born 100 years ago this week, was briefly the biggest star in British music in the 1930s, famous for the jazz-tinged choral piece, The Rio Grande
. The BBC are playing a retrospective of his music, together with pieces by his contemporary Alan Rawsthorne, every day this week at 11:00 GMT
, repeated at midnight a week later, as part of their Composer of the week
slot (buttons on this page for the live stream, plus the previous five programmes). Unfortunately they aren't playing the whole of his masterpiece, the Concerto for Piano and Nine Players
, dedicated to his late friend Peter Warlock, which can be read as a elegy for the Jazz Age itself.
A heavy drinker, Constant died in 1951; his son Kit Lambert
, who managed The Who during their rise to fame, also died young after drug troubles. Andrew Motion wrote a biography
of three generations of the Lambert family, and reflects on Constant here
posted by gdav
on Aug 22, 2005 -
The Chant of the Weed.
"Think of the received image of the jazz musician, the young man with a horn or the tortured singer with the gardenia in her hair. And think what baggage they carry, along with the reeds and the valve oil and the spare mouthpieces. Somewhere in the flight case or purse, tucked away out of sight but still seemingly essential to the image, a little something for after the gig, maybe weed, maybe white powder, maybe a discrete bottle of pills. Like it or not, drugs are very much part of the history and still more of the mythology or jazz." And you gotta hear the clip of Cocaine Habit Blues.
posted by theplayethic
on Mar 28, 2003 -