Albert Hay Malotte

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Albert Hay Malotte
Born (1895-05-19)May 19, 1895
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died November 16, 1964(1964-11-16)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death
Pneumonia
Resting place
Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery
Occupation Composer
Spouse(s) Marguerite Stevens Hester

Albert Hay Malotte (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 19, 1895-Los Angeles on November 16, 1964) was an American pianist, organist, composer and educator.

Biography and career[edit]

Malotte was the son of Charles and Katherine (Donavon) Malotte. He was in Boy Scouts of America Troop 1, the first Boy Scout troop in Philadelphia.[1] Malotte graduated from Tioga High School and sang at Saint James Episcopal Church in Philadelphia as a choir boy. He studied with Victor Herbert, W. S. Stansfield, and later in Paris with organist Georges Jacob. His career as an organist began in Chicago where he played for silent pictures and later concertized throughout the US and Europe.

During World War II he held the rank of Captain in the Special Services for two years while he toured with the USO and entertained troops in New Guinea, Australia and Europe. At one point he sponsored his own troupe of entertainers that included Judith Anderson, Anne Triola and Helen McClure Preister. Malotte was an amateur pilot, avid golfer and even boxed with Jack Dempsey in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent most of his career as a composer in Hollywood.

Malotte married Marguerite Stevens Hester on August 23, 1946. His first wife, Elmina Todd, had died the previous year in Hollywood.

Malotte composed a number of film scores, including mostly uncredited music for animations from the Disney studios. Although two movies for which he composed scores won best Short Subject Academy Awards (Ferdinand the Bull in 1939 and The Ugly Duckling in 1940), he is best remembered for a setting of the Lord's Prayer. Written in 1935, it was recorded by the baritone John Charles Thomas, and remained highly popular for use as a solo in churches and at weddings in the US for some decades. He composed a number of other religious pieces, including settings of the Beatitudes and of the Twenty-third Psalm which have also remained popular as solos. His secular songs, such as "Ferdinand the Bull" (from the Disney animated short of the same name), "For my mother" (a setting of a poem by 12-year-old Bobby Sutherland) and "I am proud to be an American" are less well remembered. Some of his works are collected in the library of the University of California Los Angeles and the Library of Congress.

In addition, Malotte wrote uncredited stock music for many other films in the 1930s and early 1940s, including twenty-two of the Disney Silly Symphonies and other shorts such Little Hiawatha as well as Ferdinand the Bull. He also composed cantatas, oratorios, musicals and ballets. Malotte owned Apple Valley Music.

One of his most odd compositions is "Fiesta en Purchena", a play for piano composed in 1938 and published by G. Schirmer. Malotte wrote in the first page of the score why he composed this play based in a historical event called Moorish Games (in Spanish: Juegos Moriscos) happened in 1569 in Purchena, a small Spanish to which he had never gone. This is the explanation:

FIESTA EN PURCHENA was suggested to me by the following quotation from Eleanor Hague very interesting book “Music In Ancient Arabia and Spain”. In a Chapter dealing with Moorish festivals, she relates that "The moors who most vitally maintained their tradition were those of the kingdom of Granada, the last stronghold of Islamism in the peninsula. The most vivid pictures of the music festivals celebrated in the kingdom are to be found in the works of Ginés Pérez de Hita. As an example I give the following; which shows the subtlety, orderliness, and elegance of their artistic contests: “The plaza of Purchena was ready for the dances, With many carpets spread; all the important people were seated round about with Ibn Humeya on a dais, and lute and timbrel in place. Many Moorish youths, beautifully dressed, danced, one by one, marvellously well. Thereafter followed various cavaliers, dancing with lovely Moorish ladies.[2]

Incredibly, it is not possible to find a biography, a study of Malotte's life and plays in English but there is a short one in Spanish published by Purchena´s Town Council in 2013, with the institutional support of the United States Embassy in Spain, written by the musician Bartolomé Llorens Peset (See bibliography). This book, called "Fiesta en Purchena: Los Juegos Moriscos de Aben Humeya en la obra del compositor estadounidense Albert Hay Malotte", also encloses a recording of "Fiesta in Purchena" played by Tomeu Moll, a great pianist from Valencia.

He died of pneumonia and is buried in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

Works and Productions[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]

Disney scores (incomplete)[edit]

Ballets (complete)[edit]

  • Carnival in Venice
  • Little Red Riding Hood

Musicals (all unpublished)[edit]

  • Lolama (premiered in Phoenix, AZ)
  • The Big Tree - Gee What A Tree (with Rowland Vance Lee)
  • Bluebeard (with Rowland Vance Lee)
  • Limbo or Ladies from Limbo (with Irving Phillips)
  • Fanfare
  • Soldiers in Overalls

Songs, sacred and secular (incomplete; published)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ E. Urner Goodman, The Building of a Life, 1965.
  2. ^ Fiesta en Purchena: Los Juegos Moriscos de Aben Humeya en la obra del compositor estadounidense Albert Hay Malotte. Ayuntamiento de Purchena: Almería, 2.013. D.L. AL-714-2013.
  3. ^ Scout Oath

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Llorens Peset, Bertomeu: Fiesta en Purchena: Los Juegos Moriscos de Aben Humeya en la obra del compositor estadounidense Albert Hay Malotte. Ayuntamiento de Purchena: Almería, 2.013. D.L. AL-714-2013.