young, David Rose, Geoff Love, Percy Faith, Otto Cesana, Andre Kostelanetz, Roger
Williams, Frank Chaksfield, Peter Nero, Ray Coniff, Freddy Martin, Nelson Riddle, Stanley
Black, Les Baxter, Ron Goodwin and His Orchestra… In France: Frank Pourcel et son
orchestre, Grand Prix du disque français in 1956.
193
Warner Bros. Records 1249 (1957).

71
“Legend is probably one of Robert Docker’s best-known original compositions. It
represents that particular strand of light music, the ‘concerto-like’ feature for piano and
orchestra, happily ranking alongside The Dream of Olwen by Charles Williams, Hubert
Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody, Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto and Miklos Rosza’s
Spellbound Concerto. While these were all for use in films, Legend has remained essentially a
concert or broadcast piece only. He had taken one of the ideas for the piece from a suite he
had written for piano, viola and horn. While Docker was playing the draft version in the
publisher’s office, Sidney Torch was in earshot and remarked upon its potential. It was
used, however, by the BBC’s Home Service in 1959 during their Saturday Night Theatre
series, having been the inspiration for a play by Merlin Roberts entitled ‘The Long Way
Back’. […] Robert Docker performed this work on many occasions for the BBC and in
public concerts all over this country and in Australia.”194

Still in England, Charles Williams (1893-1978) – a composer we often


talk about – wrote his Romantic Rhapsody (1952/3'). Robert Farnon (1917-2005),
also mentioned several times in this thesis, had his Mid-Ocean (1954/5')
performed by the famous piano duo Rawicz and Landauer195. Arnold Steck
(pseudonym of Frank Leslie Statham, 1905-1974) wrote a Riviera Rhapsody
(publ. 1955/5').
But the most publicized mini piano concertos remained those written
for the cinema. In the year 1952 alone, in England Kenneth Leslie-Smith
(1897-1993) wrote The Mansell Concerto (4') for “The Woman’s Angle” (Walter
C. Mycroft); the famous Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) composed for the film
“Stolen Face” (Terence Fisher) the 8-minute A Stolen Face: Ballade, which is
his only excursion in the mini piano concerto genre. In Russia, Dmitri
Shostakovich (1906-1975) composed Assault on the Red Hill (7') for “The
Unforgettable Year 1919”, directed by Mikheil Chiaureli.
In 1952, Spanish composer Ricardo Lamote de Grignon wrote a tabloid
concerto for Rafael J. Salvia’s film “Concierto Mágico/Magic Concerto”.
Lasting eleven minutes, the Concierto Mágico does not differ from Lamote de
Grignon’s usual style, because of the scenario:
“The film tells the story of a composer who appears to have been cursed since the
various attempts to premiere his concerto are all frustrated by a succession of unfortunate
events. Ultimately, the well-known pianist Leopoldo Querol discovers the work, and with
great enthusiasm presents the premiere of the concerto with great success.”196

194
Booklet by Barry Knight for the NAXOS CD “Robert Docker: Orchestral Works”
(8.223837) [online,
http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?item_code=8.223837&catNum=223837&
filetype=About+this+Recording&language=English, accessed November 8, 2017]
195
Marjan Rawicz and Walter Landauer started a concert career before specializing in the
Light Music field. Throughout their long career, they recorded about fifty albums.
196
Xavier Puig i Ortiz, presentation of the score, on the publisher’s website [online,
https://www.boileau-music.com/en/works/concierto-magico-b-3593, accessed August 31,
2018]. It should be noted that the poster of the film “Concierto Mágico” (1953), directed by

72
The BBC was not stingy either concerning mini piano concertos.
Listeners could regularly hear The Last Rhapsody (1953/3'), composed by
Reynell Wreford (1898-1976/GB), as the theme for the “Music for Murder”
radio program. In the same way, the piece Journey to Romance (1955/4') is a
concertante arrangement that Richard Addinsell (1904-1977/GB) made of his
earlier orchestral piece Invocation, which was used as the theme for the
“Journey to Romance” radio program, broadcast since 1946. At last, the
“Destiny” radio program familiarized listeners with The Destiny Theme
(1957/3') by "Milton Carson", actually a pseudonym used jointly by three
British composers (Howard Barnes, Harold Fields and Joseph Roncoroni).
Performed by star pianist Alberto Semprini, The Destiny Theme gained some
success.
In 1955, the American piano duo Arthur Ferrante (1921-2009) and Louis
Teicher (1924-2008), stars of Easy Listening, composed and recorded their
Hollywood Rhapsody (7') which is, to our knowledge, the only mini piano
concerto written for two pianos without orchestra.
During the ’50s and ’60s, – two decades which were characterized by
constant internationalization – composers from all countries wrote short
piano concertante works which came straight out of either George
Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (1924) or Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto
(1941). These two styles often blended in works of German composers. The
desire to compete with the USA was already evident during the interwar
period when the UFA (Universum Film AG), founded in 1917, presented in
Germany cinema which was technically close to Hollywood197. Since the
music of German films was quite similar to what was being done on the
other side of the Atlantic Ocean, it was natural for the German composers to
compose mini piano concertos, like their Anglo-Saxon colleagues, in the
field of what they defined as “Gehobene Unterhaltungsmusik/Sophisticated

Rafael J. Salvia, has the peculiarity of presenting only musicians (we see portraits of
Spanish pianist Leopoldo Querol and of Spanish-Catalan conductor Juan Pich
Santasusana), with the following text: “Una película dedicada a todos los que por especial
favor de Dios aman la música” “A film dedicated to all those who, by a special favor of God,
love music”.
197
Among the jewels of the UFA, which quickly became a government agency: “Doktor
Mabuse, der Spieler” (1922), “Die Nibelungen” (1924) and “Metropolis” (1927), all three
directed by Fritz Lang, who later emigrated to the United States; “Der blaue Engel” (1930),
directed by Josef von Sternberg who also emigrated to the United States; “Münchhausen”
(1943), directed by Josef von Baky, a blockbuster film realized to celebrate the 25 years of
existence of the UFA. Cf. “La Fabrique du film allemand, l’UFA fête ses 100 ans”,
documentary by Sigrid Faltin (2017)

73
Light Music”. We can mention the following works written during the
1950s198:

- Nico Dostal (1895-1981): Blues-Fantasy (1949/7')199;


- Franz Josef Breuer (1914-1996): Rhapsody to the Night (Rhapsodie einer
Nacht) (?/9');
- Ernst Erich Buder (1896-1962): Fantasy in Blue (Fantasie in blue) (?/9');
- Erwin Mausz (1899-1969): Concert Piece (Konzerstück) (?/8');
- Bernd Scholz (1900-1969): Concerto appassionato (?/10');
- Ulrich Sommerlatte (1914-2002): Matinee, miniature concerto (?/7')200;
- Gerhard Winkler (1906-1977): Towards the Sun (Der Sonne entgegen),
concert piece (?/8');
- Willy Czernik (1901-1996): Dionysian Festivity (Dionysisches Fest),
rhapsody (publ. 1954/13');
- Kurt Herrlinger (1918-2003): Klavierismen, rhapsody (1956/8');
- Georg Haentzschel (1907-1992): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantische
Rhapsodie) (1957/10');
- Wolfgang Friebe (1909-1989): Slavic Rhapsody (Slawische Rhapsodie)
(1959/9')
- Klaus Wusthoff (b. 1922): Transatlantic Rhapsody (1959/9').

As we have already had occasion to mention, in 1952, when Elizabeth


of England was crowned, German-Danish Peter Deutsch (1901-1965) seized
the opportunity to compose a para Denham Concerto entitled Queen
Elizabeth Concerto (7')201. Since the Queen enjoyed the Denham Concertos,
two British composers, Stanley Laudan (1912-1992) and Gordon Rees (?-?),
wrote in her honor the Rhapsody for Elizabeth (8')202.

198
The German mini piano concertos of the ’40s-’60s are very difficult to date. Researching,
even in German language, tends to allow only approximations.
199
Blues-Fantasy was composed for American pianist Margot Pinter.
200
It is likely that the title Matinee (Matinée), written in French by composer Ulrich
Sommerlatte, does not mean “Morning” (for which he would have used the German word
“Morgen”), but refers to the term which designates a show which takes place in the
afternoon.
201
Peter Deutsch (1911-1965/Ger/Den) published his Queen Elizabeth Concerto under the
ironic pseudonym “Pete Alman”.
202
The Rhapsody for Elizabeth was premiered in 1952 by Alberto Semprini accompanied by
George Melachrino and His Orchestra. In 1958, this recording was released on the B-side of
a LP, with Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody on the A-side. Cf. The Sydney Morning Herald
from Sydney, New South Wales, July 13, 1958, p. 94. [online,
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/122704764/, accessed October 16, 2017]. In 1956,
German editor Telefunken released a performance of the Rhapsody for Elizabeth by Adolf
Drescher and the Hamburger Rundfunkorchester conducted by Walter Martin, also paired
with the Cornish Rhapsody by the same performers.

74
The vogue reached its peak in the late ’50s, as many LPs testify. In
1953, American composer, arranger and famous conductor Morton Gould
recorded for Columbia an LP consisting of three British simili tabloid
concertos: Mediterranean Concerto by Alberto Semprini (1908-1990); Legend by
Robert Docker (1918-1992); Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody by Reginald King
(1904-1991). As a music critic of the newspaper Billboard rightly remarked,
American radios (and also the BBC on the other side of the Atlantic)
popularized mini piano concertos:
“The abbreviated piano concerto seems to be a special product of the Radio Age.
There is a broad section of the public that upon occasion demands heavier fare than the
usual pop material that dominates radio programming, but is not prepared for the
unadulterated classical repertoire. The three short works presented here by Morton Gould
and the Rochester (N.Y.) Pops Orchestra are likely to satisfy such an audience. The flowing
romantic melodies, the lush orchestration and charged emotion of these one-movement
concertos are ably projected on this disk.”203

The LP “Concertos for Lovers” (MGM, 1954) brought together several


mini piano concertos performed by famous American concert pianist Sondra
Bianca. Some of them were already well known, while others were composed
especially for this album. Among them:

- From Dusk to Dawn204, rhapsody (1953/6') by Alec Wilder (1907-


1980/USA);
- Sunrise Concerto (1954/6') by Richard Ellsasser (1926-1972/USA);
- Concerto for Lovers (1954/4') by LeRoy Holmes (1913-1986/USA);
- Concerto Rhapsody (1954/5') by British Nina Willmot, arranged and
orchestrated by Richard Ellsasser.

In 1959, when this LP was reissued by the American label TROY


(under the title “Warsaw Concerto and other Concertos for Lovers”), there
were two additional works: Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto on the A-
side, and the Carnegie Hall Concerto (4') by Hugo Rubens (1905-1971/USA) on
the B-side. This LP was presented as follows:
“[…] it is music that is romantic in mood – music for a midnight mood – music for
those special moments lovers know. Silken strings sing, winds and brass sound forth
majestically, timpani roll – and over all soars the song of the piano in a festival of lush,
unforgettable music-making.”205

203
The Columbia LP is AL 36. Cf. The Billboard, August 22, 1953, page 38 [online,
https://books.google.fr/books?id=1QoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=morton+go
uld+mediterranean+legend+runnymede, accessed July 27, 2017]
204
From Dusk to Dawn (1953/6') is sometimes wrongly referred to as From Dawn to Dusk or
just Dawn to Dusk.
205
Notes on the back cover of the LP “Concerto for Lovers” (M.G.M. Records C 759, 1954).

75
During the 1950s, more and more LPs offered anthologies of mini
piano concertos, in which we almost always find the Warsaw Concerto (1941),
in more or less abridged versions, which serves as a reference and guarantees
the romantic “Hollywoodian” quality of the featured works.
Some composers even had the illusion that the fame of a handful of
tabloid concertos would allow them to experience the same success. This
hope spread to several countries: in the United States, Larry Coleman (b.
1938) composed the Brownstone Concerto (1953/8') in homage to the residential
neighborhood of New York, while Jimmy Sheldon (1926-2000) wrote the Nob
Hill Nocturne (1953/11'), tribute to the famous neighborhood of San Francisco.
The newspaper Billboard describes this last work:
“In the tradition of Rhapsody in Blue, Warsaw Concerto and Cornish Rhapsody, this is a
‘popular concerto’ for piano and orchestra. Composer James Sheldon plays its flowing
themes with finesse, backed by an orchestra conducted by Georges Greeley, who prepared
the orchestration.”206

In November 1957, Rebekah Harkness (1915-1982) had her Sylvan


Rhapsody/Woodland Caprice (8') premiered at Carnegie Hall. The composer –
who was best known as a dancer and choreographer – later used this para
Denham Concerto as the overture of her ballet Journey to Love,
commissioned for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. About the Sylvan
Rhapsody, a program note defines pretty much what a Denham Concerto is,
or its imitation by Rebekah Harkness: it is music
“[…] that is beautiful and enchanting, melodic and even ‘cinematic’ in
character. […] A surging theme featuring interplay of piano and orchestra […] gives this
section the magnificence of a classical piano concerto. […] The orchestra and piano rise to
Tchaikovskyan climaxes leading to a dazzling piano cadenza in which a difficult passage of
chromatic octaves culminates in the exciting conclusion of this sequence.”207

Hungarian Janos Gyulai Gaal (1924-2009) won the third prize of the
1956 Belgian Radio Light Music Competition with his Concerto in one
movement (12'). Gyulai Gaal based his work (written in sonata form: A-B-
development-A'-B') on two stylistically different themes: the first (energetic
and rhythmic) is written in a “classical” way, while the second (which
concludes the work) is sensual and sounds like Hollywood music.
In Switzerland, Toni Leutwiler (1923-2009), a prolific composer of
Light Music, wrote a Romantic Fantasy (1954/7') in the style of the Warsaw
Concerto, and a Concerto for piano, jazz orchestra and symphony orchestra
(1955/9') in the style of Gershwin. In Sweden, Per Lundkvist (1916-1999)

206
The Billboard, 16 February 1963, page 29 [online,
https://books.google.fr/books?id=cQsEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq, accessed
June 8, 2019]
207
Notes on the back cover of the LP WESTMINSTER XWN 18745 (1958).

76
composed a Mountain Rhapsody (1957/6'), about which piano-concerto-
specialist Maurice Hinson writes: “Flamboyant theatrical style”208; then a
Rhapsody in Red (1964/10'), as well as a Midnight Rhapsody (1975/7') and a Golden
Rhapsody (1990/9'). Also in Sweden, Austrian-born composer Willy Mattes
(1916-2002), after his famous Swedish Rhapsody (1947/8') published under the
pseudonym Charles Wildman209, composed the Concerto melodioso/Vienna
Concerto (1949/9'), then in the 1950s the Capriccio romantico (?/10')210 and the
Stockholm Concerto (1957/6'). Similarly, his compatriot Gerard Tersmeden
(1920-2004) composed several mini piano concertos throughout his career:
Solitaire (1945/4'), a para Denham Concerto which became rather famous in
England and the United States; Romantic Rhapsody (1947/7') and Mini Concerto
(1972/8'). In contrast, his Mediterranean Rhapsody (before 1973/12'), released on
the B-side of the vinyl which featured the Mini Concerto on the A-side, purely
belongs to the Symphonic Entertainment field, and does not have a
sufficiently concertante piano part, just like his For Hermine (before 1975/6').
In Mexico, film composer Manuel Esperon (1911-2011) wrote a Fantasia
(1951/4') which did not have any success, to our knowledge. In Norway,
Kolbjorn Ofstad (1917-1996) composed his Romantic Rhapsody (before 1957/7').
In Italy, while Camillo Bargoni (1907-?) achieved success with his Autumn
Concerto (before 1956/5'), Teresa Procaccini (b. 1934), who made her career as
a composer of “serious” music, began writing a set of mini piano concertos:
New York Picture (1958/8'); Viaggio a Las Vegas (1958/13'); An Evening in Paris
(1960/7'); Movie Music (1960/7'); Night Music (1960/6') and Sentimental Day
(1960/8').
In the United States, Bernie Wayne (1919-1993) merged symphonic jazz
and Hollywoodian music in his piano concertos Blues on the Rocks (7') and The
Strong and the Tender (8'), both dating from 1957. The same year, famous
“classical” composer Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008/USA) wrote, for the
documentary dedicated to him211 from the TV series “The Seven Lively Arts”,
a Ballad of the Seven Lively Arts (1957/10') in which these two great
complementary styles are also blended. In Argentina, Carlos Guastavino
(1912-2000), famous in his country for his many popular songs, wrote his
Romance de Santa Fe (1952/10'), a work which he premiered himself the
following year. Like almost all mini piano concertos, the work:

208
Maurice Hinson, “Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide” Enlarged
Edition (1993), p. 173.
209
About the Swedish Rhapsody, see above, paragraph 2.
210
The Capriccio romantico (?/10') also exists in a very abridged (and reorchestrated) version,
under the title Riviera Concerto (1959/3').
211
“Portrait of a Composer”, aired on CBS on February 3, 1958.

77
“Es un único movimiento con secciones de gran amplitud melódica e intensidad
expresiva […]”212
“is in a single movement with sections of great melodic amplitude and expressive
intensity […]”.

In Germany, very serious composer Gunter Bialas (1907-1995), known


for his open-mindedness and for his interest in the most modern aspects of
music, orchestrated in 1956 his 1952 Jazz-Promenade for two pianos. The
result is an astonishing 7-minute simili tabloid concerto which had the honor
of being radio broadcast under the direction of Rafael Kubelik. This
recording is so rare that no one seems to have listened to the piece, since all
references give a wrong duration of 10 minutes, including musicologist
Maurice Hinson’s213. The Jazz-Promenade, cast in several short and contrasted
linked sections, is stylistically close to the music of the film noir of this
period; in a sense, it seems to announce the orchestral violence and the
rhythmic-aggressive piano writing of scores composed by Elmer Bernstein
(1922-2004/USA) for the TV series “Johnny Staccato” (1959-1960). In Portugal,
Armando Tavares Belo (1911-1993) wrote a para Denham Concerto entitled
Concerto romantico (1957), which lasts fifteen minutes – an “extreme” duration
for a mini piano concerto.
1957 should have been the year of the tabloid concerto from the famous
Soviet film “The Cranes are Flying”, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, which
won the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. But it does not seem
that composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996)214 arranged the various
fragments of the piano concerto supposedly written by one of the characters
of the film. The same year, German composer Paul Haletzki (1911-2000)
arranged these fragments to form a 5-minute tabloid concerto; a work which
has never been recorded, to our knowledge. German musicologist David
Fanning wrote in the music review “Osteuropa”:
“Die Musik wurde so populär, dass Auszüge für diverse Ensembles erschienen.
Weinbergs Musik ‘à la Rachmaninoff’ – für die Szene, in der die Verlobte des Helden von
des-sen feigem Bruder (einem Komponisten) während eines Luftangriffs verführt wird –
wurde von Paul Haletzki zur Fantasie für Klavier und Orchester arrangiert.”215
“The music became so popular that excerpts arranged for various ensembles
appeared. Weinberg’s music ‘à la Rachmaninoff’ – for the scene in which the hero’s

212
Notes by Ana María Portillo for the CD “Guastavino Sinfónico” (2012) [online,
http://bibliotecadigital.uca.edu.ar/repositorio/revistas/revista-instituto-carlos-vega-27.pdf,
accessed October 1, 2017]
213
Maurice Hinson, “Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide” Enlarged
Edition (1993), p. 38.
214
This great composer’s name is sometimes spelled Moishe Vainberg.
215
David Fanning, “Mieczyslaw Weinberg, vie et œuvre”, music review “Osteuropa”, n°7,
2010, pp. 5-24.

78
fiancee is seduced and barely avoids being raped by his cowardly cousin Mark (a composer)
during an air raid – was arranged by Paul Haletzki in a ‘Fantasy for piano and orchestra’.”

The hope of writing a hit directly reached composers working for the
Easy Listening industry. In the United States, several composers joined
forces to produce an LP entitled “Concertos U.S.A.”216. Performed by the
famous popular orchestra “101 Strings” (completed for the occasion by other
instrumentalists), this LP, released in 1966, consists entirely of no less than
twelve micro-concertos, written in a very “glamorous” style and never
exceeding four minutes. Among them:

- Sunset Boulevard Concerto by Aldo Provenzano (1930-1999/USA);


- Lone Star Concerto by Edmond De Luca (1909-2004/USA);
- Manhattan Rhapsody by Joseph Francis Kuhn (1924-1962/USA).

All these short compositions are written in the style of the Hollywood
Golden Age, except the jazzy Concerto to St. Louis by Bernie Wayne (1919-
1993/USA). The price of success: the “101 Strings” orchestra released the
following year (in 1967) a triple album entitled “Two Hours in the Wonderful
World of Piano Concertos & Rhapsodies”217.
In 1965, for one of its advertising campaigns, Eastern Airlines
produced the non-commercial LP “Images in Flight, a North American
Odyssey” which brought together several short orchestral pieces evocative of
destinations served by the company. All these pieces were pre-existing “hits”
arranged and conducted by André Kostelanetz (1901-1980/Rus/USA), except
for two works composed for the occasion: famous “classical” composer Paul
Creston (1906-1985/USA) wrote his four-movement Airborne Suite, while Clay
Warnick (1915-1995/USA) composed a micro-concerto entitled Bermuda
Concerto (3')218.
France was not very sensitive to Light Music in general, and to mini
piano concertos in particular. So it is not a surprise that composers such as
Roger Roger (1911-1995), Paul Bonneau (1918-1995) and Wal-Berg (pseudonym
of Voldemar Rosenberg: 1910-1994) were forced to cross the Channel to
practice their art. Wal-Berg, notably, composed his ballade for piano and

216
Alshire Records, ALCD 6 (1966).
217
When we come to this kind of anthology, the term “mini piano concerto” is to be taken
in its laxest sense, since in their bulimia of arranging everything for piano and orchestra,
the “101 Strings” also arranged, for example, pieces like the Méditation de Thaïs (1894; arr. in
1965) by Jules Massenet (1842-1912/Fra).
218
Columbia Special Products, prepared exclusively for Eastern Airlines (1965). Collectors’
album, limited edition.

79
orchestra Holiday in Paris (1951/10'), which is undoubtedly one of the best
examples of French mini piano concertos219.
In 1958, American jazzmen Stan Kenton (1911-1979) and Pete Rugolo
(1915-2011) reorchestrated in a much more Hollywoodian way their Theme to
the West first recorded in 1947: the result, lasting five minutes, is a true mini
piano concerto.
Of course, British cinema kept up its momentum:

- Leslie Bridgewater (1893-1975) composed Legend of Lancelot (3') for the


portmanteau film “Train of Events” (Basil Dearden, 1949);
- Philip Green (1911-1982) wrote Song of Soho: Rhapsody (6') for “Murder
Without Crime” (J. Lee Thompson, 1950), as well as The Hour of Meditation
(3') for “24 Hours of a Woman’s Life/Affair in Monte Carlo” (Victor Saville,
1952);
- Leighton Lucas (1901-1982) composed for Alfred Hitchcock’s film
“Stage Fright” (1950) several segments for piano and orchestra which have
been “reconstructed” by Philip Lane (b. 1950), and recorded in 1994 under
the title Stage Fright Rhapsody (5')220.

In the United States, the virtuoso piece Midnight on the Cliffs, originally
entitled Midnight on the Newport Cliffs, – written for solo piano in 1942 by
future famous pianist of the Hollywood Bowl Leonard Pennario (1924-
2008/USA), then aged 18 – was adapted in 1954 in a 3-minute micro-concerto
by famous arranger and conductor Les Baxter (1922-1996/USA). At the same
time, the original work for solo piano was noticed by actress Doris Day, who
wanted to use it in the next film in which she starred: “Julie” (Andrew L.
Stone, 1956). In this movie, Pennario’s music, used only in its original solo
piano version, gives a strong dramatic tension to two iconic scenes. For the
promotion of the film, MGM studios released a single with a new
arrangement of this work, subtitled for the occasion Theme from “Julie” (3'),
performed by David Rose and His Orchestra. Then, in 1995, British pianist
Philip Fowke recorded a 5-minute version, sublimated by a sumptuous
orchestration by Lucien Cailliet (1891-1985) – a famous orchestrator of French
origin who worked for Hollywood – which transformed the work for solo
piano in a Denham Concerto. About this arrangement/performance, edited

219
Holiday in Paris (1951) occupied the B-side of a Telefunken LP (TW 30017) which had
Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (1941) on the A-side. Pianist: Willi Stech;
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, conducted by Wal-Berg.
220
In the booklet of the DECCA CD “Love Story: Piano Themes from Cinema’s Golden
Age” (2016), Philip Lane writes: “There is no piano in Leighton Lucas’s score for
Hitchcock’s Stage Fright (1950) […]”, p. 5. But when we watched the film, we noticed that
there is a short passage of solo piano (in a scene in which it is supposed to be played by
one of the characters), as well as a Love Scene with a concertante piano part (non-diegetic).

80
on the 1998 Naxos CD “Warsaw Concerto and Other Piano Concertos From
the Movies”, we need to raise a question that has (so far) not been answered,
despite our research: from when does Lucien Cailliet’s orchestration date,
and why was it done? It does not seem to have been made for the release of
the 1956 film, nor to have been commercially published before the 1998
Naxos CD, whose booklet states many inaccuracies. We wrote to concert
pianist Philip Fowke, who unfortunately replied to us: “[I] do not know the
date of the orchestral score. I used a copy from the BBC Library which was
returned.”221 We also wrote to conductor Proinnsias O’Duinn (who
conducted the RTE Concert Orchestra for the Naxos CD), whose answer
was: “The recording was made many many years ago. I am not aware of the
details regarding the reproduction of the music.”222 So, to date, the genesis of
this orchestration/arrangement remains unknown to us. For the
“Chronological Repertory”, we decided to put Midnight on the Cliffs in 1954,
which is the date of the first concertante arrangement by Les Baxter.
Also in Hollywood, Harry Sukman (1912-1984/USA) composed for the
film “Gog” (Herbert L. Strock, 1954) a three-minute piece entitled Nightfall;
some years later, the composer produced an extended version under the title
Nightfalls into Starlight (8'), for the British film “The Naked Runner” (Sidney
J. Furie, 1967).
In 1959 Ferde Grofe (1892-1972/USA), who carried out no fewer than
three orchestrations of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue223, finished the Piano
Concerto in D minor (New England Concerto) that he had started composing in
1931 while he was working as an arranger/orchestrator for the popular
conductor Paul Whiteman (1890-1967/USA)224. Like several other works
mentioned above, this “long” mini piano concerto (15 minutes) synthesized
two great popular American musical trends: symphonic jazz and
Hollywoodian music. This synthesis can also be found in several of Grofe’s
orchestral compositions, such as Broadway at Night (1924), Tabloid Suite (1933)
and Hollywood Suite (1938).
The 1960s continued to produce many mini piano concertos, but this
musical genre was already losing momentum since the general public, to
which it was destined, turned its attention towards even shorter works:
namely rock and pop songs, that monopolized the listeners’ attention more
and more. Film music was also threatened, as noted by French musicologist
Michel Chion:

221
E-mail that Mr. Fowke sent us on January 22, 2018.
222
E-mail that Mr. O’Duinn sent us on January 23, 2018.
223
Rhapsody in Blue was orchestrated by Ferde Grofe three times: in 1924, in 1926, and
finally in 1942.
224
As Grofe wrote in program notes. Quoted in James Farrington, “Ferdé Grofe: an
investigation into his musical activities and works” (1985), p. 151.

81
“le renouveau de la musique de cinéma dans les décennies cinquante et soixante
[…] est marqué globalement par l’invasion successive du jazz, puis de la chanson et enfin
de la pop […]. Bernard Herrmann démissionne avec éclat de son association de
compositeurs, pour protester contre la situation.”225
“the revival of cinema music in the fifties and sixties [...] was marked globally by the
successive invasions of jazz, then of songs, and finally of pop music [...]. Bernard Herrmann
resigned ostentatiously from his association of composers, to protest the situation.”

At the same time, film music Main Themes no longer tended to be


symphonic; they were usually sung, or scored with solo instruments, and
some of them became “hits”:

- “The Third Man” (Carol Reed/Orson Welles, 1949), in which the


entire soundtrack consisted of pieces for solo zither, played by Anton Karas;
- “Jeux interdits/Forbidden Games” (René Clément, 1951), with the
famous guitar theme by Fernando Sor, played by Narciso Yepes;
- “Limelight” (Charlie Chaplin, 1952), with the song Eternally by
Chaplin himself;
- “High Noon” (Fred Zinneman, 1952), with the song Do Not Forsake
Me, Oh My Darling by Dimitri Tiomkin (1894-1979/Ukr/USA) with lyrics by
Ned Washington;
- “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (David Lean, 1957), in which
everyone whistles the Colonel Bogey March, written in 1914;
- “Alamo” (John Wayne, 1960), in which the trumpet keeps playing the
famous recreation by Dimitri Tiomkin of the Mexican Deguello;
- “Goldfinger” (Guy Hamilton, 1964), where the brass section screams
in the Main Title composed by John Barry (1933-2011/GB) and sung by
Shirley Bassey;
- “Zorba the Greek” (Michael Cacoyannis, 1964), with the famous
Sirtaki dance, adapted by Mikis Theodorakis (b. 1925/Gre);
- “Doctor Zhivago” (David Lean, 1965), with the famous Lara’s Theme
by Maurice Jarre (1924-2009/Fra);
- “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (Sergio Leone, 1966), soundtrack
composed by Ennio Morricone (b. 1928/Ita);
- “The Laureat” (Mike Nichols, 1967), with the song Sound of Silence by
Simon & Garfunkel;
- “The Thomas Crown Affair” (Norman Jewison, 1968), with the song
The Windmills of Your Mind by Michel Legrand (1932-2019/Fra);
- “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (George Roy Hill, 1969), with
the song Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head by Burt Bacharach (b. 1928/USA),
with lyrics by Hal David.

