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Richard Addinsell

January 13, 1904 - November 14, 1977
born in Oxford, England, composed during the Modern period
A prolific composer of theater and film music, Richard Addinsell is now remembered as a one-hit wonder, the composer of the lush, faux-Rachmaninov one-movement Warsaw Concerto for piano and orchestra. Addinsell studied law at Oxford and, briefly (1925-1926), music at the Royal College of Music in London. He wrote his first theater score for Clemence Dane's Come of Age or Adam's Opera in 1928; Addinsell continued collaborating with Dane until her death in 1965. After a break in 1929 for study in Berlin and Vienna, Addinsell returned to London and the theater. Eva La Gallienne asked him to score her production of Alice in Wonderland (another Dane project) in 1933. After that, Addinsell continued to write off and on for the stage, but he focused more on film music, scoring such classics as Goodbye Mr. Chips, A Tale of Two Cities, Blithe Spirit, Fire Over England, and Dark Journey, as well as a number of patriotic English documentaries during World War II. Addinsell's most enduring contribution to the repertory, the Warsaw Concerto, was embedded in his score for Dangerous Moonlight (released in the United States as Suicide Squadron). From 1942 Addinsell took occasional time out from his movie work to collaborate with Joyce Grenfell on songs for such London West End revues as Tuppence Colored and Penny Plain, and later for Grenfell's one-woman shows. ~ James Reel, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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virjim01
I recognize this piece from a famous movie but can't remember the title. Does anybody know what movie this was from?
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Thought it was a Rachmaninoff piece the first time I heard it. Amazing work! Very pleasurable to listen to.
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adeleon18
oh I so agree with you about the film scores that dont get the credit they deserve. This is a wonderful piece of music.
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jeepguy48200 3
As a young pianist, I was smitten with the Warsaw Concerto. I bought a copy of it and brought it to one of my piano lessons. My teacher eschewed it, saying my time would be better spent studying more enduring music. She recommended Rachmaninoff . I took her advice but secretly still loved the Warsaw. It was then that I realized the huge rift between purely classical performers and teachers and the film industry's musical geniuses who never got the credit they deserved.
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Chopin on steroids!
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r.pugh20009
Absolutely beautiful concerto. I could listen to it over and over. You can also find it on YouTube performed by the San Francisco music conservatory with dual pianos.
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oriana.padil l a 0 8 3
Infinitely memorable→ba l l e t
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nisrael2992
Very classy and Rachmaninov- e s q u e !
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Warsaw Concerto ranks among the best movie music ever composed, including the Spellbound Concerto.
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Instill appreciate this piece immensely..w h o wouldn't couldn't
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I remember very clearly the movie in which this wonderful concerto was played. It invoked a real sympathy for Poland. Thank you for showing the name of the film. It was a B movie; without the music score it was totally forgetable. In my view, the concerto is one of the 20th centuries great classics.
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PIECE EVERYONE WAS TALKING ABOUT AND HUMMING AS THEY LEFT THE CINEMA WAS THE WARSAW CONCERTO BY RICHARD ADDINSELL. AFTER 50 YEARS MORE THAN A HUNDRED SEPRATE RECORDINGS AND SALES IN EXCESS OF THREE MILLION, ITS APPEAL REMAINS UNDIMMED AND ITSTILL OUTSHINES IN THE PUBLIC'S MIND, EVERYTHING ELSE THE COMPOSER WROTE.
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IN 1941, WAR WEARY CINEMA-GOERS ATTENDING THE LATEST 'BRITISH FILM' AT THER REGAL CINEMA MARBLE ARCH, IN LONDONS WEST END, WERE STRUCK NOT SO MUCH BY THE ACTING, DIALOGUE OR SETS, AS BY A PIECE OF MUSIC THAT PERVADED TH WHOLE FILM, CLIMAXING IN A VIRTUALLY COMPLETE PERFORMANCE OF IT IN A CONCERT SETTING WITHIN THE SCENARIO. THE FILM COMPANY HAD NO IDEA THAT IT WOULD HAVE SUCH AN EFFECT ON AUDIENCES, AND HAD NOT PREPARED A COMMERCIAL RECORDING FOR SALE. THE FILM WAS DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT, AND THE
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narnianlampl i g h t e r
Not a Rachmaninoff but definitely a good imitator! (Thinking of Warsaw)

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