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Alfred Pratt (1873-1959)
Idylle Printanière Op. 17 No. 2

A pupil of Parry and Stanford at the Royal College of Music, Alfred Pratt composed substantial orchestral works which received performances from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Sir Dan Godfrey, as well as a number of salon pieces. Of one of these the Musical Times (1910) commented, >Mr Pratt shows the ability to think along original lines without recourse to any out-of-the-way devices.  His melodies belong to an intelligible idiom, and his harmonies are interesting without being Debussian or Straussian=.

On the music staff of the Beecham Opera Company between the wars, Pratt's music was still being played on BBC Television in the 1950s.  "Idylle Printanière" (1913) is one of a pair of pieces dedicated to the clarinettist Charles Draper, his contemporary as a student at the RCM. The quotation at the head of the piece is the refrain from the poem Au Printemps by Gounod's librettist Jules Barbier, itself set to music by Gounod in 1868.

Colin Bradbury.
Oliver Davies

Idylle Printanière has been recorded by Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on The Art of the Clarinettist (CC0008)

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