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Charles Harford Lloyd (1849-1919)
Bon Voyage!" Impromptu

The son of a Gloucestershire solicitor, Charles Harford Lloyd was well-known as an organist (he held successive appointments at Gloucester, Oxford and the Chapel Royal), conductor, teacher (at the RCM and Eton) and composer. Although most successful as a choral composer, he wrote a number of clarinet works, three of them for an outstanding amateur player, Randle Fynes Holme (1864-1957), who was later to become Sir Randle Holme, solicitor and President of the Law Society (1939-1940). Holme was a student president of the Oxford University Musical Club during Lloyd’s period as Christ Church Cathedral organist and conductor of the Oxford Choral Society. Lloyd had been co-founder and first president of the Club and the two men worked closely together in the planning and performing of its semi-professional concerts.

Like the Duo Concertante in A flat, first performed by Holme and Lloyd in 1886, “Bon Voyage!” is a memento of this friendship, being dated 4 July 1887, the day after Holme came down from university. The title must also refer to an expedition which this intrepid 23-year old was about to undertake into the interior of Labrador, a tour which resulted in the discovery of Lake Waminikapau and the reading of a paper to the Royal Geographical Society.

© Oliver Davies

"Bon Voyage!" has been recorded by Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on The Victorian Clarinet Tradition

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