Reginald King

Reginald Claude McMahon King, born at Hampstead on 5 October 1904, was another, like so many of the British light music composers of the inter-war period, who was "made" by the emergence of "the wireless" - which for him came indeed just at the right time, when he was in his late teens. His first broadcast - of over 1,400 - was not however until 9 March 1929 (the last was in 1964). Two years before the former date King had formed an orchestra to play regularly at Swan & Edgar's Restaurant in the West End which it did until 1939. After 1945 a new Reginald King orchestra played, first at the Spa Whitby, then at Bridlington's Floral Hall. His gramophone records for HMV, Regal Zonophone, Filmophone, Columbia and Sterno were legion. He was a fine pianist, appearing with Sir Henry Wood at the Proms. soon after his time at the Royal Academy where he studied with Harry Farjeon, and many of his pieces were published for that instrument: genre pieces like Beside the Lake, Evening Music, Passing Clouds, A Prayer at Eventide (1938), Polka Piquante (1949), Song of Paradise, Serenade for My Lady, Where Water-Lilies Dream (1948), the intermezzo Windflowers (1938), Pilgrim's Way, Rainbow Caprice, Al Fresco, Amourette and the "romantic serenade" Julia (1943), or more "absolute" movements like the early Sonata, the Four Preludes, Op. 5, (1923), the Five Preludes, Op. 7 and the Fantasy for two pianos. Several of the former were known in orchestral versions. His orchestral music, while not rivalling that of Eric Coates in individuality, had a pleasing tunefulness. The titles of some of his orchestral suites could almost be Coates': Country Life, Dreams in Exile, In the Chilterns (1938: the individual movements were Penn Woods in Spring, June Night on Marlow Reach and Hunting Days), Rural Characters (in four movements, depicting milkmaids, a shepherd, a harvester and a tinker) and Youthful Days. His overture The Immortals and the march Lime Grove - the very title has BBC connotations - were popular in their day; the caprice Winter Skies included a violin solo. Other single movement genre pieces included the intermezzi Daybreak, Take Me To Your Heart and Melody at Dusk, the latter composed in 1938, and Ketèlbey-like descriptive morsels with evocative titles: Dream Garden, Fair Star of Evening, Green Valleys, In the Shade of the Palms, Rising Tide, Sunset in Segovia (this includes a part for a guitar!), Tropical Moonlight, Lilacs in the Rain (1942), Spring Meadows, Summer Breezes (1936), Sunny Serenade, The Lingering Melody, Dresden Dream, Gavotte Grotesque, Whispering Violin, Carmina, If You But Knew, A Garden in Spain, and the "waltz serenade" Pierrette on the Balcony. Meditation and A Song of Paradise were arranged and published for violin (or cello) and piano, the latter, plus A Prayer at Eventide and Love Take Me To Your Heart, also as songs. His music is no longer fashionable but it was good to see him still composing right up to the time of his death in 1991 and that a few of his late pieces were published: Bardic Edition brought out an Elegy in 1989 and a Meditation (composed in 1990), for clarinet and piano, or piano solo, a little later. His last work was the quite extended Reverie for piano solo also published by Bardic Edition.

List of works available from the Reginald King Music Archive

Titles shown in Italics are not available - dates of composition are given where known

Piano Solo

Aperitif (written under the pseudonym Rex Andrew)
Autobahn (manuscript)
Beside the Lake op. 4/2
Cynthia Scherzando op. 4/3
Daybreak (1934)
Dreamy Willows (1958)
Dresden Dream
Four Preludes op. 5
Five Preludes op. 7
Green Valleys (How Green Was My Valley?) (1953)
High Street Polka
Humoresque op. 4/1
In Bluebell Land (3 pieces written under the pseudonym Clifford Arnold)
In the Shade of the Palms (1937)
Julia (1940)
June Night on Marlow Reach
Legend of the Pine Trees (Theme from)
Lilacs in the Rain (1942)
Lime Grove (March) (1935)
Love Take Me to Your Heart (c. 1937)
Marionette op. 6/2
Mazurka op. 6/1
Melody at Dusk (1938)
Money Spider
Moonlight Reverie (1935)
Musing (sketch ms.)
One Summer Day (ms.)
Passing Clouds (1935)
Petite Suite (1: Lawn Dance; 2: Lullaby; 3: Impromptu Petite)
Pierette on the Balcony (1941)
Polka Piquant
Prayer at Eventide, A (1939)
Sentimental Interlude
Sonata in F# minor op. 9
Song of Paradise (Reginald King’s signature tune)
Spring Meadows (1946)
Summer Breezes (1936)
Sunny Serenade (1952)
Three Impressions op. 3 (1: Snowflakes; 2: Reflections; 3: Swing Song)
Three Miniatures op. 8 (1: Toccatina; 2: Valse Impromptu; 3: Autumn Leaves)
Tropical Moonlight (1944)
Yorkshire Relish (1956)
Where Water Lilies Dream (Theme from Runnymede Rhapsody) (1947)
Where Water Lilies Dream (new version in manuscript 1989)
Whispering Violin (1959)
Windflowers (1935)

