Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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Joseph, Jane M(arian)

(b London, 31 May 1894; d London, 9 March 1929). English composer. A pupil of Holst at St Paul's Girls' School, she graduated in classics from Cambridge (1916) but thereafter pursued a musical career in close association with Holst. One of his amanuenses (for example in Neptune), she prepared vocal scores (as in The Hymn of Jesus, for which she also advised on the translation) and deputized for his teaching. As well as participating in his Morley College activities as a singer and instrumentalist (on the double bass, horn and timpani), she organized presentations such as Purcell's Dioclesian (1921). Joseph helped produce Holst's choral ballets, writing the libretto for The Golden Goose (1926). She taught at Eothen School, Caterham, and helped found the Kensington Musical Competition Festivals (1922) and Kensington Choral Society (1925). A member of the Society of Women Musicians from 1919, she joined its Composers' Sectional Committee in 1921. Holst's influence is easily detected in her music, for instance in the modality and whole tones in Mirage, re-creation of folk melody in Morris Dance, orchestral flair in Bergamask and striding bass in A Festival Venite. He rated her ‘the best girl pupil I ever had’ in composition, but her many amateur involvements and early death from kidney failure prevented the full realization of her creative gifts.


(selective list)

Orch: Bergamask (1931); Morris Dance (Barbara Noel's Morris) (1931); Cradle Song, str (2000); Village Dance (2000)

Vocal: The Carrion Crow, trad., SSA (1914); Wassail Song, trad., SSA (1916); 7 Two-Part Songs (C. Rossetti), SS, pf (1921); A Festival Venite, SATB, orch (vs 1922); A Little Childe There Is Ibore (15th century), SSA, str (vs 1923); A Hymn for Whitsuntide (J. Beaumont), SATB (1924); 3 Old Carols (15th century), SSA (1924); Eskdale, hymn tune (1925); A Fairy Blessing (W. Shakespeare), unison vv, pf (1925); Noel (H. Belloc), unison vv, pf (1925); Mirage (cycle of 5 songs, Rossetti), high v, str qt (1999)

Pf: 5 books of teaching pieces (1920–25)

Lost works, incl. 3 orch works, ballet, 3 str orch works, 4 choral-orch works, songs, chbr music, incid music

Principal publishers: Bardic, OUP, Stainer & Bell

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