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Henry Lazarus (1815-1895)
Fantasia on favorite Scotch melodies

Seldom can a woodwind player have reigned supreme in his field for as long as did Henry Lazarus. Succeeding Thomas Lindsay Willman as principal clarinet of the Italian Opera under Costa at the age of twenty-five he held the post for 43 years, as well as being appointed to positions in the Philharmonic Society, the Crystal Palace Concerts and the Birmingham Festival. As a soloist and a chamber musician he towered over his contemporaries. Bernard Shaw wrote of him: ‘A phrase played by Mr. Lazarus always came, even from the unnoticed ranks of the wood wind at the opera, with a distinction and fine artistic feeling that roused a longing for an orchestra of such players. And his phrases come just that way still.’ At that time Lazarus was 74.
Fantasias on operatic themes and well known tunes, often written by the performers themselves, appeared regularly in the programmes of 19th century wind soloists. Fantasia on Favorite Scotch Melodies is one of the three Fantasias which Lazarus published in the 1860s.
Fantasia on favorite Scotch melodies has been recorded by Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on the CD The Victorian Clarinet Tradition (CC 0022)

 


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