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 251-275 of 311 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 76168 12-in. approximately June 1918 Mr. Pau Puk Kiwis Harry Glenn ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with chorus and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76169 12-in. approximately June 1918 Sammy Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76170 12-in. approximately June 1918 God gave me you Albert W. Ketelbey ; Guy Le Feuvre ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76310 12-in. 1/10/1919 My opinion of you Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ralph Lynn ; Odette Myrtil ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76311 12-in. 1/10/1919 Float with the tide Albert W. Ketelbey ; Odette Myrtil ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra ; Evan Thomas Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76312 12-in. 1/10/1919 1812 rag Albert W. Ketelbey ; Odette Myrtil ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with chorus and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76313 12-in. 1/10/1919 The captian, the major, and the "loot" Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ralph Lynn ; Herbert Sparling ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra ; Evan Thomas Vocal trio with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76314 12-in. 1/10/1919 Handsome Herbert Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ralph Lynn ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76315 12-in. 1/10/1919 Dancing by numbers Albert W. Ketelbey ; Peggy Kurton ; Ralph Lynn ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76316 12-in. 1/10/1919 Milkoo Albert W. Ketelbey ; Peggy Kurton ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76317 12-in. 1/10/1919 The sleep walk Albert W. Ketelbey ; Peggy Kurton ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76320 12-in. 1/10/1919 The officers' mess, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76321 12-in. 1/10/1919 The officers' mess, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; St. Martin's Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76322 12-in. approximately March 1920 The lord is my light Arthur Jordan Male vocal solo, with piano conductor  
Columbia 76355 12-in. approximately 1919 Buzz-buzz, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76356 12-in. approximately 1919 Buzz-buzz, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76588 12-in. approximately 1919 All hail thou dwelling Hughes Macklin Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76600 12-in. approximately 1919 Love's old sweet song Carrie Herwin Female vocal solo, with vocal quartet and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76606 12-in. approximately 1919 Ora pro nobis Carrie Herwin Female vocal solo, with vocal quartet and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76835 12-in. approximately March 1920 Crossing the bar Arthur Jordan Male vocal solo, with piano conductor  
Columbia 76853 12-in. 1/3/1923 The Mikado, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; National Military Band [UK] Band conductor  
Columbia 76854 12-in. 3/1/1923 The Mikado, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; National Military Band [UK] Band conductor  
Columbia 76855 12-in. approximately 1923 The floral dance Albert W. Ketelbey ; Kenneth Walters Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76856 12-in. approximately 1923 The village blacksmith Albert W. Ketelbey ; Kenneth Walters Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76857 12-in. approximately 1923 My dreams Albert W. Ketelbey ; Ernest Pike Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 251-275 of 311 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ketèlbey, Albert W.," accessed May 20, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

Ketèlbey, Albert W.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

"Ketèlbey, Albert W.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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