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two hundred and fifty years
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Madeleine Dring (1923-1977)

Madeleine Dring performing in 'The Kensington Gores', a Victorian variety show. Madeleine Dring was a composer and pianist with a tremendous love of the theatre; she acted, sang, wrote and composed incidental music for the stage and television. Her composition teachers were Howells, Vaughan Williams and Gordon Jacob. She wrote in a light style which accommodated her unpretentious and attractive chamber and instrumental works. Several of the oboe pieces were written for her husband Roger Lord, who was principal oboist with the London Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years. She combined the frank enjoyment of vernacular idioms such as Latin American rhythms with a harmonic and melodic fastidiousness.

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Trio for oboe, bassoon & harpsichord or piano. 1971
1. Drammatico - Allegro moderato et deciso. 2. Dialogues: Andante sostenuto. 3. Allegro con brio. 14 mins
With her sense of play, and with this instrumentation, there is a mock-Baroque flavour to this work, perhaps not surprisingly. The first movement has a sturdy, decided rhythm, though Dring teases by changing the time frequently. Dialogues contrasts the two reed instruments with the keyboard, using flowing melodies, referencing medieval music. The exciting Finale again plays with confounding expectating by changing time; it is frequently in 6/8 or 5/8 and has a slower middle section. This Trio was commissioned by the Athenaeum Ensemble who gave its premiere at the Wigmore Hall in London in 1972.
Published by Nova Music (Nr 203). We have recorded this for the Oboe Classics label; the CD can be bought on the Ambache website.

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Three Piece Suite. 1984
1. Showpiece: Allegro ritmico. 2. Romance: Andante semplice. 3. Finale: Risoluto. 13 mins
Roger Lord (Dring's husband) arranged this for oboe and piano from her Suite Harmonica for piano. The Showpiece is a very exciting movement in changing rhythms. She brings her effortless sense of melody to the simple Romance, and finale's witty motor rhythms come to a surprisingly gentle end.
Published by Nova Music (nr 305).

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Danza Gaya. 1965
Moderato. Ob & pno. 3 mins
This is an utterly charming miniature; it is Latin American in rhythm, Italian in title, and completely English in feel, with a simple enigmatic melody that sounds as if you've always known it.
Published by Amadeus Press

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Festival Scherzo. 1951
Presto. Solo piano & string orchestra. 4 1/2 mins
Subtitled 'Nights in the Gardens of Battersea', the Scherzo was Dring's response to the celebrations for the Festival of Britain. It is an utterly delightful romp, which makes a perfect encore. The exuberant 'wrong-note' harmonies and the cockney swagger of the second tune leave everyone in a good mood.
Score & part for hire from

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