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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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.