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Fred Godfrey

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Biography

Adolphus Frederick (Fred) Godfrey (1837-182) was a British composer and conductor.

The Godfrey clan were an important influence in the British musical scene throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Charles Godfrey (1790–1863) played in the Coldstream Guards Band in 1813, becoming their bandmaster twelve years later. He had five sons, of whom the second was Adolphus Frederick (known as ‘Fred’) – the composer of Lucy Long.

Fred trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, taking over as bandmaster of the Coldstream Guards after his father’s death. His compositions include the Marguerite Waltzes (based on themes from Gounod’s Faust), a piccolo solo Yankee Doodle, and Recollections of England which featured in the early London Promenade concerts. It was in the popular Lancashire seaside resort of Blackpool that Lucy Long received its first performance, written for and played by the orchestra’s seventeen-year-old bassoonist Philip Langdale. The work also featured in the very first London Promenade concert conducted by Henry J Wood at the Queen’s Hall on Saturday 10 August 1895, when the soloist was Edwin F James (for whom Elgar composed his Romance fifteen years later). Lucy Long went on to become a favourite at the Proms – by 1900 James had given another five performances in the series. Its popularity over the years led to several recordings, including those by Ernest Hinchcliff, Gilbert Vinter and Archie Camden.


Works for Winds


References