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 76-100 of 311 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 29979 10-in. approximately 1915 Heroes all : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35719 10-in. approximately 1915 Under the Double Eagle : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35804 10-in. approximately 1915 The national emblem : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35805 10-in. approximately 1915 Pantomime hits, part 1 : I won't tell you the lady's name ; A little bit of heaven ; My bird of paradise ; Night time in Dixieland Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35806 10-in. approximately 1915 Pantomime hits, part 2 : You great big wonderful baby ; Sprinkle me with kisses ; Goodbye Virginia Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35807 10-in. approximately 1915 Irish jigs, part 1 : Hunting the hare ; Rory O'More; Sprog of Shillelagh ; Paddy's brallaghan ; Irish washerwoman Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35808 10-in. approximately 1915 Irish jigs, part 2 : Haste to the wedding ; Rakes of Mallow ; Paddy O'Rafferty ; Dublin lassies ; Drops of brandy ; St. Patrick's Day Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35809 10-in. approximately 1915 Distant greetings : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35810 10-in. approximately 1915 Betty : Selection, part 1. Finale act 2 : Duchess of dreams ; If it were true Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35811 10-in. approximately 1915 Betty : Selection, part 2. We ought to combine ; Finale Act 2 ; Cinderella ; Jotte ; Opposite the ducks Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35988 10-in. approximately 1916 High school cadets : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 35989 10-in. approximately 1916 Belphegor : March Albert W. Ketelbey conductor  
Columbia 35990 10-in. approximately 1916 Colonel Bogey : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65553 10-in. approximately 1916 Prairie flower : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65554 10-in. approximately 1916 Lynwood : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65555 10-in. approximately 1916 Overture "1812" : Part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65599 10-in. approximately 1916 Overture "1812" : Part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65601 10-in. approximately 1916 The liberators : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65684 10-in. approximately 1916 The Dutch mill : Descriptive Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65685 10-in. approximately 1916 Les cloches du monastere (with bells) Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65848 10-in. approximately 1917 The national emblem : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; National Military Band [UK] conductor  
Columbia 65906 10-in. approximately 1917 1917 medley, part 1 : The songs the boys are singing Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 65907 10-in. approximately 1917 1917 medley, part 2 : The songs the boys are singing Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69582 10-in. approximately 1919 1920 popular hits, part 1 : How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm ; Mickey ; California ; Till we meet again Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69583 10-in. approximately 1919 1920 popular hits, part 2 : Down in Virginia ; When love peeps in ; Why don't you tell me? ; Where the blue-eyed Marys grow Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
(Results 76-100 of 311 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ketèlbey, Albert W.," accessed June 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

Ketèlbey, Albert W.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

"Ketèlbey, Albert W.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 June 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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