Posts Tagged ‘career’

Career Highlights

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Mervyn Vicars 1975

Mervyn Vicars was a dedicated and talented composer, conductor and cellist whose musical career has inspired and influenced many across the 20th century.

He has composed many works throughout his musical career, conducted, arranged and directed. For more information on his music and compositions please click here. Sheet music is available from the Downloads section to the right.

Mervyn also served his country during the second world war, as Squadron Leader in the RAF. See below for highlights of Mervyns musical and military careers.

 

1931 obtained the post of Resident Conductor at the Théatre de la Variété in Marseilles


1932 Musical Director with the following musical comedies; No No Nanette, Funny Face, Mr. Cinders and The Student Prince.


1934 production of Die Meistersingers he was assistant conductor to Sir Henry Wood.


1932 – 1938 professional conductor for several well established musical societies (including The Sale and District Choral Union, The Newport Dramatic and Operatic Society, The Northampton Philharmonic Society, and The Cardiff Philharmonic Society)


1938 conducted the first performance of Alan Rawsthorne’s Concerto for Strings, Piano and Percussion


1938 – 1940 worked as an arranger of all classes of light music and commercial radio music for every kind of combination, ranging from concert orchestra to quintets. These arrangements included Chabrier, Massenet, Coates, Gershwin among others.


1940 volunteered for service in the RAF.


1941 was awarded the D.F.C.


1947 demobilised with the rank of Squadron Leader.


1952 formed the New Orpheus Concert Group in association with Graham Whettam and Robert Gill. They made their debut at Chelsea Town Hall on 4th. June 1952. In December 1953 they were invited to give an audition to the BBC. This resulted in a broadcast (Orchestral Hour) on December 16th. 1953


1954 became Artistic Director of the Concert Artists Record Co., set up by W. H. Barrington-Coupe


1973 Fugue and Variations on a theme of Sorabji written

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Music and Compositions

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

The musical works of Mervyn Vicars span over 4 decades, and include symphonies, quartets, pieces for piano, cello, and string instruments.

High resolution scans are available for all sheet music and compositions on request. See Download section (located to the right of the page) for PDF versions now available.


Songs of the People. Five Hebridean Folk Songs arr. For Strings & Harp or Piano

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-14


Five Tudor Songs for Soprano, String Orchestra and Piano

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Poems by Sir Philip Sydney, Francis Beaumont etc. arr.Voice and Piano. Op.42 Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-22


14th. century Ballad of a Jester. Soprano and Piano. Words; anon.

Date: 1935, June
Notes: Eaton Terrace. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-3


Three pieces for Piano and Strings

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Piano part only Manuscript in A3


Suite for Orchestra. Prelude, Eclogue. Musette, Minuet and Score. Carillon

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Manuscript in A3


Three Traditional French Folk Tunes transcribed for String Orchestra

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Composed while at Hinrichsen Ltd. Wardour St. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-6


Nursery Rhyme Song for Voice and Piano

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Composed at Garden Cottage. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-3


Irish Lullaby for Voice & Piano. Words by Padraig Pearse

Date: 1949, Jun
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-4


Sports Ground. Orchestral Novelty.

Date: 1950, Jul
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-5


Suite for Two Pianos

Date: 1952, Feb
Notes: Piano I Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-22. Piano II Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-23


Symphonic Rhapsody for Violon Cello and Orchestra. Performance Guildford 1954

Date: 1952-53
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-48. Complete set Parts. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-72. Piano reduction Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-20. Solo ‘cello Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-5


Nocturne and Bacchanale for Strings. Performance Guildford

Date: 1953, Feb
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-21. Full set Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-39


Symphonic Rhapsody for ‘Cello & Orchestra. Elston Evans

Date: 1953, Mar
Notes: Full Score


Suite for Harpsichord for Joseph Saxby

Date: 1953, Mar
Notes: Perf. J.S. London Musical Club


May Morning. Poem for Small Orchestra Performance

Date: 1953, May
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-69. Full set Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-95


Purbeck Hills. Pastoral for String Quintet. Dedicated to Sorabji

Date: 1953, Jul
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-9


Sinfonietta for 14 Wind Instruments

Date: 1953, Aug
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-61. 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 2 Trumpets, 2 Horns, 2 Trombones. Hilversum 2/ 9/ 59. Stuttgart 4/ 5/ 60


Vaniakinder. Suite for Strings and Piano Nursey Dedicated: Adrian and Kevin

Date: 1955, Dec
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-25. Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-30