225
Michel Chion, “La Musique au cinéma” (1995), pp. 140 and 142.

82
However, tabloid concertos were still being composed… In England,
Hammer Studios featured a Vampire Rhapsody (7'), written by their “official”
composer James Bernard (1925-2001), in the movie “Kiss of the Vampire”
(Don Sharp, 1963). David Huckvale, biographer of James Bernard, writes:
“[…] the celebrated Vampire Rhapsody [is] Bernard’s gothic reply to Addinsell’s
Warsaw Concerto, which had started a veritable fashion for what the American press came
to label ‘tabloid concertos’.”226

Charles Williams (composer of the famous The Dream of Olwen, 1947)


composed for the film “The Appartment” (Billy Wilder, 1960) the Theme from
“The Appartment” (4'), a piece which had some success and was arranged –
with a more concertante piano part – by Russo-Finnish conductor and
pianist George de Godzinsky (1914-1994).
In France, René Cloerec (1911-1995) composed a Concerto pour piano (5')
for Claude Autant-Lara’s film “The Murderer” (1962), which did not have a
success. Idem concerning the romantic Lolita Theme (5') written by Bob
Harris (1925-2000/USA) for Stanley Kubrick’s homonymous movie, released
in 1962.
In Italy, too, the audience was uninterested in the Windsor Concerto (3')
written by Carlo Rustichelli (1916-2004) for the film “The Whip and the
Body” (Mario Bava, 1963).
In the United States, for the needs of the film “The World of Henry
Orient” (George Roy Hill, 1964), a producer required a tabloid concerto to be
written in a clearly modernist way – for the first time in cinema history. The
result is the Piano Concerto (7')227 composed by Ken Lauber (b. 1941/USA). Of
course this work did not achieve public success.
In 1969, as part of the “Apollo 11” manned lunar mission, the official
documentary “Footprints on the Moon”, directed by Bill Gibson, used the
Laguna Concerto (1960/8'), – a simili tabloid concerto composed by Philip
Moody (1921-2011/GB/USA) – which was abridged and retitled for the occasion
Lunar Concerto, with an added voiceover of the narrator.
Some English composers of the “new” generation started their career
with a mini piano concerto. Such is the case of Howard Blake (b. 1938),
whose Rhapsody for a Summer’s Night (1961/3') was premiered by famous
popular pianist Alberto Semprini228. In an e-mail229 in which we were talking

226
David Huckvale, “James Bernard, Composer to Count Dracula: A Critical Biography”
(2002), p. 124.
227
Ken Lauber’s Piano Concerto (1964) lasts 7 minutes, but only a 4-minute extract is heard
in the movie.
228
Alberto Semprini (1908-1990/GB) himself composed two mini piano concertos:
Mediterranean Concerto (1950/7') and Concerto appassionato (1956/5'), the latter being a para
Denham Concerto.
229
E-mail that Mr. Blake sent us on January 26, 2017.

83
about this work, Howard Blake confirmed that he had composed it in the
spirit of the Warsaw Concerto, a point he also made in his autobiography:
“I wrote Rhapsody for a Summer’s Night in the tradition of Richard Addinsell’s
Warsaw Concerto or Charles Williams’ The Dream of Olwen. He [Clive Lythgoe] seemed very
pleased, broadcasting it with Paul Fenoulhet conducting the BBC Revue Orchestra.”230

Thus, whatever their nationality, young composers continued the


tradition. Latvian Raimonds Pauls (b. 1936) wrote a Rhapsody for piano and
light music orchestra (1964/8'). Canadian Claus Ogerman (b. 1930) wrote a
Canadian Concerto (1962/12'). German Ralph Siegel (b. 1945) wrote a Dream
Rhapsody/Traum-Rhapsodie (1965/5'). French Michel Legrand (1932-2019)
arranged a Concerto Theme (3') from his score for the musical film “Les
Demoiselles de Rochefort” (Jacques Demy, 1967). Older composers kept
trying to seduce an audience that now turned its back on them. Dutchman
Hans Vlig van der Sys (1917-1983) and German Christian Schmitz-Steinberg
(1920-1980) wrote a para Denham Concerto entitled Rainbow Concerto (7')
which was published in 1967 in a reduction for two pianos arranged by
German Erich Börschel. Swiss Cédric Dumont (1916-2007) did not have more
success with his The Song of the Piano (1967/6'). The same is true concerning
the Autumn Rhapsody (before 1964/5') by Australian Moneta Eagles (1924-
2003), about which Australian musicologist Larry Sitsky writes:
“Moneta Eagles composed two works for piano and orchestra. The shorter of the
two, Autumn Rhapsody, with a slightly reduced orchestra, is in one movement and in a quasi
popular vein, the genre of concerti that used to appear in films, and which gave birth to
works like the Warsaw Concerto and the Cornish Rhapsody.”231

But everything announced the end of Hollywoodian romanticism. As


musicologist Pierre Berthomieu observes:
“[…] les années 1950-1960 réclament un son plus immédiat, plus ancré dans
l’instantané des modes et de la perception […]”232
“[…] the years 1950-1960 demanded a more immediate sound, more anchored in the
snapshot of trends and perception […]”

Sign of the times, more and more often, film scores were composed by
pop music stars233.

230
Cf. Howard Blake, Autobiography [online,
http://www.howardblake.com/music/Verse-Prose/662/WALKING-IN-THE-AIR-CAN-BE-
DANGEROUS.htm, accessed October 21, 2017]
231
Larry Sitsky, “Australian Piano Music of the Twentieth Century” (2005), p. 263.
232
Pierre Berthomieu, “La Musique de film” (2004), p. 60.
233
The band Traffic composed the soundtrack of the movie “Here We Go Round the
Mulberry Gush” (1967); the band Pink Floyd: “The Committee” (1968); George Harrison
(one of the Beatles): “Wonderwall” (1968); the band Manfred Mann: “Up the Jonction”
(1968)…

84
The last “major” mini piano concerto was the Rhapsody 21 (1961/7')234,
composed for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair by Antoinette “Toni” Mineo (b.
1926) and orchestrated by her husband Attilio Mineo (1918-2010). This work
was simultaneously released in two editions, taken from the same recording
(with pianist Sondra Bianca and conductor Paul Whiteman): a 7-minute
version as part of the merchandising of the World’s Fair, and a 21-minute
version on the LP “Paul Whiteman Conducts Rhapsody 21”, which features
many slightly varied repetitions of the principal themes and some short
original sections such as two cadences for solo piano. One of the great
collectors active on the website UnsungComposers (a forum dedicated to rare
recordings of classical music) writes:
“This is Rachmaninoff meeting The Dream of Olwen – cheesy ‘running toward each
other along cliff tops’ music – but quite charming, well to me anyway!”235

It was American popular conductor Paul Whiteman (1890-1967) – who


had premiered George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924 – who conducted
the world premiere of Rhapsody 21 in 1961. Thus, we come full circle.

4- From 1970 to today: the decline of the vogue

The glorious years of Hollywood and Broadway were now a thing of


the past. Times had changed: cinema was becoming more and more
independent of the big studios, and popular music was gradually moving
towards international song and pop music. Since the 1950s, serious
orchestral music was geared to dodecaphonic and serial writing, while
electro-acoustic music was booming. On the other hand, in the Light Music
field, some composers still resisted, like British Robert Docker (1918-1992)
who composed a London Rhapsody (10') in 1974. However, the vogue of the
mini piano concerto was finished.
But the mini piano concerto genre was to produce one last very famous
work, on the occasion of the release of a film that beat audience records. So
far, the tabloid concertos had only been featured in movies which have not

234
In the title Rhapsody 21, “21” stands for “21st century”, since the Seattle World’s Fair was
themed “Century 21 Exposition”. In the official collector’s edition, this mini piano concerto
was presented: “Resolution from Washington State Legislature proclaiming the adoption
of Rhapsody 21 as the official theme music for the Century 21 Exposition”. There was also a
“Letter of congratulations to the composer of Rhapsody 21 from the Junior Senator Henry
M. Jackson”.
235
Semloh (pseudonym), more than 1,200 uploads on UnsungComposers [online,
http://www.unsungcomposers.com/forum/index.php/topic,3621.150.html, accessed
September 12, 2017]

85
left an imperishable memory, even among cinephiles. The American film
“Love Story” (1970), adapted from Erich Segal’s best-selling novel and
directed by Arthur Hiller, was quite different. This film won five Golden
Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Drama,
Best Screenplay... and Best Original Score. The music, composed by Francis
Lai (1932-2018/Fra), also won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Music
(Original Score) and quickly became a staple of popular music. We can not
count the numerous arrangements for various ensembles of the Love Story
Theme (4'), which became the most sung and whistled of all mini piano
concertos.
The following year, another French composer, Michel Legrand (1932-
2019), won the “44th Academy Awards Oscar for Original Dramatic Score”
and the “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” for his music for the
American film “Summer of ‘42” (Robert Mulligan, 1971). Michel Legrand
immediately arranged his Main Theme into a micro-concerto, under the title
Concertino pour piano et orchestre (4')236.
In 1973, French Claude Bolling (b. 1930) wrote a parodic Piano Concerto
(3') for Philippe de Broca’s film “Le Magnifique”, but this piece had no
particular success. The same observation can be made of the Concerto for
Harry (9'), written by Roy Budd (1947-1993/GB) for the film “Something to
Hide” (Alastair Reid, 1971), and of the Piano Concerto “Thirty Nine Steps” (12')
that Ed Welch (b. 1947/GB) arranged from his music for the film of the same
name, directed by Don Sharp and released in 1978. Idem concerning the 1994
Piano Concerto “The Forgotten Manuscript” (11') composed by Eduard Artemyev
(b. 1937/Rus) for the Russian film “Burnt by the Sun”, directed by Nikita
Mikhalkov – and this despite the fact that the film won the Oscar for Best
Foreign Language Film.
In 1980, French composer Laurent Petitgirard (b. 1950) arranged three
of his film scores237 into a concertante piece entitled The Rosebud Suite (17'); it
remains, to date, the longest one-movement work for piano and orchestra
arranged from film music.
Since Japan was largely open to Western music, in 1970 popular
composer (who was also a film actor) Dan Kosaku238 composed a 7-minute
mini piano concerto, very influenced by Rachmaninoff, which was premiered
by pianist Kentaro Haneda with the New Japan Philharmonic Symphony
Orchestra. In 1985, it became the first movement of his three-movement
Piano Concerto in D minor, orchestrated with the help of arranger Morioka

236
The concertino “Summer of ’42” is better known in its version for harp and orchestra,
also arranged by the composer.
237
The films “Rosebud” (Otto Preminger, 1975), “L’Amant de poche/The Pocket Lover”
(Bernard Queysanne, 1978), “Asphalte” (Denis Amar, 1980).
238
Often spelled Kousaku or Kohsaku (pseudonym of Yuzo Kayama, b. 1937).

86
Kenichiro (b. 1934). Still in Japan, the film “Suna no Utsuwa/The Castle of
Sand” (Yoshitarō Nomura, 1974) was one of the biggest box office hits of the
’70s – a success partly due to the music by Mitsuaki Kanno (1939-1983),
scored for piano and orchestra because one of the main characters of the
film, Eiryo Waga, is a pianist/composer. In 2004, a TV series adaptation was
made, under the same title, and composer Akira Senju (b. 1960) composed a
tabloid concerto (in 2 movements, 12' and 9'), entitled Shukumei/Fate, – after
the title of the concerto supposedly composed by the character of the film –
which condensed the original score of Mitsuaki Kanno. The first movement
of this work is a kind of mini piano concerto; however it hardly has the
characteristics of those of the Hollywood Golden Age. Nonetheless, the Piano
Concerto “Shukumei” was one of the biggest commercial successes in Japan, in
the category… “Classical Music”!
Since the ’70s, the film music industry multiplied the reissues of the
great soundtracks; it offered a last refuge to the tabloid concertos of the
Golden Age. In the United States, conductors like Charles Gerhardt (1937-
1999), Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004) and William T. Stromberg (b. 1964)
specialized in the field of reinterpretation239. In England, conductor Rumon
Gamba (b. 1972) launched, with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the
collection “The Film Music of…”, a collection which continues today. On the
occasion of the recording of a CD devoted to tabloid concertos of the British
Cinema Golden Age, the various fragments of a piece for solo piano
composed by Jack Beaver (1900-1963) for the movie “The Case of the
Frightened Lady” (George King, 1940) – a piece which was supposed to be
played by one of the characters of the film – were arranged by Philip Lane (b.
1950) in 1998 under the title Portrait of Isla (5').
Written by Mischa Spoliansky (1898-1985/Rus/USA) for the movie “Idol
of Paris” (Leslie Arliss, 1948), and arranged in a seven-minute version by
George L. Zalva (?-?/USA), the piece Dedication was recorded in 2009 on the
occasion of a CD dedicated to the film music of this somewhat forgotten
composer240.
In Germany, Ernst Brandner (1921-2015) arranged a Carlos-Fantasie
(1971/6') after his music for the TV series “Carlos”; this work went unnoticed.
The same can be said concerning the “Miracle at Midnight” Piano Concerto
(2001/16') adapted by American composer William Goldstein (b. 1942) from

239
Charles Gerhardt (1927-1999/USA): collection “Classic Film Scores of…”. Elmer
Bernstein (1922-2004/USA): collection “Original Motion Picture Scores”. William T.
Stromberg (b. 1964/USA): collection “Tribute Film Classics”.
240
Mischa Spoliansky’s Dedication (1948) had already been recorded, in a 4-minute Light
Music version, by Sidney Torch (1908-1990/GB) conducting the Queen’s Hall Light
Orchestra.

87
his music for the TV movie of the same name (1997), directed by Ken
Cameron and produced by ABC channel.
Although the popularity of mini piano concertos was on the decline,
composers from various backgrounds continued to write such works,
probably more out of personal taste (or nostalgia) than in the hope of making
a popular success. Thus, British Gordon Langford (1930-2017) composed his
fantasy for piano and orchestra A Song for All Seasons (1997/12'), about which
English music critic Steve Arloff writes:
“A Song for All Seasons is described as a ‘Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra’. It opens
with a theme that is as serious as it is melodic, with a twenties feel to it. In fact it frequently
brought Gershwin to mind. This is a miniature gem imbued with excitement and carried
off with panache by William Stephenson as soloist.”241

Here, it is necessary to evoke “classical” composers; one cannot state


with certainty that they wanted to compose simili tabloid concertos, and
their works – which do not belong to the field of Symphonic Entertainment
(especially since Symphonic Entertainment was almost disappearing in the
’70s-’80s) – are at the very border separating mini piano concertos and short
“classical” piano concertante works. Let us mention the Piano Concerto No. 2
(1982/14') by Myroslav Skoryk (b. 1938) – a famous Ukrainian “classical”
composer who also wrote a number of film scores between 1961 and 1991.
Here is the description made by the presenter of a concert in which this
concerto was played:
“Dramatic mood of the piece, play of contrasts, combination of pop and jazz motifs
– this is the diversity that characterizes Skoryk’s neoromantic period.”242

We must also mention French-Lebanese composer Bechara El-Khoury


(b. 1957) who composed his Poem for piano and orchestra No. 1, op. 11 (1980/12')
and Poem for piano and orchestra No. 2, op. 22 (1981/11') at the beginning of his
career. These two works constantly use the romantic-dramatic characteristics
and the sequential form of tabloid concertos. Describing Poem No. 1, French
musicologist Gérald Hugon states:
“Au cours de ses diverses péripéties, l’œuvre traverse une succession d’états
expressifs, dramatiques, bucoliques, rêveurs ou épiques, colorés parfois d’inflexions
orientales ou d’harmonies proches de Rachmaninov. L’avant dernier paragraphe, le seul

241
Steve Arloff’s review on the website MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Feb04/langford.htm, accessed
October 22, 2017]
242
On the Ukrainian website “Lviv Philharmonic Society” [online,
http://www.philharmonia.lviv.ua/04-2017/news-20170303-1703/?lang=en, accessed December
6, 2017]

88
qui présente vraiment l’aspect d’une opposition concertante entre l’instrument soliste et
l’orchestre, contraste par son tempo presque trois fois plus rapide.”243
“As it meanders along, it traverses a succession of states of mind — dramatic,
bucolic, dreamy and epic, some of them colored by oriental inflections or Rachmaninov-
like harmonies. The penultimate paragraph, the only one to provide a truly concertante
opposition between soloist and orchestra, provides a marked contrast, being almost three
times faster in tempo.”

And about Poem No. 2, the same Gérald Hugon specifies:


“[…] diffère du Poème n°1 par un caractère concertant plus affirmé et brille par une
écriture pianistique prédominante et plus démonstrative. L’œuvre laisse transparaître des
élans romantiques, des accents héroïques, des moments de rêve et s’achève par une
vigoureuse coda pleine d’éclat.”244
“Its dominant, more demonstrative piano writing is dazzling, and the work treats us
to romantic impulses, heroic accents and dreamlike moments before ending with a lively
and sparkling coda.”245

In the ’80s, the Symphonic Entertainment industry collapsed. Austrian


composer Werner Bruggemann (1936-1997) was forced to score his three mini
piano concertos – City Melody (6'); One Day in My Life (5'); Rike, concerto in one
movement (8') – for piano and wind orchestra in order to have them
performed and recorded. The same was true for Dutch composers Walter
Kalischnig (b. 1926) and Rinus van Galen (1930-1989), who wrote the
Continental Concerto for piano and concert band (?/8').
When Russian Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937) wrote his Concert Rhapsody
(1976) – a kind of Easy Listening piece whose duration was increased to ten
minutes – he opted for a decidedly jazz style, as in almost all his other works.
With pop music now omnipresent246, film composers such as Michel Legrand
(1932-2019/Fra) and Lalo Schifrin (b. 1932/USA) preferred to shine in jazz
style rather than in Hollywoodian glamour style, which now seemed very
outdated. The “show” composers, for their part, preferred arranging tunes
from musicals or from rock songs. For example, Croatian Alan Bjelinski (b.
1964) arranged for piano and orchestra the famous Bohemian Rhapsody
(2009/7') by the band Queen247; Australian Gavin Lockley (b. 1978) arranged a
14-minute piano concerto from his musical King of the Air (2014; story and
lyrics by Ann Blainey). At the same time pop composer Rick Wakeman (b.

243
Gérald Hugon, booklet of the Naxos CD 8.557692 (2006).
244
Ibid.
245
English translation of Gérald Hugon’s texts by Susannah Howe.
246
Latvian Imants Kalnins (b. 1941) composed his Symphony No. 4 “Rock Symphony” (1972/50'),
his compatriot Zigmunds Lorencs (b. 1949) wrote his Concertino for Orchestra and Rock Band
(1977/12'), American David Kraehenbuehl (1923-1997) composed his Rhapsody in Rock for
piano and orchestra (1978/6'), and New Zealander Jenny Helen McLeod (b. 1941) wrote her
Rock Concerto for piano and orchestra (1986/22').
247
The original Bohemian Rhapsody by the band Queen dates from 1975.

89
1949/GB) performed at the Royal Festival Hall (London) a kind of mini piano
concerto entitled Pearl and Dean Concerto (1974/5'), named after the British
film advertising company Pearl & Dean. And British John Lenehan (b. 1958)
arranged the last movement of the Symphony No. 9 “New World Symphony”
(1893) by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904/Cze) to make a pseudo mini piano
concerto, to which he gave the title New World Concerto (2006/4')248.
As we can see in these last examples, we are very far from the specific
musical genre which elegantly illustrated the Hollywoodian style, about
which French musicologist Pierre Berthomieu writes:
“Le lyrisme hollywoodien aime l’ornement mélodique. L’accompagnement
orchestral est toujours riche, généreux dans ses effets de trilles, de trémolos, ses mélismes,
ses exotismes (seconde augmentée, cinquième ascendante), ses triolets. Lorsque l’écriture
mélodique pratique la dissonance, c’est une dissonance agréable à l’oreille (septième,
neuvième, onzième).”249
“Hollywood lyricism loves melodic ornamentation. The orchestral accompaniment
is always rich, generous in its effects (trills, tremolos), its melismas, its exoticism
(augmented second, ascending fifth), its triplets. When melodic writing uses a dissonance,
it is a dissonance which is pleasant to the ear (seventh, ninth, eleventh).”

After the breaking waves of Disco, Techno and Rap, all this is over. At
the dawn of the 21st century, it even seems impossible to compose a mini
piano concerto stylistically similar to those of the Hollywood Golden Age.
However, in 2014, an mp3 album entitled “Tierra Nueva Antología Musical De
Tabasco Vol. 3” was released by the MultiMusic Mexico label; this album
featured several works for solo piano and four short works for piano and
orchestra, played and conducted by Mexican pianist, composer and
conductor Joaquín Borges, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. The
name(s) of the composer(s) was/were not indicated for any of the works in
this mp3 album. But, concerning the four short concertante works, listening
to them allows us to make this sad observation: these four micro-concertos,
supposedly depicting Mexico, are actually works by composers from the
United States dating from the ’50s-’60s. Each title was “mexicanised”:

Concierto Danzante = Edmund DeLuca’s Motor City Concerto;


Etrellas de la Ciudad = Edmund DeLuca’s Lone Star Concerto;
Noches de Villahermosa = Sol Gubin’s Nights at Beacon Hill;
Rapsodia Tabasqueña = Joseph Francis Kuhn’s Manhattan Rhapsody.

248
We have not listed the New World Concerto or the Bohemian Rhapsody in the “First
Repertory” because they are based on pre-existing works (cf. Chapter II, criterion n°7: a
mini piano concerto is not an arrangement of a work from the classical repertoire, or of a
theme from film music, or of a popular song…), unlike the King of the Air Piano Concerto by
Gavin Lockley.
249
Pierre Berthomieu, “La Musique de film” (2004), p. 51.

90
These four micro-concertos, released on the 1966 LP “Concertos
U.S.A.”250, were performed by the famous “101 Strings” orchestra… and not
by a Mexican orchestra called the “National Philharmonic Orchestra”251
conducted by “Joaquín Borges”. The very existence of “Joaquín Borges”252 is
dubious, as several other mp3 albums supposed to be played and/or
conducted by him also turn out to be recordings “stolen” from other
performers…
So, our story of the vogue of the mini piano concertos ends with a
fraud, which is now referenced as such on “Music for Piano and Orchestra:
The Recorded Repertory” by Dr. Allan B. Ho253.

250
About the 1966 LP “Concertos U.S.A.”, see above: paragraph 3 “The ’50s-’60s: the
internationalization of the vogue”.
251
A “National Philharmonic Orchestra” did exist, but it was an English orchestra active in
the 1960s, without any connection to “Joaquín Borges” or Mexico.
252
Of course, it seems impossible to find the date of birth of “Joaquín Borges”. The choice
of this name may be a private joke, and it might refer to Argentine writer and essayist
Jorge-Luis Borges, whose many works deal with the True and the False, impostures,
imaginary writers and artistic frauds.
253
“Music for Piano and Orchestra: The Recorded Repertory”, by Dr. Allan B. Ho,
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (USA) [online,
http://www.siue.edu/~aho/discography/Discography.pdf, accessed October 26, 2017]

91
CHAPTER V

The most famous mini piano concertos: the


Denham Concertos

1- Denham Concertos: the must of tabloid concertos

In “The Seven Year Itch” (Billy Wilder, 1955), the (fantasized) character
embodied by Marylin Monroe exclaims, while listening to Rachmaninoff’s
Piano Concerto No. 2:
“Everytime I hear it, I go to pieces!… It shakes me! It quakes me! It makes me feel
goose-pimply all over! I don’t know where I am or who I am or what I’m doing!”

This is the effect that every director wanted to achieve when he


decided to introduce in his film a romantic concerto or, at least, its most
“exciting” section(s). The difficulty was to choose the right concerto, because
few works of the classical repertoire can be in perfect osmosis with the spirit
of a film (or of the sequence in which they are integrated). In addition, the
work must not be difficult to listen to. For musicologist John Morris:
“The music in melodrama tended to popularity precisely because it doesn’t require
any prior knowledge of musical form in order to appreciate it, so perhaps the audiences
who bought recordings of the Warsaw Concerto were indeed immersing themselves in
treacle. The characteristics of this type of music – melody-driven, texture rich, dense
orchestration and chromatic harmony, and rooted in the 19th century – was continued in
Hollywood in the work of composers such as Erich Korngold and Max Steiner.”254

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, composed in 1901, was one


of the unsurpassed models of tabloid concertos in cinema. But as this same
concerto was used in many films, a director ran the risk that the expected

254
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), Chapter II, p. 32.

92
effect could be weakened. In England, Denham Studios255 were the first to
find the solution: convince Rachmaninoff (1873-1943/Rus/USA) to compose
an original tabloid concerto for a film. In 1940, through their Los Angeles
office256, Denham Studios invited Rachmaninoff to work on their anti-fascist
propaganda film “Dangerous Moonlight/Suicide Squadron”, directed by
Brian Desmond Hurst257. It is said that the Russian composer declined the
offer – a choice which probably would not have been that of many of his
confreres, including Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971/Rus/USA), then in Los
Angeles258. Other sources indicate that the producers had also considered
using Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, but they abandoned the idea
because of the copyright price259. These two versions of the facts overlap and
complement each other. The tabloid concerto that Rachmaninoff did not
write was written by Richard Addinsell (1904-1977), a British composer
specialized in film music, with the title Warsaw Concerto260… The enduring
success of this emblematic work deserves a closer look at its genesis. The
context of World War II, which propelled the film “Dangerous Moonlight” in
1941, made the audience very receptive to the anti-Nazi propaganda message
conveyed by the film. It also increased the enthusiasm generated by the
music supposed to be performed by the hero of the movie, who is both a
composer and an aviator. The Warsaw Concerto, of which we hear fragments

255
Denham Studios (London Film Productions), located near London, were created by
director Alexander Korda. As we have already had the occasion to explain, the chief of the
music department was famous arranger and conductor Muir Mathieson (1911-1975/GB). In
particular, he conducted the first recording of the Warsaw Concerto, with the London
Symphony Orchestra and pianist Louis Kentner.
256
RKO, Radio British Productions.
257
Thomas S. Hischak writes: “The producers tried to get Sergei Rachmaninoff to write the
concerto for piano and orchestra that is performed in the film, but he declined.” Thomas
S. Hischak: “The Encyclopedia of Film Composers” (2015), article ADDINSELL, Richard, p.
1. See also what musicologist Ross Care explains: “The celebrated Russian pianist and
composer, Serge Rachmaninov, had been approached about doing the score [one-
movement composition for piano and orchestra], and when he refused it Addinsell cast his
concerto in a Rachmaninovian mode of effusive, appealing lyricism.” Ross Care: “Richard
Addinsell – Writer” on filmreference.com [online,
http://www.filmreference.com/Writers-and-Production-Artists-A-Ba/Addinsell-
Richard.html, accessed October 7, 2017]
258
Stravinsky tried several times to become a film composer in Hollywood, notably for
Henry King’s “The Song of Bernadette” (1943), to which the producers eventually preferred
Alfred Newman (1901-1970/USA). Stravinsky re-used the music written for this film in his
Symphony in Three Movements (1945). Cf. the documentary “Stravinsky à Hollywood” (Marco
Capalbo, 2014).
259
Read the quote from academic Mervyn Cook in Chapter IV “The Vogue of the mini
piano concertos”, paragraph 2.
260
To be very precise, Richard Addinsell wrote the film score, but it is Roy Douglas (1907-
2015/GB) who really “composed” the Warsaw Concerto as it was recorded.

93
during the film (in particular during a concert sequence towards the end) was
so popular that Denham Studios asked orchestrator Roy Douglas (1907-
2015/GB) to arrange a concert version of it. The result was the Warsaw
Concerto as we know it, lasting 9 minutes. Roy Douglas writes:
“While I was orchestrating the Warsaw Concerto, I had around me the miniature
scores of Rach. 2nd, Rach. 3rd, and the Pag-Rhap.”261

Thus, the Rachmaninoff/Warsaw Concerto filiation is attested by both


Denham Studios – which first wanted Rachmaninoff’s music – and Roy
Douglas himself.
About the Warsaw Concerto, Blair Johnston (a music teacher at
Bloomington University, Indiana) writes:
“Sometimes a piece of music appears at just the right time and in just the right
context to become an indelible part of people’s experience and memories. So it was with
Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto for piano and orchestra – a pastiche of
the quintessential romantic piano concerto, composed for use in the 1941 British film
‘Dangerous Moonlight’, in which a Polish pianist finds himself caught up in the Battle of
Britain. […] The music of the Warsaw Concerto is used in the film both as incidental music
and as the subject of a performance in the film (a concert worked into the plot); it fills and
surrounds each moment, its passion and nostalgia (it was modeled on Rachmaninoff, after
all) movingly at odds with the horrific reality of life in Britain in 1941. Not at all surprisingly,
audiences embraced the Concerto, which soon appeared on record and in sheet music
adaptations and arrangements. […] It is worth noting that many similar pastiches that
appeared in films and on discs over the course of the next two decades have all been
basically forgotten, leaving Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto to mark the genre. It helps to
remember how desperately the suffering Britons needed a warmth like Rachmaninov’s,
even as diffused through another composer, in 1941.”262

The success of the Warsaw Concerto was huge and international. Roy
Douglas testifies, not without humor:
“When I read in the newspapers that three million records had been sold, I meekly
asked if I could be given a small royalty, on the grounds that my scoring had surely helped
to make the work popular. This seemed to me a reasonable request, but it was greeted with
horror and anger.”263

261
Jan G. Swynnoe, “The Best Years of British Film Music, 1936-1958” (2002). Appendix B:
“The True Story of the Warsaw Concerto” by Roy Douglas, p. 216.
262
Blair Johnston, text about the Warsaw Concerto written for the website AllMusic.com
[online,
http://www.allmusic.com/composition/warsaw-concerto-for-piano-orchestra-for-the-film-
dangerous-moonlight-suicide-squadron-mc0002368548, accessed July 27, 2017]
263
Jan G. Swynnoe, “The Best Years of British Film Music, 1936-1958” (2002). Appendix B:
“The True Story of the Warsaw Concerto” by Roy Douglas, p. 216.

