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 201-225 of 311 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 75324 12-in. approximately 1916 Voi lo sapete Elsa Stralia Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75413 12-in. approximately 1917 On the Volga Court Symphony Orchestra [U.K.] Orchestra composer, arranger  
Columbia 75469 12-in. approximately 1917 Faust, selections, part 1 Court Symphony Orchestra [U.K.] ; Albert W. Ketelbey Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75868 12-in. approximately 1917 It is only a tiny garden Elsa Stralia Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75869 12-in. approximately 1917 I wonder if love is a dream Elsa Stralia Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75893 12-in. approximately 1917 Cheep, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75894 12-in. approximately 1917 Cheep, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75895 12-in. approximately 1917 Faust, selections, part 2 Court Symphony Orchestra [U.K.] ; Albert W. Ketelbey Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75922 12-in. approximately May 1917 Julia Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75923 12-in. approximately May 1917 Shoot the rabbit Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75924 12-in. approximately May 1917 When I'm with her again Albert W. Ketelbey ; Guy Le Feuvre ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75925 12-in. approximately May 1917 Where the black-eyed Susans grow Albert W. Ketelbey ; Guy Le Feuvre ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75926 12-in. approximately May 1917 Yaketa Albert W. Ketelbey ; Guy Le Feuvre ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75927 12-in. approximately May 1917 Our navy Albert W. Ketelbey ; Guy Le Feuvre ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75928 12-in. approximately May 1917 Take me back to the land of promise Albert W. Ketelbey ; Beatrice Lillie ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75939 12-in. approximately 1917 I shall see you tonight Albert W. Ketelbey ; May Morris Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75940 12-in. approximately 1917 Somebody's coming to tea Albert W. Ketelbey ; May Morris Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75941 12-in. approximately 1917 Cheep, vocal gems, part 1 Columbia Revue Company ; Albert W. Ketelbey Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75942 12-in. approximately 1917 Cheep, vocal gems, part 1 Columbia Revue Company ; Albert W. Ketelbey Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75946 12-in. approximately 1917 Where did that one go? Harry Glenn ; Albert W. Ketelbey ; Vaudeville Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with chorus and orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75960 12-in. approximately 1917 Hills of Donegal Carrie Herwin Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 75991 12-in. approximately 1917 Guide me to the light Carrie Herwin Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76021 12-in. approximately 1918 Love's old sweet song Clara Butt Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76079 12-in. approximately 1918 Arlette, selection, part 1 Albert W. Ketelbey ; London Revue Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 76094 12-in. approximately 1918 Arlette, selection, part 2 Albert W. Ketelbey ; London Revue Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
(Results 201-225 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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