Music & Conversation: The Podcast of English Composer Andrew Downes

Around the Horn by Frank Downes: Chapter 10

June 15, 2021

Paula Downes reads her Grandfather and Andrew Downes' father Frank's book, Around the Horn, which tells the story of the Classical Music Industry from the point of view of a professional Horn player. Born 1921, died 2005, his fascinating orchestral career spanned the demise of the silent cinema, municipal seaside orchestras, the RAF Central band during World War II, orchestral playing in pre and post-war Britain, and the rise towards a Royal title for the Birmingham Conservatoire. Chapter 10 describes Frank's time in Paris and Germany at the end of the war and also his gigging on his return to London. He is finally demobbed at the end of the chapter. The episode ends with the first movement of Andrew Downes' Symphony No. 1, for organ, brass, percussion and strings, recorded by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Ondrej Vrabec in 2016 for the Artesmon Label. This work depicts the horrors of nuclear war, so reflects my Grandad's uncomfortable retelling of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagesaki in 1945.  Find out more:

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