94
Such a success logically prompted English and American film studios
to feature original Rachmaninovian piano concertante pieces in several other
films. Kevin J. Donnelly notes:
“In the wake of the Warsaw Concerto, written by Richard Addinsell, many films
surfaced that followed a similar format, including what were termed ‘tabloid concertos’.
The vast majority of these films focused on a central character who was a musician,
allowing the motivation of foreground music within the films.”264

These tabloid concertos, which the Anglo-Saxons dubbed “Denham


Concertos”, were all faithful to the style of the Warsaw Concerto: a style
which echoes the romanticism of the films for which these concertos were
written. To our knowledge, no one has established a list of Denham
Concertos; so we have tried to make it as complete as possible:

1941 - Richard Addinsell (1904-1977/GB)/orch. by Roy Douglas (1907-2015/GB):


Warsaw Concerto (9'), adapted from his score for “Dangerous Moonlight/Suicide
Squadron”265

1944 - Hubert Bath (1883-1945/GB): Cornish Rhapsody (7'), from “Love Story/A Lady
Surrenders”266

1946 - Arthur Bliss (1891-1975/GB): Baraza (7'), from “Men of Two Worlds”267

1946 - Vivian Ellis (1904-1996/GB): Piccadilly 1944 (4'), adapted from his score for
“Piccadilly Incident”268

1947 - Charles Williams (1893-1978/GB): The Dream of Olwen (4'), from “While I

264
Kevin J. Donnelly, “British Film Music and Film Musicals” (2007), p. 50.
265
For John Huntley – a historian of British film music – the Warsaw Concerto is “perhaps
the most remarkable piece of film background music ever written…”. In “British Film
Music” (1947) p. 190.
266
In Leslie Arliss’ film “Love Story” (1944), the heroine (a composer), played by Margaret
Lockwood “[…] who has one year to live, falls in love with Stewart Granger in Cornwall
and writes a piano concerto […] and is included as a concert performance finale at the
Albert Hall, at which she is the piano soloist.” Kevin J. Donnelly, “British Film Music and
Film Musicals” (2007), p. 24.
267
Nowadays, “Men of Two Worlds” is a film which is almost impossible to find. Here is its
synopsis: “An African music student returns home and has to defeat the witch doctor who
dominates his tribe and take them to healthier land.” [online,
http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/1845, accessed October 19, 2017]
268
John Huntley specifies: “Special recording of an assembly of material used in the film.”
Roger Manvell & John Huntley, “The Technique of Film Music” (1957, republished in
1967), p. 242.

95
Live”269

1948 - George Melachrino (1909-1965/GB): First Rhapsody (3'), from “House of


Darkness”

1949 - Leslie Bridgewater (1893-1975/GB): Legend of Lancelot (3'), from “Train of


Events”

1950 - Philip Green (1911-1982/GB): Song of Soho: Rhapsody (6'), adapted from his
score for “Murder Without Crime”

1952 - Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006/GB): A Stolen Face: Ballade (8'), adapted from his
score for “Stolen Face”

1952 - Philip Green (1911-1982/GB): The Hour of Meditation (3'), from “24 Hours of a
Woman’s Life/Affair in Monte Carlo”

1952 - Kenneth Leslie-Smith (1897-1993/GB): The Mansell Concerto (4'), adapted from
his score for “The Woman’s Angle”

1963 - James Bernard (1925-2001/GB): Vampire Rhapsody (7'), adapted from his score
for “Kiss of the Vampire”

Two more Denham Concertos must be added to these twelve, since in


the ’90s British Philip Lane (b. 1950) arranged two film scores which featured
various passages for piano and orchestra, although they did not originally
include a tabloid concerto:
1940 - Jack Beaver (1900-1963/GB): Portrait of Isla (5'), from “The Case of the
Frightened Lady”, arr. in 1998 by Philip Lane270

1950 - Leighton Lucas (1901-1982/GB): Stage Fright Rhapsody (5'), from “Stage
Fright”, arr. in 1994 by Philip Lane271

269
The Kinematograph Weekly of October 9, 1947, writes that the film is “strenuously
accompanied by the pianoforte…” (vol. 1368, n°2110, p. 22).
270
Here is the text that British arranger Philip Lane (b. 1950) wrote about the music of the
film “The Case of the Frightened Lady”, from which he arranged in 1998 a tabloid concerto
that he entitled Portrait of Isla: “‘The Case of the Frightened Lady’ contains what is
probably the first real piano feature in film – hardly a concertante role being more piano
solo than anything else.” Booklet of the Naxos CD “Warsaw Concerto and Other Piano
Concertos from the Movies” (1998). According to musicologist John Morris, Portrait of Isla
“can be considered the first such Denham Concerto”, in “Two Shadows in the Moonlight,
Music in British Film Melodrama of the 1940s” (2008), p. 91.
271
Philip Lane made a tabloid concerto from various parts of the soundtrack of “Stage
Fright”, but there is no full tabloid concerto in this film (there is just a short passage of
solo piano – in a scene in which it is supposed to be played by one of the characters – as

96
There are two other works which have been adapted from British film
scores that do not include piano; we decided to include them in our
“Repertory” (see Chapter VI) because of their great celebrity, and the fact
that they are traditionally considered Denham Concertos:
1945 - Nicholas Brodszky (1905-1958/Ukr/USA)/orch. by Charles Williams (1893-
1978/GB): The Way to the Stars, Main Theme from “The Way to the Stars/Johnny in the
Clouds” (1945), arr. in 1960 by Russ Conway (4'); another arrangement in 1972 by Geoff Love
(3')

1949 - Nino Rota (1911-1979/Ita): Legend of the Glass Mountain for orchestra without
piano, adapted from his score for “The Glass Mountain” (1949), arr. for piano and orchestra
in 1949 by Arthur Wilkinson (4'); another (free) concertante arrangement in 1952 by George
Melachrino (5')

We must also add to this list the following tabloid concertos made in
Hollywood, which have blatant stylistic affinities with the Denham Concertos:
1943 - Edward Ward (1900-1971/USA): Lullaby of the Bells (6'), adapted from his
score for “Phantom of the Opera”

1944 - Victor Young (1900-1956/USA): Stella by Starlight, Main Theme for piano and
orchestra from “The Uninvited”272, arr. in 1957 by Gordon Robinson (4')

1945 - Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975/USA): Concerto Macabre (Molto appassionato)


(11'), from “Hangover Square”

1945 - Roy Webb (1888-1982/USA): Piano Concerto (11'), adapted from his score for
“The Enchanted Cottage”

1946 - Miklos Rozsa (1907-1995/Hun/USA): Spellbound Concerto (12'), adapted from


his score for “Spellbound”273; also version by Charles Gerhardt (8’)

1947 - Leith Stevens (1909-1970/USA): Piano Concerto in C minor “Concerto for


Sweeney” (8'), from “Night Song”

well as a Love Scene with a non-diegetic concertante piano part). Something which
English music critic John France also notes: “The music nearly, but not quite, becomes
Leighton Lucas’s Warsaw Concerto. It is romantic, well written and finely scored. Just a pity
he did not produce a Piano Concerto!” [online,
http://www.musicwebinternational.com/classrev/2012/Apr12/Benjamin_Lucas_film_CHAN10
713.htm, accessed September 19, 2017]
272
In 1946 Stella by Starlight became a hit song with lyrics by Ned Washington, then a jazz
standard played notably by Stan Kenton and his ensemble, by the trumpet players Harry
James and Miles Davis, by the saxophonist Charlie Parker, by the pianists Bud Powell, Nat
King Cole… and by many, many others.
273
About the Spellbound Concerto, academic John Morris writes: “[…] the publisher
Chappell commissioned Rozsa to write a new version, to take on the success of the Warsaw
Concerto.” in “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), p. 37.

97
1947 - Franz Waxman (1906-1967/Ger/USA): Rhapsody for piano and orchestra
(Moderato Appassionato) (13'), adapted from his score for “The Paradine Case”274

1956 - Leonard Pennario (1924-2008/USA): Midnight on the Cliffs, for solo piano
(1942), used in the film “Julie” (1956), arr. and orch. by Lucien Cailliet (1891-1985/Fra/USA)
(5')

1962 - Bob Harris (1925-2000/USA)/orch. by Gil Grau (1908-1969/USA): End


Title/Love Theme (5'), from “Lolita”

Finally, we must add the para Denham Concertos (written outside of


the cinema world):

1944 - Albert Arlen (1905-1993/Aus/GB): El Alamein Concerto (8')

1944 - Clive Richardson (1909-1998/GB): London Fantasia: A Musical Picture of the


Battle of Britain (9')275

1945 - Newell Chase (1904-1955/USA): Concerto for Louise (10')

1945 - Felix Kwast (1918-?/Net): Arnhem Concerto “Dedicated to the Airbornes of


1944” (13')

1945 - Gerard Tersmeden (1920-2004/Swe): Solitaire (4')

c. 1945 - Esther Allan (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Norman Concerto (6')

c. 1945 - Sidney Torch (1908-1990/GB): Concerto incognito (4')

1946 - Reginald King (1904-1991/GB): Fantasy (13')

274
About Franz Waxman’s Rhapsody for piano and orchestra, music critic Joseph Stevenson
writes: “Waxman tried mightily to charge the emotions of this film with the lush, yearning,
‘little Tristan’ style of this score. The yearning, heaving piano writing actually emerges as
possessing convincing and powerful musical argument when divorced from the film and
made into this 12-and-a-half-minute quasi-concerto. It’s a bit of a Johnny One-Note,
emotionally, but given its short length it is quite acceptable.” Article on the website
MusicWeb International [online,
http://www.allmusic.com/composition/rhapsody-for-piano-and-orchestra-mc0002433069,
accessed November 3, 2017]
275
About Clive Richardson’s London Fantasia, musicologist David Ades writes: “Towards
the end of the war the publishers Lawrence Wright asked Richardson to compose an eight-
minute work similar to Richard Addinsell’s hugely successful Warsaw Concerto, which had
been featured in the 1941 film ‘Dangerous Moonlight’ […] The work [London Fantasia] was
originally conceived as ‘The Coventry Concerto’ being a tribute to the Midlands city where
Clive Richardson had been stationed. But as the score developed, the composer realised
that it was more suited to the capital city and it eventually appeared in 1944 as London
Fantasia.” Booklet of the Guild CD “The Golden Age of Light Music, vol. 1” (2006), p. 8.

98
1947 - Reginald King (1904-1991/GB): Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody (4')276

1949 - Charles Wildman [pseudonym of Willy Mattes] (1916-2002/Aut): Concerto


melodioso/Vienna Concerto (9')

1950 - Robert Docker (1918-1992/GB): Legend (7')

1950 - Henryk Wars (Henry Vars) (1902-1977/Pol/USA): Piano Concerto (10')

1950 - Peter Yorke (1902-1966/GB): Dawn Fantasy (6')

1952 - Pete Alman [pseudonym of Peter Deutsch] (1901-1965/Ger/Den): Queen


Elizabeth Concerto (7')277

1952 - Stanley Laudan (1912-1992/Pol/GB) & Gordon Rees (GB): Rhapsody for
Elizabeth (8')

1955 - Arnold Steck [pseudonym of Frank Leslie Statham] (1905-1974/GB): Riviera


Rhapsody (5')

c. 1955 - Ulrich Sommerlatte (1914-2002/Ger): Matinee, miniature concerto (7')

c. 1955 - Gerhard Winkler (1906-1977/Ger): Towards the Sun (Der sonne entgegen),
concert piece/fantasy (8')

1956 - Alberto Semprini (1908-1990/GB): Concerto appassionato (5')278

1957 - Rebekah Harkness (1915-1982/USA): Sylvan Rhapsody/Woodland Caprice (8')

1960 - Philip Moody (1921-2011/GB/USA): Laguna Concerto (8')

1961 - Toni (Antoinette) Mineo (b. 1926/USA) & Attilio Mineo (1918-2010/USA):
Rhapsody 21 (7')

276
According to the habits of the Light Music industry, the title Theme from Runnymede
Rhapsody proves that it is only an excerpt from a work that probably lasts about 8 minutes,
which is the traditional length of a Denham Concerto or a para Denham Concerto.
277
The Queen Elizabeth Concerto was later recorded on the A-side of a vinyl with another
mini piano concerto on the B-side: the Romantic Rhapsody (c. 1960) by Kolbjorn Ofstad
(1917-1996/Nor) [online,
http://www.worldcat.org/title/queen-elizabeth-concerto-romantisk-rapsodi/oclc/874416589,
accessed July 25, 2017]
278
Alberto Semprini’s Concerto appassionato was probably longer, because the recorded 4'50
contains the exposition of a first theme (the first 2'37), then the exposition of a second
theme (the next 1'45); and after that there is a short coda (the last 0'25) which comes
abruptly, without any development or re-exposition. It is very curious, structurally
speaking, and the consistency of the form indicates that the complete work probably lasts
seven to eight minutes.

99
publ. 1967 - Hans Vlig van der Sys [pseudonym of Willem Hans van der Sys] (1917-
1983/Net) & Christian Schmitz-Steinberg (1920-1980/Ger): Rainbow Concerto (7')

As we can see, the prestigious category “Denham Concertos” actually


consists of an extensible list, which prompted musicologist Jonathan Woolf
to write:
“The British were very good in the 40s at pocket piano concertos predicated on
Rachmaninovian lines – the so-called Denham Concerto. The list is long.”279

The Denham Concertos correspond exactly to the most fertile and


remarkable period in the history of tabloid concertos. With the exception of
the Love Story Theme (1970/4') composed by Francis Lai (1932-2018/Fra)280 for
the film of same name, no other tabloid concerto will experience a celebrity
comparable to the first two Denham Concertos: Warsaw Concerto (1941) and
Cornish Rhapsody (1944).
We now have to deal with the case of the film “The Glass Mountain”
(1949), directed by British Henry Cass. Despite what is often repeated, there
is no tabloid concerto in the movie. Italian composer Nino Rota (1911-1979)
only arranged a four-minute orchestral piece after his score, which he
entitled Legend of the Glass Mountain. It was Arthur Wilkinson (1919-1968/GB),
a famous arranger working in the Light Music field, who adapted this piece
for piano and orchestra (still in 1949) – a version in which this work quickly
became much more famous. In 1952, George Melachrino (1909-1965/GB)
arranged the same piece in a much freer way, in order to make a perfect
tabloid concerto; nonetheless, Wilkinson’s arrangement remains the only
one to be often performed and re-recorded.
The suggestive force of the music easily explains that, after watching a
film, a spectator can feel as though he has listened to a coherent musical
work (and thus, concerning our domain, to a Denham Concerto). It has even
happened that a composer took advantage of the romantic climate of a film
to include orchestral sections with almost concertante piano parts, even if
there is no mention of a piano (or any musical element) in the scenario. One
of the finest examples of this practice is the music of Otto Preminger’s movie
“Angel Face” (1952). Throughout this film noir, composer Dimitri Tiomkin
(1894-1979/USA) offers spectators a semblance of a tabloid concerto which

279
Jonathan Woolf, booklet of the Guild CD “War and Peace – Light Music of the 1940s.
The Golden Age of Light Music” (GLCD 5171). Also on MusicWeb-International [online,
http://www.musicweb
international.com/classrev/2010/Nov10/War_and_Peace_GLCD5171.htm,
accessed September 30, 2017]
280
About Francis Lai’s Love Story Theme, see Chapter IV, paragraph 4.

100
never really materializes281. Moreover, it does not seem that the score of
“Angel Face” was ever composed as a true tabloid concerto. It does not seem
that it has ever been composed as a true tabloid concerto. To stay in the
realm of Hollywood cinema, let us mention the film “New York Confidential”
(1955) directed by Russell Rouse. For this film noir, Joseph Mullendore (1914-
1990/USA) composed a score which features a concertante piano part
(especially in the Main and End Titles, of course) and which could easily
have turned into a tabloid concerto. In France, an example is given by
composer Louiguy (1916-1991/Fra) in his score for the French film “Françoise
ou la Vie conjugale/Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Jean-Marc” (1964),
directed by André Cayatte.

2- Use of the Denham Concerto in a film

The main feature of tabloid concertos in general – and Denham


Concertos in particular – is that they are integrated in a film as part of the
script. In other words, the scenario allows the spectator to listen (more or
less completely) to a piano concerto of reduced size. It often implies that one
of the main characters of the film has a direct link with the music, notably
through the piano. The musician as a film hero is a theme which does not
date from the time of the Denham Concertos (the years ’40s); it is actually a
recurring theme:

- Austria: “Orlac Hände/The Hands of Orlac” (Robert Wiene, 1924);


American remake: “Mad Love” (Karl Freund, 1935): following an accident,
the hands of a murderer are grafted onto a virtuoso pianist.
- USA: “Moonlight Sonata” (Lothar Mendes, 1937): a dramatic moment
in the life of pianist Ignacy Paderewski, who was an emblematic figure of
Polish resistance against Hitlerism. In particular, we listen to his
performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 “Moonlight Sonata”.
- Sweden: “Intermezzo” (Gustav Molander, 1936); American remake:
“Intermezzo – A Love Story” (Gregory Ratoff, 1939): the thwarted loves of a
pianist accompanist and a virtuoso violinist. The short piece for violin and
piano composed by Heinz Provost (1891-1959/Aut), which was the Main
Theme of the film, was quickly arranged as a piece for violin and orchestra
and thus became one of the first tabloid/micro-concertos282.

281
We hear this virtual tabloid concerto especially in the Main Title, during a long
speechless sequence, and in several other very short passages, for a total duration of just
over 6 minutes. However, the piano part is never really concertante.
282
About Heinz Provost’s Intermezzo, see Chapter IV, paragraph 1.

101
- France: “La Nuit de décembre/Night in December” (Kurt Bernhardt,
1939): a concert pianist falls in love with a young woman who reminds him of
the love of his youth. He will discover that this young woman is the daughter
who was born from this great love. In the film, we listen to pieces by
Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin and Berlioz. Non-diegetic music is by Marcel
Delannoy (1898-1962/Fra).
- USA: “The Great Lie” (Edmund Goulding, 1941): the rivalry of a
female concert pianist and another woman for the love of an aviator. For the
needs of the film, the main theme of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (of
which we hear extracts repeatedly) was arranged into a micro-concerto by
Hugo Frey (1873-1952/USA); and the following year (1942), the solo piano
reduction of this arrangement – carried out by Ernest Haywood (1866-
1947/GB) – was published under the title Melody from Tschaikowsky’s Piano
Concerto in B-flat minor.
- France: “La Fiancée des ténèbres” (Serge de Poligny, 1945): Staying
in Carcassonne, composer Roland Samblanca meets a young woman dressed
entirely in black, whom he falls in love with. She is the niece of a savant who
claims to be the last Albigensian bishop, whose cult, considered heretical,
was fought by the Catholic Church at the beginning of the 13th century…
Samblanca’s piano compositions, that we hear in the film, are written by
Marcel Mirouze (1906-1957/Fra), who composed the film score.
- USA: “The Seventh Veil” (Compton Bennett, 1945): through hypnosis
practiced by a psychiatrist, an amnesic young woman (who comes out of a
hospital after an assault) discovers that she is a virtuoso pianist. We listen to
extracts from Grieg’s Piano Concerto, from Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique,
from Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2…
- USA: “Deception” (Irving Rapper, 1946): a love triangle made up of a
cellist, a female pianist and a composer. Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-
1957/Aut/USA) wrote the concerto for cello and orchestra supposed to be the
work of character/composer Alexander Hollenius, played by Claude Rains.
- USA: “I’ve Always Loved You” (Frank Borzage, 1946) uses
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 to tell the vexed love of an authoritarian
conductor for a virtuoso pianist283.
- USA: “Humoresque” (Jean Negulesco, 1946): the story of a young
violinist in love with an alcoholic woman.

283
About this film, academic Ethan Sadoian writes: “The use of Rachmaninoff’s music in
‘I’ve Always Loved You’ is similar to the use of the Warsaw Concerto in ‘Dangerous
Moonlight’. Passages from the concerto, as well as rearrangements of the themes, are used
in the underscore. And it is also frequently used as source music, in the extended concert
sequences and when Myra [the pianist] and Goronoff [the conductor] are practicing at the
piano.” Ethan Sadoian, “The Warsaw Concerto, Analysis, Influences, and Influence” (2014),
p. 84.

102
- England: “The Red Shoes” (Michael Powell, 1948): the tragic story of
a love triangle composed of a female dancer, a choreographer and a
composer. For this film, Brian Easdale (1909-1995/GB) composed a 15-minute
ballet, which became the most famous tabloid ballet.
- USA: “September Affair” (William Dieterle, 1950): In Italy, a concert
pianist falls in love with a businessman; with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto
No. 2 played in concert at the end of the film.
- France: “Prélude à la gloire” (Georges Lacombe, 1950): a mostly
fictional adaptation of Roberto Benzi’s discovery of classical music and
conducting. From the age of ten, Benzi (born in 1937) gave concerts that
caused a sensation. The final sequence of the film is a concert during which
the child, at the head of the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du
Conservatoire, conducts Franz Liszt’s symphonic poem Les préludes. A suite
also exists: “L’Appel du destin” (Georges Lacombe, 1953).
- France: “Ombre et Lumière” (Henri Calef, 1951): After having suffered
a burnout during a concert tour, a young and very famous pianist finds no
other way to keep the man she loves than to resume a career she wanted to
abandon. We hear various extracts of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1284
throughout the film, especially during the final scene, which is a concert.
To this brief list, we must of course add the numerous (more or less
fictional) biographies of nineteenth-century composers285…
However, the specificity of British studios was to push the effectiveness
of a piece of music as far as to make it the equivalent of a character. This was
the case in 1941 with the Warsaw Concerto, in 1944 with the Cornish Rhapsody
and in 1947 with The Dream of Olwen286. Music, as an essential element of the
scenario, became the hallmark of Denham films. About the Warsaw Concerto,
academic Blair Johnston writes:
“The opening is certainly dramatic enough; the piano enters with a gusto matched
perhaps only by the Grieg Piano Concerto’s opening plunge; tympani alone supports this
first gasp. A deliciously syrupy second theme – a melody once famous and instantly
recognized around the globe – is pure Rachmaninov (its cadence-moment is borrowed
straight from the Piano Concerto No. 2), but one should not think any less of Addinsell’s

284
In the credits of the film, during which we hear the famous incipit, it is indicated:
“Concerto n°2 pour piano et orchestre de Tchaikowsky”, an astonishing error which is
probably due to the huge celebrity of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2…
285
Let us recall that composer Bronislaw Kaper (1902-1983/USA) – or one of his
collaborators – arranged Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (1851) into a 6-minute tabloid
concerto for the film “Schumann’s Love Song” (Clarence Brown, 1947). We have not listed
it in the “First Repertory” because it is based on a pre-existing work (cf. Chapter II,
criterion n°7: a mini piano concerto is not an arrangement of a work from the classical
repertoire, or of a theme from film music, or of a popular song…)
286
Respectively from: “Dangerous Moonlight” (1941, Denham Studios); “Love Story” (1944,
Gainsborough Pictures); “While I Live” (1947, Edward Dryhurst Productions).

103
effort for its unabashed stylistic borrowings. The effort is supremely skillful, the music
graceful, and not overly self-indulgent.”287

The stroke of genius of British producers was to allow the spectator to


enter a cinema and come out with the sensation – perhaps even the certainty
– of having attended an unforgettable concert. Thus, the audience was
delighted to be able, thanks to the suggestive power of a tabloid concerto, to
unify the film’s story, characters and music in the same enthusiastic memory.
In 1948, composer Louis Levy (1894-1957), who wrote the score of the film
“Love Story” (in which we can hear Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody),
summed the situation up by stating that the Warsaw Concerto and the Cornish
Rhapsody had created “an entirely new standard of screen music”288.
These two works are indeed like two sides of the same concerto, which
seems to be written for the sole purpose of expressing a feeling of exaltation
which the spectators of these films – and, beyond, all the British – needed
during World War II. English film historian John Huntley wrote that the
Cornish Rhapsody is a kind of second Warsaw Concerto because these two
works are “[…] an integral part of the development of the characters
themselves”289.
Stylistically, it is indeed obvious that the main theme of the Cornish
Rhapsody is derived from that of the Warsaw Concerto:

Warsaw Concerto, 2nd theme (re-exposition)

287
Blair Johnston, description of the Warsaw Concerto on the website AllMusic.com [online,
http://www.allmusic.com/composition/warsaw-concerto-for-piano-orchestra-for-the-film-
dangerous-moonlight-suicide-squadron-mc0002368548, accessed July 27, 2017]
288
Quoted in Kevin J. Donnelly, “British Film Music and Film Musicals” (2007), p. 50. Also
quoted in Ann Heather Laing, “Wandering Minds and Anchored Bodies: Music, Gender,
and Emotion in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film” (2000), p. 201. Louis Levy was the
musical director of Gainsborough Pictures, which produced “Love Story” (1944).
289
John Huntley, “British Film Music” (1947), p. 69.

104
Cornish Rhapsody, 1st theme (slow part)

These two themes fall on the melodic “D-sharp” harmonized by an E


major chord; in the Warsaw Concerto the “D-sharp” is preceded by three
quarter notes, E, F-sharp, G-sharp, while in the Cornish Rhapsody it is
preceded by three quarter notes, G-sharp, F-sharp, E.
What is true stylistically is equally true concerning the social context
created by World War II. At the beginning of the war, the Warsaw Concerto
was fighting for freedom and peace; the Cornish Rhapsody was fighting for the
same ideals at the end of the war.
The social context was favorable to the emergence of “movie
concertos”, because in time of war, going to the cinema was more than just a
distraction – it was a way of forgetting the extreme difficulty of everyday life.
And it was especially true for the women to whom these romantic films were
particularly destined, so much so that English historians dubbed them
“Woman’s Films”290. This partly explains that female performers of mini
piano concertos were the majority in the recordings of the time. For
example:

- Peggy Cochrane (Albert Arlen’s El Alamein Concerto);


- Harriet Cohen (Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody);
- Ellen Gilberg (Pete Alman’s Queen Elizabeth Concerto; Richard
Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto);
- Betty Humby-Beecham (Charles Williams’ The Dream of Olwen);
- Bronwyn Jones (Malcolm Arnold’s A Stolen Face: Ballade);
- Eileen Joyce (Arthur Bliss’ Baraza); she also performed
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for David Lean’s emblematic film “Brief
Encounter”, Grand Prix at the 1st Cannes Film Festival in 1946;
- Irene Kohler (Leslie Bridgewater’s Legend of Lancelot);
- Margot Pinter (Nico Dostal’s Blues-Fantasy);
- Catherine Roe-Williams (Leighton Lucas’ Stage Fright Rhapsody);

290
The two major production companies, Denham Studios and Gainsborough Pictures,
were specialized in melodramas and anti-fascist propaganda films. About the “Woman’s
Films”, read Mary Ann Doane, “The Desire to desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s”
(1987) and Heather Ann Laing, “Wandering Minds and Anchored Bodies: Music, Gender
and Emotion in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film” (2000).

105
- Frieda Valenzi (Heinz Walberg’s Concerto for the Only One/Konzert für
die Einzige; Josef Sirowy’s Memories, Romantic Concertino/Erinnerungen,
Romantische Concertino);
- Ingeborg Wunder (Wolfgang Gottschalk’s Piano Concerto; Nico
Dostal’s Romantic Melody; Heinz Kiessling’s Spanish Impressions/Spanische
Impressionen).

It should also be noted that the Gainsborough Pictures film “Love


Story” (Leslie Arliss, 1944) is centered on an imaginary woman composer291,
Lissa Campbell, – played by Margaret Lockwood – who writes her Cornish
Rhapsody for the love of a man (an aviator). For academic John Morris:
“The Gainsborough melodramas and those that feature a ‘Denham Concerto’ […]
may be referred to as, simply, ‘drama’ or ‘romantic drama’. What they do have in common
is either a female protagonist, or a proeminent actor as the main female lead, serving to
identify the film as a ‘woman’s film’, as well as a generally romantic theme and dramatic
setting.”292

Interesting specifically the female public on the one hand, and


glorifying the English resistance against Hitlerism on the other: these were
the two ambitions of these films in which a tabloid concerto brought to its
highest point a feeling of patriotic exaltation. For sociologist Mary Ann
Doane:
“Desire, emotion… are not accessible to a visual discourse but demand the
supplementary expenditure of a musical score. Music takes up where the image leaves
off.”293

More than just film music, the Denham Concerto was a kind of catalyst
of emotions that could not be expressed by words. What John Morris wrote
about the Woman’s Film “Moonlight Sonata” (Lothar Mendes, 1937) is also
true for “Dangerous Moonlight” (1941), directed by Brian Desmond Hurst:
“Considering that the film was made two years before the invasion of Poland which
prompted the declaration of War, the relationship between Britain and Poland can be
contextualised in a broader cultural milieu of the shared values of democracy and
freedom”294.

For British sociologist Jane Hines:

291
It may be useful to indicate the names of the main “characters/composers” supposed to
have written the piano concertante works which are featured in films: see Appendix 3.
292
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), Introduction, p. 12.
293
Mary Ann Doane, “The Desire to desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s” (1987), p. 97.
294
John Morris, “Two Shadows in the Moonlight, Music in British Film Melodrama of the
1940s” (2008), p. 66.

106
“‘The Enchanted Cottage’ and ‘Love Story’ use the tabloid concerto diegetically to
enhance the film narrative and to evoke the audience’s emotional involvement. These two
films and others from the World War II Era share common themes of the victimized and
glorified war hero, further emphasized through effective film scores. […] The success of the
tabloid concerto in war films finds validations in the romanticized stories that serve to
communicate subtle messages of wartime propaganda.”295

Of course what Jane Hines wrote about the 1944 tabloid concerto by
Hubert Bath for “Love Story” [Cornish Rhapsody] and the one written in 1945
by Roy Webb for “The Enchanted Cottage” applies even more to the Warsaw
Concerto (1941) by Richard Addinsell.
Since the novelty (and the strength) of the Denham Concertos has
been to merge the emotions of watching a movie and listening to a concert, it
is useful to show how well some of these films achieved their goal. In order
to check their level of osmosis (film story/characters/Denham Concerto), we
asked ourselves six questions:

1- Is there a piano part in the film score?


2- Does a character have a link with the music world?
3- Is one of the two main characters a pianist or a composer?
4- Is there a recital/concert sequence in the film?
5- Is the Denham Concerto listened to with a diegetic orchestra?
6- Do we listen to the complete Denham Concerto?

