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 101-125 of 311 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 69584 10-in. approximately 1919 1920 popular hits, part 4 : In the land of Yamo-Yamo ; Signora ; That's what God made mothers for ; I want to snuggle Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69585 10-in. approximately 1919 1920 popular hits, part 3 : The wild, wild women ; Anywhere in the world ; Smiles ; Give me the moonlight Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69586 10-in. approximately 1919 Till we meet again : Waltz Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69631 10-in. approximately 1920 Quand Madelon : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69924 10-in. approximately 1920 A Southern maid : Selection, part 1. Call of the sea ; Bird of blue ; Love's cigarette ; Our cottage by the sea Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69925 10-in. approximately 1920 A Southern maid : Selection, part 2. Here's to those we love ; Francesco del Fuego ; Dark grows the sky Albert W. Ketelbey conductor  
Columbia 69926 10-in. approximately 1920 Irene : Selection, part 1. We're getting away with it ; Alice blue gown ; Sky rocket Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69927 10-in. approximately 1920 Irene : selection, part 2. Talk of the town; Irene; To be worthy Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69943 10-in. approximately 1920 Jig saw : Swanee, one-step Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69953 10-in. approximately 1920 Johnny Jones : Selection Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 69954 10-in. approximately 1920 The shop girl : Selection Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71088 10-in. approximately 1920 1921 song hits medley, part 1 : Too many girls ; Love send a gift of roses ; Blushing moon ; Swanee Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71089 10-in. approximately 1920 1921 song hits medley, part 2 : Dardanella ; Everyone calls me Tarzan ; Just for me and Mary ; Playing second fiddle Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71090 10-in. approximately 1920 1921 song hits medley, part 3 : Oh, what a difference the Navy's made to me ; I'm forever blowing bubbles ; Let the rest of the world go by ; Oo la la wee wee Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71091 10-in. approximately 1920 1921 song hits medley, part 4 : Open your heart ; Oh, what a pal was Mary ; Tell me ; Dixie wedding bells Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71175 10-in. approximately 1921 1921 popular song medley, part 1 : Whispering ; Little bits ; Three little words ; A young man's fancy Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71176 10-in. approximately 1921 1921 popular song medley, part 2 : Hold me ; If you only knew ; Feather your nest ; The Guards Brigade Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71190 10-in. approximately 1921 The voice of the guns : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71191 10-in. approximately 1921 Washington Grays : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71223 10-in. approximately 1921 A little Dutch girl : Selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71224 10-in. approximately 1921 A little Dutch girl : Selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71225 10-in. approximately 1921 Poet and peasant : Overture, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71239 10-in. approximately 1921 The middy : March Artists vary conductor  
Columbia 71448 10-in. approximately 1921 Sally : Selection, part 1. Sally in our alley ; Look for the silver lining ; On with the dance Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 71449 10-in. approximately 1921 Sally : Selection, part 2. Whip-poor-will ; Wild rose ; The church round the corner ; Look for the silver lining Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
(Results 101-125 of 311 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ketèlbey, Albert W.," accessed April 17, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

Ketèlbey, Albert W.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103225.

"Ketèlbey, Albert W.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 17 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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