Fantasy on The Bohemian Girl

Fantasy on The Bohemian Girl


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Fantasia on The Bohemian Girl

SKU: FM1116 Category:


The English Ring consists of three operas:

The Bohemian Girl – Michael William Balfe. 1808-1870 First performed in Drury Lane Theatre Royal London in 1843

Maritana – William Vincent Wallace. 1812-1865 First performed in Drury Lane Theatre Royal, London in 1845.

The Lily of Killarney – Julius Benedict. 1804-1885 First performed at Covent Garden Theatre, London in 1862


While on a concert tour for South West Arts with my London-based Cosmos Wind Quintet, and performing in Barnstaple in the mid 1970’s, I discovered on a market stall, a copy each of a Fantasia on The Bohemian Girl and Maritana, arranged by Charles le Thière for clarinet and piano. I was thrilled to find these two works in this arrangement as I already knew of them in their opera format.   However, it was not until I was later working with Opera North, and my wife, mezzo-soprano Valerie Baulard, formed a Soiree Musicale group from within the company, to perform popular Victorian Soiree Musicale evening concerts, that I actually performed them. Four singers, a pianist and myself on clarinet – alias guest artiste, Henry Lazarus, (first clarinet tutor at the newly-opened Royal College of Music in 1883 having been a tutor at the Royal Academy of Music from 1854), and also on piano in the quadrille duets! I so enjoyed performing these works as they readily displayed the melodic tone and technical prowess of the clarinet, and an extension to the clarinet repertoire, hitherto, unknown to me.

Howard Rogerson

Charles le Thière. (1859?-1929)   At birth, Charles le Thière was named Thomas Wilby Tomkins, to a father-goldsmith and jeweller from Clerkenwell, London, but died in poverty, possibly in a workhouse in Manchester, having written music to pay for his drinking habits. As a ‘brilliant’ piccolo player, he composed a number of piccolo solos, as well as orchestral, band, chamber and piano music. The Fantasia on themes from Maritana was written and published in 1912; the original piano part for the Bohemian Girl only has an added flute version of the Fantasia but a separate clarinet part was included my copy on which my editing has been based, but there appears to be no recognition of a Fantasia on themes from the Bohemian Girl hence this publication and the addition of the Fantasia on themes from the Lily of Killarney.

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Howard Rogerson


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