Below, the level of osmosis of each film. The numbers indicated in


bold correspond to an affirmative answer to the respective question:

• “The Case of the Frightened Lady” / Portrait of Isla (1940):


Very fragmented listening with non-diegetic orchestra / 1, 2, 3

• “Dangerous Moonlight” / Warsaw Concerto (1941):


Non-integral concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

• “Phantom of the Opera” / Lullaby of the Bells (1943):


Very fragmented concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

• “Love Story” / Cornish Rhapsody (1944):


Full concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

• “The Uninvited” / Stella by Starlight (1944):


Fragmented listening with non-diegetic orchestra / 1, 2, 3

• “The Enchanted Cottage” / The Enchanted Cottage Concerto (1945):


Fragmented listening with non-diegetic orchestra / 1, 2

295
Summary of Jane Hines’ conference “The Enchanted Concerto: World War II,
Propaganda, and Musemes,” Bowling Green State University (USA), June 2, 2013.

107
• “Hangover Square” / Concerto Macabre (1945):
Non-integral concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

• “The Way to the Stars” / The Way to the Stars Concerto (1945):
No tabloid concerto

• “Men of Two Worlds” / Baraza (1946):


Concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
We cannot answer the last question, having found no precise information about this
film, which has not been available for a long time.

• “Piccadilly Incident” / Piccadilly 1944 (1946):


Very fragmented concert sequence, solo piano / 1, 2, 3, 4

• “Spellbound” / Spellbound Concerto (1946):


No tabloid concerto

• “Night Song” / Concerto for Sweeney (1947):


Full concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

• “The Paradine Case” / The Paradine Case Rhapsody (1947):


Fragmented listening, solo piano / 1, 2, 3

• “While I Live” / The Dream of Olwen (1947):


Full listening to a radio broadcast / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

• “House of Darkness” / First Rhapsody (1948):


Very fragmented listening with non-diegetic orchestra / 1, 2, 3

• “The Glass Mountain” / Legend of the Glass Mountain (1949):


No tabloid concerto / 1, 2, 3

• “Train of Events” (portmanteau film: 3rd story “The Composer”) / Legend of


Lancelot (1949):
Full concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

• “Murder Without Crime” / Song of Soho: Rhapsody (1950):


Listening to a vinyl recording / 1, 4, 5

• “Stage Fright” / Stage Fright Rhapsody (1950):


No tabloid concerto / 1, 2, 3

• “Stolen Face” / A Stolen Face: Ballade (1952):


Non-integral concert sequence / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

• “24 Hours of a Woman’s Life/Affair in Monte Carlo” / The Hour of Meditation (1952):
Full listening, solo piano / 1, 2

108
• “The Woman’s Angle” / The Mansell Concerto (1952):
Full concert sequence296 / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

• “Julie” / Midnight on the Cliffs (1956):


Fragmented listening, solo piano / 1, 2, 3

• “Lolita” / End Title/Love Theme (1962):


Full listening with non-diegetic orchestra / 1

• “Kiss of the Vampire” / Vampire Rhapsody (1963):


Fragmented listening, solo piano / 1, 2, 3, 4

As we can see, the five Denham Concertos (underlined in the list


above) featured in their entirety in films are the following:
• Cornish Rhapsody (1944/6') in the film “Love Story”, in which the
heroine is the composer of the work played entirely in concert.
• Concerto for Sweeney (1947/8') in the film “Night Song”, in which the
main character is a composer who has his piano concerto played in concert
by famous performers (pianist Arthur Rubinstein and conductor Eugene
Ormandy).
• The Dream of Olwen (1947/4') in the film “While I Live”, in which the
heroine is the pianist performing the work that the characters listen to in full
on the radio.
• Legend of Lancelot (1949/4') in the portmanteau film “Train of Events”,
in which the two main characters of the third story are a composer and a
female concert pianist.
• Mansell Concerto (1952/4') in the film “The Woman’s Angle”, centered
on the Mansell family, whose four children are a composer, a pianist, a
violinist and a cellist.

Works such as the Warsaw Concerto (1941), the Concerto Macabre (1945),
Baraza (1946) and A Stolen Face: Ballade (1952) are also heard in concert with
orchestra, but not in their entirety; the duration of these works (respectively
9, 11, 7 and 8 minutes) probably explains why we do not hear them in full.
Films such as The Way to the Stars (1945) and Spellbound (1946) do not
have a piano in their musical score and have a plot which is unrelated to
music. The arrangers in the first case, and Miklos Rozsa (1907-
1995/Hun/USA) himself in the second case, took advantage of the vogue of
Denham Concertos to arrange such a work from a film score297. About the

296
In the concert sequence at the end of the movie “The Woman’s Angle” (Leslie Arliss,
1952), there is a violin solo and a cello solo in addition to the piano, while “The slightly
edited published version features just a piano in the soloist role.” Philip Lane, booklet of
the Decca CD “Love Story: Piano Themes from Cinema’s Golden Age” (2016), p. 4.
297
Miklos Rozsa’s score for Spellbound won the 1945 Academy Award for Best Film Music.

109
Spellbound Concerto (1946/12') by Miklos Rozsa, American musicologist Jack
Sullivan specifies:
“Jerome Kern, part owner of Chappell, asked Rozsa to publish the music under the
title Spellbound Concerto. Concertos culled from movie music constituted an odd new 1940s
crossover genre, exemplified by the enormously popular Warsaw Concerto by Richard
Addinsell (who scored Hitchcock’s ‘Under Capricorn’), and Kern wanted to cash in on this
vogue.”298

Miklos Rozsa’s reputation as both a classical and film composer


allowed the Spellbound Concerto to be widely performed and acclaimed,
notably at the Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles), played by Rozsa’s longtime
friend Leonard Pennario.
In the previous list of Denham Concertos, the center of gravity is
obviously the year 1945, which is the date of the triumph of “Brief
Encounter”299, a British film directed by David Lean which uses as
soundtrack the Piano Concerto No. 2 (1901) by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-
1943/Rus). For American academic Ivan Raykoff:
“The beginning of ‘Brief Encounter’ brings in the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
immediately with the main title and credits. Here, the correlation of film-beginning and
concerto-beginning establishes a parallel narrative progression between the two
‘Relationship stories’, the dramatic story enacted in the film, and the musical one
unfolding through the concerto. […] During the first thirteen minutes of the film, the
concerto excerpts on the soundtrack seems to function non-diegetically, but it then
becomes clear that the music’s source is located within the narrative frame of the story.
While her husband is engrossed in a crossword puzzle, Laure tunes the radio to a
broadcast of the Rachmaninoff concerto; at this point her reminiscences begin, apparently
triggered by the swelling music.”300

Although it is incorrect to use the term “tabloid concerto” concerning


the passages of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 used as the soundtrack
of “Brief Encounter” – since the concerto predates the film – it is without
doubt the most successful use of a piano concerto in a film301. It should be
noted that this concerto constitutes the entirety of the film soundtrack302, a
singularity found in no other film, even in the case of a tabloid concerto. The
price of success, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 has been arranged
298
Jack Sullivan, “Hitchcock’s Music” (2008), p. 120.
299
“Brief Encounter” comes in second place in the Top 100 British Films, established in
1999 by the British Film Institute.
300
Yvan Raykoff, “Concerto con amore: Relationship and Ritual in the Soundtrack Piano
Concerto” (2000), part III, paragraphs 31 & 32.
301
Piotr Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was used – less efficiently – in the American film
“The Great Lie” (Edmund Goulding, 1941) and in the British film “The Common Touch”
(John Baxter, 1941).
302
With the exception of two very short extracts of diegetic music, heard in public places
where the two main characters go.

110
many times as a pseudo tabloid concerto, and even more often as a micro-
concerto.
Since the stylistic particularity of most Denham Concertos is to be
written “alla Rachmaninoff”, film music specialists Alain Lacombe and
Claude Rocle are right to note:
“La liberté du compositeur hollywoodien réside dans une saturation de la norme. Il
n’est pas possible d’envisager une partition qui aille à l’encontre des canons musicaux à la
mode. Sa possibilité d’intervention consiste, au contraire, à renforcer la rigueur du
déterminisme thématique.”303
“The Hollywood composer’s freedom resided in a saturation of the norm. It was not
possible to consider a score that went against fashionable musical canons. On the contrary,
his possibility of intervention was to reinforce the rigor of thematic determinism.”

Writing a Denham Concerto or a para Denham Concerto was, very


precisely, to synthesize (as concisely as possible) the post-romantic piano
concertos of the first half of the 20th century, in order to offer spectators –
who were presumed not to be regulars of concert halls – a concentrate of the
Rachmaninovian/Hollywoodian style.
The blatant stylistic similarity between the British Denham Concertos
and those made in Hollywood can easily be explained: on both sides of the
Atlantic Ocean there were common financial interests among the studios,
and there was also permanent rivalry and stimulation among the artists.
Thanks to this state of mind, which prevailed during the ’40s and ’50s, each
composer – and each record label – could hope to reiterate the success of the
Warsaw Concerto. For Alain Lacombe and Claude Rocle:
“Au-delà du pastiche romantique classique, cette composition [le Warsaw Concerto]
reste d’une facture musicale intéressante et admirablement construite. Sa
commercialisation à outrance devait aboutir à l’éveil intéressé de producteurs pour la
reproduction de musiques de film sur disque.”304
“Beyond the classic romantic pastiche, this composition [the Warsaw Concerto]
remains stylistically interesting and admirably constructed. Its over-marketing was to result
in the interested awakening of producers to the edition of film music on LP.”

The Denham Concertos in particular, and tabloid concertos in general,


gave film music the opportunity of no longer being prisoner of a film. Their
success also encouraged composers from diverse backgrounds to write simili
tabloid concertos, since the freedom of making music which sounds like film
music – but without having to undergo the constraints of film music – was
undoubtedly a key element of the vogue of mini piano concertos. Thus, all

303
Alain Lacombe & Claude Rocle, “La Musique du film” (1979), p. 37.
304
Ibid., p. 145.

111
these simili tabloid concertos (including excellent para Denham Concertos)
constitute the great submerged part of the iceberg305.

3- Is the Denham Concerto film music?

American film composer Henry Mancini (1924-1994) testifies:


“J’ai toujours pensé que les partitions pour le cinéma avaient une existence bien
définie hors le film lui-même. Je ne connais pas de compositeur de musique de film qui ne
serait pas heureux d’entendre sa musique en concert ou sur disque.”306
“I have always thought that film scores had a well-defined existence outside of the
film itself. I do not know of a film composer who would not be happy to hear his music in
concert or on record.”

Whether film music is worthy of being performed in concert and being


recorded on CD depends primarily on the value of the composer, since the
history of music abounds with examples of compositions which stand by
themselves despite being originally written for ballets, plays or films. The
first film score commercially released on LP was that of the American film
“Don Juan” (Alan Crosland, 1926), composed by William Axt (1888-
1959/USA), who was one of the fathers of Hollywood music (for both silent
and talking movies)307.
There is another question which is more difficult to answer: should we
consider music composed for a concert given inside a film as film music? In
other words, is music that we “listen to” during a filmed concert different
from music we only “hear” in the background? Does the perception we have
of music make a difference in its nature?
Everyone will answer these questions differently, especially since the
answer depends on the film in which the music is featured… and also on the
music itself. For academic Gilles Mouëllic, by listening to a film music
“le spectateur enrichit sa vision d’une qualité nouvelle contenue en réalité dans la
musique ou, pour être plus précis, de la rencontre de cette musique avec les images, sans
avoir conscience que l’absence de musique ou une musique différente modifierait sa
lecture ou sa compréhension de ces mêmes images. Grâce à la musique, le spectateur ‘croit
voir ce qu’il entend’, autre manière de considérer la musique comme une des composantes
de ce ‘tout’ qu’est le film.”308

305
See the graph in Chapter I: What is a mini piano concerto?
306
Quoted in “La Musique à l’écran”, under the direction of François Porcile and Alain
Garel (1992), p. 63, col. 2. The translator’s name is not indicated.
307
William Axt notably composed the score of the 1st Ben-Hur (silent film, 1925), directed by
Fred Niblo.
308
Gilles Mouëllic, “La Musique de film, pour écouter le cinéma” (2003), p. 54.

112
“the spectator enriches his vision with a new quality actually contained in the music
– or, to be more precise, in the encounter of this music with the images – without realizing
that the absence of music (or different music) would change his understanding of these
same images. Thanks to the music, the spectator ‘thinks he sees what he hears’, another
way of considering music as one of the components of this ‘everything’ that is the film.”

The ambiguity of any film music becomes even more apparent when
the music plays the equivalent of the main role, which is the case of the
Denham Concertos. So we cannot avoid asking ourselves the following
question: is a Denham Concerto movie music?
The term “soundtrack” refers to music that a composer writes for each
scene where it is desired by the director. But precisely, a Denham Concerto
is not music which accompanies the action of the film, but a short piano
concerto which catches the attention of the spectator – and which constitutes
the action of the film by its very presence – during the scene in which it is
featured. Thus highlighted, this concertante work “transcends” the film for
which it was composed. But, following this reasoning, can we state that a
Denham Concerto is not a film score?
The music of the film “Dangerous Moonlight” (Brian Desmond Hurst,
1941) was never commercially released, while more than three million copies
of the Warsaw Concerto (from which it originated) were sold309. Nobody seems
to have listened to the music written by Louis Levy (1894-1957/GB) for the
film “Love Story” (Leslie Arliss, 1944), while the Cornish Rhapsody, composed
by Hubert Bath (1883-1945/GB) for the same film, was very often performed
and recorded. In these two examples – as well as in all the films featuring a
Denham Concerto – film music fades in favor of the Denham Concerto. So it
seems obvious that there is a fundamental difference between the soundtrack
of a film and the Denham Concerto composed for the same film.
Furthermore, a Denham Concerto is generally heard during a more or less
complete concert sequence, or on the occasion of a radio broadcast, or at
least at a privileged moment which does not feature noises and/or words; all
this being at the exact opposite of “normal” movie music. This difference is
particularly highlighted by the fact that the Denham Concerto tended to be
written by a different composer than the rest of the soundtrack. This was
notably the case concerning the following films:

- “Love Story” (Leslie Arliss, 1944): film score by Louis Levy (1894-1957)
– Cornish Rhapsody by Hubert Bath (1883-1945/GB);
- “Piccadilly Incident” (Herbert Wilcox, 1946): film score by Anthony
Collins (1893-1963/GB) – Piccadilly 1944 by Vivian Ellis (1904-1996/GB);

309
Jan G. Swynnoe, “The Best Years of British Film Music, 1936-1958” (2002). Appendix B:
“The True Story of the Warsaw Concerto” by Roy Douglas, p. 216. See above, Chapter V,
paragraph 1.

113
- “The Woman’s Angle” (Leslie Arliss, 1952): film score by Robert Gill
(1916-1955/GB) – Mansell Concerto by Kenneth Leslie-Smith (1897-1993/GB);
-“24 Hours of a Woman’s Life/Affair in Monte Carlo” (Victor Saville,
1952): film score by Robert Gill – The Hour of Meditation by Philip Green (1911-
1982/GB);
- “Foreign Intrigue” (Sheldon Reynolds, 1956): film score by Paul
Durand – Foreign Intrigue Concerto by Charlie Norman (1920-2005/Swe);
- “Julie” (Andrew L. Stone, 1956): film score by Leith Stevens (1909-
1970/USA) – Midnight on the Cliffs by Leonard Pennario (1924-2008/USA);
- “Lolita” (Stanley Kubrick, 1962): film score by Nelson Riddle (1921-
1985/USA) – Lolita Theme by Bob Harris (1925-2000/USA).

The first film featuring a Denham Concerto is “Dangerous Moonlight”


(1941), directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, in which the Warsaw Concerto was a
concertante work in itself. Supposed to be the work of Polish composer
Stefan Radetsky310, who was the hero of the film, the Warsaw Concerto was
presented as a traditional piano concerto in three movements, whose titles
we know thanks to a zoom of the camera (in the 55th minute) on the fictitious
concert poster:
1- Allegro con spirito
2- Romanza
3- Allegro moderato – Presto
The concert sequence gave the spectator the impression that he could
listen to this concerto also in real life. Pierre Berthomieu rhetorically
pretends to ask himself:
“Une musique de film s’écoute-t-elle hors du film ? Bien sûr. Différemment. En
considérant la musique de cinéma comme une forme musicale à l’égal de la symphonie ou
de l’opéra, il y a bien une œuvre de Max Steiner, de Bernard Herrmann, de John Williams
ou de Georges Delerue au sens où il y a une œuvre de Balzac et de Ravel, par-delà le débat
désuet sur la musique de cinéma comme un art conditionné.”311
“Can movie music be listened to outside of the movie? Of course. Differently.
Considering cinema music as a form of music equal to symphony or opera, there is indeed
a work by Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, John Williams or Georges Delerue in the sense
that there is a work by Balzac or Ravel, beyond the obsolete debate on cinema music as a
conditioned art.”

So there can be a “work” by Richard Addinsell, even if he claimed not


to be the composer because of the film script.
However, in the case of the Warsaw Concerto, another barrier is
crossed: this work was really endowed with an autonomous existence, outside
of the film: the Warsaw Concerto has acquired the autonomy of any so-called
“classical” work. The contingencies that presided over its creation are

310
About fictitious composers of piano concertos in movies, see Appendix 3.
311
Pierre Berthomieu, “La Musique de film” (2004), p. 19.

114
forgotten, as if posterity wanted to retain only the Warsaw Concerto, and
nothing else. And, to increase this illusion, the work was immediately
arranged and reorchestrated by Roy Douglas (1907-2015/GB) – whose name
never really appeared on LPs and CDs – so that it could be published,
performed, recorded and listened to in real life.
It is this existence beyond the film, and this status of “classical” work,
which greatly contributed to the fame of the Warsaw Concerto. It was the
same for Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody (1944) and Charles Williams’ The
Dream of Olwen (1947). Thus, fiction reached reality through a work of music
that was, strictly speaking, neither film music nor concert music. A thing
which evidently satisfied the most uncompromising of the film directors
since, as written by film historians Alain Lacombe and Claude Rocle,
“assez souvent, les réalisateurs demandent avec ou sans malice à leur compositeur
un thème qui dépasse le film et, par voie de conséquence, lui apporte un prolongement
servant l’image ou la trace qui lui subsiste.”312
“quite often, directors asked their composer (with or without malice) for a theme
that had to go beyond the film and, as a result, brought an added value which extended the
spectator’s memory beyond the duration of the film.”

Choosing a pre-existing composition had always been a risky gamble,


as English film historian John Huntley reminds us:
“The associations which individual members of the audience may have in relation to
a certain piece of well-known music are quite beyond the control of the director of a film in
which it is used… And so with ‘Dangerous Moonlight’ it was rightly decided to have a
piece of music specially written, that could be used to become associated in the mind of
the audience with Poland, air raids in Warsaw, and whatever the director wanted to
suggest.”313

We understand that neither the producers of “Dangerous Moonlight”


nor those of any film featuring a composer as main character wanted to use a
famous pre-existing piano concerto, fearing that the spectators would not be
able to identify the concerto with the film, and that its presence might even
cause harmful interference with the plot314. As noted by Alain Lacombe and
Claude Rocle:
“D’une manière générale, le choix d’une musique classique en tant que
commentaire musical sur des images relève d’une ambiguïté délicate à assumer. En fait,
dans ces cas-là, la musique prend le dessus sur les images. Elle est une sorte d’esprit

312
Alain Lacombe & Claude Rocle, “La Musique du film” (1979), p. 68.
313
John Huntley, “British Film Music” (1948, republished in 1972), pp. 53–54.
314
The only exception to this unspoken rule – at least to our knowledge – is the Canadian
film “Whispering City” (Fedor Ozep, 1947), in which one of the main characters (fictitious
composer Michel Lacoste) is supposedly the author of a piano concerto whose extracts are
heard in the film; a concerto which is actually Andre Mathieu’s Quebec Concerto, composed
in 1943, four years before the film. See Chapter IV, paragraph 2.

115
supérieur, ancré dans la culture qui donne gravité et respiration à des propos qui, souvent,
n’en demandent pas tant.”315
“Generally speaking, the choice of classical music as the musical commentary of
images includes assuming a delicate ambiguity. In fact, in these cases, the music surpasses
the images. Music is a kind of superior spirit, rooted in the culture, which gives gravity and
breath to film scenes that often do not ask for so much.”

It was therefore a wise decision of producers and directors to order


tabloid concertos adapted to the needs of their films. And this specificity,
which is found in every Denham Concerto, consists of a flamboyant post-
romantic style, halfway between Rachmaninoff and Hollywood. According to
American musicologist Ethan Sadoian:
“Tabloid concertos often are similar in structure to the Warsaw Concerto: usually a
stormy or forceful opening section, which announces the piece as a concertante work for
piano and orchestra; a beautiful, passionate middle section, often introduced by the piano
alone; and a triumphant closing section. The piano textures, such as octave chords over
arpeggios to present melody, and sweeping arpeggios to accompany melody in the
orchestra, are also similar. Use of strings in widely-spaced octaves to present melodies in
the orchestra is also common.”316

Musicologist Maurice Hinson defines the Warsaw Concerto in four


epithets: “Dramatic, sectional, showy, tuneful”317.

The combination of all these characteristics prevents us from


definitively answering the question: Is the Denham Concerto film music?
Yes, it is film music since a composer wrote it for a film, with a stylistic
imperative. No, it is not film music since it has no other purpose than its own
representation and hearing.
So everyone must make up his own mind, and decide whether
Denham Concertos in particular, and tabloid concertos in general, are film
music (if it is decided that the work is submitted to the film from its very
conception) or concertante works in their own right, which must be listened
to as such. Any answer is equally arbitrary, like the eternal question of the
half-empty vase and the half-full vase…

315
Alain Lacombe & Claude Rocle, “La Musique du film” (1979), p. 126.
316
Ethan Sadoian, “The Warsaw Concerto, Analysis, Influences, and Influence” (2014), p.
102.
317
Maurice Hinson, “Music for Piano and Orchestra: An Annotated Guide” Enlarged
Edition (1993), p. 2.

116
CHAPTER VI

First chronological (and detailed) Repertory


of mini piano concertos

1- Presentation

The vogue of mini piano concertos died out in the ’60s, and today it has
almost completely disappeared from collective memory. It is therefore useful
– and even necessary – to establish a “Repertory” of these almost unknown
works, since most of them have never been released on CD. Of course this
“First chronological (and detailed) Repertory” has gaps; but it is likely that
they will gradually be filled in, thanks to the exponential resources of the
Internet.
Establishing this Repertory forces us to ask ourselves a double question:
where does the field of so-called “classical” piano-and-orchestra pieces
finish; where does that of the mini piano concertos begin? This is the
difficulty of any classification. As we have seen in Chapter II (“The Frontiers
of a Musical Genre”), the border is quite blurred. Except for the piano
concertante pieces written for films (the Denham Concertos and, more
generally, the tabloid concertos) which necessarily belong to our field, it is
sometimes difficult to catalog a particular short concertante post-romantic
work. The fact that it is written in a “Popular Style” is not always enough to
define a mini piano concerto, nor is the fact that it is written by a film or
Light Music composer, since many so-called “serious” composers also
worked in the Symphonic Entertainment field, and conversely many
“popular” composers also wrote serious orchestral works.
Is the glamorous Hollywoodian style inseparable from the mini piano
concerto genre? How long is the maximum duration of a mini piano
concerto? Is the label “Light Music” or “Easy Listening” used by a record
producer a sufficient guarantee? In some cases, the answers are far from
obvious.
Even if we rely on the seven criteria that we have defined (see Chapter
II), the ambiguity persists for some works – a difficulty which exists in any
classification of works of art, since it has its source in the very nature of
artistic creation. Everyone will agree that the style of any composer borrows
more or less from more or less related styles. As a result, many of the works
listed in the following Repertory may be the cause of endless discussions.
But, such as it is, this “First Chronological Repertory” gives an accurate idea
of the field of our research. We also hope that it will give researchers the
desire to complete and improve it.

2- First chronological (and detailed) Repertory of


mini piano concertos

339 works listed (as of October 15, 2019)

= Duration (minutes)
F= Written for a Film or arranged from film music
J = Jazz-influenced, often in the style of Gershwin
M = Composed in a more Modernist style

Abbreviations: b. = before
c. = circa (around)
p. = published or premiered
> = longer than

