Leighton Lucas

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Leighton Lucas (5 January 1903 – 1 November 1982) was an English composer and conductor. Born into a musical family (his father, Clarence Lucas, was also a noted composer), he began his career as a dancer for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1918–21). He became a ballet conductor at 19, as well as a self-taught composer of religious works and film music [1] He also worked as an arranger for Jack Hylton's orchestra between c.1926 and 1930.

He is particularly noted for his film compositions, including the scores for Target for Tonight (1941), Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1950), Ice-Cold in Alex (1958) and the incidental music for The Dam Busters (based on the title march by Eric Coates).

Benjamin Britten wrote that Lucas's Partita (1934) for piano and chamber orchestra was "very interesting - especially the quite lovely Sarabande."[2] Lucas's 'Sinfonia Brevis' (1936?) for horn and 11 instruments may be one of the earliest British scores to incorporate Balinese gamelan effects (it was heard by Benjamin Britten who went on to use such effects in his music from Paul Bunyan[3]).

Selected Compositions[edit]

Orchestral

  • 1934 - Partita (1934) for piano and chamber orchestra
  • 1936? - Sinfonia Brevis for horn and 11 instruments
  • 1945 - We of the West Riding [4]
  • 1939 - Sonatina concertante for saxophone and orchestra
  • 1940 - Suite française
  • 1941 - March-Prelude (from Target for Tonight)
  • 1942 - A Litany for orchestra
  • 1949 - Ballet de la Reine for strings (revised 1957)
  • 1950 - Dedication (from Portrait of Clare)
  • 1950 - Eve's Rhapsody (from Stage Fright)
  • 1953 - This Is York (music from the documentary film)
  • 1954 - Prelude and Dam Blast (from The Dam Busters)
  • 1956 - Cello Concertino for cello and orchestra
  • 1956 - Concert Champetre for violin and orchestra
  • 1956 - Prelude, Aria and Finale for viola d'amore and orchestra
  • 1957 - Clarinet Concerto
  • 1957 - Portrait of the Amethyst (from Yangtse Incident)
  • 1958 - Suite from Ice Cold in Alex
  • 1970 - Birthday Variations

Ballet

  • 1935 - The Wolf’s Ride
  • 1936 - Death in Adagio (after Domenico Scarlatti)
  • 1945-6 - The Horses
  • 1972-3 Tam O’Shanter

Brass Band

  • 1960 - Symphonic Suite
  • 1962 - Spring Song
  • 1968 -Chorale and Variations
  • 1973 - A Waltz Overture

Choral

  • 1928 Masque of the Sea for chorus and orchestra. Dedicated "To Mrs. Ernest Toye with All Affection" [5]
  • 1934 - Massa pro defunctis
  • 1953 - My True Love hath my Heart, madrigal for women’s voices
  • 1953 - Sleep and Death, partsong SATB
  • 1967 – Mass in G minor
  • 1969 – Parish Mass

Chamber

  • 1956 - Meditation for cello and piano
  • 1959 - Aubade for horn, bassoon and piano
  • 1960 - Soliloquy for viola and piano
  • 1961 – Tristesse for viola and piano
  • 1966 - Disquisition for two cellos and piano duet

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scowcroft. Philip (2009) A Musical All-Rounder: Leighton Lucas, Robert Farnon Society
  2. ^ Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten, 1913-1976, Vol. 1, p.343-34)
  3. ^ Letters from a Life, Vol. 1, p.433
  4. ^ We of the West Riding.
  5. ^ Vocal score in possession of the editor

External links[edit]