Berkeley, Sir Lennox (Randall Francis)

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Berkeley, Sir Lennox (Randall Francis)

Berkeley, Sir Lennox (Randall Francis), eminent English composer and teacher, father of Michael (Fitzhardinge) Berkeley; b. Boars Hill, May 12, 1903; d. London, Dec. 26, 1989. He was educated at Merton Coll., Oxford (1922–26), and then studied composition with Boulanger in Paris (1927–32). Returning to London, he worked for the BBC (1942–45) before serving as a prof. of composition at the Royal Academy of Music (1946–68). In 1957 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, in 1970 he received an honorary D. Mus. from the Univ. of Oxford, and in 1974 he was knighted. In his early works, Berkeley was influenced by the Parisian neo-Classicists and the music of Britten. He later developed a complex individual style that was broadly melodious, richly harmonious, and translucidly polyphonic.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Nelson (1949–54; London, Sept. 22, 1954; orch. suite, 1955); A Dinner Engagement (Aldeburgh Festival, June 17, 1954); Ruth (London, Oct. 2, 1956); Castaway (Aldeburgh Festival, June 3, 1967). Ballet: The Judgement of Paris (1938). Also incidental music for plays and film scores. ORCH.: Introduction and Dance for Small Orch. (1926); 2 suites (1927, 1953); Concertino for Chamber Orch. (London, April 6, 1927); 2 sinfoniettas (1929, 1950); Sym. for Strings (1930–31; London, Dec. 14, 1931); 2 overtures (1934, Barcelona, April 23, 1936; 1947); Mont Juic, suite (1937; in collaboration with Britten); Introduction and Allegro for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1938); Serenade for Strings (1939); 4 syms.: No. 1 (1940; London, July 8, 1943), No. 2 (1956–58; Birmingham, Feb. 24, 1959), No. 3 (Cheltenham, July 9, 1969), and No. 4 (1976–78; London, May 30, 1978); Cello Concerto (1939; Cheltenham, July 17, 1983); Divertimento (1943); Nocturne (1946); Piano Concerto (1947); Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1948); Flute Concerto (1952; London, July 29, 1953); Concerto for Piano and Double String Orch. (1958; London, Feb. 11, 1959); Overture for Light Orch. (1959); Suite: A Winter’s Tale (1960); 5 Pieces for Violin and Orch. (1961; London, July 3, 1962); Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1961); Partita for Chamber Orch. (1964–65); Windsor Variations for Chamber Orch. (1969); Dialogue for Cello and Chamber Orch. (1970); Palm Court Waltz (1971); Sinfonia concertante for Oboe and Chamber Orch. (1973); Antiphon for Strings (1973); Voices of the Night (Birmingham, Aug. 22, 1973); Suite for Strings (1973–74); Guitar Concerto (London, July 4, 1974). CHAMBER: Serenade for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1929); Suite for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (c. 1930); 2 violin sonatas (1931, c. 1933); 3 string quartets (1935, 1942, 1970); Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Piano (1935); Sonatina for Recorder or Flute and Piano (1939); String Trio (1943); Viola Sonata (1945); Elegy for Violin and Piano (1950); Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano (1954); Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, and String Quartet (1955); Concertino for Recorder or Flute, Violin, Cello, and Harpsichord or Piano (1955); Allegro for 2 Treble Recorders (c. 1955); Diversions for 8 Instruments (1964); Quartet for Oboe and String Trio (1967); Introduction and Allegro for Double Bass and Piano (1971); Duo for Cello and Piano (1971); Quintet for Winds and Piano (1974–75); Flute Sonata (1978); also many piano pieces, including a Sonata (1941–45); harpsichord music; organ pieces. VOCAL: Jonah, oratorio (1933–35); Domini est Terra for Chorus and Orch. (London, June 17, 1938); 4 Poems of St. Teresa of Avila for Contralto and Strings (1947); Stabat Mater for 6 Solo Voices and 12 Instruments (1947; arranged for Voices and Small Orch. by M. Berkeley, 1978); Colonus Praise for Chorus and Orch. (1948); Variations on a Theme by Orlando Gibbons for Tenor, Chorus, Strings, and Organ (1951); 4 Ronsard Sonnets: Set 1 for 2 Tenors and Piano (1952) and Set 2 for Tenor and Orch. (London, Aug. 9, 1963); Batter My Heart for Soprano, Chorus, Organ, and Chamber Orch. (1962); Signs in the Dark for Chorus and Strings (1967); Magnificat for Chorus and Orch. (London, July 8, 1968); Una and the Lion for Soprano, Recorder, Viola da Gamba, and Harpsichord (1978–79); many other choral works and songs.


P. Dickinson, The Music of L. B. (London, 1988).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Berkeley, Sir Lennox (Randall Francis)

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Berkeley, Sir Lennox (Randall Francis)