Name of the composer, nationality, title of the work + info F JM

1924 Gershwin George (1898-1937/USA)/orch. Ferde Grofe 9 J


(1892-1972/USA): Rhapsody in Blue, for piano and jazz orchestra;
extended version by Grofe in 1926; arr. by Grofe for symphony 13
orchestra in 1942; shortened version (7'30) for the film “King of
Jazz”, 1930
1925 Antheil George (1900-1959/USA): A Jazz Symphony; shortened 8 J M
and reorchestrated version in 1955 by the composer 7
1926 Hill Edward Burlingame (1872-1960/USA): Divertimento 7 J
1927 Johnson James Price (1894-1955/USA)/orch. William Grant Still 15 J
(1895-1978/USA): Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody
1928 Savino Domenico (1882-1973/Ita/USA): A Study in Blue, for piano 5 J
and jazz orchestra
1929 Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia 10
brasileira) No. 1
1931 Gershwin George (1898-1937/USA)/arr. Hugo Friedhofer 8 F J
(1901-1981/USA): Rhapsody in Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody, from
“Delicious”; extended version in 1932 under the title Second 14
Rhapsody; reorchestrated by Robert McBride (1951)
1931 Green Johnny (1908-1989/USA): Poem 9 J
1931 Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia 9
brasileira) No. 2
1932 Gebhardt Rio (1907-1944/Ger): Concerto in E-flat major for piano 11 J
and jazz band
1932 Steiner Max (1888-1971/USA): Unfinished Sonata, from “A Bill of 3 F
Divorcement”
1933 Malneck Matt (1904-1981/USA) & Signorelli Frank (1901-1975/USA): 5 J
Park Avenue Fantasy [non-concertante piano part]; another version
with a concertante piano part arr. in 1945 by Robert Farnon 6
1934 DeRose Peter (1900-1953/USA): Deep Purple 5 J
1934 Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia 11
brasileira) No. 3
1934 Rachmaninoff Sergei (1873-1943/Rus): Rhapsody on a Theme of 3
Paganini, Variation XVIII (Andante cantabile) – arr. by Miklos
Rozsa in “The Story of Three Loves” (1953), especially for the
8
ballet in the film, together with Variations 22, 23, 12, 16, 19 and 21
1935 Still William Grant (1895-1978/USA): Kaintuck’, tone poem 11 J
c.’35 Haletzki Paul (1911-2000/Ger): Improvisation in the Twilight 7 J
(Improvisation in der Dämmerung)
1936 Kubik Gail (1914-1984/USA): American Caprice 8 J
1936 Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia 13
brasileira) No. 4
1937 Achron Isidor (1892-1948/Russia/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 in 16
B-flat minor
c.’37 Denke Frank (1906-1988/USA): Piano Concerto 14 J
1939 Jenkins Gordon (1910-1984/USA): Twilight Interlude, for piano 3
and strings
1939 North Alex (1910-1991/USA): Blues (Lament for Gershwin); later 9 J
integrated as the slow movement of his three-movement Rhapsody
1939 North Alex (1910-1991/USA): Blues (Lament for Gershwin); later 9 J
integrated as the slow movement of his three-movement Rhapsody
for “Four Girls in Town” (1957) [entitled Piano Concerto with Trumpet
obbligato in a 1995 CD]
1939 Steiner Max (1888-1971/Aut/USA): A Symphonie moderne, after a 6 F
Theme by Max Rabinovitz [Mickey Borden’s Theme], from “Four
Wives”; extended version in 1965 by Charles Gerhardt with the
8
approval of Steiner (augmented piano part by Earl Wild)
1939 Wild Earl (1915-2010/USA): Adventure 11 J
1940 Beaver Jack (1900-1963/GB): Portrait of Isla, from “The Case of the 5 F
Frightened Lady”, arr. in 1998 by Philip Lane
1940 Szpilman Wladyslaw (1911-2000/Pol): Concertino 11 J
1940 Torch Sidney (1908-1990/GB): Concerto incognito 4
c.’40 Hasenpflug Curt (1903-1945/Ger): Atlantropa 8 J
c.’40 Hasenpflug Curt (1903-1945/Ger): Castilian Romance (Kastilische 7
Romanze)
c.’40 Krome Hermann (1888-1955/Ger): Irish Legend (Irische Novelle) 5
1941 Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB)/orch. by Roy Douglas 9 F
(1907-2015/GB): Warsaw Concerto, adapted from “Dangerous
Moonlight/Suicide Squadron”
1941 Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Illusion, Valse lente, arr. for piano 4 F
and orchestra from “Illusion”
1941 Headley Hubert (1906-1995/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 11 M
“Argentango”
1941 Tsfasman Alexander (1906-1971/Rus): Concerto No. 1 for piano and 14 J
jazz band
1942 Creston Paul (1906-1985/USA): Fantasy 9
1943 Ellington Duke (1899-1974/USA): New World A-Comin’; 12 J
extended version in 1960 by Mercer Ellington 15
1943 Evans Lindley (1895-1982/Aus)/arr. by Isador Goodman 7
(1909-1982/Aus): Idyll
1943 Lecuona Ernesto (1895-1963/Cub): Black Rhapsody (Rapsodia negra) 10
1943 Mathieu Andre (1929-1968/Que/Can): Quebec Concerto, arr. by 5
Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980/Rus/USA) & Andre Mathieu from
the 2nd movement of his three-movement Quebec Concerto (1943/22’);
another arrangement of the main theme from the 2nd movement by 3
Charles Williams (1949); extracts from the complete Quebec Concerto
featured in the film “Whispering City”, 1947
1943 Roger Roger (1911-1995/Fra): Jazz Concerto; also version for harp 7 J
and orchestra
1944 Arlen Albert (1905-1993/Aus/GB): El Alamein Concerto 8
1944 Bath Hubert (1883-1945/GB): Cornish Rhapsody, from “Love Story/ 7 F
A Lady Surrenders”
1944 Goodman Isador (1909-1982/Aus): New Guinea Fantasy 9
1944 Laszlo Alexander (1895-1970/Hun/USA): Hollywood Concerto 10 J
1944 Richardson Clive (1909-1998/GB): London Fantasia: A Musical 9
Picture of the Battle of Britain
1944 Savino Domenico (1882-1973/Ita/USA): American Concerto 11 J
1944 Ward Edward (1900-1971/USA): Lullaby of the Bells, piano concerto, 6 F
adapted from his score for “Phantom of the Opera” (1943);
arrangement by Santiago Rodriguez (1995) 6
1944 Young Victor (1900-1956/USA): Stella by Starlight, main theme from 4 F
“The Uninvited”, arr. by Gordon Robinson in 1957
1945 Bliss Arthur (1891-1975/GB): Baraza, concert piece for piano, 7 F
male chorus and orchestra, from “Men of Two Worlds”
1945 Bonneau Paul (1918-1995/Fra): Rhapsody 4 M
1945 Brodszky Nicholas (1905-1958/Ukr/USA)/orch. by Charles F
Williams (1893-1978/GB): The Way to the Stars, main theme from
“The Way to the Stars/Johnny in the Clouds” (1945), arr. by Russ
Conway in 1960; 4
another arrangement by Geoff Love (1972) 3
1945 Chase Newell (1904-1955/USA): Concerto for Louise 10
1945 Herrmann Bernard (1911-1975/USA): Concerto Macabre (Molto 11 F M
appassionato), from “Hangover Square”
1945 Kwast Felix (1918-?/Net): Arnhem Concerto “Dedicated to the 13
Airbornes of 1944” [composed for the liberation of the Dutch City
Arnhem]
1945 Tersmeden Gerard (1920-2004/Swe): Solitaire 4
1945 Webb Roy (1888-1982/USA): Piano Concerto, from “The 11 F
Enchanted Cottage”
c.’45 Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Meditation for piano, strings 7
and harp
c.’45 Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Norman Concerto 6
c.’45 Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Ocean Rhapsody 6
c.’45 Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Romantic Concerto 9
c.’45 Eisbrenner Werner (1908-1981/Ger): Cavatina for piano and strings 7
c.’45 Schweda Gerhard (1901-?/Ger): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) 6
1946 Ellis Vivian (1903-1996/GB): Piccadilly 1944, for “Piccadilly Incident” 4 F
1946 Gafvert Hans-Ake (1914-1956/Swe): Rhapsodie miniature, for 6 J
piano and strings
1946 King Reginald (1904-1991/GB): Fantasy, adapted from an earlier 13
version from 1923
1946 Kirculescu Nicolae (1903-1985/Rom): Musical Moment [used as 7
musical theme for Romanian TV program “Teleenciclopedia”]
1946 Rozsa Miklos (1907-1995/Hun/USA): Spellbound Concerto, adapted 12 F
from his score for “Spellbound” (1945); version by Charles
8
Gerhardt (8'); extended version by Miklos Rozsa for two pianos
and orchestra (22')
1946 Spoliansky Mischa (1898-1985/Pol/GB): A Voice in the Night, from 6 F
“Wanted for Murder”; new arrangement by Heinz Walter Florin
5
(before 2009)
1946 Young Victor (1900-1956/USA): Manhattan Concerto 9 J
1947 Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB): Festival, from the incidental 5
music for the play “Trespass”
1947 King Reginald (1904-1991/GB): Runnymede Rhapsody; only the ?
abridged version Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody [sometimes
4
entitled Where Water-Lilies Dream] seems to have been recorded
1947 Moore Phil (1918-1987/USA): Piano Concerto 16 JM
1947 Phillips Donald (1913-1994/GB): Concerto in Jazz 8 J
1947 Portnoff Mischa (1901-1979/USA): 57th Street Rhapsody [with solo 5 F J
trumpet], from “Carnegie Hall”
1947 Siegel Paul (1914-1976/USA): Between Two Worlds, concerto 15
1947 Stevens Leith (1909-1970/USA): Piano Concerto in C minor [also 8 F M
known as Concerto for Sweeney], from “Night Song”; extended
version in 1995 by Santiago Rodriguez, with an added 2-minute 10
solo piano piece taken from the movie score
1947 Tersmeden Gerard (1920-2004/Swe): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantisk 7
rapsodi)
1947 Waxman Franz (1906-1967/Ger/USA): Rhapsody for piano and 13 F
orchestra (Moderato Appassionato), adapted from his score for “The
Paradine Case”
1947 Wildman Charles [see also real name Mattes Willy, 1916-2002] 8 F
(Aut): Swedish Rhapsody, originally entitled Romance in Minor
(Romans i moll) written for “Brott i sol/Crime in the Sun”; later
retitled Swedish Rhapsody and featured in “Gypsy Fury/Singoalla”
(1950) and “Madame X” (1966)
1947 Williams Charles (1893-1978/GB): The Dream of Olwen, from 4 F
“While I Live” [film reissued as “The Dream of Olwen” in 1950];
5
reorchestrated and slightly arranged version by Sidney Torch
1948 Banter Harald (b. 1930/Ger): Rhapsodic Intermezzo (Rhapsodisches 7 J
Intermezzo)
1948 Escobar Maria Luisa (1898 or 1903-1985/Ven): Sentimental 15
Concerto (Concierto sentimental)
1948 Koetsier Jan (1911-2006/Net): Musical Sketch (rev. 1956) [later 9 M
integrated as the first movement of his three-movement “Homage
1948 Koetsier Jan (1911-2006/Net): Musical Sketch (rev. 1956) [later 9 M
integrated as the first movement of his three-movement “Homage
to Gershwin”, 1969]
1948 Mantovani Annunzio (1915-1980/Ita/USA): Poem to the Moon 4
1948 Mathieu Andre (1929-1968/Que/Can): Nocturne [arr. from the 2nd 4
movement of his Piano Concerto No. 4, 1947]
1948 Melachrino George (1909-1965/GB): First Rhapsody, from “House 3 F
of Darkness” [orig. for orchestra without piano (1936/7’)]
1948 Press Jacques (1903-1985/USA): Disconcerto 5 J
1948 Sauguet Henri (1901-1989/Fra): Reverie concertante/Piano Concerto >6 F
No. 2, adapted from his score for “Les Amoureux sont seuls au
monde/Monelle”
1948 Scott-Wood George (1903-1978/GB): London Caprice 4
1948 Spoliansky Mischa (1898-1985/Pol/GB): Dedication, from “Idol of 4 F
Paris”; extended version by George L. Zalva 7
1948 Wal-Berg [pseud. of Voldemar Rosenberg, 1910-1994] (Fra): 11
Capriccio
1949 Bridgewater Leslie (1893-1975/GB): Legend of Lancelot, from “Train 3 F
of Events”
1949 Czyz Henryk (1923-2003/Pol): Impression (Impresja) [later integrated 6
as the first movement of his Concertino, 1962]
1949 Dostal Nico (Nikolaus) (1895-1981/Aut): Blues-Fantasy 7 J
1949 Fischer Ernst (1900-1975/Ger): Visions (Visionen), nocturno for 6
piano, strings and four horns
1949 Mattes Willy [see also pseud. Wildman Charles] (1916-2002/Aut): 9
Concerto melodioso/Vienna Concerto
1949 Rota Nino (1911-1979/Ita): Legend of the Glass Mountain, for F
orchestra without piano, adapted from his score for “The Glass
4
Mountain” (1949); arr. for piano and orchestra by Arthur Wilkinson
in 1949; another (free) concertante arrangement by George 5
Melachrino (1952)
1949 Vitalini Alberico (1921-2006/Ita): Fantasia romantica 13
1950 Deutsch Peter (1901-1965/Ger/Den) [see also pseud. Alman Pete]: 15
The Magic Picture, concerto/fantasy
1950 Docker Robert (1918-1992/GB): Legend; 7
also abridged version 4
1950 Green Philip (1911-1982/GB): Song of Soho: Rhapsody, from 6 F
“Murder Without Crime”
1950 Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Vision, for piano, strings, oboe and 5 F
harp, from “Vom Teufel gejagt/Chased by the Devil”
1950 Lucas Leighton (1901-1982/GB): Stage Fright Rhapsody, from “Stage 5 F
Fright”, arr. in 1994 by Philip Lane
1950 Reisfeld Bert (1906-1991/Aut): California Concerto 10
1950 Semprini Alberto (1908-1990/GB): Mediterranean Concerto; also 7
abridged version in 1950 by Ronald Binge 3
1950 Wars Henryk (Vars Henry) (1902-1977/Pol/USA): Piano Concerto 10
1950 Yorke Peter (1902-1966/GB): Dawn Fantasy 6
c.’50 Eichinger Hans (1902-1986/Ger): Intermezzo virtuoso 6
c.’50 Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Melodic Intermezzo (Melodische 3
Intermezzo)
c.’50 Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Nocturne for piano, strings 4
and harp
c.’50 Hofman Al [uncertain attribution] (Ger?): American Rhapsody 8
c.’50 Mattes Willy [see also pseud. Wildman Charles] (1916-2002/Aut): 5
Solitaire, impression/ballade
c.’50 Mausz Erwin (1899-1969/Ger): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) 8
c.’50 Scholz Bernd (1911-1969/Ger): Concerto appassionato 10
c.’50 Waldenmaier August Peter (1915-1995/Ger): Arabesque 6
c.’50 Waldenmaier August Peter (1915-1995/Ger): Serenade Impromptu 5
1951 Amdahl Bjarne (1903-1968/Nor): Caprice 10 J
1951 Cesana Otto (1899-1980/USA): Starlight 3
1951 Esperon Manuel (1911-2011/Mex): Fantasia 5
1951 Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Valse Capriccio 7
1951 Jones Mai (1899-1960/GB): Rhondda Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Love, for 4
orchestra (1951); arr. for piano and orch. by Cecil Milner
(1905-1989/GB)
1951 Norman Karl-Erik Albert “Charlie” (1920-2005/Swe): Foreign 3 F
Intrigue Concerto, from the TV series “Foreign Intrigue”; later used
in the homonymous film, 1956
1951 Shostakovich Dmitri (1906-1975/Rus): Assault on the Red Hill, from 7 F
“The Unforgettable Year 1919”
1951 Wal-Berg [pseud. of Voldemar Rosenberg, 1910-1994] (Fra): 10
Holiday in Paris, ballade
1952 Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB): Tune in G major [orig. for solo 5
piano 1943]
1952 Alman Pete [see also real name Deutsch Peter, 1901-1965] 7
(Ger/Den): Queen Elizabeth Concerto [composed for the Coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II]
1952 Arnold Malcolm (1921-2006/GB): A Stolen Face: Ballade, adapted 8 F M
from his score for “Stolen Face”
p.’52 Binge Ronald (1910-1979/GB): The Whispering Valley, intermezzo 4
for piano and strings
1952 Green Philip (1911-1982/GB): The Hour of Meditation, from 3 F
“24 Hours of a Woman’s Life/Affair in Monte Carlo”
19522Guastavino Carlos (1912-2000/Arg): Romance de Santa Fe 10
1952 Lamote de Grignon Ricardo (1899-1962/Spa): Magic Concerto 11 F
(Concierto Mágico), from “Concierto Mágico”
1952 Laudan Stanley (1912-1992/Pol/GB) & Rees Gordon (?-?/GB): 8
Rhapsody for Elizabeth [composed for the Coronation of Queen
Elizabeth II]
1952 Leslie-Smith Kenneth (1897-1993/GB): The Mansell Concerto, from 4 F
“The Woman’s Angle”
1952 Ostijn Willy (1913-1993/Bel): Nocturne for piano and strings 8
1952 Williams Charles (1893-1978/GB): Romantic Rhapsody 3
1953 Cochrane Joyce (1908-1988/GB): Prelude to Peace 4
1953 Coleman Larry (b. 1938/USA)/orch. by Claus Ogerman (b. 1930/ 8
Can): Brownstone Concerto
1953 Duchac Miroslav (1924-2008/Cze): Concertino for piano and jazz 5 J
orchestra
1953 Kiessling Heinz (1926-2003/Ger): Spanish Impressions (Spanische 10
Impressionen), for two pianos and orchestra
1953 Liberace Valentino (1919-1987/USA): Rhapsody by Candlelight; 3
new version by the composer (1962) 3
1953 Oliver Vic (1898-1964/Aut/GB)/orch. by Art Lowry (?-?/USA): Studio 3 F
One Concerto [arr. from Oliver’s Prelude to The Stars for solo piano
(1945), used as the main theme of "Studio One" TV series]
1953 Roper Terence (1911-1984/GB): Autumn Rhapsody 3
1953 Sheldon Jimmy (1926-2000/USA)/orch. by George Greeley 11 J
(1917-2007/USA): Nob Hill Nocturne
1953 Wilder Alec (1907-1980/USA): From Dusk to Dawn, rhapsody 6
1953 Wreford Reynell (1898-1976/GB): The Last Rhapsody, theme for the 3
radio program “Music for Murder”
1954 Coleman Albert (1910-2007/Fra/USA): Open Spaces, concertino 6
p.’54 Czernik Willy (1901-1996/Ger): Dionysian Festivity (Dionysisches Fest), 13
rhapsody
b.’54 Ellsasser Richard (1926-1972/USA): Sunrise Concerto 6
1954 Farnon Robert (1917-2005/Can): Mid-Ocean for orchestra; arr. for 5
two pianos and orchestra by Marjan Rawicz and Walter Landauer
p.’54 Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Tender Reverie (Zärtliche Träumerei), 4
for piano, strings and harp
1954 Holmes LeRoy (1913-1986/USA): Concerto for Lovers 4
1954 Leutwiler Toni (1923-2009/Swi): Romantic Fantasy (Romantische 7
Fantasie)
1954 Pennario Leonard (1924-2008/USA)/arr. and orch. by Les Baxter 3
(1922-1996/USA): Midnight on the Cliffs [orig. for solo piano 1942];
1954 Pennario Leonard (1924-2008/USA)/arr. and orch. by Les Baxter 3
(1922-1996/USA): Midnight on the Cliffs [orig. for solo piano 1942];
another arrangement by David Rose in 1956 for the promotion of 3 F
the film “Julie”; better-known extended version by Lucien Cailliet 5 F
(first performed 1995?)
b.’54 Stuart Coolidge Peggy (1913-1981/USA): Twilight City, rhapsody 8 J
b.’54 Willmot Nina (?-?/GB)/arr. and orch. by Richard Ellsasser 5
(1926-1972/USA): Concerto Rhapsody
1955 Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB): Journey to Romance [arr. from 4
Invocation for orchestra, for the BBC radio program “Journey to
Romance”, 1946]
1955 Ferrante Arthur (1921-2009/USA) & Teicher Louis (1924-2008/ 7
USA): Hollywood Rhapsody, for two pianos without orchestra
1955 Larsson Kurt (1909-1981/Swe): American Tapestry (Amerikansk 9 J
Gobeläng), rhapsody
1955 Lecuona Ernesto (1895-1963/Cub)/orch. by Pablo Ruiz Castellanos 8
(1902-1980/Cub): Cuban Rhapsody (Rapsodia cubana) (1955 for two
pianos; orchestrated c. 1960); new orchestration (1994) by Thomas
Tirino based on Castellanos’ one
1955 Leutwiler Toni (1923-2009/Swi): Concerto for piano, jazz orchestra 9 J
and symphony orchestra
p.’55 Steck Arnold [pseud. of Frank Leslie Statham, 1905-1974] (GB): 5
Riviera Rhapsody
c.’55 Breuer Franz Josef (1914-1996/Ger): Rhapsody to the Night 9
(Rhapsodie einer Nacht); also abridged version in 1965 5
c.’55 Buder Ernst Erich (1896-1962/Ger): Fantasy in Blue (Fantasie in blue) 9 J
c.’55 Friebe Wolfgang (1909-1989/Ger): Carillon 5
c.’55 Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Romantic Episode (Romantische 4
Episode), for piano, four horns and strings
c.’55 Mattes Willy [see also pseud. Wildman Charles] (1916-2002/Aut): 10
Capriccio romantico; abridged and reorchestrated version of the
3
principal theme in 1959 as Riviera Concerto
c.’55 Pütz Johannes (1926-1971/Ger): The Black Swan (Der schwarze 5
Schwan)
c.’55 Seeger Erwin (?-?/Ger)/arr. Richard Etlinger (1894-1960/Ger): Sails 5
on the Passat (Segel im Passat)
c.’55 Sommerlatte Ulrich (1914-2002/Ger): Matinee, miniature concerto 7
c.’55 Winkler Gerhard (1906-1977/Ger): Towards the Sun (Der sonne 8
entgegen), concert piece/fantasy
p.’56 Bargoni Camillo (1907-?/Ita): Autumn Concerto (Concerto d’Automno), 5
for piano and strings; also arr. by Brian Fahey (for the pianist Russ
Conway) with orchestra and women’s choir (1960) 3
1956 Bialas Gunter (1907-1995/Ger): Jazz-Promenade 7 JM
1956 Gyulai Gaal Janos (1924-2009/Hun): Concerto in One Movement [also 12
entitled Concertino]
1956 Henderson Joe (1920-1980/GB): First Theme 3
1956 Herrlinger Kurt (1918-2003/Ger): Klavierismen, rhapsody 8
1956 Merath Siegfried (1928-1995/Ger): Riviera Fantasy (Riviera-Fantasie); 8
reedited in 1970 under the title Las Palmas Concerto
p.’56 Meyer Friedrich (1915-1993/Ger): Melodies (Melodien), rondo 5
1956 Morgan Russ (1904-1969/USA) & Franklin Dave (1895-1970/USA): 3
Lover’s Rhapsody
1956 Semprini Alberto (1908-1990/GB): Concerto appassionato 5
1957 Carson Milton (GB) [collective alias of the three British composers 3
Howard Barnes, Harold Fields and Joseph Roncoroni]/arr. by
Alberto Semprini: The Destiny Theme, for the radio program
“Destiny”
1957 Dello Joio Norman (1913-2008/USA): A Ballad of the Seven Lively 10
Arts
p.’57 Dostal Nico (Nikolaus) (1895-1981/Aut): Romantic Melody 4
b.’57 Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Romantic Rhapsody 10
(Romantische Rhapsodie)
b.’57 Harkness Rebekah (1915-1982/USA): Sylvan Rhapsody/Woodland 8
Caprice [later integrated in her ballet “Journey to Love”, 1958]
1957 Kasschau Howard (1913-1994/USA): Candlelight Concerto, for piano ?
and band
1957 Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Mountain Rhapsody (Svensk 6
Fjällrapsodi)
1957 Mattes Willy [see also pseud. Wildman Charles] (1916-2002/Aut): 6
Stockholm Concerto
b.’57 Ofstad Kolbjorn (1917-1996/Nor): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantisk 7
rapsodi)
1957 Paramor Norrie (1914-1979/GB): Cancerian Concerto, for piano 3
and orchestra with woman’s voice
1957 Pregel Boris (1893-1976/Ukr/USA): Pathetic Concerto (Concerto 8
pathétique)
1957 Pregel Boris (1893-1976/Ukr/USA): Dramatic Nocturne (Nocturne 8
dramatique)
1957 Reif Paul (1910-1978/USA) & D’Artega Alfonso (1907-1998/USA): 3
Dream Concerto
1957 Tavares Belo Armando (1911-1993/Por): Concerto romantico in E 15
minor
1957 Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): Blues on the Rocks 7 J
1957 Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): The Strong and the Tender 8 J
1957 Weinberg Mieczyslaw (Vainberg Moishe) (1919-1996/Pol/Rus): 5 F
The Cranes Are Flying, fantasy, from the film of same name, arr. in
1957 by Paul Haletzki
1958 Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB)/arr. Douglas Gamley 4 F
(1924-1998/Aus/GB) at the request of Addinsell: Theme from “A
Tale of Two Cities”
1958 Bergen Hans Willy (1920-1997/Ger): Amoretta, rondo for piano and 4
strings
1958 Kenton Stan (1911-1979/USA) & Rugolo Pete (1915-2011/Ita/USA): 5 J
Theme to the West (1958/5’); the original version (1947) is more jazzy
and in a less hollywoodian style
4
1958 Mantovani Annunzio (1915-1980/Ita/USA): Serenata d’amore, for 4
two pianos and orchestra
1958 Munkel Heinz (1900-1961/Ger): Music (Musik) 8
1958 Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): New York Picture [also entitled 8
Rapsodia americana in the version for piano and concert band]
1958 Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Viaggio a Las Vegas [also entitled13 8 13 J
Ritmo fantasia in the version for concert band without piano]
1958 René Henri (1906-1993/USA)/arr. Ulrich Sommerlatte (1914-2002/ 6
Ger): Californian Rhapsody (Kalifornische Rhapsodie/Californische
Rhapsodie)
1958 Rose David (1910-1990/USA): Piano Concerto in C minor 3f 3
1959 Conway Russ [pseud. of Trevor Herbert Stanford, 1925-2000] (GB): 3
Concerto for Dreamers
1959 Conway Russ [pseud. of Trevor Herbert Stanford, 1925-2000] (GB): 3
Concerto for Lovers
b.’59 Dollimore Ralph (1930-1988/GB): Rooftop Rhapsody 3
1959 Friebe Wolfgang (1909-1989/Ger): Slavic Rhapsody (Slawische 9
Rhapsodie)
1959 Grofe Ferde (1892-1972/USA): Piano Concerto in D minor (New 15
England Concerto) (partly composed in 1931; finished in 1959)
1959 Moeckel Hans (1923-1983/Swi): Basle Fantasy (Basler-Fantasie) 7
b.’59 Rubens Hugo (1905-1971/USA): Carnegie Hall Concerto 4
1959 Wusthoff Klaus (b. 1922/Ger): Transatlantic Rhapsody 8
1960 Conway Russ [pseud. of Trevor Herbert Stanford, 1925-2000] (GB): 3
My Concerto for You, for piano, women’s choir and orchestra;
abridged version of the apparently unrecorded Bristol Concerto
?
(without women’s choir) (1959)
1960 Farnon Robert (1917-2005/Can): On the Seashore/Seashore 3
p.’60 Horan Edward (1898-?/USA/GB): The Lonely Melody 2
1960 Kalman Charles (1920-2015/Aut): Hudson Concerto [orig. for solo 9
piano 1948]
1960 Moody Philip (1921-2011/GB/USA): Laguna Concerto; 8
abridged version, retitled Lunar Concerto, for the documentary
6
“Footprints on the Moon” (1969)
1960 Nilson Goran W. (1941-2007/Swe): Light-Rhapsody 8 J
1960 Ostijn Willy (1913-1993/Bel): Concert Piece in D minor 9
1960 Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): An Evening in Paris (Una sera a 7
Parigi)
1960 Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Movie Music 7
1960 Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Night Music [also entitled Musica 6
notturna in the version for piano and concert band]
1960 Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Sentimental Day [also entitled 8
Fantasia romantica in the version for piano and concert band]
b.’60 Stuart Coolidge Peggy (1913-1981/USA): Out of the Night, rhapsody; 10
abridged version under the title Melody Out of the Night (1960) 4
1960 Williams Charles (1893-1978/GB): Theme from “The Apartment”, 4 F
originally written under the title Jealous Lover for “The Romantic
Age” (1949); version arranged and extended in 1963 by George de 5
Godzinsky
c.’60 Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Aphorisms (Aphorismen), for 7 J
piano, strings and percussion
c.’60 Jernestrand Lennart (1929-2007/Swe): Impromptu, for piano and 4
strings
c.’60 Kalischnig Walter (b. 1926/Slove/Net) & Van Galen Rinus 8
(1930-1989/Net): Continental Concerto, for piano and concert band
c.’60 Kuhn Joseph F. (1924-1962/USA): Capitol City by Starlight 3
(Washington Concerto)
c.’60 Kuhn Joseph Francis (1924-1962/USA): Manhattan Rhapsody 5 J
c.’60 Kuhn Joseph Francis (1924-1962/USA): Midnight Rhapsody 7
c.’60 Marx Hans Joachim (1923-2010/GDR/Ger): Impressions 4
(Impressionen)
c.’60 Nivelli Gina (1906-1985/Ita/USA)/arr. Siegfried Ulbrich (1922-1991/ 6
Ger): Berlin Concerto
c.’60 Teruzzi Tarcisio (1930-2007/Ita): Nordic Legend (Leggenda Nordica) 7
1961 Blake Howard (b. 1938/GB): Rhapsody for a Summer’s Night 3
b.’61 Deutsch Peter (1901-1965/Ger/Den) [see also pseud. Alman Pete]: 3
The Beginning of a Romance
p.’61 Mawer Anthony (1930-1988/GB): Starlight Concerto/Romance Over 3
the Top
1961 Mineo Toni (Antoinette) (b. 1926/USA) & Mineo Attilio 7
(1918-2010/USA): Rhapsody 21 [composed for the Seattle World’s
1961 Mineo Toni (Antoinette) (b. 1926/USA) & Mineo Attilio 7
(1918-2010/USA): Rhapsody 21 [composed for the Seattle World’s
Fair]
1961 Slaney Ivor (1921-1998/GB): Midsummer Madness 2
1962 Baumann Herbert (b. 1925/Ger): Allegro capriccioso 9
1962 Cloerec Rene (1911-1995/Fra): Piano Concerto, from “Le Meurtrier” 5 F
1962 Eliezer Benzion (1920-1993/Bul): Fantasy for piano and jazz orchestra 7 J
1962 Harris, J. Robert “Bob” (1925-2000/USA)/orch. by Gil Grau 5 F
(1908-1969/USA): End Title/Love Theme, from “Lolita”
p.’62 Johnson Laurie (b. 1927/GB): Rhapsody 3
1962 Ogerman Claus (b. 1930/Can): Canadian Concerto 12
1962 Reisman Joe (1924-1987/USA): Ballad of the Sea, arr. for two 3
pianos, women’s choir and orchestra by Walter Landauer
1963 Bernard James (1925-2001/GB): Vampire Rhapsody, adapted from 7 F
his score for “Kiss of the Vampire”
1963 Rustichelli Carlo (1916-2004/Ita): Windsor Concerto, from “The 3 F
Whip and the Body”
b.’64 Eagles Moneta (1924-2003/Aus): Autumn Rhapsody 5
1964 Lauber Ken (b. 1941/USA): Piano Concerto, from “The World of 7 F M
Henry Orient” [only 4 minutes are heard in the movie]
1964 Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Rhapsody in Red (Rapsodi i rött) 10 J
[arranged for piano and concert band in 1978]
1964 Merath Siegfried (1928-1995/Ger): Concerto d’amore 6
1964 Pauls Raimonds (b. 1936/Lat): Rhapsody for piano and light music 8 J
orchestra
1965 Bruchmann Klaus-Peter (1932-2017/GDR/Ger): Toccata 5 J
1965 Hattwig Martin (1920-2003/GDR/Ger): Carpe Diem, rhapsody 10 J
1965 Kovalev Viktor (1919-1993/Rus): Romantic Poem 12
1965 Leutwiler Toni (1923-2009/Swi): Concerto nostalgico 3
1965 Siegel Ralph (b. 1945/Ger): Dream Rhapsody (Traum-Rhapsodie) 5
1965 Warnick Clay (1915-1995/USA): Bermuda Concerto 3
c.’65 Gottschalk Wolfgang (b. 1938/Ger): Piano Concerto 12
c.’65 Hidas Frigyes (1928-2007/Hun): Mini Concerto (Minikoncert) 10 J
c.’65 Inden Michael [pseud. of Michael Stenz, b. 1930] (Ger): Lost in 5
Dreams, intermezzo for piano and strings
c.’65 Mersson Boris (1921-2013/Swi/Ger): Moonlight Concerto 6
c.’65 Storrle Heinz (1933-1999/Ger): Silver Clouds (Silberne Wolken), 4
intermezzo
c.’65 Wehner Gerhard (1916-1994/Ger): Fantasia romantica 6
p.’66 De Luca Edmond (1909-2004/USA): Lone Star Concerto (Dallas) 3
p.’66 De Luca Edmond (1909-2004/USA): Motor City Concerto (Detroit) 3
1966 Dzambazov Aleksandar (b. 1936/Mac): Rhapsody for Skopje 10 J
p.’66 Gubin Sol (1928-1996/USA): Nights at Beacon Hill (Boston Concerto) 3
b.’66 Inden Michael [pseud. of Michael Stenz, b. 1930] (Ger): Romantic 6
Sketch (Romantische Skizze)
p.’66 Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Concerto to Biscayne Bay 3
(Miami Concerto)
p.’66 Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Lakeshore Drive (Chicago 2
Concerto)
p.’66 Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Rhapsody to Rittenhouse 3
Square (Philadelphia Rhapsody); reedited from 1983 under the title
Concerto D’Amour
p.’66 Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Sunset Boulevard Concerto 3
p.’66 Ulbrich Siegfried (1922-1991/Ger): Blue City, impressions 7 J
p.’66 Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): Concerto to St. Louis 3 J
p.’66 Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): Concerto to the Golden Gate (San 3
Francisco)
p.’67 Dumont Cedric (1916-2007/Swi): The Song of the Piano, concerto 6
1967 Koper Karl-Heinz (1927-2011/Ger): Kalauer-Konzert 9
1967 Legrand Michel (1932-2019/Fra): Concerto Theme, adapted from his 3 F
score for “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort/The Young Girls of
Rochefort”
b.’67 Schmitz-Steinberg Christian (1920-1981/Ger): Rhapsody on the 7
Theme “Es liegt eine Krone im tiefen Rhien”
1967 Sukman Harry (1912-1984/USA): Nightfalls into Starlight, from “The 8 F
Naked Runner”; orig. under the title Nightfall, from “Gog” (1954) 3
b.’67 Sys, Hans Vlig van der [pseud. of Willem Hans van der Sys, 7
1917-1983] (Net) & Schmitz-Steinberg Christian (1920-1980/Ger):
Rainbow Concerto
1968 Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Madame Bovary Melodie, from the 5 F
TV film “Madame Bovary”
1970 Kosaku Dan [pseud. of Yuzo Kayama, b. 1937] (Jap): Piano Concerto 7
[later integrated as the first movement of his Piano Concerto in D
minor, 1985]
1970 Lai Francis (1932-2018/Fra): Love Story Theme, from “Love Story” 4 F
1970 Plathe Georg (?-?/GDR/Ger): Magic Fantasy (Zauberhafte Fantasie) 7 J
1970 Williamson Malcolm (1933-2003/Aus/GB): Main title, from 4 F
“Crescendo”
c.’70 Bernard Jean (b. 1923/Fra): Concerto for Marianne 8
c.’70 Lyadova Lyudmila (b. 1925/Rus): Gypsy Rhapsody 7
1971 Adamic Bojan (1912-1995/Slove): Ljublana Concerto 11
1971 Brandner Ernst (1921-2015/Ger): Carlos-Fantasie, from the TV film 6 F
“Carlos”
1971 Budd Roy (1947-1993/GB): Concerto for Harry, from “Something 9 F
to Hide”
1971 Legrand Michel (1932-2019/Fra): Concertino for piano and orchestra, 4 F
adapted from his score for “Summer of ’42”
p.’72 Bolling Claude (b. 1930/Fra): Jazz Concerto 13 J
1972 Tersmeden Gerard (1920-2004/Swe): Mini Concerto (Mini Conserto) 8
1973 Bolling Claude (b. 1930/Fra): Piano Concerto, from “Le 3 F
Magnifique”
1973 Wilhelm Rolf (1927-2013/Ger): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) 6 M
1974 Docker Robert (1918-1992/GB): London Rhapsody 10
p. 75 Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Swedish Bagatelle (Schwedische 4
Bagatelle), for piano and strings
1975 Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Midnight Rhapsody (Midnattsrapsodi) 7
1976 Kapustin Nikolai (b. 1937/Rus): Concert-Rhapsody 10 J
1977 Badalbeyli Farhad (b. 1947/Aze): The Sea 8
1977 Hallberg Bengt (1932-2013/Swe): Rhapsody, adapted from his score 10 F
for the TV series “Den vita stenen/The White Stone” (1973)
1978 Welch Ed (b. 1947/GB): Thirty Nine Steps Concerto, adapted from 12 F
his score for “The Thirty Nine Steps”
1980 El-Khoury Bechara (b. 1957/Fra/Lib): Poem No. 1 12
1980 Petitgirard Laurent (b. 1950/Fra): The Rosebud Suite [it is not 17 F
actually a true suite, but a one-movement work with recurring
themes taken from his scores for “Rosebud” (1975), “L’Amant de
poche” (1978) and “Asphalte” (1980)]
c.’80 Sent Janusz (b. 1936/Pol): Omen Ballada 10
c.’80 Tura Will (b. 1940/Bel)/arr. and orch. by Robert Groslot 3
(b. 1951/Bel): Fantasy in Blue
c.’80 Tura Will (b. 1940/Bel)/arr. and orch. by Robert Groslot 4
(b. 1951/Bel): Urban Rhapsody
1981 El-Khoury Bechara (b. 1957/Fra/Lib): Poem No. 2 11
1981 Malecki Maciej (b. 1940/Pol): Rondo 12 J
1982 Skoryk Myroslav (b. 1938/Ukr): Piano Concerto No. 2 14 M
1984 Rozsa Miklos (1907-1995/Hun/USA): New England Concerto, for 15
two pianos and orchestra, based on the themes from his scores for
“Lydia” (1941) and “Time out of Mind” (1947)
c.’85 Bruggemann Werner (1936-1997/Aut): City Melody 7
(Hamburgmelodie), for piano and concert band
c.’85 Bruggemann Werner (1936-1997/Aut): One Day in My Life, for 5
piano and concert band
1985 Bruggemann Werner (1936-1997/Aut): Rike, concerto in one 8
movement for piano and concert band
1990 Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Golden Rhapsody [recorded only in 9
a version for piano and concert band]
b.’90 Sandner Ronald (b. ?/Ger)/arr. by Harald Heinemann (b. ?/Ger) & 8
Helmut Sommer (b. ?/Ger): Romantic Fantasy (Romantische
Fantasie), for piano and concert band
1991 Saint-Preux (b. 1950/Fra): Piano Concerto in G minor “Il y a sur la 6
Terre”
1992 Lubennikov Albert (1931-2005/Rus): Concerto-Fantasy 9
1992 Schneider Norbert Jurgen (b. 1950/Ger): Evolution Concerto 12
(Concierto Evolución) [composed for the World Expo Sevilla]
1994 Artemyev Eduard (b. 1937/Rus): Piano Concerto “The Forgotten 11 F
Manuscript”, from “Burnt by the Sun”
c.’95 Zeiger Mikhail (b. 1949/Rus/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 13
1997 Langford Gordon (1930-2017/GB): A Song for All Seasons, fantasy 12
1999 Costa Tynnoko (b. 1949/Bra): Taja-Panema, fantasy 8
1999 Vlak Kees (1938-2014/Net): West Coast Concerto, for piano and 12 J
concert band
c. Richards Howard L. (1927-2010/USA): Irish Rhapsody 13
2000
2001 Goldstein William (b. 1942/USA): Miracle at Midnight, piano 16 F
concerto, arr. from his score for the film of same name (1997)
2005 Parker Jim (b. 1934/GB): Midsomer Rhapsody, from the TV series 3 F
“Midsomer Murders”, season 8, episode 8 “Midsomer Rhapsody”
2009 Smith Ronnie (b. ?/GB)/orch. by Paul Bateman (b. ?/GB): Rhapsody 10
2010 Chinese Collective: Shanghai Concerto [composed for the Shanghai 7
World Expo]
p. PM The West Coast Collective [uncertain attribution]: Hollywood 4
2011 Concerto
2013 Beffa Karol (b. 1973/Fra): Dark, for piano and strings 7
2013 Weedon Penny (Penelope) (b. ?/GB): Gower Rhapsody [piano + VST] 6
2014 Fink Nataliya (b. ?/Rus): Nostalgia (Nostalgie), for piano and pops 6
orchestra; also version for piano and concert band
2014 Lockley Gavin (b. 1978/Aus): King of the Air, piano concerto, from 14
his score for the musical of same name