Ode to Spring. Song Cycle for Baritone and Orchestra. Settings of Helen Wadell’s trans. From the medieval poets, Salmasius and the M.S. Benedictbeuern

Date: 1954
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-72. Piano and Voice. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-31


Symphony No. 1. Dedicated to Sorabji

Date: 1958- 1960
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-90. Manuscript in A2 Pages 91- 316


Wedding March for Organ

Date: (Not Dated)
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-4


The Dandy.Impression for Orchestra

Date: 1967, Oct
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-14


Quiet Dorset Lakes. Suite for Orchestra. Dedicated to Denise

Date: 1967
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-55. Piana arr. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-16


Suite for Orchestra

Date: 1968
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-59. Brass section Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-40


The Lonely Seal. Idyll for Small Orchestra.

Date: 1968
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-10


Fantasy Trio for Piano ‘Cello and Violin

Date: 1969, Dec
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-19. Violin Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-6. ‘Cello Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-5


Divertimento for 2 ‘Cellos

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-4


Sonata for ‘Cello and Piano.

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-10. Unfinished


Lady Greensleeves. Lyric Opera in 1 Act & 5 Scenes. Libretto by Denis Botterill

Date: 1969
Notes: Score Manuscript in A2 Pages 1-313. Piano reduction Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-19. Vocal score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-170


Three Pieces for Piano and Strings. Minuet, Eclogue, Musette. Dedicated to Reginald Saville and the Langton Music Society

Date: 1969
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-15


A Summer Love. Rhapsody for String Quartet, Voice and Piano. Words by Padraig Macmiadhachain. Dedicated to Padraig Machmiadhain

Date: 1970
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-20


Concerto da Camera per Violino Solo. Dedicated to Kato Havas for The Purbeck Festival of Music.

Date: 1970
Notes: Perf. at St. Mary’s Church, Swanage 1973. Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-49


Harpsichord Suite

Date: 1971
Notes: Perf. Harvey Easton


A Lute of Jade. Song Cycle for Baritone, Flute, Glock., String Quartet and Piano.Translations from the Chinese By Tsu Tungpo, Helen Wadell and Waley

Date: 1972
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-34. Sketches Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-23


Variations and Fugue on a Theme of K. S. Sorabji

Date: 1973
Notes: Score Manuscript in A2 Pages 1-113. Solo Piano Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-32


Introduction, Allegro and Finale for Oboe and Piano. Dedicated to Evelyn Barbirolli and Iris Loveridge.

Date: 1973
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-18. Solo oboe Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-11


Symphonic Suite for Viola and Orchestra. Roger Best

Date: 1974
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-129. Piano & Solo arr. Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-33. Solo Viola Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-13


God is Gone Up. Anthem for S.A.T.B. and Organ. Dedicated to St. Mary’s Church, Swanage

Date: 1975, Oct
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-8


Pickwick. Divertimento for 2 Oboes, 2 Horns and Strings

Date: 1975
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-19. Full set parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-52


Suite for String Orchestra

Date: 1977, Apr
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-14. 2nd Violin Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-6


Symphony No.2. Sharon. Dedicated to Denise

Date: 1978
Notes: Score Manuscript in A2 Pages 1-109


Symphony No3. The Miracle of Spring

Date: 1980
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-85


Sonata for ‘Cello and Piano. Dedicated to Vera Ryder.

Date: 1981, Nov
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-28. ‘Cello Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-9


Elegy for String Quartet. Dedicated to Dr. Peter Clein

Date: 1985
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-7. Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-8


The Doom of Hafod…Sketches

Date: 1987
Notes: Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-32


Quartets;


No.1 (1944) Revised 1952

Date: 1952
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-21. 2nd. Violin, Viola & ‘Cello Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-32


No.4

Date: 1972
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-17. ‘Cello Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-8


Another No.4

Date: (Not dated)
Notes: Incomplete Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-12. Complete Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-19


No.5

Date: 1976
Notes: Score Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-18. Viola and ‘Cello Parts Manuscript in A3 Pages 1-16

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Biography

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Mervyn Vicars 1953Mervyn Vicars was born on Dec. 14th. 1905, the eldest son of  the distinguished conductor, Harold Vicars and his wife Frances. At the age of  seven he was put to the study of the violoncello with Bertie Fellows and later with John Snowdon. Subsequently, with his grandfather’s support, he studied music in Germany for seven years, including the French Horn, Tympani, Double Bass, Harmony, Counterpoint, Composition, Orchestration and Conducting.

