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The Frankfurt Gang | Walter Hall, Toronto
The music of Henry Balfour Gardiner, Percy Grainger, Norman O'Neill, Roger Quilter and Cyril Scott

date: March 3, 2002

Our concert featured the music, much of it virtually unknown today, of a group of five composers who studied together in the last decade of the 19th century in Frankfurt, Germany.  We were encouraged in our researches by a Toronto resident, Desmond Scott, the son of one of the Frankfurt Gang, Cyril Scott.  This latter was a composer lauded in the early 20th century by none other than Claude Debussy; but his reputation faded after the Great War and is only recently, one hundred years later, returning to its rightful prominence.  Balfour Gardiner is now best known for one anthem (Evening Hymn) and as the great-uncle of conductor John Eliot Gardiner.  Norman O’Neill, the least-known today, was a highly successful composer for the West End theatres of London.  Percy Grainger’s career as a concert pianist brought him the most fame in his lifetime; but his compositions, today, are more widely performed.  Finally, Roger Quilter was an enormously successful composer of songs for voice and piano which still retain a place in recital programmes.  We were grateful to Desmond Scott for addressing a few words to the audience in the second half of the concert.

Song Artist Composer Poet
Love’s Philosophy, Op.3/1 Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Quilter, Roger Shelley, Percy Bysshe
A Song of Autumn Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Grainger, Percy Gordon, Adam Lindsay
The Stranger’s Song Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Gardiner, Henry Balfour Hardy, Thomas
Shepherd Fennel’s Dance Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gardiner, Henry Balfour n/a
A Lost Love, Op.62/1 Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Scott, Cyril anon. Chinese, trans. Giles, Herbert
Lullaby, Op.57/2 Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Scott, Cyril Rossetti, Christina
A Song of London, Op.52/1 Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Scott, Cyril Watson, Rosamund Marriott
Night-Song Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Scott, Cyril Watson, Rosamund Marriott
And so I made a Villanelle, Op.65 Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Scott, Cyril Dowson, Ernest
Now sleeps the crimson petal, Op.3/2 Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Quilter, Roger Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Love’s Aftermath Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Scott, Cyril Dowson, Ernest
Variations and Fugue on an Irish Air, Op.17 Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, 2 pianos O’Neill, Norman n/a
INTERMISSION
Allegro con brio (Three Symphonic Dances) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, 2 pianos Scott, Cyril, arr. Grainger, Percy n/a
Six Dukes went afishin’ Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Lincolnshire folksong, arr. Grainger, Percy anon.
Dream Valley, Op.20/1 Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Quilter, Roger Blake, William
The Fuchsia Tree Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Quilter, Roger anon., old Manx ballad
Lord Randall Platts, Susan, mezzo; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Scott, Cyril anon., Scottish ballad
Music and Moonlight Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Quilter, Roger Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Scherzo patetico (Sonata No. 3) Ralls, Stephen, piano Scott, Cyril n/a
The Ballad of Fair Helen Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Scott, Cyril anon.
It was a lover and his lass, Op.23/2 (Five Shakespeare Songs) –   ENCORE Platts, Susan, mezzo; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Quilter, Roger Shakespeare, William