3- Statistics from the “First Chronological Repertory”

This “First chronological Repertory” brings us a lot of information, on


both the sociological and statistical side.
1- How many mini piano concertos are listed in the
“Repertory”?
To date, the “Repertory” includes 339 works. It is obvious that the real
number of mini piano concertos is much greater, especially concerning those
written by obscure composers from non-international countries. Many of
them are simili tabloid concertos which have been released on LP and/or
radio broadcast, but have fallen into oblivion and are now difficult to listen
to. They constitute the submerged part of the iceberg (see the graph in
Chapter I: What is a mini piano concerto?). If we could count all of them, the
number of mini piano concertos would increase in an important proportion
which cannot be precisely calculated318.

2- According to the “Repertory”, how many composers have


written mini piano concertos?
A total of 271 composers. As with the “total” number of works, there
are of course many more.
Composers who alternatively used a pseudonym in addition to their
real names are counted as a single composer (eg Willy Mattes = Charles
Wildman; Peter Deutsch = Pete Alman).
Concerning the works written by two composers, both are counted.
The fictional composer Milton Carson (actually a pseudonym used
jointly by the three British composers Howard Barnes, Harold Fields and
Joseph Roncoroni for the 1957-58 radio series “Destiny”) is counted as a
single composer.
The Chinese Collective who wrote the Shanghai Concerto (2010) is also
counted as a single composer.

3- According to the “Repertory”, which composers have written


the most mini piano concertos?
In the list below, works which have the style and structure of the
Denham Concertos are indicated by an asterisk (*). Works without this
asterisk are either works written in Gershwinian jazz style, or pieces of very
short duration, or works which respect the general spirit of Symphonic
Entertainment but not the style and structure specific to the Denham
Concertos, which are the reference in the field of mini piano concertos.
In descending order:
- Teresa Procaccini (b. 1934/Ita): 6 – including 5 *;
- Franz Grothe (1908-1982/Ger): 6;
318
See also Appendix 1: Works of which we have no score or recording, but several clues
suggesting that they are mini piano concertos.
- Willy Mattes/pseud. Charles Wildman (1916-2002/Aut): 5 – including 4
*;
- Richard Addinsell (1904-1977/GB): 5 – including 1 *;
- Georg Haentzschel (1907-1992/Ger): 5 – including 1 *;
- Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-1981/USA): Probably 5 – including at least
2 * (we only have two recordings);
- Esther Allan (1914-1985/USA): 4 – including 3 *;
- Per Lundkvist (1916-1999/Swe): 4 – including 1 * (we only have three
recordings);
- Francisco Mignone (1897-1986/Bra): 4;
- Aldo Provenzano (1930-1999/USA): 4;
- Bernie Wayne (1919-1993/USA): 4;
- Werner Bruggemann (1936-1997/Aut): 3 – including 2 *;
- Charles Williams (1893-1978/GB): 3 – including 2 *;
- Toni Leutwiler (1923-2009/Swi): 3 – including 1 *;
- Gerard Tersmeden (1920-2004/Swe): 3 – including 1 *;
- Joseph Francis Kuhn (1924-1962/USA): 3;
- Peter Deutsch/pseud. Pete Alman (1901-1965/Ger/Den): Probably 3 –
including at least 1 * (we only have one recording);
- August Peter Waldenmaier (1915-1995/Ger): Probably 3 (we only have
two recordings).

4- According to the “Repertory”, which are the countries where


the most mini piano concertos have been written?
USA: 95 works
Germany: 65 works
Great Britain: 64 works

5- According to the “Repertory”, which are the countries where


there have been the most mini piano concertos written for films
(tabloid concertos)?
Great Britain: 21 works
USA: 19 works
France: 7 works
Germany: 4 works
Russia: 3 works
The low total obtained by Germany can be partly explained by the fact
that this country does not have international cinema, and consequently its
tabloid concertos are difficult to discover.
6- According to the “Repertory”, which decade produced the
greatest number of mini piano concertos?
The 1950s. It is only several years after the huge success of Richard
Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (1941) that the vogue spread fully to every
country; however, the most famous mini piano concertos remain those
written during the ’40s.

7- According to the “Repertory”, which year produced the


greatest number of mini piano concertos?
The year 1957, with 16 works. Of course the precise year is not certain,
considering that it is not possible to know all the mini piano concertos ever
written; nonetheless, it is likely that the year which produced the most works
is indeed around 1957, since this period corresponds to the heyday of the
vogue of the mini piano concertos (see Chapter IV, paragraph 3).

8- According to the “Repertory”, what percentage of mini piano


concertos are written for the cinema (tabloid concertos)?
As it is, the Repertory includes 60 tabloid concertos. The percentage is
60/339 = 17,7%. However, it should be noted that, since tabloid concertos are
necessarily more famous than other mini piano concertos (since they are
related to the cinema world), the percentage of tabloid concertos in this
Repertory decreases as the census progresses and the total number of mini
piano concertos increases. In other words, anyone who is just beginning to
do research on mini piano concertos would make a repertory listing almost
100% of tabloid concertos.

9- According to the “Repertory”, which year produced the


greatest number of tabloid concertos?
The year 1947, with 5 works, including 3 Denham Concertos.
Then the year 1945, with 4 works, all Denham Concertos.

10- According to the “Repertory”, which decade produced the


greatest number of micro-concertos (less than four minutes)?
The 1960s, a decade which was characterized by the heyday of the Easy
Listening industry. In the USA, the production of micro-concertos was so
abundant that it even became a subgenre of the mini piano concerto genre,
which had its own star pianists and conductors (see Chapter IV, paragraph
3).

11- According to the “Repertory”, how many mini piano


concertos have been commercially released on CD?
173 – just over half of the total number (339).
Concerning the mini piano concertos written for films, with fifteen
exceptions all have been issued on CDs (out of a total of 60). The same is true
concerning the majority of the British Denham Concertos, as well as the
micro-concertos, since they take advantage of the public interest in Light
Music and in Easy Listening. On the other hand, the numerous simili tabloid
concertos written outside of the cinema world by composers from diverse
backgrounds have rarely been released on LPs, let alone on CDs. Between
1940 and 1970, radio broadcasts and live concerts allowed some of these
obscure works to be recorded non-commercially.

12- According to the “Repertory”, what is the average duration


of a mini piano concerto?
7.06 minutes (339 works listed for a total of 2406 minutes).

13- According to the “Repertory”, what is the average duration


of a tabloid concerto?
6.23 minutes (60 works listed for a total of 383 minutes).
Since the term “tabloid concerto” brings together very different mini
piano concertos, ranging from concertante pieces heard entirely in a film
(which are necessarily short for cinematographic reasons) to concert works
arranged in a “classical” way by the composer from his film music (which are
generally long in order to correctly present and develop the various themes
of the film score), the average duration of the tabloid concertos is nearly
equivalent to that of all mini piano concertos; in the end, the result would
have been the same if we had calculated the average duration of 57 mini
piano concertos randomly selected from the 339.

14- According to the “Repertory”, what percentage of mini


piano concertos have the word “concerto” in their title?
107/339 = 31,6% : a third. As we have already had occasion to say (see
Chapter II, criterion n°3), the choice of the title “concerto” is mainly related
to the prestige of the word.

15- Following the examples of George Gershwin’s Manhattan


Rhapsody (1931), Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (1941) and
Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody (1944), what percentage of mini
piano concertos listed in the “Repertory” have place-name titles?
87/339 = 25,7%. A quarter of the mini piano concertos have
topographical titles (that is to say, the name of precise cities, regions or
countries). We can state that it is a specific feature of this musical genre.
American musicologist Gavin Borchert explains that mini piano concertos
were “Spoofingly dubbed ‘Spumeshire Concertos’ after their tendency to be
given place-name titles…”319
We decided to include the Concerto Macabre (1945) by Bernard
Herrmann (1911-1975/USA) because, until 1972, its title was Hangover Square
Concerto.
We decided to include Legend of the Glass Mountain (1949) by Nino Rota
(1911-1979/Ita) because in the film, the “Glass Mountain” is located in the
Dolomites, Italy.
We decided to include the Studio One Concerto (1953) by Vic Oliver
(1898-1964/Aut/GB) orchestrated by Art Lowry (?-?/USA) because its title
refers to CBS’ Westinghouse Studio One.
We decided to include Midnight on the Cliffs (1956) by Leonard
Pennario (1924-2008/USA) because the work was originally entitled Midnight
on the Newport Cliffs320.
We decided to include the Piano Concerto in D minor (1931/59) by Ferde
Grofe (1892-1972/USA) because the work is also entitled New England
Concerto, as evidenced on pages 13 and 14 of the "Ferde Grofé Collection"
from the "Music Division of the Library of Congress"321.
We decided to include the Laguna Concerto (1960) by Philip Moody
(1921-2011/USA) because the title refers to Laguna Beach (in California) where
the composer was staying at the time he wrote his concerto322.
We also decided to include City Melody (c. 1985) by Werner
Bruggemann (1936-1997/Aut) because the original German title is
Hamburgmelodie, which refers to the city of Hamburg.
On the contrary, we decided not to include the Bristol Concerto (1959)
by Trevor Herbert Stanford (1925-2000/GB), alias Russ Conway, since this
work has been recorded only in an abridged version (3') with an added
women’s choir, under the title My Concerto for You. But the composer
originally wanted to give the name of his hometown to his concerto.
We also decided not to include the Kalauer-Konzert (1967) by Karl-
Heinz Koper (1927-2011/Ger) because of the composer’s choice to maintain

319
Gavin Borchert, “Swept Away: The Lost genre of film concertos” in Seattle Weekly
News [online,
http://archive.seattleweekly.com/2001-04-25/arts/swept-away/, accessed January 10, 2018]
320
On the website “Leonard Pennario” [online,
http://www.pennario.org/Pages/Composer/Leonard-Pennario-Midnight.html, accessed
September 15, 2017]
321
Document available online,
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/music/eadxmlmusic/eadpdfmusic/uploaded_pdf/ead_schema_
pdf_batch-31_august_2013/mu013007.pdf, accessed September 23, 2018.
322
Cf. the newspaper Desert Sun of March 15, 1978 [online,
https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DS19780315.2.44, accessed December 7, 2017]
the ambiguity between the two possible meanings of the word “Kalauer”:
“Pun” (a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term) and
“of/from Kalau” (which is the name of a small German town), as Christoph
Dohr (the publisher of Karl-Heinz Koper’s works) explained in an e-mail323.
The titles which include names of cities, regions or countries were
intended – above all – to indicate a filiation with the two most famous
Denham Concertos: Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (1941) and Hubert
Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody (1944). We can also notice that only American and
European place names were used, never exotic places which would imply
using an exotic musical style and/or an instrumentation matching the chosen
place. Hence the surprise of this music critic – who was probably not familiar
with the tradition of the Denham Concertos – who wrote about an LP which
included Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody, Charles Wildman’s Swedish
Rhapsody (1947) and Arthur Ferrante/Louis Teicher’s Hollywood Rhapsody
(1955):
“Modern rhapsodies seem not to involve the emotions of the composer too deeply.
They are written in conservative style (for which the average music lover is infinitely
grateful) and they content themselves with being pleasantly atmospheric rather than
probing the distinctive differences of the locales they are describing. In this category
belong the late Hubert Bath’s Cornish Rhapsody and Ferrante and Teicher’s Hollywood
Rhapsody.”324

16- In the Grove Dictionary, which mini piano concertos are


mentioned in the articles about the composers who wrote them?
We decided not to take into account the list of works which
accompanies any article about a composer since it is not significant enough;
so we consider only the mini piano concertos mentioned within an article:
- Isidor Achron (1892-1948/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 (1937);
- Richard Addinsell (1904-1977/GB)/orchestration: Roy Douglas (1907-
2015/GB): Warsaw Concerto (1941);
- Hubert Bath (1883-1945/GB): Cornish Rhapsody (1944);
- James P. Johnson (1894-1955/USA): Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody
(1927);
- Reginald King (1904-1991/GB): Fantasy for piano and orchestra (1946);
- Francisco Mignone (1897-1986/Bra): The four Brazilian Fantasies (1929;
1931; 1934; 1936);
- Charles Williams (1893-1978/GB): The Dream of Olwen (1947).
We can notice that there are three works written for films (tabloid
concertos) among them:
- Warsaw Concerto (1941);

323
E-mail that Mr. Dohr sent us on December 7, 2017.
324
Bernard Lebow, booklet of the LP “Rhapsody” (URANIA, 1955).
- Cornish Rhapsody (1944);
- The Dream of Olwen (1947).
These are precisely the three most famous Denham Concertos (see
Chapter V: The most famous mini piano concertos: the Denham Concertos).
We can also notice that six of the seven composers who wrote works
listed in articles of the Grove Dictionary are Anglo-Saxon (four British, two
American).
PROVISIONAL CONCLUSION

“L’écriture romantique est le langage


le plus largement rassembleur.
Mais aussi le plus ouvert aux métamorphoses.
Creuset qui pratique le mélange
comme mode de renouvellement.”325
Pierre Berthomieu

During the 1920s, the mini piano concerto genre was created in the
United States by the jazz piano concertante works composed by George
Gershwin (1898-1937) and George Antheil (1900-1959). In the ’40s in Great
Britain, the huge success of the Warsaw Concerto (1941) by Richard Addinsell
(1904-1977) and the Cornish Rhapsody (1944) by Hubert Bath (1883-1945)
triggered a vogue (maintained by the cinema, radio and recording industries,
as well as by music publishers326) for mini piano concertos written in a
Rachmaninovian post-romantic style, which were dubbed “Denham
Concertos” after the name of the film studios which produced most of
them327. For nearly half a century, many composers from various
backgrounds wrote mini piano concertos, but they never fully succeeded in
establishing them as a new musical genre in its own right because, at the
same time, social-cultural mores were undergoing rapid changes and the
general public, to whom mini piano concertos were destined, lost interest in
classical music (in the broad sense of the term) and in symphonic jazz, and
turned its attention towards rock and pop songs.
Between 1940 and 1960, the mini piano concerto occupied a prominent
place in the “Symphonic Entertainment” repertoire, in which the Anglo-
325
Pierre Berthomieu, “La Musique de film” (2004), p. 18.
326
Especially the reductions for solo piano (see Chapter IV, paragraph 2).
327
About the Denham Concertos, see Chapter IV, paragraph 2, and also Chapter V,
paragraph 1.

141
Saxons made a useful connection between popular music and “serious”
music. But this connection was stifled by the economic imperatives of a
society which was becoming a “consumer society” and which became
culturally monopolized by international pop music. Nowadays, we are far
from the time when British musicologist Howard Mayfair wrote:
“Although frowned open by the purists, it cannot be denied that this type of
composition has proved an important link in the chain which joins the classical and
popular musical worlds.”328

With hindsight, it seems obvious that the mini piano concertos, though
labeled as “Popular Style” compositions by Anglo-Saxons, were really
appreciated only by a narrow fringe of listeners who, while not wanting to
listen only to the classical repertoire stricto sensu, did not want to listen only
to the novelties of pop music. But the power of attraction of pop music was
so strong that it ended up diverting the listeners to whom the mini piano
concertos were destined. At the same time, regulars of concert halls were
gradually listening to more modernist-oriented music.
Thanks to the cinema (which kept the enthusiasm of the public), some
tabloid concertos have been saved from oblivion; the very last public success
is the Love Story Theme (1970/4') by Francis Lai (1932-2018/Fra).
It is common to say that Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943/Rus) is the
composer who personified piano concertante post-romanticism. And since
Rachmaninoff’s concertos were featured in several Hollywood movies and
raised many epigones, one can say, without much risk, that there is a direct
relationship between the post-romantic tradition personified by
Rachmaninoff and the Denham Concertos (which are the must of tabloid
concertos).
But the 20th century was a century of ruptures which continually burned
what people had previously worshipped. Faced with what could be felt as a
persistent lack of interest, many composers of mini piano concertos – who
are now all forgotten or almost unknown329 – probably wondered what was
happening. Film music historian Pierre Berthomieu explains:

328
Text by Howard Mayfair about the mini piano concerto entitled The Last Rhapsody
(1953/3'), composed by Reynell Wreford (1898-1976/GB). Back cover of EMI RECORDS
LIMITED LP 7EG 8053 (1954) [online,
https://img.discogs.com/jz-oXYhVGcEgl92EzGzoz2X_KZs=/fit-
in/600x599/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-7661763-
1446203957-9306.jpeg.jpg, accessed March 14, 2018]
329
We can take the measure of the oblivion in which these composers fell by checking all
the names listed in our “Chronological (and detailed) Repertory of mini piano concertos”
(Chapter VI): barely a dozen of them escaped this cultural sinking, which concerns almost
the entirety of the orchestral music of the second half of the 20th century (see Foreword,
note 4).

142
“Que se passe-t-il donc aujourd’hui, en cette fin du XXe siècle et ce début du XXIe ?
Le monde et la musique perdent l’éternité. La joie de l’instant devient simple plaisir
physique de l’instant. Moins qu’un plaisir : une sensation, une excitation sans saveur, un
stimulus. C’est une nouvelle forme qui s’est installée, la musique-excitation, qui est aussi
une musique-masse, sans tissu dramatique. Hantée par un complexe culturel, cette forme
de composition refuse toute complexité, toute orchestration singulière, et se destine à
souligner la figuration physique d’une action.”330
“What is happening today, at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the
st
21 ? The world and music are losing eternity. The joy of the moment is becoming a simple
physical pleasure of the moment. Less than a pleasure: a sensation, a flavorless excitement,
a mere stimulus. It is a new form of music: music-excitement, which is also a mass-music,
without dramatic content. Haunted by a cultural complex, this form of composition refuses
any complexity, any singular orchestration, and its sole purpose is to emphasize the
physical figuration of an action.”

In less than half a century, new socio-cultural preferences have diverted


the public from the musical pleasures of previous generations. Everything
has changed and continues to change at such a fast pace that popular
fashions hardly last more than a decade. There are so many currents in pop
music that it is impossible to sort them out clearly. And concerning so-called
“serious” music, how to define the currents, since every composer wants his
work to be listened to per se, without reference to a pre-existing style,
language or particular school?
Of course, mini piano concertos of all kinds continue to be composed
sporadically, but without getting the public’s attention. However, it should
be noted that on May 9, 2003, a concert by the London Philharmonic
Orchestra paid tribute to film concertos. On this occasion, the producer of
the concert, David Wishart, commissioned from composer Richard Bissill (b.
1956/GB) a Rhapsody for piano and orchestra written in the style of the
Denham Concertos. For David Wishart, “[…] this was not pastiche – but a
fond remembrance – a splendid evocation of a style and of an era of British
(film) music to be treasured.”331
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and Broadway, the tabloid
concertos in general – and the Denham Concertos in particular – were
presented as the concentrate of an imaginary great romantic concerto; their
raison d’être was a spectacular lyricism paired with extreme conciseness.
Nowadays, the mini piano concertos are often the refuge of self-taught
composers in search of romanticism (who generally present their works on
friendly websites), or they are compositions written for a promotional
purpose, like the Evolution Concerto (Concierto Evolución) composed by
Norbert Jurgen Schneider (b. 1950/Ger) for the Universal Exposition of

330
Pierre Berthomieu, “La Musique de film” (2004), p. 73.
331
On the website of composer Richard Bissill [online,
http://www.richardbissill.com/biography.html, accessed January 15, 2018]

143
Seville “Expo ’92”332. And what about the mini piano concerto which Expo
2010 Shanghai China commissioned for its promotional video? Written by a
collective of Chinese composers, the seven-minute Shanghai Concerto,
performed by Lang Lang, is far from the mini piano concertos composed half
a century earlier, such as Rhapsody 21 written for the 1962 Seattle World’s
Fair (USA)333. Other times, other customs… and other music.
The cinema world has also evolved. And it is not the least paradox of
the tabloid concerto to become again the central theme of a recent movie.
Indeed, in Eugenio Mira’s Hollywoodian film “Grand Piano” (2013), a piano
concerto334 written by Spanish-born American composer Victor Reyes (b.
1962) occupies a much larger space-time than any other tabloid concertos
ever written: twenty-six minutes of presence on the screen… for a film which
lasts seventy-five minutes in all! The height of paradox: while a tabloid
concerto, because of its function within a film, was always a short one-
movement piece, Victor Reyes’ concerto is in three movements – an ultimate
metamorphosis which proves that the page of the Denham Concertos seems
to be definitely turned, but that of the tabloid concertos is far from being so.

With pop music on the one hand and electroacoustic/experimental


music on the other, 21st-century music is now divided into two irreducible
clans that nothing seems to bring together. A stalled situation, close to that
shown in the final scene of Fritz Lang’s film “Metropolis” (1927) in which the
master of the ruling class refuses to reach out to the representative of the
people. Today, more than ever, the people and the intellectuals are victims of
the same social fracture, and no longer benefit from this mediator which is
the power of the heart (in Fritz Lang’s film).
It is regrettable that classical music (in the broad sense of the term) is
so divided. In 1947, modernist composer Kaikhosru Sorabji (1892-1988/GB)
disdainfully called Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (1941) the
“Moonshine of Hollywood”335. But is the “Moonshine of Hollywood” intrinsic

332
The Concierto Evolución, which lasts 12 minutes and is cast in three linked sections,
aimed to synthesize classical music, romantic music and the music of today, that is to say
pop music (in the broad sense of the term) with over-use of drums.
333
Rhapsody 21 (7'), composed by Toni (Antoinette) Mineo (b. 1926/USA) and orchestrated
by her husband Attilio Mineo (1918-2010/USA), is a para Denham Concerto.
334
This tabloid concerto is written in a style which has no direct link with that of its
ancestors, the Denham Concertos.
335
Here is the whole quote from Kaikhosru Sorabji: “When is a Concerto not a Concerto?
The answer is: When a film forms all over it, and when it gets struck by the very dangerous
Moonshine of Hollywood, and when the great, tripe-hearted democracy thinks it is going
all classical and highbrow as it sits and listens, in the Palmers Green or Peckham Rye
Pallas-Athenaeum, to the multitudinous masterpieces of Mr Richard Addinsell, having had,
naturally enough till then, not the slighest idea how nice and easy ‘nice’ music was to listen

144
to movie music? If we think about it, is this not the characteristic of all music
that we do not like – or that we refuse to understand?
Is “Moonshine” not everywhere, even where some would not think to
find it? To answer this question, and not without a touch of humor, here are
the remarks of Elie During, lecturer at the University Paris-Nanterre, about
the work of John Cage entitled 4'33". This work was premiered in 1952 by
pianist David Tudor at the Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock (state of New
York). On the IRCAM website, Elie During writes:
“Dans le "silence" de 4'33" s’engouffre la rumeur du monde et de tous les discours.
Quel plus bel hommage au chef-d’œuvre de Cage, son morceau favori, que de le rejouer et
de le réinterpréter en y joignant une profusion de gloses, d’hypothèses et de spéculations
qui se sont depuis le début projetées sur lui, comme dans un test de Rorschach ? […] C’est
un portrait chinois où chacun s’efforce de tenir une perspective, ou plusieurs à la fois :
4'33" comme œuvre d’art conceptuel, 4'33" comme "tube", 4'33" comme tautologie, 4'33"
comme œuvre expérimentale, 4'33" comme œuvre "queer", 4'33" comme non-œuvre, 4'33"
comme proposition spéculative, etc. […] 4'33" est un "tube" qui est dans toutes les têtes :
avec son format de 45 tours, il est sans conteste l’œuvre la plus connue de Cage, peut-être
le morceau le plus populaire de toute la musique contemporaine.”336
“In the ‘silence’ of 4'33", the rumor of the world and all speeches are engulfed.
What better tribute to Cage’s masterpiece – his favorite piece – than replaying it and
reinterpreting it with a profusion of glosses, assumptions and speculations which have
been projected on it since the beginning, such as in a Rorschach test? […] This is a Chinese
portrait in which everyone tries to hold a perspective, or several at once: 4'33" as a
conceptual work of art, 4'33" as a ‘hit’, 4'33" as a tautology, 4'33" as an experimental work,
4'33" as a ‘queer’ work, 4'33" as non-work, 4'33" as a speculative proposition, and so on […]
4'33" is a ‘hit’ which is in everyone’s mind: with its 45-rpm format, it is without doubt
Cage’s best-known work, perhaps the most popular piece of all contemporary music.”

