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What Did Percy Honri Actually Play?


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#1 Dirge

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:53 PM

I know that Percy H toured with short shows that ran for several years before being displaced by the next one, Bohemia, and Concordia then there was a revue 'What About It' which had more of a story. I get the impression that Concordia was just an increasingly lavish development of the Bohemia idea; a 'show within a show' that amazed with it's lavish settings and music.

Concordia was about 1/2 hour with several dramatic quick changes of scene using a revolving stage (and fast work in the dressing room), had lots of concertina players and latterly I think there may have been a brass band as well.and was one of the first uses of a cinematographic (if that's the word) back drop. This I know.

But is there ANY clue to the music that was used, or what the actual story was? (I get the impression there wasn't much though) How does the main star in Bohemia take the part of stage door commissioner; because he was well known in this role at one point?

I've seen the 30's film clips of Percy (and sometimes Mary) playing but it doesn't give you any idea.

Is there anywhere to look? Did Percy leave music anywhere? This is intriguing me increasingly at the moment.

#2 Alan Day

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:58 PM

I know that Percy H toured with short shows that ran for several years before being displaced by the next one, Bohemia, and Concordia then there was a revue 'What About It' which had more of a story. I get the impression that Concordia was just an increasingly lavish development of the Bohemia idea; a 'show within a show' that amazed with it's lavish settings and music.

Concordia was about 1/2 hour with several dramatic quick changes of scene using a revolving stage (and fast work in the dressing room), had lots of concertina players and latterly I think there may have been a brass band as well.and was one of the first uses of a cinematographic (if that's the word) back drop. This I know.

But is there ANY clue to the music that was used, or what the actual story was? (I get the impression there wasn't much though) How does the main star in Bohemia take the part of stage door commissioner; because he was well known in this role at one point?

I've seen the 30's film clips of Percy (and sometimes Mary) playing but it doesn't give you any idea.

Is there anywhere to look? Did Percy leave music anywhere? This is intriguing me increasingly at the moment.

It may be on Percy Honri's book "Working the Halls" which I have been recently given to read.I will have a look.
Al

#3 PeterT

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:17 PM

It may be on Percy Honri's book "Working the Halls" which I have been recently given to read.I will have a look.
Al


Been looking through, for the last few minutes.

Concordia was described as a "sketch", a "musical monologue", and "a revue, in which topics of the day are caricatured or parodied".

Sadly, there do not appear to be any references to the music used. My recording of part of Peter Honri's show (in the ICA archive) might give some hints.

#4 Dirge

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:57 PM

Sorry both; I should have said that 'Working the Halls' was where I started from. It's tantalising because the acts get mentioned so steadily but the actual content is rather left to be inferred.

Peter, I couldn't find Peter H's show on the ICA website. I tend to go by that which is probably silly, I know Jeremy has hinted that there's a lot more still to be catalogued.

Hopefully he'll read this and have something to add.

It seems to me that these shows may have been the pinnacle of the age of the concertina; more than just a dazzling soloist, more than the dazzling soloist with his band, a whole mini pantomime centred on concertinas, but it's difficult to tell really. That they ran for years says a lot I think, although I wonder if they might have turned out to be excessively sacchariney to modern ears. It is a pity if they are lost for ever; we'll never know.

There must be something somewhere, surely? I must have a look in the antique sheet music lists and see if there's a 'Concordia Medley' listed for instance.

#5 PeterT

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 04:12 PM

Peter, I couldn't find Peter H's show on the ICA website. I tend to go by that which is probably silly, I know Jeremy has hinted that there's a lot more still to be catalogued.


Sorry, I should have been more specific. This was the audio file (cassette format), lurking somewhere within the depths of the ICA archive.

#6 Ex Libris

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 05:40 PM

Hello,

No Perci Honri sheet music I'm afraid. Lots of other greats though: Regondi, Blagrove, Case, Alexander Prince, Tom Prince, etc.

Jon McNamara is the custodian of the recordings archive. Perhaps we should have a go at transcribing a Honri arrangement?

Jeremy

#7 Kautilya

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:56 PM

I know that Percy Honri

Might be able to conjure up (over the seasonal break..) some PETER Honri sounds if they might be of interest. :unsure:

Edited by Kautilya, 16 December 2010 - 06:57 PM.


#8 Kautilya

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:59 PM

I know that Percy Honri...

Might be able to conjure up (over the seasonal break..) some PETER Honri sounds if they might be of interest. :unsure:

#9 Dirge

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:47 PM


I know that Percy Honri...

Might be able to conjure up (over the seasonal break..) some PETER Honri sounds if they might be of interest. :unsure:


I'm always interested to hear what anyone does with a duet but it doesn't really answer this one, unless there's a point where he says "And here's one I learnt at Grandad's knee, a tune from his smash hit Concordia"

It's a bit the same with your comment Jeremy; I'd love to try playing an 'authentic Honri' arrangement but it still doesn't tell us what 'Concordia' or 'Bohemia' actually were. For this purpose we don't need a transcription; I'd be quite happy just to be able to listen to it, or even fragments of it.