Titles in italics indicate that the Reginald King Trust archive does not have a copy available. If any reader knows of these titles and has access to a copy please let us know.

Orchestral Music

Al Fresco [arranged by Ronald Hamner] - Eflat Alto, 1 Bflat Tenor Saxophones/Organ or Accordion/Harp/Percussion/Strings:
Amourette [arranged by Cecil Milner] - 2(1).1.1.1.
Autobahn [arranged Roy Green] - 2(1).1.1.1.
Autumn Sunshine (Caprice) - Violin/Strings:
Beside the Lake op. 4/2 -
Carmina (Waltz-Song) [arranged Lew Stern] - C Melody, 2 Eflat Alto, 1 Bflat Tenor Saxophones/Tenor Banjo/G Banjo/Harp/Percussion/Strings:
Concert Overture ‘The Immortals’ - scoring unknown
Country Life (Suite 1935) - 1. Byways o’ the Dee; 2. Shepherd’s Lament; 3. Haymaker’s Dance -
Daybreak (Intermezzo) -
Dream Garden (Intermezzo 1937) - Eflat Alto and 1 B flat Tenor Saxophones/Harp/Timpani/Strings:
Dreams in Exile (Suite) - 1. Leafy Lanes of England; 2. Those Faraway Hils; 3. Heading for Home - 2+
Dresden Dreams [arranged Anthony Fones] -
Fair Star of Evening (Intermezzo) - scoring unknown
Fantasy (reworking of earlier Piano Concerto) -
Garden in Spain, A (A Southern Caprice) [arranged Eric Cook] -
Gavotte Grotesque [arranged Ronald Hamner] -
Golden Butterfly (Pizzicato Caprice) -
Green Valleys (How Green Was My Valley?) - Violin/Strings:
Here and There (March) - scoring unknown
High Street Polka - scoring unknown
In the Chilterns (Suite 1937) - 1. Penn Woods in Spring; June Night on Marlow Reach; 3. Hunting Days -
In the Shade of the Palms (Habanera) - 2(1).1.1.1.
Julia (Romantic Serenade) - 2(1).1.1.1.
Knight of the Garter (March 1939) [arranged Arthur Wood] - 2+
Legend of the Pine Trees - solo/Strings:
Lilacs in the Rain -
Lime Grove (March) [arranged Don Bowden] - Eflat Alto, 2 Bflat Tenor Saxophone/Accordion/Percussion/Strings: 2(1).2.1.1.
Lingering Melody, The [arranged Ronald Hamner] -
Love Take Me to Your Heart (Song Intermezzo) - Eflat Alto, 1 Bflat Tenor Saxophones/Percussion/Strings:
Melody at Dusk (Intermezzo) - 1+
Moonlight Reverie -
Money-Spider -
Murmurs of Spring (Caprice) - Violin/Strings:
Musical Cigarette Box -
One Summer Day [arranged Ronald Hamner] -
Passing Clouds -
Phantom Fairies (J. B. Cramer & Co. ca. 1935)
Pierrette on the Balcony (Waltz-Serenade) -
Pilgrim’s Way [arranged Ronald Hamner] - Eflat Alto, 1 Bflat Tenor Saxophone/Accordion (or Organ)/Harp/Percussion/Strings:
Plantation Mood (1955) - 2(1).1.1.1.
Polka Piquant [arranged Vilem Tausky] -
Prayer at Eventide, A [arranged Haydn Wood] -
Rainbow Caprice [arranged Ronald Hamner] - Eflat Alo, 1 Bflat Tenor Saxophones/Accordion/Harp/Percussion/Strings:
Rising Tide - 2.1+1.2.1./2.2.2+1.0./Harp/Organ/Percussion/Strings:
Romanita -
Rural Characters (Suite) [arranged Ronald Hamner] - 1. Harvester’s Song; 2. Milkmaid’s Dance; 3. Shepherd’s Trail; 4. Tinker’s Revel - scoring unknown
Serenade for My Lady [arranged Ronald Hamner] - 2(1).1.1.1.
Silent Lake, The (1955) [arranged Ronald Hamner] - Eflat Alto, 1 Bflat Tenor Saxophones/Harp/Accordion (or Organ)/Percussion/Strings: 2(1).1.1.1.
Silver Moon - scoring unknown
Skyline - 2(1).1.1.1.
Song of Paradise - Voice/ 2+
Song of Paradise (1934) [arranged Frank Tapp] -
Song of Paradise [arranged Cecil Milner] -
Spring Meadows (Caprice) -
String Cascade - 2(1).1.1.1.
Summer Breezes (Caprice) -
Summer Haze (Sentimental Interlude - Impression) - 2(1).0.1.1.
Sunny Serenade - 2(1).1.1.1.
Sunset in Segovia (Spanish Serenade) - 2(1).1.1.1.
Theme from ‘Runnymede Rhapsody’ (Where Water Lilies Dream) - 2+
To Greet Your Charms (Charms and Graces) - scoring unknown
Tropical Moonlight (Habanera) -
Twilight on the Waters - 2(1).1.1.1.
Windflowers (Intermezzo) [arranged Arthur Wood] -
Where Water Lilies Dream [arranged Cecil Milner] -
Where Sunbeams Play - scoring unknown
Whispering Violin [arranged Cecil Milner] - : 2(1).1.1.1.
Winter Skies (Caprice) - Violin/Strings:
Youthful Days (Suite) - 1. Up with the Lark; 2. A New Party Frock; 3. Lullaby Land; 4. The First Waltz -

