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27 May

Frederick Charrosin

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Frederick George Charrosin, who died in 1976, composed fairly prolifically – mainly orchestral miniatures, single movements rather than suites, many of them suitable for the shelves of the publishers’ recorded music libraries (Paxton, Boosey and, again, Bosworth were the publishers most favoured by him). They included Fireside Gypsies, Foreboding, Playbox (an intermezzo), Trickery (a caprice), the pasodoble Don Carlos, Busy Business, Keep Moving, Stealth, Hiker’s Highway, Scaramouche, Dive Bomber (an indication he was active during the Second War, in which he suffered the loss of a son killed in action), Mysterious March, Festival in Seville and two pieces for piano (or xylophone – and as such very popular at the time – or piccolo) with orchestra, Snowflakes and the waltz, Zita. It was, however, his colourful arrangements that were most in demand for orchestras performing on the "wireless", especially in the post Second War period. I well remember the frequency with which his name cropped up in the orchestral programmes listed in the "Radio Times", as the arranger both of popular classics (one popular example, of dozens, maybe hundreds, was of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances) and as the compiler of medleys like Juvenalia (a nursery rhyme selection), Anglia, an "English fantasia", Fantasie Slave, The Land of the Shamrock and Fantasie on Themes of Liszt. The many light orchestras of that rich era owed him a great deal.

© Philip Scowcroft

This profile first appeared in ‘Journal Into Melody’ September 2007

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