#10 chris

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 02:51 AM

Maybe a search in museum and library files may turn up old programs that may give clues. I acquired a program of one of George Case & Grace Egerton's performances from an Australian library - not suggesting Australian libraries will hold Honri stuff - but someone might
chjris

Edited by chris, 17 December 2010 - 03:47 AM.


#11 Alan Day

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:19 AM

Sorry both; I should have said that 'Working the Halls' was where I started from. It's tantalising because the acts get mentioned so steadily but the actual content is rather left to be inferred.

Peter, I couldn't find Peter H's show on the ICA website. I tend to go by that which is probably silly, I know Jeremy has hinted that there's a lot more still to be catalogued.

Hopefully he'll read this and have something to add.

It seems to me that these shows may have been the pinnacle of the age of the concertina; more than just a dazzling soloist, more than the dazzling soloist with his band, a whole mini pantomime centred on concertinas, but it's difficult to tell really. That they ran for years says a lot I think, although I wonder if they might have turned out to be excessively sacchariney to modern ears. It is a pity if they are lost for ever; we'll never know.

There must be something somewhere, surely? I must have a look in the antique sheet music lists and see if there's a 'Concordia Medley' listed for instance.

Peter Honri is in a poor way mentally in a nursing home, so sadly no feed back will be forthcoming.
Al

#12 Leo

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:49 AM

Hi Dirge

I couldn't find a program or much of anything else. But I did find this:
http://www.gettyimag.../Hulton-Archive

It's a start, perhaps a hint of the content.

Thanks
Leo

#13 PeterT

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 05:17 AM

Peter Honri is in a poor way mentally in a nursing home, so sadly no feed back will be forthcoming.
Al


Alan,

Might it be possible to obtain the information from Peter's family? From the dedication in "Working the Halls", I see that Peter had three children.

Regards,
Peter.

#14 Dirge

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 05:23 AM

Hi Dirge

I couldn't find a program or much of anything else. But I did find this:
http://www.gettyimag.../Hulton-Archive

It's a start, perhaps a hint of the content.

Thanks
Leo

I might have expected you'd turn up something Leo. It's a great poster but illustrates one of the known 'sketches within the sketch'. My copy of 'Working the Halls' is upstairs but the quick changes included 'The Dreamer', 'Mr Moon', and as here 'The Jester' among others. The curious point is there is no concertina in the picture at all; just a hexagonal box (and Honri is pictured with an aeola in all the Concordia pictures.) and it's not mentioned on the ad. If you went to see it you might even be surprised to see all those funny little free reed instruments...

#15 John Wild

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 02:12 PM

chaplin.bfi.org.uk/resources/bfi/pdf/chaplin-in-context.pdf

this probably does not answer the immediate question but may be of interest.

regards

John

#16 Kautilya

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 05:46 PM



I know that Percy Honri...

Might be able to conjure up (over the seasonal break..) some PETER Honri sounds if they might be of interest. :unsure:


I'm always interested to hear what anyone does with a duet but it doesn't really answer this one, unless there's a point where he says "And here's one I learnt at Grandad's knee, a tune from his smash hit Concordia"

It's a bit the same with your comment Jeremy; I'd love to try playing an 'authentic Honri' arrangement but it still doesn't tell us what 'Concordia' or 'Bohemia' actually were. For this purpose we don't need a transcription; I'd be quite happy just to be able to listen to it, or even fragments of it.

That's a 'no' then Dirge?

#17 Dirge

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:48 PM

That's a 'no' then Dirge?


It is but I was being nice about it. Enjoy it while it lasts...

Actually there's a lot more in Working The Halls than I remembered and I found a few more tit bits on an internet trawl today too. The WTH stuff is lots of snippets that need assembling into a coherent story but there's a fair amount when you read it carefully; I'll post a bit more when I've got all the ducks in a little line. In the meantime there is one piece of music; right at the end Peter H finishes the book with a piece that became the family tune; he says it's from Concordia, and when you blow it up to be readable it has musical directions like 'Brass band' that make it look very much as it is one of Percy's scores. I also can tell you I'm pretty sure that he started Concordia by playing and singing the 'Oh Star of Eve' lament from Tannhauser (If that's how you spell it) the Wagner weepy.

Poor Peter was too ill to be visited 3 years ago now; I wanted to meet someone who seemed to be the last true link to the great days of duet playing and was politely put off by the family even then. It all sounds rather sad, and having pestered them once I don't want to bang on their door saying 'Hey have you got any of your Great Gran'dad's music I can borrow?'

#18 Alan Day

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 06:07 AM

I have sent some recordings of Percy Honri to Graham for Duet International , sadly I cannot remember all of what we have.
In amongst the recordings are definitely "Barcarolle" from Tales of Hoffman (Winner 1050M ) and Rubenstein's Melody in F (Winner 1050M)
Al




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