Albert W. Ketèlbey


Born: August 9, 1875; Birmingham, England   Died: November 26, 1959  
It is possible, if perhaps not likely, that when British composer and conductor Albert William Ketèlbey died in 1959 at the age of 84 he had somehow heard some of then-young Henry Mancini's suave music. If so, perhaps the aged Ketèlbey was able to recognize that the mid-twentieth century was getting from Mancini something quite like what his own generation got from him many years earlier: music that aims to please not through depth of content, Read more academic pretension or gritty progressivism, but by virtue of lightheartedness, charm, and thoroughly fine craftsmanship.

Ketèlbey showed remarkable musical gifts while still a young boy. There is an anecdotal tale (for once probably true!) of how 11-year-old Ketèlbey wrote and publicly performed a full-length piano sonata and received the blessing of Edward Elgar for his efforts. Two years after that he received a scholarship to Trinity College, and at 16 he was named the new organist at St. John's Church in Wimbledon. Ketèlbey took to conducting musical theater shortly before the turn of the new century, which no doubt helped redirect his compositional interests toward light music.

Over the first couple decades of the twentieth century, Ketèlbey issued a hearty stream of pseudo-programmatic orchestral works; pieces like The Phantom Melody (1912) and In a Chinese Temple Garden (1923) were very popular in their day, and earned Ketèlbey enough money to eventually purchase and retire to an estate on the Isle of Wright. He also composed a comic opera, the Wonder Workers (1900), and several "serious" concert pieces, including a String Quartet and a Concert-Piece for piano and orchestra. Ketèlbey used pseudonyms for some of his music. Read less
Browse 1-14 of 14 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Golden Age of Light Music: Great British Composers, Vol. 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5203 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wally Stott,  Charles Williams,  Haydn Wood,  Vivian Ellis  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Farnon,  William Hodgson,  Sidney Torch,  Stanford Robinson  ... 
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  • 2.
    Cartmel Crackers - Light-hearted Organ Music From Cartmel Priory / Self
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 1089 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Campbell,  Ronald Binge,  Ernest Bucalossi,  Emile Durand  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Self
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  • 3.
    Best Of Pops / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 3580 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Leroy Anderson,  Victor Young,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 4.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Great British Composers, Vol. 1
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5195 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Haydn Wood,  Frederic Curzon,  Richard Addinsell  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Johnson,  Charles Williams,  Frederic Curzon,  Muir Mathieson  ... 
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  • 5.
    Organ Extravaganza! / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1187 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremy Nicholas,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 6.
    50 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27359 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Williamson,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Peter Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Wallace Collection (Brass Ensemble)
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  • 7.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - The Composer Conducts Vol 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5178 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Don Gillis,  Robert Farnon,  Peter Yorke  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Sandford,  Montague Ewing,  Albert W. Ketèlbey,  Harriet Cohen
    Conductor:  Alfred Newman,  Don Gillis,  Robert Farnon,  Peter Yorke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neapolitan Novelty Band
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  • 8.
    Of Another Time / Yun Kyong Kim
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1362 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Jenkins,  Marcel Paponaud,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Yun Kyong Kim
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  • 9.
    The Norman And Beard Organ Of Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 1030 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edwin Lemare,  Maewa Kaihau,  Albert W. Ketèlbey,  Marco Enrico Bossi  ... 
    Performer:  Douglas Mews
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  • 10.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: War And Peace - Light Music Of The 1940s
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5171 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Belton,  Hoagy Carmichael,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Laurance Turner,  Peggy Cochrane,  Henry Bronkhurst,  Guy Fletcher
    Conductor:  Charles Shadwell,  Percy Faith,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
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  • 11.
    Bandstand In The Park  / Bbc Wireless Band, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5117 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lionel Monckton,  José Padilla,  Emil Waldteufel,  Albert W. Ketèlbey  ... 
    Conductor:  B. Walton O'Donnell,  George Miller,  Frederick Harris Jr.,  Louis Castellucci  ... 
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  • 12.
    British Cinema And Theatre Orchestras
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5108 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  G. Groitzsch,  Ernest Bucalossi,  Jerome Kern,  Percy Fletcher  ... 
    Performer:  Al Bollington,  His Majesty's Theatre Orchestra,  Quentin M. Maclean
    Conductor:  Joseph Muscant,  Arthur Anton,  William Pethers,  Frank Tours  ... 
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  • 13.
    The Flying Dutchman
    Label: Polydor   Catalog: 9868113 Release Date: 11/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Abraham Holzmann,  Siegfried Translateur,  M. Werner-Kersten  ... 
    Performer:  Freya Cremers,  Karin Hinze,  Pierre Colen,  Jet Gelens  ... 
    Conductor:  André Rieu
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  • 14.
    Les Classiques De Gainsbourg
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 903813 Release Date: 04/10/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Antonín Dvorák,  Albert W. Ketèlbey  ... 
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