Albert W. Ketèlbey

Albert William Ketèlbey (; born Ketelbey; 9 August 1875 – 26 November 1959) was an English composer, conductor and pianist, best known for his short pieces of light orchestral music. He was born in Birmingham and moved to London in 1889 to study at Trinity College of Music. After a brilliant studentship he did not pursue the classical career predicted for him, becoming musical director of the Vaudeville Theatre before gaining fame as a composer of light music and as a conductor of his own works.

For many years Ketèlbey worked for a series of music publishers, including Chappell & Co and the Columbia Graphophone Company, making arrangements for smaller orchestras, a period in which he learned to write fluent and popular music. He also found great success writing music for silent films until the advent of talking films in the late 1920s.

The composer's early works in conventional classical style were well received, but it was for his light orchestral pieces that he became best known. One of his earliest works in the genre, In a Monastery Garden (1915), sold over a million copies and brought him to widespread notice; his later musical depictions of exotic scenes caught the public imagination and established his fortune. Such works as In a Persian Market (1920), In a Chinese Temple Garden (1923), and In the Mystic Land of Egypt (1931) became best-sellers in print and on records; by the late 1920s he was Britain's first millionaire composer. His celebrations of British scenes were equally popular: examples include Cockney Suite (1924) with its scenes of London life, and his ceremonial music for royal events. His works were frequently recorded during his heyday, and a substantial part of his output has been put on CD in more recent years.

Ketèlbey's popularity began to wane during the Second World War and his originality also declined; many of his post-war works were re-workings of older pieces and he increasingly found his music ignored by the BBC. In 1949 he moved to the Isle of Wight, where he spent his retirement, and he died at home in obscurity. His work has been reappraised since his death; in a 2003 poll by the BBC radio programme Your Hundred Best Tunes, Bells Across the Meadows was voted the 36th most popular tune of all time. On the last night of the 2009 Proms season the orchestra performed his In a Monastery Garden, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Ketèlbey's death—the first time his music had been included in the festival's finale.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 9, 1875 (Birmingham), Died November 26, 1959 (Cowes)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1907 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, composer, lyricist, arranger, organ, piano, pipe organ

Notes: Pseudonym for Albert Ketèlbey,

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 226-250 of 311 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 76095 12-in. approximately 1918 Carminetta, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; London Revue Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76104 12-in. approximately 1918 Carminetta, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; London Revue Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76110 12-in. approximately 1918 The boy, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; London Revue Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76111 12-in. approximately 1918 The boy, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; London Revue Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76118 12-in. approximately February 1918 You're the catch of the season Teddie Gerard ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra ; Walter Williams Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76119 12-in. approximately February 1918 It depends upon the time Teddie Gerard ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra ; Walter Williams Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76142 12-in. approximately 1918 Flora, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76143 12-in. approximately 1918 Flora, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76144 12-in. approximately 1918 I like your wonderful eyes Albert W. Ketelbey ; Gertie Millar ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra ; Walter Williams Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76145 12-in. approximately 1918 You're the boy Albert W. Ketelbey ; Gertie Millar ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76146 12-in. approximately 1918 Flora Albert W. Ketelbey ; Gertie Millar ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76147 12-in. approximately 1918 Pastel blue Albert W. Ketelbey ; Gertie Millar ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76148 12-in. approximately 1918 I'm so unfortunate Albert W. Ketelbey ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra ; Walter Williams Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76149 12-in. approximately 1918 Please tell me what to do Helen Beltramo ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ralph Lynn ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra ; Blanche Tomlin ; Walter Williams Vocal quartet with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76150 12-in. approximately 1918 Our wedding day Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ralph Lynn ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra ; Blanche Tomlin Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76151 12-in. approximately 1918 A gay young god Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ralph Lynn ; Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra ; Blanche Tomlin Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76159 12-in. approximately 1918 Tabs, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76160 12-in. approximately 1918 Tabs, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76161 12-in. approximately June 1918 Something doing over the way Ethel Baird ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76162 12-in. approximately June 1918 Naughty old gentlemen Alfred Austin ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with chorus and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76163 12-in. approximately June 1918 Goblin gollywog trees Margaret Campbell ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with vocal quartet and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76164 12-in. approximately June 1918 I hate to give trouble Margaret Campbell ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76165 12-in. approximately June 1918 My river girl Alfred Austin ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76166 12-in. approximately June 1918 Maryland Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76167 12-in. approximately June 1918 I said goodbye Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with vocal trio and orchestra conductor  
(Results 226-250 of 311 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ketèlbey, Albert W.," accessed July 15, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

Ketèlbey, Albert W.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

"Ketèlbey, Albert W.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 15 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225

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