What link could there be between the “Moonshine” mentioned by


Kaikhosru Sorabji and John Cage’s 4'33"? A confession from Cage himself
answers us: “It [4'33"] will open with a single idea which I will attempt to
make as seductive as the color and shape or fragrance of a flower. The
ending will approach imperceptibly.”337
The “Moonshine of Hollywood” may be there: in the ambition of artists
to want to dream, or, at least, to want to bring a little dream to the audience.
Dream and… heart.
Does 4'33" belong to the realm of dreams? The fact that followers of
experimental music ask themselves so many questions about a “45-rpm
format”, as Elie During writes, is – in our opinion – a way to fantasize/dream

to.” In “Mi contra fa” (1947), p. 17. Also quoted in Mervyn Cooke, “A History of Film Music”
(2008), Chapter XI, epigram of paragraph 1.
336
Elie During, “Présentation du concert du 25 mars 2010, Centre-Pompidou” [online,
http://brahms.ircam.fr/works/work/7099/, accessed November 4, 2017]
337
In “A Composer’s Confessions”. Quoted in James Pritchett, “The Music of John Cage”
(1993), p. 59.

145
music which joins that of lovers of tabloid concertos, simili tabloid
concertos, Denham Concertos, para Denham Concertos and micro-
concertos… After all, since 4'33" is written “for any instrument or
combination of instruments” (as John Cage has indicated), why would not
4'33", in his necessary version for piano and orchestra, be a common ground
for all music lovers?
And even, why not invite some listeners to listen to 4'33" as an ideal
para Denham Concerto? 1952, which is the date of the world premiere of
4'33", was a year rich in Denham Concertos and para Denham Concertos, as
shown in our “First Chronological Repertory” (see Chapter VI)338.
Since it is recommended to dream about 4'33" – a work which we are
told that everyone can hear according to his possibilities, desires or ideal –
we are allowed to add to “a profusion of glosses, assumptions and
speculations”339 the wish that 4'33" “as a ‘hit’”340 may be, for fans of
experimental music, what a mini piano concerto is for lovers of (post-
)romantic music: the opportunity to get elated, and sometimes even to feel
better.

In the heart of every sincere composer and every true music lover,
Music is one and indivisible.

338
In England alone, the year 1952 is that of the Tune in G major by Richard Addinsell (1904-
1977); the Mansell Concerto by Kenneth Leslie-Smith (1897-1993); The Whispering Valley by
Ronald Binge (1910-1979); the Romantic Rhapsody by Charles Williams (1893-1978). Each of
these mini piano concertos has approximately the same duration as John Cage’s 4'33".
339
Elie During, “Présentation du concert du 25 mars 2010, Centre-Pompidou” [online,
http://brahms.ircam.fr/works/work/7099/, accessed November 4, 2017]
340
Ibid.

146
APPENDIX 1

Works of which we have no score or recording,


but several clues suggesting
that they are mini piano concertos

- Agay Denes (1911-2007/Hun/USA): Candlelight Concerto (1957/5'30)


- Bennett Robert Russell (1894-1981/USA): Nocturne and Appassionata (1941/13')
- Berking Willy (1910-1979/Ger) & Schmitz-Steinberg Christian (1920-
1980/Ger): Rhapsody in E minor (1956/5'20)
- Boisselet Paul (1917-1972/Fra): Jazz Concerto (1946/6')
- Bornschein Arthur (?-?/Aut): Arabesques (c. 1955/8')
- Brandner Ernst (1921-2015/Ger): Costa del Sol, fantasy (1964/6')
- Buch Wolfgang (?-?/Ger): Notturno in Blue (1961/9')
- Creston Paul (1906-1985/USA): Dawn Mood (1944/?)
- Davis Morris Cecil (1904-1968/Can): Blues and Finales in G, jazz concerto
(1942/?)
- De Godzinsky George (1914-1994/Fin): Rhapsody (c. 1960/7')
- Der Linden Dolf van (1915-1999/Net): Rhapsody (c. 1960?/?)
- Farberman Harold (b. 1929/USA): Paramount Concerto (premiered 1974/12')
- Fulton Norman (1909-1980/GB): Waltz Rhapsody (1961/?)
- Gabaye Pierre (1930-2000): Mini Rhapsody (Mini-rapsodie) (1967/3')
- Giuffre Gaetano (1918-?/Gre/USA): New York Concerto (1949/c. 12')
- Grenz Artur (1909-1988/Ger): Manhattan Capriccio (1953/11')

147
- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Impromptu, valse bleu, for piano and small
orchestra, from “Furioso” (1950/5')
- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger) & Alexander Axel (1926-2016/Ger): Piano
Concerto [main theme based on Grothe’s song “A New Life begins” written
for the 1936 film “The Castle in Flanders”] (publ. posthumously in 1983/10')
- Gyldmark Oskar (1893-1977/Den): Capriccio (1943/c. 5')
- Gyulai Gaal Janos (1924-2009/Hun): The Source (A forrás), symphonic
picture (1961/8')
- Hagen Hans (1915-1979/Aut): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) (?/?)
- Haletzki Paul (1911-2000/Ger): Fantasy for Piano and Small orchestra (?/6')
- Hötter (Hoetter) Heinz (1923-2000/Ger): Rhapsody for Silvia (Rhapsodie für
Silvia) (?/4')
- Hyde Miriam (1913-2005/Aus): Fantasy-Romantic (premiered 1942/?)
- Jones Kenneth Baden (1915-2013/GB): Rhapsody (?/?)
- Kartun Leon (1895-1982/Fra): Rhapsodic Poem (Poème rapsodique), for piano
and jazz orchestra (1935/c. 8')
- King Stanford F. (1912-2010/USA): Pocket Concerto (1952/?)
- Kleinsinger George (1914-1982/USA): Dawn to Dawn in New York (1955/9')
- Kuhlman Elzard (1904-?/Net): Jazz Concerto (1935/?)
- Kuster Herbert (1909-1986/Ger):
Cleopatra, fantasy for piano and strings (1953/?)
Atlantis, impression (1954/?)
- Landauer Walter (1909-1983/Aut): Vienna Concerto (LP COLUMBIA
DB3526, 1954/c. 8')
- Lombardo Mario (1931-2012/USA): Blue Interlude, rhapsody (publ. 1961/?)
- Lovelock William (1899-1986/GB/Aus): Raggy Rhapsody (1976/10')
- Marky Paul de (1897-1982/Hun/Can): Ballade (performed in 1944/?)
- Martin (Leon) Georges (?/?): American Caprice (1954/?)
- Mc Carthy John B. (?/Ger): Impression (?/?)
- McKalip Mansell Brown (1915-?/USA): Central Park South, fantasy (1955/?)

148
- Pelz William (1908-1962/USA): Sentimental Rhapsody (1938/4')341
- Reinl Franz (1903-1977/Aut): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantische Rhapsodie)
(1942/12')
- Rizo Marco (1920-1998/Cub/USA): Broadway Concerto (publ. 1962/?)
- Roger Roger (1911-1995/Fra): Jazz Concerto No. 2 “Concerto romantique”
(1947/14')
- Sirowy Josef (1901-1971/Aut): Memories, Romantic Concertino (Erinnerungen,
Romantische Concertino) (?/8')
- Spear Eric (1908-1966/GB): Concerto for Fun (publ. 1951/?)
- Strassner Rudolf (1927-2013/Ger): Romantic Piano Concerto No. 1
(Romantischen Klavierkonzert Nr.1) “Hollywood Concerto” (before 1966/?)
- Stuart Coolidge Peggy (1913-1981/USA):
Cracked Ice, A Miniature Rhapsody (1937/?)
Boston Concerto (performed in 1950/?)
American Sketch (c. 1950?/?)
- Suesse Dana (1909-1987/USA): Concertino (1945/10')
- Swain Freda (1902-1985/GB): Airmail Concerto (1940s/?)
- Templeton Alec (1910-1963/GB/USA): Rhapsodie harmonique (1954/11')
- Thompson Randall (1899-1984/USA): Jazz Poem (1928/14')
- Wagner Joseph (1900-1974/USA): Fantasy in Technicolor, for piano and band
(1948/13')
- Walberg (Wal-Berg) Heinz (?-?/Ger): Concerto for the Only One, Lyric
Rhapsody (Konzert für die Einzige, Lyrische Rhapsodie) (1961/8')
- Wal-Berg [pseud. of Voldemar Rosenberg, 1910-1994] (Fra): Deux Décembre,
concertino (1989/11')
- Waldenmaier August Peter (1915-1995/Ger): Legende appassionata, op.37 (?/?)
- Waslohn Al(vin) (1925-1977/USA): Jazz Rhapsody (premiered 1946/8')
- Wehding Hans-Hendrik (1915-1975/Ger): Rhapsody (c. 1960/12')
- Wirth Carl Anton (1912-1986/USA): Rhapsody (1947/?)342

341
According to musicologist William Phemister, pianist Guy Maier, for whom William Pelz
composed his Sentimental Rhapsody, characterizes this work as “a miniature Rhapsody in
Blue”. In “Beyond Rhapsody in Blue: Other Great American Piano Concerto,” National
Conference, Spokane, Washington (USA), March 18, 2019.

149
- Wurz Richard (1885-1965/Ger): Scenes, concert piece (Scenen, konzertstück)
(?/?)

And many, many others…

***

342
William Phemister describes Carl Anton Wirth’s Rhapsody this way: “The Wirth
Rhapsody, if it gets proper promotion, could well take the place of the popular Warsaw
Concerto.” In “The American Piano Concerto Compendium” (second edition, 2018), p. 241.

150
APPENDIX 2

First Alphabetical (and detailed) Repertory


of mini piano concertos

Abbreviations: c. = circa (around)


publ. = published
> = longer than

339 works (as of October 15, 2019)

• Achron Isidor (1892-1948/Russia/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor (1937/16')

• Adamic Bojan (1912-1995/Slove): Ljublana Concerto (1971/11')

• Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB)/orch. by Roy Douglas (1907-2015/GB): Warsaw


Concerto, adapted from “Dangerous Moonlight/Suicide Squadron” (1941/9')

- Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB): Festival, from the incidental music for the play
“Trespass” (1947/5')

- Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB): Tune in G major (orig. for solo piano 1943; orch.
1952/5')

- Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB): Journey to Romance (1955/4') [arr. from Invocation


for orchestra, for the BBC radio program “Journey to Romance”, 1946]

- Addinsell Richard (1904-1977/GB)/arr. Douglas Gamley (1924-1998/Aus/GB) at the


request of Addinsell: Theme from “A Tale of Two Cities” (1958/4')

151
• Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Norman Concerto (c. 1945/6')

- Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Ocean Rhapsody (c. 1945/6')

- Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Romantic Concerto (c. 1945/9')

- Allan Esther (1914-1985/Pol/USA): Meditation for piano, strings and harp (c. 1945/7')

• Alman Pete [see also real name Deutsch Peter, 1901-1965] (Ger/Den): Queen
Elizabeth Concerto (1952/7') [composed for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II]

• Amdahl Bjarne (1903-1968/Nor): Caprice (1951/10')

• Antheil George (1900-1959/USA): A Jazz Symphony (1925/8'); shortened and


reorchestrated version by the composer (1955/7')

• Arlen Albert (1905-1993/Aus/GB): El Alamein Concerto (1944/8')

• Arnold Malcolm (1921-2006/GB): A Stolen Face: Ballade, adapted from his score for
“Stolen Face” (1952/8')

• Artemyev Eduard (b. 1937/Rus): Piano Concerto “The Forgotten Manuscript”, from
“Burnt by the Sun” (1994/11')

• Badalbeyli Farhad (b. 1947/Aze): The Sea (1977/8')

• Banter Harald (b. 1930/Ger): Rhapsodic Intermezzo (Rhapsodisches Intermezzo) (1948/7')

• Bargoni Camillo (1907-?/Ita): Autumn Concerto (Concerto d’Automno), for piano and
strings (publ. 1956/5'); also arr. by Brian Fahey (for the pianist Russ Conway) with
orchestra and women’s choir (1960/3')

• Bath Hubert (1883-1945/GB): Cornish Rhapsody, from “Love Story/A Lady


Surrenders” (1944/7')

• Baumann Herbert (b. 1925/Ger): Allegro capriccioso (1962/9')

• Beaver Jack (1900-1963/GB): Portrait of Isla, from “The Case of the Frightened Lady”
(1940), arr. by Philip Lane (1998/5')

• Beffa Karol (b. 1973/Fra): Dark, for piano and strings (2013/7')

• Bergen Hans Willy (1920-1997/Ger): Amoretta, rondo for piano and strings (1958/4')

• Bernard James (1925-2001/GB): Vampire Rhapsody, adapted from his score for “Kiss
of the Vampire” (1963/7')

152
• Bernard Jean (b. 1923/Fra): Concerto for Marianne (c. 1970/8')

• Bialas Gunter (1907-1995/Ger): Jazz-Promenade (1956/7')

• Binge Ronald (1910-1979/GB): The Whispering Valley, intermezzo for piano and
strings (publ. 1952/4')

• Blake Howard (b. 1938/GB): Rhapsody for a Summer’s Night (1961/3')

• Bliss Arthur (1891-1975/GB): Baraza, concert piece for piano, male chorus and
orchestra, from “Men of Two Worlds” (1945/7')

• Bolling Claude (b. 1930/Fra): Jazz Concerto (publ. 1972/13')

- Bolling Claude (b. 1930/Fra): Piano Concerto, from “Le Magnifique” (1973/3')

• Bonneau Paul (1918-1995/Fra): Rhapsody (1945/4')

• Brandner Ernst (1921-2015/Ger): Carlos-Fantasie, from the TV film “Carlos” (1971/6')

• Breuer Franz Josef (1914-1996/Ger): Rhapsody to the Night (Rhapsodie einer Nacht) (c.
1955/9'); also abridged version (1965/5')

• Bridgewater Leslie (1893-1975/GB): Legend of Lancelot, from “Train of Events”


(1949/3')

• Brodszky Nicholas (1905-1958/Ukr/USA)/orch. by Charles Williams (1893-1978/GB):


The Way to the Stars, main theme from “The Way to the Stars/Johnny in the Clouds”
(1945), arr. by Russ Conway (1960/4'); another arrangement by Geoff Love (1972/3')

• Bruchmann Klaus-Peter (1932-2017/GDR/Ger): Toccata (1965/5')

• Bruggemann Werner (1936-1997/Aut): Rike, concerto in one movement for piano


and concert band (1985/8')

- Bruggemann Werner (1936-1997/Aut): City Melody (Hamburgmelodie), for piano and


concert band (c. 1985/7')

- Bruggemann Werner (1936-1997/Aut): One Day in my Life, for piano and concert
band (c. 1985/5')

• Budd Roy (1947-1993/GB): Concerto for Harry, from “Something to Hide” (1971/9')

• Buder Ernst Erich (1896-1962/Ger): Fantasy in Blue (Fantasie in blue) (c. 1955/9')

• Carson Milton [collective alias of the three British composers Howard Barnes,

153
Harold Fields and Joseph Roncoroni]/arr. by Alberto Semprini: The Destiny Theme,
for the radio program “Destiny” (1957/3')

• Cesana Otto (1899-1980/USA): Starlight (1951/3')

• Chase Newell (1904-1955/USA): Concerto for Louise (1945/10')

• Chinese Collective: Shanghai Concerto (2010/7') [composed for the Shanghai World
Expo]

• Cloerec Rene (1911-1995/Fra): Piano Concerto, from “Le Meurtrier” (1962/5')

• Cochrane Joyce (1908-1988/GB): Prelude to Peace (1953/4')

• Coleman Albert (1910-2007/Fra/USA): Open Spaces, concertino (1954/6')

• Coleman Larry (b. 1938/USA)/orch. by Claus Ogerman (b. 1930/Can): Brownstone


Concerto (1953/8')

• Conway Russ [pseud. of Trevor Herbert Stanford, 1925-2000] (GB): Concerto for
Dreamers (1959/4')

- Conway Russ [pseud. of Trevor Herbert Stanford, 1925-2000] (GB): Concerto for
Lovers (1959/3')

- Conway Russ [pseud. of Trevor Herbert Stanford, 1925-2000] (GB): My Concerto for
You, for piano, women’s choir and orchestra (1960/3'); abridged version of the
apparently unrecorded Bristol Concerto (without women’s choir) (1959/?)

• Costa Tynnoko (b. 1949/Bra): Taja-Panema, fantasy (1999/8')

• Creston Paul (1906-1985/USA): Fantasy (1942/9')

• Czernik Willy (1901-1996/Ger): Dionysian Festivity (Dionysisches Fest), rhapsody (publ.


1954/13')

• Czyz Henryk (1923-2003/Pol): Impression (Impresja) (1949/6') [later integrated as the


first movement of his Concertino, 1962]

• Dello Joio Norman (1913-2008/USA): A Ballad of the Seven Lively Arts (1957/10')

• De Luca Edmond (1909-2004/USA): Lone Star Concerto (Dallas) (c. 1945; publ.
1966/3')

- De Luca Edmond (1909-2004/USA): Motor City Concerto (Detroit) (publ. 1966/3')

154
• Denke Frank (1906-1988/USA): Piano Concerto (c. 1937/14')

• Docker Robert (1918-1992/GB): Legend (1950/7'); also abridged version (4')

- Docker Robert (1918-1992/GB): London Rhapsody (1974/10')

• DeRose Peter (1900-1953/USA): Deep Purple (1934/5')

• Deutsch Peter (1901-1965/Ger/Den) [see also pseud. Alman Pete]: The Magic Picture,
concerto/fantasy (1950/15')

- Deutsch Peter (1901-1965/Ger/Den) [see also pseud. Alman Pete]: The Beginning of a
Romance (before 1961/3')

• Dollimore Ralph (1930-1988/GB): Rooftop Rhapsody (perf. 1959/3')

• Dostal Nico (Nikolaus) (1895-1981/Aut): Blues-Fantasy (1949/7')

- Dostal Nico (Nikolaus) (1895-1981/Aut): Romantic Melody (1957/4')

• Duchac Miroslav (1924-2008/Cze): Concertino for piano and jazz orchestra (1953/5')

• Dumont Cedric (1916-2007/Swi): The Song of the Piano, concerto (publ. 1967/6')

• Dzambazov Aleksandar (b. 1936/Mac): Rhapsody for Skopje (1966/10')

• Eagles Moneta (1924-2003/Aus): Autumn Rhapsody (publ. 1964/5')

• Eichinger Hans (1902-1986/Ger): Intermezzo virtuoso (c. 1950/6')

• Eisbrenner Werner (1908-1981/Ger): Cavatina for piano and strings (c. 1950/7')

• Eliezer Benzion (1920-1993/Bul): Fantasy for piano and jazz orchestra (1962/7')

• El-Khoury Bechara (b. 1957/Fra/Lib): Poem No. 1 (1980/12')

- El-Khoury Bechara (b. 1957/Fra/Lib): Poem No. 2 (1981/11')

• Ellington Duke (1899-1974/USA): New World A-Comin’ (1943/12'); extended version in


1960 by Mercer Ellington 15'

• Ellis Vivian (1903-1996/GB): Piccadilly 1944, for “Piccadilly Incident” (1946/4')

• Ellsasser Richard (1926-1972/USA): Sunrise Concerto (before 1954/6')

• Escobar Maria Luisa (1898 or 1903-1985/Ven): Sentimental Concerto (Concierto


sentimental) (1948/15')

155
• Esperon Manuel (1911-2011/Mex): Fantasia (1951/5')

• Evans Lindley (1895-1982/Aus)/arr. by Isador Goodman (1909-1982/Aus): Idyll


(1943/7')

• Farnon Robert (1917-2005/Can): Mid-Ocean for orchestra; arr. for two pianos and
orchestra by Marjan Rawicz and Walter Landauer (1954/5')

- Farnon Robert (1917-2005/Can): On the Seashore/Seashore (1960/3')

• Ferrante Arthur (1921-2009/USA) & Teicher Louis (1924-2008/USA): Hollywood


Rhapsody, for two pianos without orchestra (1955/7')

• Fink Nataliya (b. ?/Rus): Nostalgia (Nostalgie), for piano and pops orchestra (2014/6');
also version for piano and concert band

• Fischer Ernst (1900-1975/Ger): Visions (Visionen), nocturno for piano, strings and
four horns (1949/6')

• Friebe Wolfgang (1909-1989/Ger): Carillon (c. 1955/5')

- Friebe Wolfgang (1909-1989/Ger): Slavic Rhapsody (Slawische Rhapsodie) (1959/9')

• Gafvert Hans-Ake (1914-1956/Swe): Rhapsodie miniature, for piano and strings


(1946/6')

• Gebhardt Rio (1907-1944/Ger): Concerto in E-flat major for piano and jazz band
(1932/11')

• Gershwin George (1898-1937/USA)/orch. Ferde Grofe (1892-1972/USA): Rhapsody in


Blue, for piano and jazz orchestra (1924/9'); extended version by Grofe (1926/13'); arr.
by Grofe for symphony orchestra (1942); shortened version (7'30) for the film “King of
Jazz”, 1930

- Gershwin George (1898-1937/USA)/arr. Hugo Friedhofer (1901-1981/USA): Rhapsody


in Rivets/Manhattan Rhapsody, from “Delicious” (1931/8'); extended version under the
title Second Rhapsody (1932/14'); reorchestrated by Robert McBride (1951)

• Goldstein William (b. 1942/USA): Miracle at Midnight, piano concerto, arr. from his
score for the film of same name, 1997 (2001/16')

• Goodman Isador (1909-1982/Aus): New Guinea Fantasy (1944/9')

• Gottschalk Wolfgang (b. 1938/Ger): Piano Concerto (c. 1965/12')

• Green Johnny (1908-1989/USA): Poem (1931/9')

156
• Green Philip (1911-1982/GB): Song of Soho: Rhapsody, from “Murder Without Crime”
(1950/6')

- Green Philip (1911-1982/GB): The Hour of Meditation, from “24 Hours of a Woman’s
Life/Affair in Monte Carlo” (1952/3')

• Grofe Ferde (1892-1972/USA): Piano Concerto in D minor (New England Concerto)


(partly composed in 1931; finished in 1959/15')

• Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Illusion, Valse lente, arr. for piano and orchestra from
“Illusion” (1941/4')

- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Vision, for piano, strings, oboe and harp, from “Vom
Teufel gejagt/Chased by the Devil” (1950/5')

- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Melodic Intermezzo (Melodische Intermezzo) (c. 1950?/3')

- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Valse Capriccio (1951/7')

- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Tender Reverie (Zärtliche Träumerei), for piano, strings
and harp (publ. 1954/4')

- Grothe Franz (1908-1982/Ger): Madame Bovary Melodie, from the TV film “Madame
Bovary” (1968/5')

• Guastavino Carlos (1912-2000/Arg): Romance de Santa Fe (1952/10')

• Gubin Sol (1928-1996/USA): Nights at Beacon Hill (Boston Concerto) (before 1966/3')

• Gyulai Gaal Janos (1924-2009/Hun): Concerto in One Movement [also entitled


Concertino] (1956/12')

• Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Nocturne for piano, strings and harp (c. 1950/4')

- Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Romantic Episode (Romantische Episode), for


piano, four horns and strings (c. 1955/4')

- Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantische Rhapsodie) (perf.


1957/10')

- Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Aphorisms (Aphorismen), for piano, strings and


percussion (c. 1960/7')

- Haentzschel Georg (1907-1992/Ger): Swedish Bagatelle (Schwedische Bagatelle), for


piano and strings (publ. 1975/4')

157
• Haletzki Paul (1911-2000/Ger): Improvisation in the Twilight (Improvisation in der
Dämmerung) (c. 1935/7')

• Hallberg Bengt (1932-2013/Swe): Rhapsody, adapted from his score for the 1973 TV
series “Den vita stenen/The White Stone” (1977/10')

• Harkness Rebekah (1915-1982/USA): Sylvan Rhapsody/Woodland Caprice (1957/8')


[later integrated in her ballet “Journey to Love”, 1958]

• Harris, J. Robert “Bob” (1925-2000/USA)/orch. by Gil Grau (1908-1969/USA): End


Title/Love Theme, from “Lolita” (1962/5')

• Hasenpflug Curt (1903-1945/Ger): Atlantropa (c. 1940/8')

- Hasenpflug Curt (1903-1945/Ger): Castilian Romance (Kastilische Romanze) (c. 1940/7')

• Hattwig Martin (1920-2003/GDR/Ger): Carpe Diem, rhapsody (1965/10')

• Headley Hubert (1906-1995/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 “Argentango” (1941/11')

• Henderson Joe (1920-1980/GB): First Theme (1956/3')

• Herrlinger Kurt (1918-2003/Ger): Klavierismen, rhapsody (1956/8')

• Herrmann Bernard (1911-1975/USA): Concerto Macabre (Molto appassionato), from


“Hangover Square” (1945/11')

• Hidas Frigyes (1928-2007/Hun): Mini Concerto (Minikoncert) (1960s/10')

• Hill Edward Burlingame (1872-1960/USA): Divertimento (1926/7')

• Hofman Al [uncertain attribution] (Ger?): American Rhapsody (c. 1950?/8')

• Holmes LeRoy (1913-1986/USA): Concerto for Lovers (before 1954/4')

• Horan Edward (1898-?/USA/GB): The Lonely Melody (perf. 1960/2')

• Inden Michael [pseud. of Michael Stenz, b. 1930] (Ger): Lost in Dreams, intermezzo
for piano and strings (c. 1965/5')

- Inden Michael [pseud. of Michael Stenz, b. 1930] (Ger): Romantic Sketch (Romantische
Skizze) (before 1966/6')

• Jenkins Gordon (1910-1984/USA): Twilight Interlude, for piano and strings (1939/3')

• Jernestrand Lennart (1929-2007/Swe): Impromptu, for piano and strings (c. 1960/4')

158
• Johnson James Price (1894-1955/USA)/orch. William Grant Still (1895-1978/USA):
Yamekraw, A Negro Rhapsody (1927/15')

• Johnson Laurie (b. 1927/GB): Rhapsody (before 1962/3')

• Jones Mai (1899-1960/GB): Rhondda Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Love, for orchestra (1951);


arr. for piano and orch. by Cecil Milner (1951/4')

• Kalischnig Walter (b. 1926/Slove/Net) & Van Galen Rinus (1930-1989/Net):


Continental Concerto, for piano and concert band (c. 1960/8')

• Kalman Charles (1920-2015/Aut): Hudson Concerto (orig. for solo piano 1948; orch.
1960/9')

• Kapustin Nikolai (b. 1937/Rus): Concert-Rhapsody (1976/10')

• Kasschau Howard (1913-1994/USA): Candlelight Concerto, for piano and band (1957/?)

