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 151-175 of 311 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 73193 10-in. approximately 1923 For the front : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73194 10-in. approximately 1923 Radio waves : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73221 10-in. approximately 1923 The mad major Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73222 10-in. approximately 1923 The Iron Duke Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73254 10-in. approximately 1923 Polly : Selection, part 1 Court Symphony Orchestra ; Albert W. Ketelbey conductor  
Columbia 73255 10-in. approximately 1923 Polly : Selection, part 2 Court Symphony Orchestra [U.K.] ; Albert W. Ketelbey conductor  
Columbia 73256 10-in. approximately 1923 Polly : Selection, part 3 Court Symphony Orchestra [U.K.] ; Albert W. Ketelbey conductor  
Columbia 73257 10-in. approximately 1923 Polly : Selection, part 4 Court Symphony Orchestra [U.K.] ; Albert W. Ketelbey conductor  
Columbia 73263 10-in. approximately 1923 Lilac time : Selection, part 1. Just a little ring ; Duet : The flowers ; The golden song Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73264 10-in. approximately 1923 Lilac time : Selection, part 2. Allegretto from sextette ; My sweetest song of all ; Maiden try to smile ; Overture : Excerpt Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73267 10-in. approximately 1923 Haunting chimes Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73268 10-in. approximately 1923 On the road to anywhere : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73269 10-in. approximately 1922 Barber of Seville, overture Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band conductor  
Columbia 73309 10-in. approximately 1923 Give it a smile : March Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73405 10-in. approximately 1923 Wana : Fox trot Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 73406 10-in. approximately 1923 Araby : Waltz Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] conductor  
Columbia 74117 12-in. approximately June 1920 In her simplicity Hughes Macklin Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 74276 12-in. 3/23/1921 The better land Clara Butt Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 74277 12-in. 3/23/1921 Genevieve Clara Butt Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 74374 12-in. approximately 1921 Schubert's unfinished symphony, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band Band conductor  
Columbia 74375 12-in. approximately 1921 Schubert's unfinished symphony, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] Band conductor  
Columbia 74376 12-in. approximately 1921 1812 Overture solennelle, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] Band conductor  
Columbia 74392 12-in. approximately 1921 1812 Overture solennelle, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] Band conductor  
Columbia 75056 12-in. approximately 1922 A musical switch, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] Band conductor  
Columbia 75057 12-in. approximately 1922 A musical switch, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Silver Stars Band [National Military Band] Band conductor  
(Results 151-175 of 311 records)

Citation

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

Ketèlbey, Albert W.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 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 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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