Sunday Bandstand 12 January 2020

Sunday Bandstand 12 January 2020

Leon Jessel, or Léon Jessel (January 22, 1871 – January 4, 1942), was a German composer of operettas and light classical music pieces. Today he is best known internationally as the composer of the popular jaunty march The Parade of the Tin Soldiers, also known as The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. Jessel was a prolific composer who wrote hundreds of light orchestral pieces, piano pieces, songs, waltzes, mazurkas, marches, choruses, and other salon music.

Because Jessel was a Jew by birth (he converted to Christianity at the age of 23), with the rise of Nazism in the late 1920s, his composing virtually came to an end, and his musical works, which had been very popular, were suppressed and nearly forgotten.

He was born in the eastern German city of Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland), in 1871, the son of Jewish merchant Samuel Jessel and his American wife Mary. Leon converted to Christianity in 1894 — the same year he premiered his first operetta. 

Although his quite musical parents wished him to become a merchant or businessman, He was instead drawn to become a musician, and left school at the age of 17 to pursue music and musical theatre. After studying with various teachers between 1888 and 1891, He became a conductor, music director, chorus master, bandmaster, and theatre conductor working in many German cities. He settled in Lübeck, where he was Kapellmeister at the Wilhelm Theatre from 1899 to 1905, whereupon he became director of the Lübeck Liedertafel (men's singing group) association. While in Lübeck, Jessel composed numerous choral works, operettas, and character pieces.

His biggest success was the operetta Black Forest Girl, which premiered in Berlin in 1917. The opera ran in Berlin for 900 performances, and within the next 10 years was performed approximately 6,000 times in Germany and abroad. 

His operettas were popular, nationalistic, and very German — Black Forest Girl was a favourite of Hitler and Himmler. Because of this, and because of his own conservative nationalistic ideology, and because his second wife Anna joined the Nazi party in 1932, Jessel expected acceptance in Germany even during and after the Nazi rise to power. Instead, he was rejected by Nazi leadership because of his Jewish descent, even though he had converted to Christianity in 1894, and performances of his works were banned in 1933. His last major work was his 1933 operetta  Young Wine, and his biographer Albrecht Dümling believes that he was a victim of targeted boycott measures as early as 1927.

In 1937 he was forced out of the State Music Institute, and recordings and distribution of his works were prohibited. In 1941 a house search turned up a 1939 letter to his librettist William Sterk in Vienna, in which Jessel had written: "I cannot work in a time when hatred of Jews threatens my people with destruction, where I do not know when that gruesome fate will likewise be knocking at my door." On December 15, 1941 Jessel was arrested and delivered to the Gestapo in Berlin. He was tortured by the Gestapo in a basement of the Police Bureau and subsequently died on January 4, 1942 in the Berlin Jewish Hospital.