Ballads (Voice and Piano)

Carmina (Waltz-Song)
If You But Knew [words by Reginald King]
I’ll just pretend it’s love
I’m Away in Kilarney With You [words and music by Jimmy Kennedy and Reginald King]
Love Take Me to Your Heart (Song Intermezzo) [words by Edward Lockton]
My Old Home Town (written under the pseudonym of Hal Stevens [words by Michael Carr]
My Southern Rose (Waltz-Ballad) [words by Harold Simpson]
Plantation Mood [words by John McClain]
Prayer at Eventide, A [words by Petronius]
Smile Through Your Tears [words by Clifford Seyler]
Song of Paradise [words by Jack Popplewell]
Song of Paradise [words by Bruce Srevier]
Song of Paradise (duet version) [words by Jack Popplewell]
When An Old Flame Still Burns in Your Heart [words by Jack Popplewell]
With All My Heart (adaptation of Autumn Sunshine) [words by Jack Popplewell]
You Are My Love (Song of Paradise) [words by Mayne Martin]
You Changed a Lot For Me [words by Hubert Gregg]

Instrumental (solo instrument with piano)

Al Fresco (1955) (arranged Violoncello and Piano)
Andante in E for (Violin and Piano)
Berceuse (Clarinet and Piano)
Daybreak (arranged Violin and Piano)
Meditation (arranged Violin or Violoncello and Piano or Flute or Clarinet or Saxophone and Piano)
Plantation Mood (arranged Clarinet or Oboe or Trumpet and Piano)
Silent Lake, The (arranged Violoncello and Piano)
Sonata (Violin and Piano)
Song of Paradise (arranged Violin and Piano)

Sextet Arrangements of Original Works (Piano and Strings: 2(1).1.1.1.)

Autumn Sunshine (1940) [also Quartet version]
Beside the Lake op. 4/2
Dreamy Willows
Dresden Dream
Fair Star of Evening
Gavotte Grotesque
Green Valleys (How Green Was My Valley?) + Organ and Celesta
High Street Polka
In the Shade of the Palms
June Night on Marlow Reach
Lilacs in the Rain
Lingering Melody, The (1948)
Love Take Me to Your Heart
Melody at Dusk
Moonlight Reverie
Murmurs of Spring (1938)
My Southern Rose
Passing Clouds
Pierrette on the Balcony
Rising Tide
Song of Paradise (2 versions also A, B? and C)
Spring Meadows
String Cascade
Summer Breezes
Sunset in Segovia (1945)
Tropical Moonlight
Where Water Lilies Dream
Whispering Violin
Winter Skies (1942)
With All My Heart

There are also a number of arrangements made by Reginald King of other composer’s music which will be listed here in due course.

Further information may be had from:

The Reginald King Trust
c/o Bardic Edition
2 George Street
AB54 8BT

Tel.: 07977 393160

or e-mail:

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