• Kenton Stan (1911-1979/USA) & Rugolo Pete (1915-2011/Ita/USA): Theme to the West
(1958/5’); the original version is more jazzy and in a less hollywoodian style (1947/4')

• Kiessling Heinz (1926-2003/Ger): Spanish Impressions (Spanische Impressionen), for two


pianos and orchestra (1953/10')

• King Reginald (1904-1991/GB): Fantasy (1946, adapted from an earlier version from
1923/13')

- King Reginald (1904-1991/GB): Runnymede Rhapsody (1947/?); only the abridged


version Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody [sometimes entitled Where Water-Lilies
Dream] seems to have been recorded (4')

• Kirculescu Nicolae (1903-1985/Rom): Musical Moment [used as musical theme for


Romanian TV program “Teleenciclopedia”] (1946/7')

• Koetsier Jan (1911-2006/Net): Musical Sketch (1948; rev. 1956/9') [later integrated as the
first movement of his three-movement “Homage to Gershwin”, 1969]

• Koper Karl-Heinz (1927-2011/Ger): Kalauer-Konzert (1967/9')

• Kosaku Dan [pseud. of Yuzo Kayama, b. 1937] (Jap): Piano Concerto (1970/7') [later
integrated as the first movement of his Piano Concerto in D minor, 1985]

• Kovalev Viktor (1919-1993/Rus): Romantic Poem (1965/12')

• Krome Hermann (1888-1955/Ger): Irish Legend (Irische Novelle) (c. 1940/5')

159
• Kubik Gail (1914-1984/USA): American Caprice (1936/8')

• Kuhn Joseph Francis (1924-1962/USA): Manhattan Rhapsody (c. 1960/5')

- Kuhn Joseph Francis (1924-1962/USA): Midnight Rhapsody (c. 1960/7')

- Kuhn Joseph Francis (1924-1962/USA): Capitol City by Starlight (Washington Concerto)


(before 1966/3')

• Kwast Felix (1918-?/Net): Arnhem Concerto “Dedicated to the Airbornes of 1944”


(1945/13') [composed for the liberation of the Dutch City Arnhem]

• Lai Francis (1932-2018/Fra): Love Story Theme, from “Love Story” (1970/4')

• Lamote de Grignon Ricardo (1899-1962/Spa): Magic Concerto (Concierto Mágico),


from “Concierto Mágico” (1952/11')

• Langford Gordon (1930-2017/GB): A Song for All Seasons, fantasy (1997/12')

• Larsson Kurt (1909-1981/Swe): American Tapestry (Amerikansk Gobeläng), rhapsody


(1955/9')

• Laszlo Alexander (1895-1970/Hun/USA): Hollywood Concerto (1944/10')

• Lauber Ken (b. 1941/USA): Piano Concerto, from “The World of Henry Orient”
(1964/7') [only 4 minutes are heard in the movie]

• Laudan Stanley (1912-1992/Pol/GB) & Rees Gordon (?-?/GB): Rhapsody for Elizabeth
(1952/8') [composed for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II]

• Lecuona Ernesto (1895-1963/Cub): Black Rhapsody (Rapsodia negra) (1943/10')

- Lecuona Ernesto (1895-1963/Cub)/orch. by Pablo Ruiz Castellanos (1902-1980/Cub):


Cuban Rhapsody (Rapsodia cubana) (1955 for two pianos; orchestrated c. 1960); new
orchestration (1994/8') by Thomas Tirino based on Castellanos’ one

• Legrand Michel (1932-2019/Fra): Concerto Theme, from “Les Demoiselles de


Rochefort/The Young Girls of Rochefort” (1967/3')

- Legrand Michel (1932-2019/Fra): Concertino for piano and orchestra, adapted from his
score for “Summer of ‘42” (1971/4')

• Leslie-Smith Kenneth (1897-1993/GB): The Mansell Concerto, from “The Woman’s


Angle” (1952/4')

• Leutwiler Toni (1923-2009/Swi): Romantic Fantasy (Romantische Fantasie) (1954/7')

160
- Leutwiler Toni (1923-2009/Swi): Concerto for piano, jazz orchestra and symphony
orchestra (1955/9')

- Leutwiler Toni (1923-2009/Swi): Concerto nostalgico (1965/3')

• Liberace Valentino (1919-1987/USA): Rhapsody by Candlelight (1953/4’); new version


by the composer (1962/3')

• Lockley Gavin (b. 1978/Aus): King of the Air, piano concerto, from his score for the
musical of same name (2014/14')

• Lubennikov Albert (1931-2005/Rus): Concerto-Fantasy (1992/9')

• Lucas Leighton (1901-1982/GB): Stage Fright Rhapsody, from “Stage Fright” (1950),
arr. by Philip Lane (1994/5')

• Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Mountain Rhapsody (Svensk Fjällrapsodi) (1957/6')

- Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Rhapsody in Red (Rapsodi i rött) [arranged for piano
and concert band in 1978] (1964/10')

- Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Midnight Rhapsody (Midnattsrapsodi) (1975/7')

- Lundkvist Per (1916-1999/Swe): Golden Rhapsody (1990/9') [recorded only in a version


for piano and concert band]

• Lyadova Lyudmila (b. 1925/Rus): Gypsy Rhapsody (c. 1970?/7')

• Malecki Maciej (b. 1940/Pol): Rondo (1981/12')

• Malneck Matt (1904-1981/USA) & Signorelli Frank (1901-1975/USA): Park Avenue


Fantasy [non-concertante piano part] (1933/5'); another version with a concertante
piano part arr. by Robert Farnon (1945/6')

• Mantovani Annunzio (1915-1980/Ita/USA): Poem to the Moon (1948/4')

- Mantovani Annunzio (1915-1980/Ita/USA): Serenata d’amore, for two pianos and


orchestra (1958/4')

• Marx Hans Joachim (1923-2010/GDR/Ger): Impressions (Impressionen) (c. 1960/4')

• Mathieu Andre (1929-1968/Que/Can): Quebec Concerto (1943/5'), arr. by Andre


Kostelanetz (1901-1980/Rus/USA) & Andre Mathieu from the 2nd movement of his
three-movement Quebec Concerto (1943/22'); another arrangement of the main theme
from the 2nd movement by Charles Williams (1949/3'); extracts from the complete
Quebec Concerto featured in the film “Whispering City”, 1947

161
- Mathieu Andre (1929-1968/Que/Can): Nocturne [arr. from the 2nd movement of his
Piano Concerto No. 4, 1947] (1948/4')

• Mattes Willy (1916-2002/Aut) [see also pseud. Wildman Charles]: Concerto


melodioso/Vienna Concerto (1949/9')

- Mattes Willy (1916-2002/Aut) [see also pseud. Wildman Charles]: Solitaire,


impression/ballade (c. 1950/5')

- Mattes Willy (1916-2002/Aut) [see also pseud. Wildman Charles]: Capriccio romantico
(c. 1955/10'); abridged and reorchestrated version of the principal theme as Riviera
Concerto (1959/3')

- Mattes Willy (1916-2002/Aut) [see also pseud. Wildman Charles]: Stockholm Concerto
(1957/6')

• Mausz Erwin (1899-1969/Ger): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) (c. 1950/8')

• Mawer Anthony (1930-1988/GB): Starlight Concerto/Romance Over the Top (1961/3')

• Melachrino George (1909-1965/GB): First Rhapsody, from “House of Darkness”


(1948/3') [orig. for orchestra without piano (1936/7')]

• Merath Siegfried (1928-1995/Ger): Riviera Fantasy (Riviera-Fantasie) (1956/8');


reedited in 1970 under the title Las Palmas Concerto

- Merath Siegfried (1928-1995/Ger): Concerto d’amore (1964/6')

• Mersson Boris (1921-2013/Swi/Ger): Moonlight Concerto (c. 1965/6')

• Meyer Friedrich (1915-1993/Ger): Melodies (Melodien), rondo (publ. 1956/5')

• Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia brasileira) No. 1


(1929/10')

- Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia brasileira) No. 2


(1931/9')

- Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia brasileira) No. 3


(1934/11')

- Mignone Francisco (1897-1986/Bra): Brazilian Fantasy (Fantasia brasileira) No. 4


(1936/13')

• Mineo Toni (Antoinette) (b. 1926/USA) & Mineo Attilio (1918-2010/USA): Rhapsody
21 (1961/7') [composed for the Seattle World’s Fair]

162
• Moeckel Hans (1923-1983/Swi): Basle Fantasy (Basler-Fantasie) (1959/7')

• Moody Philip (1921-2011/GB/USA): Laguna Concerto (1960/8’); abridged version (6'),


retitled Lunar Concerto, for the documentary “Footprints on the Moon”, 1969

• Moore Phil (1918-1987/USA): Piano Concerto (1947/16')

• Morgan Russ (1904-1969/USA) & Franklin Dave (1895-1970/USA): Lover’s Rhapsody


(1956/3')

• Munkel Heinz (1900-1961/Ger): Music (Musik) (1958/8')

• Nilson Goran W. (1941-2007/Swe): Light-Rhapsody (1960/8')

• Nivelli Gina (1906-1985/Ita/USA)/arr. Siegfried Ulbrich (1922-1991/Ger): Berlin


Concerto (c. 1960/6')

• Norman Karl-Erik Albert “Charlie” (1920-2005/Swe): Foreign Intrigue Concerto, from


the TV series “Foreign Intrigue”; later used in the homonymous film, 1956 (1951/3')

• North Alex (1910-1991/USA): Blues (Lament for Gershwin) (1939/9'); later integrated as
the slow movement of his three-movement Rhapsody for “Four Girls in Town” (1957)
[entitled Piano Concerto with Trumpet obbligato in a 1995 CD]

• Ofstad Kolbjorn (1917-1996/Nor): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantisk rapsodi) (before


1957/7')

• Ogerman Claus (b. 1930/Can): Canadian Concerto (1962/12')

• Oliver Vic (1898-1964/Aut/GB)/orch. by Art Lowry (?-?/USA): Studio One Concerto


(1953/3') [arr. from Oliver’s Prelude to The Stars for solo piano (1945), used as the main
theme of “Studio One” TV series]

• Ostijn Willy (1913-1993/Bel): Nocturne for piano and strings (1952/8')

- Ostijn Willy (1913-1993/Bel): Concert Piece in D minor (1960/9')

• Paramor Norrie (1914-1979/GB): Cancerian Concerto, for piano and orchestra with
woman’s voice (1957/3')

• Parker Jim (b. 1934/GB): Midsomer Rhapsody, from the TV series “Midsomer
Murders”, season 8, episode 8 “Midsomer Rhapsody” (2005/3')

• Pauls Raimonds (b. 1936/Lat): Rhapsody for piano and light music orchestra (1964/8')

• Pennario Leonard (1924-2008/USA)/arr. and orch. by Les Baxter (1922-1996/USA):

163
Midnight on the Cliffs (1954/3') [orig. for solo piano 1942]; another arrangement by David
Rose (1956/3') for the promotion of the film “Julie”; better-known extended version by
Lucien Cailliet (first performed 1995?/5')

• Petitgirard Laurent (b. 1950/Fra): The Rosebud Suite (1980/17') [it is not actually a true
suite, but a one-movement work with recurring themes taken from his scores for
“Rosebud” (1975), “L’Amant de poche” (1978) and “Asphalte” (1980)]

• Phillips Donald (1913-1994/GB): Concerto in Jazz (1947/8')

• Plathe Georg (?-?/GDR/Ger): Magic Fantasy (Zauberhafte Fantasie) (1970/7')

• PM The West Coast Collective [uncertain attribution]: Hollywood Concerto (publ.


2011/4')

• Portnoff Mischa (1901-1979/USA): 57th Street Rhapsody [with solo trumpet], from
“Carnegie Hall” (1947/5')

• Pregel Boris (1893-1976/Ukr/USA): Pathetic Concerto (Concerto pathétique) (before


1957/8')

- Pregel Boris (1893-1976/Ukr/USA): Dramatic Nocturne (Nocturne dramatique) (before


1957/8')

• Press Jacques (1903-1985/USA): Disconcerto (1948/5')

• Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): New York Picture [also entitled Rapsodia americana in
the version for piano and concert band] (1958/8')

- Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Viaggio a Las Vegas [also entitled Ritmo fantasia in the
version for concert band without piano] (1958/13')

- Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): An Evening in Paris (Una sera a Parigi) (1960/7')

- Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Sentimental Day [also entitled Fantasia romantica in
the version for piano and concert band] (1960/8')

- Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Night Music [also entitled Musica notturna in the
version for piano and concert band] (1960/6')

- Procaccini Teresa (b. 1934/Ita): Movie Music (1960/7')

• Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Sunset Boulevard Concerto (c. 1955; publ. 1966/3')

- Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Concerto to Biscayne Bay (Miami Concerto) (before


1966/3')

164
- Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Lakeshore Drive (Chicago Concerto) (before
1966/2')

- Provenzano Aldo (1930-1999/USA): Rhapsody to Rittenhouse Square (Philadelphia


Rhapsody) (before 1966/3'); reedited from 1983 under the title Concerto D’Amour

• Pütz Johannes (1926-1971/Ger): The Black Swan (Der schwarze Schwan) (c. 1955/5')

• Rachmaninoff Sergei (1873-1943/Rus): Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Variation


XVIII (Andante cantabile) (1934/3') – arr. by Miklos Rozsa in “The Story of Three
Loves” (1953), especially for the ballet (8') in the film, together with Variations 22, 23,
12, 16, 19 and 21

• Reif Paul (1910-1978/USA) & D’Artega Alfonso (1907-1998/USA): Dream Concerto


(1957/3')

• Reisfeld Bert (1906-1991/Aut): California Concerto (1950/10')

• Reisman Joe (1924-1987/USA): Ballad of the Sea, arr. for two pianos, women’s choir
and orchestra by Walter Landauer (1962/3')

• René Henri (1906-1993/USA)/arr. Ulrich Sommerlatte (1914-2002/Ger): Californian


Rhapsody (Kalifornische Rhapsodie/Californische Rhapsodie) (1958/6')

• Richards Howard L. (1927-2010/USA): Irish Rhapsody (c. 2000/13')

• Richardson Clive (1909-1998/GB): London Fantasia: A Musical Picture of the Battle of


Britain (1944/9')

• Roger Roger (1911-1995/Fra): Jazz Concerto; also version for harp and orchestra
(1943/7')

• Roper Terence (1911-1984/GB): Autumn Rhapsody (1953/3')

• Rose David (1910-1990/USA): Piano Concerto in C minor (1958/3')

• Rota Nino (1911-1979/Ita): Legend of the Glass Mountain, for orchestra without piano,
adapted from his score for “The Glass Mountain” (1949); arr. for piano and orchestra
by Arthur Wilkinson (1949/4'); another concertante arrangement by George
Melachrino (1952/5')

• Rozsa Miklos (1907-1995/Hun/USA): Spellbound Concerto (1946/12'), adapted from his


score for “Spellbound” (1945); version by Charles Gerhardt (8'); extended version by
Miklos Rozsa for two pianos and orchestra (22')

165
- Rozsa Miklos (1907-1995/Hun/USA): New England Concerto, for two pianos and
orchestra (1984/15'), based on the themes from his scores for “Lydia” (1941) and “Time
out of Mind” (1947)

• Rubens Hugo (1905-1971/USA): Carnegie Hall Concerto (before 1959/4')

• Rustichelli Carlo (1916-2004/Ita): Windsor Concerto, from “The Whip and the Body”
(1963/3')

• Saint-Preux (b. 1950/Fra): Piano Concerto in G minor “Il y a sur la Terre” (1991/6')

• Sandner Ronald (b. ?/Ger)/arr. by Harald Heinemann (b. ?/Ger) & Helmut Sommer
(b. ?/Ger): Romantic Fantasy (Romantische Fantasie), for piano and concert band (before
1990/8')

• Sauguet Henri (1901-1989/Fra): Reverie concertante/Piano Concerto No. 2, adapted from


his score for “Les Amoureux sont seuls au monde/Monelle” (1948/ > 5')

• Savino Domenico (1882-1973/Ita/USA): A Study in Blue, for piano and jazz orchestra
(1928/5')

- Savino Domenico (1882-1973/Ita/USA): American Concerto (1944/11')

• Schmitz-Steinberg Christian (1920-1981/Ger): Rhapsody on the Theme “Es liegt eine


Krone im tiefen Rhien” (before 1967/7')

• Schneider Norbert Jurgen (b. 1950/Ger): Evolution Concerto (Concierto Evolución)


(1992/12') [composed for the World Expo Sevilla]

• Scholz Bernd (1911-1969/Ger): Concerto appassionato (c. 1950/10')

• Schweda Gerhard (1901-?/Ger): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) (c. 1945/6')

• Scott-Wood George (1903-1978/GB): London Caprice (1948/4')

• Seeger Erwin (?-?/Ger)/arr. Richard Etlinger (1894-1960/Ger): Sails on the Passat


(Segel im Passat) (c. 1955/5')

• Semprini Alberto (1908-1990/GB): Mediterranean Concerto (1950/7'); also abridged


version by Ronald Binge (1950/3')

- Semprini Alberto (1908-1990/GB): Concerto appassionato (1956/5')

• Sent Janusz (b. 1936/Pol): Omen Ballada (c. 1980?/10')

• Sheldon Jimmy (1926-2000/USA)/orch. by George Greeley (1917-2007/USA): Nob Hill

166
Nocturne (1953/11')

• Shostakovich Dmitri (1906-1975/Rus): Assault on the Red Hill, from “The


Unforgettable Year 1919” (1951/7')

• Siegel Paul (1914-1976/USA): Between Two Worlds, concerto (1947/15')

• Siegel Ralph (b. 1945/Ger): Dream Rhapsody (Traum-Rhapsodie) (1965/5')

• Skoryk Myroslav (b. 1938/Ukr): Piano Concerto No. 2 (1982/14')

• Slaney Ivor (1921-1998/GB): Midsummer Madness (1961/2')

• Smith Ronnie (b. ?/GB)/orch. by Paul Bateman (b. ?/GB): Rhapsody (2009/10')

• Sommerlatte Ulrich (1914-2002/Ger): Matinee, miniature concerto (c. 1955/7')

• Spoliansky Mischa (1898-1985/Pol/GB): A Voice in the Night, from “Wanted for


Murder” (1946/6’); new arrangement by Heinz Walter Florin (before 2009/5')

- Spoliansky Mischa (1898-1985/Pol/GB): Dedication, from “Idol of Paris” (1948/4');


extended version by George L. Zalva (7')

• Steck Arnold [pseud. of Frank Leslie Statham, 1905-1974] (GB): Riviera Rhapsody
(publ. 1955/5')

• Steiner Max (1888-1971/USA): Unfinished Sonata, from “A Bill of Divorcement”


(1932/3')

- Steiner Max (1888-1971/Aut/USA): A Symphonie moderne, after a Theme by Max


Rabinovitz [Mickey Borden’s Theme], from “Four Wives” (1939); extended version by
Charles Gerhardt (1965/8') with the approval of Steiner (augmented piano part by Earl
Wild)

• Stevens Leith (1909-1970/USA): Piano Concerto in C minor [also known as Concerto for
Sweeney], from “Night Song” (1947/8'); extended version by Santiago Rodriguez with
an added 2-minute solo piano piece taken from the movie score (1995/10')

• Still William Grant (1895-1978/USA): Kaintuck’, tone poem (1935/11')

• Storrle Heinz (1933-1999/Ger): Silver Clouds (Silberne Wolken), intermezzo (c. 1965/4')

• Stuart Coolidge Peggy (1913-1981/USA): Twilight City, rhapsody (before 1954/8')

- Stuart Coolidge Peggy (1913-1981/USA): Out of the Night, rhapsody (before 1960/10');
abridged version under the title Melody Out of the Night (1960/4')

167
• Sukman Harry (1912-1984/USA): Nightfalls into Starlight; orig. under the title
Nightfall, from “Gog” (1954/3'); extended version in “The Naked Runner” (1967/8')

• Sys, Hans Vlig van der [pseud. of Willem Hans van der Sys, 1917-1983] (Net) &
Schmitz-Steinberg Christian (1920-1980/Ger): Rainbow Concerto (before 1967/7')

• Szpilman Wladyslaw (1911-2000/Pol): Concertino (1940/11')

• Tavares Belo Armando (1911-1993/Por): Concerto romantico in E minor (1957/15')

• Tersmeden Gerard (1920-2004/Swe): Solitaire (1945/4')

- Tersmeden Gerard (1920-2004/Swe): Romantic Rhapsody (Romantisk rapsodi) (1947/7')

- Tersmeden Gerard (1920-2004/Swe): Mini Concerto (Mini Conserto) (1972/8')

• Teruzzi Tarcisio (1930-2007/Ita): Nordic Legend (Leggenda Nordica) (c. 1960/7')

• Torch Sidney (1908-1990/GB): Concerto incognito (1940/4')

• Tsfasman Alexander (1906-1971/Rus): Concerto No. 1 for piano and jazz band (1941/14')

• Tura Will (b. 1940/Bel)/arr. and orch. by Robert Groslot (b. 1951/Bel): Fantasy in Blue
(c. 1980/3')

- Tura Will (b. 1940/Bel)/arr. and orch. by Robert Groslot (b. 1951/Bel): Urban
Rhapsody (c. 1980/4')

• Ulbrich Siegfried (1922-1991/Ger): Blue City, impressions (publ. 1966/7')

• Vitalini Alberico (1921-2006/Ita): Fantasia romantica (1949/13')

• Vlak Kees (1938-2014/Net): West Coast Concerto, for piano and concert band (1999/12')

• Wal-Berg [pseud. of Voldemar Rosenberg, 1910-1994] (Fra): Capriccio (1948/11')

- Wal-Berg [pseud. of Voldemar Rosenberg, 1910-1994] (Fra): Holiday in Paris, ballade


(1951/10')

• Waldenmaier August Peter (1915-1995/Ger): Arabesque, op. 21 (c. 1950/6')

- Waldenmaier August Peter (1915-1995/Ger): Serenade Impromptu (c. 1950/5')

• Ward Edward (1900-1971/USA): Lullaby of the Bells, piano concerto (1944/6’), adapted
from his score for “Phantom of the Opera” (1943); arrangement by Santiago Rodriguez
(1995/6')

168
• Warnick Clay (1915-1995/USA): Bermuda Concerto (1965/3')

• Wars Henryk (Vars Henry) (1902-1977/Pol/USA): Piano Concerto (1950/10')

• Waxman Franz (1906-1967/Ger/USA): Rhapsody for piano and orchestra (Moderato


Appassionato), adapted from his score for “The Paradine Case” (1947/13')

• Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): Concerto to the Golden Gate (San Francisco) (c. 1950;
publ. 1966/3')

- Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): Blues on the Rocks (1957/7')

- Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): The Strong and the Tender (1957/8')

- Wayne Bernie (1919-1993/USA): Concerto to St. Louis (before 1966/3')

• Webb Roy (1888-1982/USA): Piano Concerto, from “The Enchanted Cottage” (1945/11')

• Weedon Penny (Penelope) (b. ?/GB): Gower Rhapsody (2013/6') [piano + VST]

• Wehner Gerhard (1916-1994/Ger): Fantasia romantica (c. 1965/6')

• Weinberg Mieczyslaw (Vainberg Moishe) (1919-1996/Pol/Rus): The Cranes Are Flying,


fantasy, from the film of same name (1957), arr. by Paul Haletzki (1957/5')

• Welch Ed (b. 1947/GB): Thirty Nine Steps Concerto, adapted from his score for “The
Thirty Nine Steps” (1978/12')

• Wild Earl (1915-2010/USA): Adventure (1939/11')

• Wilder Alec (1907-1980/USA): From Dusk to Dawn, rhapsody (1953/6')

• Wildman Charles [see also real name Mattes Willy, 1916-2002] (Aut): Swedish
Rhapsody (1947/8'), originally entitled Romance in Minor (Romans i moll) written for
“Brott i sol/Crime in the Sun” (1947); later retitled Swedish Rhapsody and featured in
“Gypsy Fury/Singoalla” (1950) and “Madame X” (1966)

• Wilhelm Rolf (1927-2013/Ger): Concert Piece (Konzertstück) (1973/6')

• Williams Charles (1893-1978/GB): The Dream of Olwen, from “While I Live” (1947/4')
[film reissued as “The Dream of Olwen” in 1950]; reorchestrated and slightly arranged
version by Sidney Torch (5')

- Williams Charles (1893-1978/GB): Romantic Rhapsody (1952/3')

169
- Williams Charles (1893-1978/GB): Theme from “The Apartment” (1960/4'), originally
written under the title Jealous Lover for “The Romantic Age” (1949); version arranged
and extended by George de Godzinsky (1963/5')

• Williamson Malcolm (1933-2003/Aus/GB): Main title, from “Crescendo” (1970/4')

• Willmot Nina (?-?/GB)/arr. and orch. by Richard Ellsasser (1926-1972/USA): Concerto


Rhapsody (before 1954/5')

• Winkler Gerhard (1906-1977/Ger): Towards the Sun (Der sonne entgegen), concert
piece/fantasy (c. 1955/8')

• Wreford Reynell (1898-1976/GB): The Last Rhapsody, theme for the radio program
“Music for Murder” (1953/3')

• Wusthoff Klaus (b. 1922/Ger): Transatlantic Rhapsody (1959/8')

• Yorke Peter (1902-1966/GB): Dawn Fantasy (1950/6')

• Young Victor (1900-1956/USA): Stella by Starlight, main theme from “The


Uninvited” (1944), arr. by Gordon Robinson (1957/4')

- Young Victor (1900-1956/USA): Manhattan Concerto (1946/9')

• Zeiger Mikhail (b. 1949/Rus/USA): Piano Concerto No. 1 (c. 1995/13')

****

170
APPENDIX 3

Detailed list of fictional composers who wrote


a piano concertante piece featured in a film

In chronological order of the film’s release:

• Fictitious name: Stefan Radetzky


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Warsaw Concerto, in three
movements (I Allegro con spirito; II Romanza; III Allegro moderato – Presto)
Film: “Dangerous Moonlight” (GB), also known as “Suicide Squadron” in the
USA
Release date: 1941
Directed by: Brian Desmond Hurst
Music by: Richard Addinsell – Warsaw Concerto, in one movement (9')

• Fictitious name: Lissa Campbell


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto
Film: “Love Story” (GB), also known as “A Lady Surrenders” in the USA
Release date: 1944
Directed by: Leslie Arliss
Music by: Hubert Bath – Cornish Rhapsody (7')

• Fictitious name: Erik Claudin


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto
Film: “Phantom of the Opera” (USA)
Release date: 1944
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Music by: Edward Ward – Lullaby of the Bells (6')

• Fictitious name: George Harvey Bone

171
Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto
Film: “Hangover Square” (USA)
Release date: 1945
Directed by: John Brahm
Music by: Bernard Herrmann – Concerto Macabre (11')

• Fictitious name: Major John Hillgrove


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Tone Poem
Film: “The Enchanted Cottage” (USA)
Release date: 1945
Directed by: John Cromwell
Music by: Roy Webb – The Enchanted Cottage, concerto for piano and
orchestra (11')

• Fictitious name: Kisenga


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Baraza
Film: “Men of Two Worlds” (GB)
Release date: 1945
Directed by: John Brahm
Music by: Arthur Bliss – Baraza, concert piece for piano, male chorus and
orchestra (7')

• Fictitious name: Dan Evans


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto in C minor
Film: “Night Song” (USA)
Release date: 1947
Directed by: John Cromwell
Music by: Leith Stevens – Piano Concerto in C minor/Concerto for Sweeney (8';
extended version in 1995 by Santiago Rodriguez, with an added 2-minute
solo piano piece taken from the movie score)

• Fictitious name: Michel Lacoste


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto
Film: “Whispering City” (GB/Quebec)
Release date: 1947
Directed by: Fedor Ozep
Music by: Andre Mathieu – Quebec Concerto (Piano Concerto No. 3), composed
in 1943, independently of the film (22'; excerpts are heard in the film)

• Fictitious name: Olwen Trevelyan


Title of the concertante work in the movie: The Dream of Olwen, poem
Film: “While I Live”, aka “The Dream of Olwen” (GB)

172
Release date: 1947
Directed by: John Harlow
Music by: Charles Williams – The Dream of Olwen (4')

• Fictitious name: Gerard Favier


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Concerto pour piano
Film: “Les amoureux sont seuls au monde/Monelle” (France)
Release date: 1948
Directed by: Henri Decoin
Music by: Henri Sauguet – Reverie concertante (Concerto n°2) pour piano et
orchestre (we do not know the total duration of the work; excerpts are heard
in the film)

• Fictitious name: Raymond Hillary


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Legend of Lancelot
Film: “Train of Events” (portmanteau film; 3rd story: “The Composer”) (GB)
Release date: 1949
Directed by: Charles Crichton [for the other stories: Basil Dearden, Sidney
Cole]
Music by: Leslie Bridgewater – Legend of Lancelot (3')

• Fictitious name: Robert Mansell


Title of the concertante work in the movie: untitled
Film: “The Woman’s Angle” (GB)
Release date: 1952
Directed by: Leslie Arliss
Music by: Kenneth Leslie-Smith – The Mansell Concerto (4')

• Fictitious name: Andres Vidal


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Concierto medieval (Concierto
feudal), retitled during the course of the story: Concierto Mágico
Film: “Concierto Mágico” (Spain)
Release date: 1953
Directed by: Rafael J. Salvia
Music by: Ricardo Lamote de Grignon – Concierto Mágico (11')

• Fictitious name: Henry Ryman (evoked in the film)


Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto
Film: “Crescendo” (GB)
Release date: 1970
Directed by: Alan Gibson
Music by: Malcolm Williamson – "Crescendo" Concerto (4')

173
• Fictitious name: Eiryo Waga
Title of the concertante work in the movie: Piano Concerto
Film: “Suna no Utsuwa/The Castle of Sand” (Japan)
Release date: 1974
Directed by: Yoshitaro Nomura
Music by: Original soundtrack by Mitsuaki Kanno, arranged by Akira Senju
in 2004 under the title Shukumei Concerto/Destiny Concerto (in two movements,
21')

• Fictitious name: Stephan Yeranosian (evoked in the film)


Title of the concertant work in the movie: Piano Concerto No. 4 “Slave
Morality”
Film: “Grand Piano” (Mexico)
Release date: 2013
Directed by: Eugenio Mira
Music by: Victor Reyes – Grand Piano Concerto (in three movements, 26')

***

174
BIBLIOGRAPHY
AND
“SITOGRAPHY”

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Kingdom: Greenwood Press, 1998; republished by Fitzroy Dearborn
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***

180
Biography

Corentin Boissier has been composing with musical scores since he was 6 years old.
He is discovered by the composer Thierry Escaich: « He already owns true qualities that
will make him an accomplished musician. He already has a genuine sense of harmonic
color, of rythmic invention and of renewal of thematic material. All these qualities show an
open-minded spirit indicating a real gift for composition ».
He studied at the CRR of Paris in the Specialized Classes of Musical Writing and
Orchestration where he got both Diplomas of Musical Studies (DEM) “With Highest
Distinction”. In 2019 he obtained the Master of Superior Musical Writing at the National
Superior Conservatory of Music (CNSM) of Paris, with four Prizes “With Highest
Distinction”: Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue & Forms, Polyphony; and seven Certificates
(Orchestration, Arrangement, Analysis…) His thesis The Mini Piano Concerto from the years
40-60: a trend triggered by Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto” got the congratulations of
the jury.
Eager to write a directly accessible classical music, Corentin Boissier composed to
date more than twenty works in a neo-romantic spirit. His ballade for alto saxophone and
piano From Midnight to Dawn is premiered during the 2014 Musical Festival of Bagnac-sur-
Célé by the duo Christine Marchais and Marc Sieffert. His encounter with the young
several-award-winning pianist Philippe Hattat results in the performances of his Piano
Sonata No. 1 « Romantica », his Double Toccata, his concert piece Solitude as well as three of
his 24 Preludes to Travel. His three pieces for piano Romantic Young Ladies are recorded and
uploaded on YouTube by the Italian concert pianist Annarita Santagada.
His Glamour Concerto, version for solo piano, is recorded in 2016 in Quebec by the
concert pianist Minna Re Shin. The Aria of Past Times is successively performed by the
soprano Sayuri Araida, the baritone Aurélien Gasse, the harmonicist Claude Saubestre, the
flutist Iris Daverio and the cellist Eric Tinkerhess, who also gives the world premiere of the
Sonata for Cello and Piano with the composer at the piano.
Interested in different sides of musical writing, Corentin Boissier is also active as an
orchestrator and arranger. Notably, his orchestration of the 9th of Alfredo Casella’s Nine
Pieces for piano op. 24 is performed in concert by the Orchestra of the Gardiens de la Paix
in 2016 at the Church « Saint-Joseph des Nations »; his orchestration of Debussy’s Passepied
is performed in concert in the Auditorium Marcel Landowski in Paris; his arrangement of
the jazz standard Caravan, written for the Local Brass Quintet, is performed live in the
Musée de l’Orangerie, in Paris, in 2017. About his orchestration of Francis Poulenc’s
Humoresque, the composer Nicolas Bacri wrote: « Congratulations for your orchestration.
It’s very well rendered and perfectly in the style ».
In February 2018 his Piano Sonata No. 2 « Appassionata » was premiered by concert
pianist Célia Oneto Bensaid at the Salle Cortot, in Paris. A video recording, made in
studio, has been uploaded on YouTube.
In March 2019, for an upcoming CD release, his two piano concertos (Glamour
Concerto and Philip Marlowe Concerto) were recorded by British concertist Valentina
Seferinova and the Ukrainian Festival Orchestra under the direction of American
conductor John McLaughlin Williams.

Contact: corentin.boissier@free.fr

***

181