Playlist 12 January 2020 

Recording Details 

Rhythm and Blues – Philip Sparke   Opening for weekly show Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2010  'Patrons' Choice III' - CD - Egon CD-SFZ154 - 2010
Prelude on a Hymn of Praise - James Curnow Black Dyke Band MD: James Watson - 1997  'Fanfares, Preludes and Themes' - C D - De Haske Records DHR 3.026-3 - 1997
Entry Of The Gods Into Valhalla - Richard Wagner arr: Howard Snell Britannia Building Society MD: Howard Snell - 1994  'Master Brass Vol. 5 - 1994 All England Masters Championship' - CD - Polyphonic Recording QPRL 067D - 1994
The Westminster Waltz - Robert Farnon Leyland Band MD: Thomas Wyss - 2013  'Crown Imperial'- CD - Timbercroft Publishing www.timbercroftpublishing com - TPCD003 - 2013
Pretty Jane Grand Fantasy - John Hartmann Cornet Soloist Richard Marshall with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band MD: Elgar Howarth - 2004  'The History of Brass Band Music - The Early Years 1850 - 1920' - Doyen DOYCD162 - 2004
Parade of the Tin Soldiers, Op. 123 - Leon Jessel arr: Thomas Bidgood Grimethorpe RJB Colliery Band MD: Major Peter Parkes - 1996  'French Bon Bons' - CD - Chandos Recording CHAN 4542 - 1996
Scarlet Ribbons - Jack Segam & Eveline Danzig arr: Andrew Duncan Flugel Soloist Natalie Beer with Pianist Tim Smith  - 2003   'American Landscapes' - CD - SP&S Recording DOY CD158 - 2003
I´ve Got You Under My Skin - Cole Porter arr: Mark Freeh Flugel Horn Soloist Cliff Pask with the Virtuosi GUS Band MD: John Berryman - 2009  'A Mingled Chime' - CD - Harlequin Recording  HAR1130CD - 2009
Ask - John Larsson arr: Peter Graham  The Melbourne Staff Band (Australia)  BM: Ken Waterworth - 2006  'Live Praise' - CD - Neosa Music Department  - NEOSADISC 20 - 2007 - https://msbshop.com.au/
Supremacy - Dean Jones International Staff Band of the Salvation Army BM: Dr. Stephen Cobb - 2007  'Supremacy' - CD - SP&S Ltd  SPS CD 228 - 2007
Hillcrest March - Bruce Broughton Williams Fairey Band MD: James Gourlay - 1998  'Heralds of Victory' - CD - Egon Publishing EGN-CD125 - 1997
The Champions - George Willcocks  Kings of Brass MD: James Scott - 1997  'Down Memory Lane Vol: 2' CD - Kirklees Music: KRCD1029 - 1997 
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1 - Franz Liszt arr: J. Weston-Nicholls Black Dyke Mills Band MD:  James Watson - 1994  'Essential Dyke Vol I' - CD - Doyen Recording DOYCD034 - 1994
Emmanuel - Colombier arr: Mark Freeh Soprano Soloist Kevin Crockford with the Fairey FP (Music) Band MD: Bryan Hurdley - 2003  'Virtuosi' - CD - Sounds of Brass SFZ115 - 2003
Begin the Beguine - Cole Porter arr: Derek Broadbent  Yorkshire Building Society Band MD:  Nicholas Childs - 1995   'That's a Plenty' - CD - Obrasso Recording CD848 - 1995
Dance of the Russian Sailors from The Red Poppy Opera - Reinhold Gliere arr: Nigel Seaman Lewis Merthyr Band MD: Nigel Seaman - 1980  
Endeavour - Martin Cordner   International Staff Band of the Salvation Army BM: Dr. Stephen Cobb - 2017  'Endeavour...A Weekend with the ISB' - CD - SP&S CD409 - 2017
I Believe My Heart from The Woman in White - Andrew Lloyd Webber and Daniel Zipple arr: Richard Grantham Brass Band de Waldsang (The Netherlands) MD: Rieks van der Velde - 2009  'Darkness Visible' - CD - Lake Music Publications LMP 2009.01 - 2009
Rhumba - Goff Richards  Trombone Soloist Derek Southcott with the Stocksbridge Brass Band MD: Christopher Houlding - 1993  'Facets' - CD - Kirklees Recording KRCD1011 - 1993 
Blaenwern - William Penfro Rowlands  Old Silkstone Band MD: Norman Law - 2004   'The Colliers' - CD - Amadeus Recording  AMSCD076 - 2004
World Tour 1) The Leaving of Liverpool 2) Chicago Rag 3) Pacific Paradise 4) Australian Walkabout and Homeward Bound - Rodney Newton Black Dyke Band MD: Professor Nicholas Childs - 2018 The Regionals 2018 - CD - Doyen Recording 
The Lancing Legionnaires March - Maurice Ozanne Brass Band Berner Oberland (Switzerland) MD: Philip McCann - 2009  'A Festival of Music' - CD - MF Records CD13035 - 2009
To Regions Fair - Norman Bearcroft International Staff Band BM: Dr. Stephen Cobb - 2011  'Heritage Series Vol. 3' - CD - SPS 286CD - 2011
Rhythm and Blues – Philip Sparke​ Closing for weekly show Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2010​ 'Patrons' Choice III' - CD - Egon CD-SFZ154 - 2010​

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