Music & Conversation: The Podcast of English Composer Andrew Downes

Around the Horn by Frank Downes: Chapter 8

March 25, 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 8 tells of his RAF tour to Brussels in 1944/5, including the uncomfortable journeys, the German propaganda, performances they gave and the dangers they faced. The episode ends with Andrew Downes' "Blazon" from his Suite for Six Horns, performed by the hornists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on their CD entitled "Andrew Downes: Music for Horns and Wagner Tubas", recorded for the Artesmon Label in 2008.  This CD is in memory of Frank Downes.

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