In 1931 he obtained the post of Resident Conductor at the Théatre de la Variété in Marseilles. During his 11 month residency, he conducted among other shows, Hit the Deck, Rose Marie, Lilac Time, and Danse des Libellules, a less well known operetta by Franz Léhar.

On his return to England he went on tour as Mucical Director with the following musical comedies; No No Nanette, Funny Face, Mr. Cinders and The Student Prince.

Back in London again, he took up the ’cello professionally and was mainly engaged in freelance work for radio, film and recording sessions as well as concert work. During this time from 1932 to 1938 he also did an extensive amount of work as a professional conductor for several well established musical societies:

The Sale and District Choral Union – Concert performances of  The Mikado, Die Fledermaus, Carmen and Merrie England together with three symphony concerts.

The Newport Dramatic and Operatic Society – Stage productions of Tom Jones, Carmen, The Gypsy Baron, The Gondoliers and Die Fledermaus. Three Messiahs, Bach’s Mass in B minor and The Dream of Gerontius.

The Northampton Philharmonic Society –Twenty Symphony Concerts spread over four years, including  seven concerts of popular light music.

The Cardiff Philharmonic Society – Concerts similar to those in Northampton.

During this period he also played under Sir Henry Wood at the Royal Academy when professional stiffening was required for the student orchestra and in the 1934 At the Stoke Newington Music Festival of 1938 he conducted the first performance of Alan Rawsthorne’s Concerto for Strings, Piano and Percussion.

From 1938 to 1940 he worked as an arranger of all classes of light music and commercial radio music for every kind of combination, ranging from concert orchestra to quintets. These arrangements included Chabrier, Massenet, Coates, Gershwin among others.

In 1940 he volunteered for service in the RAF. In July 1941 he was awarded the D.F.C. and was demobilised in 1947 with the rank of Squadron Leader.

1948 saw him sharing the rostrum with Sir Adrian Boult at the Albert Hall when he conducted the LPO in the first performance of Kenneth Essex’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra. It was also in this year that he became Conductor of the Surbiton Symphony Orchestra, beginning an association that was to last 13 years.

In 1952 he formed the New Orpheus Concert Group in association with Graham Whettam and Robert Gill. Their policy was “to give performances of works by the younger unestablished English composers, to perform the works of the great classical masters with an orchestra suitable to the music and to explore the published repertoire of contemporary works for the smaller orchestra”. In order to implement this, two fully professional bodies were formed, the New Orpheus Orchestra, consisting of 22 strings, double woodwind, 2 horns, 2 trumpets and percussion and the New Orpheus Singers – 8 sopranos, 6 contraltos, 6 tenors and 4 basses.

They made their debut at Chelsea Town Hall on 4th. June 1952. In December 1953 they were invited to give an audition to the BBC. This resulted in a broadcast (Orchestral Hour) on December 16th. 1953. Although the New Orpheus Group did not last long, it was active in performing, promoting and writing about music, publishing for a short while the New Orpheus Review.

In 1954 he became Artistic Director of the Concert Artists Record Co., set up by W. H. Barrington-Coupe. A bicentennial edition of Mozart was planned in association with Omegatape of which the Three Salzburg Symphonies were released. Further recordings were hampered by problems with the recording quality. Barrington-Coupe disappeared. The money from International Recordings went with him. Omegatape did not receive all the tapes. The company was wound up under The Companies Act on July 2nd. 1956. Mervyn Vicars was not in any way legally implicated in the proceedings. Syrett & Sons, Solicitors of 2, John Street, Bedford Row, London were recommended and acted on his behalf. There was no fee charged. His shares in The Concert Artists Company were worthless and an expense account for £126 was not forthcoming.

Throughout his life he had an active passion for music and this included a steady stream of compositions. Although there have been some performances, his music has not attracted the recognition that it deserves. A recording of Pickwick was made and excerpts are available here.

He was for fifty years a close friend of Kaikhosru Sorabji who encouraged his creative muse and approved of the results, often commenting upon them. His Fugue and Variations on a theme of Sorabji, written in 1973, and the tone of Sorabji’s reply to Vicars’ request for permission is indicative of the nature of their friendship.

In 1964 he moved to Dorset. This heralded his most creative period. At the same time he continued to be keenly involved in local music making with the Swanage Choral and Operatic Society and also the Purbeck Festival of Music, which centred around Kato Havas’ summer violin school.

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