Gordon Jacob And Joseph Horovitz (1895-1984 And 1926-)

Episodes

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The Pursuit Of Careers Not In Music20130416

Donald Macleod explores Gordon Jacob and Joseph Horovitz's early years.

This week Donald Macleod is joined by composer Joseph Horovitz, who not only talks about his own career, but also that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob; both have had a significant impact upon students at the Royal College of Music, and both have been prolific in writing concertos, and music for wind and brass.

Both Gordon Jacob and Joseph Horovitz had false starts. Horovitz originally set out to be an artist, whereas Jacob intended to be a journalist, though both came round to the idea of composing in the end. Jacob studied at the Royal College of Music, under Stanford and Howells, and was soon composing works such as his "William Byrd Suite". But it wasn't long after his years as a student, that he was making his Proms first appearance, conducting a performance of his own "First Viola Concerto".

It was the influence of his teacher Gordon Jacob which made Joseph Horovitz want to compose. Jacob's prolific output as a composer of concertos influenced Horovitz's own work in that area, such as his "Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra". And again, like Jacob, Horovitz soon found himself writing music for the stage, such as his popular score for "Alice in Wonderland".

01The Impact Of War!20130415

Donald Macleod on Jacob's and Horovitz's early years, fighting in and fleeing from war.

This week Donald Macleod is joined by composer Joseph Horovitz, who not only talks about his own career, but also that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob; both have had a significant impact upon students at the Royal College of Music, and both have been prolific in writing concertos, and music for wind and brass. Gordon Jacob composed over 400 works, and was so successful in his lifetime, he was asked to write music for the coronation of the Queen. Jacob spent much of his time tutoring at the Royal College of Music, where he taught Joseph Horovitz. Horovitz likewise went on to teach at the Royal College of Music, and has composed such notable works as his Clarinet Sonatina, the theme music to Rumpole of the Bailey and Lillie, plus a work which won him an Ivor Novello Award, his cantata Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo.

Gordon Jacob came from a military background, and retained wonderful memories of his childhood in London with barrel organs, dancing bears, and German bands. Writing music for wind and brass bands became a profitable and enjoyable enterprise for Jacob, including his "An Original Suite for Military Band". A military life was not for Jacob however, though he did spend time serving on the frontline in WWI. It was during the Great War that he lost one of his closest brothers, Anstey, and he dedicated his "First Symphony" to him.

Joseph Horovitz, who joins Donald Macleod to talk about his music, and that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob, was also a victim of war, having to flee Austria at the beginning of WWII. Horovitz's formative experiences influenced his biographical "Fifth String Quartet". Arriving to safety in Britain, Horovitz had to learn a new culture and language. This adopting of other languages is also present in his music, such as exploring the musical language of jazz in the "Jazz Concerto for Piano, Strings and Percussion".

03Music For The Radio And The Stage20130417

Donald Macleod on how Jacob and Horovitz made careers as composers for radio and the stage

This week Donald Macleod is joined by composer Joseph Horovitz, who not only talks about his own career, but also that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob; both have had a significant impact upon students at the Royal College of Music, and both have been prolific in writing concertos, and music for wind and brass.

Gordon Jacob was something of a celebrity in his local community. He was now being asked to compose a number of choral and vocal works, including his arrangement of Psalm 23, "Brother James' Air". Jacob seemed to work best when he was composing for a specific person or instrument in mind, which can be heard in his Clarinet Quintet, dedicated to Frederick Thurston and the Griller Quartet. But this was now the time of the Second World War, and he was required to boost morale with arrangements for the BBC's ITMA programme, arranging works such as the overture to Rossini's "Barber of Seville".

When it was first suggested to Joseph Horovitz that he went to study music at the Royal College of Music under Gordon Jacob, all he knew about Jacob was his music for ITMA; although Jacob soon came to loathe his association with the programme. After his studies at the RCM, Horovitz soon found himself taken up with the stage, including a post as Music Director at the Bristol Old Vic, conductor of the orchestra for the Ballet Russes, and conducting ballet for the Festival of Britain. Opera has also been a particular passion for Horovitz, and today we'll hear his operatic Scena: "Lady Macbeth".

04Composing Music For Film20130418

Donald Macleod explores Gordon Jacob's and Joseph Horovitz's music for film.

This week Donald Macleod is joined by composer Joseph Horovitz, who not only talks about his own career, but also that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob; both have had a significant impact upon students at the Royal College of Music, and both have been prolific in writing concertos, and music for wind and brass.

The 1940s and 1950s were a very busy period of composing for Gordon Jacob, writing many works for commission such as his "Trombone Concerto" for the International Trombone Association, or his "Sextet" dedicated to the memory of horn player Aubrey Brain. Yet Jacob was also active in other areas, such as composing for film. In 1947 he composed music for the film which gave Dirk Bogarde his first starring role as the charming cad, "Ester Waters".

Joseph Horovitz has also composed much music for film and television, including the series Lillie, Rumpole of the Bailey, and Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime. For many years Horovitz has also taught on the Composition for Screen course at the Royal College of Music. Yet, like his one-time tutor Jacob, Horovitz has remained with his feet firmly in a number of camps, composing music also for the radio, and the concert hall such as his "Variations on a Theme of Paganini", and his world famous "Clarinet Sonatina".

05 LASTAn Interest In Brass20130419

Donald Macleod is joined by composer Jacob Horovitz to explore Gordon Jacob's final years.

This week Donald Macleod is joined by composer Joseph Horovitz, who not only talks about his own career, but also that of his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob; both have had a significant impact upon students at the Royal College of Music, and both have been prolific in writing concertos, and music for wind and brass.

In the last decade or so of his life, Gordon Jacob was affected by failing eyesight and hearing. He once jokingly remarked that "it doesn't interfere with the enjoyment or production of music. After all, Beethoven was a great deal deafer than me, and wrote nearly as good music!" Jacob kept on working hard, and in the space of five years, composed 55 new works, such as his "Sonatina for Treble Recorder and Harpsichord", and his "Mini Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra".

During this final few decades in Gordon Jacob's life, composer Joseph Horovitz kept in contact. It was a period for Horovitz which saw the creation of one of his most enduring works, which also won him an Ivor Novello Award, his cantata "Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo". But like his one-time teacher Gordon Jacob, Horovitz has always relished writing music for a specific instrument or soloist in mind, such as his "Oboe Concerto", or his brass band 'test' piece "Ballet for Band".