Robert Farnon

Date of Birth: 1917/7/24
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death: 2005/4/25
Mini Biography:
Robert Joseph Farnon, a composer of light classical and "mood music," has also been notably successful in the field of film music since the 1940s. He was born into a musical family in Toronto. He showed a natural aptitude as a musician, and at age 19, was already being employed as an arranger with the Canadian Broadcasting Company Orchestra in Toronto, under the direction of Percy Faith. Farnon succeeded Faith as director of the orchestra when Faith departed Canada for America. Farnon's main interest at the time lay in writing serious music, despite the fact that he enjoyed great success with his arrangements. At age 22, he composed his first symphony, which was performed by the Toronto Symphony in 1941, and later by the Philadelphia Orchestra. A second symphony followed a year later, and it, too, received performances in Canada, but Farnon discovered that he had little personal affinity for writing works of that depth and dimension, talented though he might have been. It was during his service with the Canadian army during World War II, when he was assigned as a bandleader and sent to England, that Farnon discovered the light classical music of composers such as Charles Williams and Eric Coates. This was something of a revelation to him -- their brand of music was internally complex while not overly profound, inventive and expressive without being pretentious. Their work became something of the model upon which he chose to build his career as a composer, and that brand of light classical music led naturally, in turn, to film composition. Farnon made his career in England after the war, writing mood music for Chappell Music, a task at which he was eminently successful, his music not only popular in the broadcasts for which it was intended, but also entering the repertory of numerous pops orchestras in England and around the world. Farnon soon entered the field of film music as well, writing his first score in 1948 for the upper-class romantic comedy "Spring in Park Lane", produced by Herbert Wilcox, and the music for its direct sequel "Maytime in Mayfair". In 1951, Farnon was assigned to write the score for his first major international film, "Captain Horatio Hornblower", based on the exploits of C.S. Forrester's naval hero of the Napoleonic era, starring Gregory Peck. He subsequently had assignments for films such as "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes" and the screen adaptation of "The Little Hut". In the '60s, his screen assignments included some slightly higher profile work, such as the music for the Hayley Mills film "The Truth About Spring" and also the all-star western adventure drama "Shalako". Farnon has remained a top composer in his field for 50 years. In addition to his film scores, his popular instruments include "How Beautiful Is Night," "Journey into Melody," "Pictures in the Fire," "Westminster Waltz," and "A Promise of Spring."

The Robert Farnon Society: https://www.robertfarnonsociety.org.uk/



Composed and Conducted by ROBERT FARNON

Performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

(米Reference Recordings / RR-47CD) 1992


音楽を担当したロバート・ファーノンはカナダ出身のベテランで、映画やTVの音楽以前に“Light Music”や“Concert Music”といったジャンルで欧米では有名な作曲家である(同じカナダ人のパーシー・フェイス率いるオーケストラでトランペットを吹いていたこともある)。このCDにはファーノン自身が編曲した全5曲から成る組曲が収録されているが、最初の「Introduction」「The Wind」は海を舞台にした冒険活劇にふさわしいスケールの大きいヒロイックな音楽。「Polwheal」は少しおどけたタッチの陽気なマーチ。「Lady Barbara」はロマンティックなヒロインのテーマ。「Natividad」はダイナミックなアクションスコアから壮大なフィナーレへと展開。非常に優雅で華麗でリッチなシンフォニック・スコア。ロイヤルフィルの演奏も素晴らしい。尚、このCDは“ROBERT FARNON: Concert Works”というタイトルで、上記「艦長ホレーショ」の21分程度の組曲に加え、「A la claire fontaine」「State Occasion」「Lake of the Woods」「A Promise of Spring」「Intermezzo for Harp and Strings」「Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra」といったファーノン作曲・指揮のコンサート音楽が収録されている。

「(未公開)Spring in Park Lane」(1948)
「(未公開)Just William's Luck」(1948)
「(未公開)Elizabeth of Ladymead」(1948)
「(未公開)William Comes to Town」(1948)
「(未公開)Maytime in Mayfair」(1949)
「(未公開)Paper Orchid」(1949)
「艦長ホレーショ(Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.)」(1951)
「(未公開)Circle of Danger」(1951)
「(未公開/TV)BBC Sunday-Night Theatre - London Melody」(1951)
「(未公開)This Is London」(1953)
「白人酋長(His Majesty O'Keefe)」(1953)
「(未公開)Lilacs in the Spring」(1954)
「紳士はブルーネット娘と結婚する(Gentlemen Marry Brunettes)」(1955)
「(未公開)All for Mary」(1955)
「(未公開)It's a Wonderful World」(1956)
「(未公開)True as a Turtle」(1956)
「潮風のいたづら(The Little Hut)」(1957)
「(未公開/TV)Expedition ins Unbekannte」(1958)
「不死身の保安官(The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw)」(1958)
「女体入門(Expresso Bongo)」(1959)
「ミサイル珍道中(The Road to Hong Kong)」(1962)
「(未公開/TV)Monsieur Lecoq」(1964)
「(未公開)The Truth About Spring」(1965)
「(TV)プリズナーNo.6(The Prisoner)」(1967)
「(TV)電撃スパイ作戦(The Champions - The Beginning)」(1968)
「(未公開)殺しに愛のバラードを(The Disappearance)」(1977)
「(未公開/TV)Secret Army」(1977〜1979)
「オーロラ殺人事件(Bear Island)」(1979)
「(未公開/TV)Mary and Joseph: A Story of Faith」(1979)
「(TV)イントレピッドと呼ばれた男(A Man Called Intrepid)」(1979)
「(未公開)Friend or Foe」(1982)
「(未公開/TV)The Cabbage Patch - The Birthday Party」(1983)

ロバート・ファーノン“Light Music”を集めたコンピレーションには以下のようなCDがある。

  ADRIAN LEAPER conducting Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  (独Marco Polo / 8.223401) 1991

(Colditz March、State Occasion、The Westminster Waltz、A Star Is Born、他を収録)

また、ファーノンが自作以外の“Light Music”を指揮したアルバムは多数あり、最近では以下のようなCDがある。

  ROBERT FARNON conducting BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra
  (英BBC Radio Classics / BBCRD 9115) 1995


  ROBERT FARNON and His Orchestra
  (米Horatio Nelson / HNRCS 8004) 1999



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