(b London, c1594). English composer, son of Giles Farnaby. The family moved to Aisthorpe, near Lincoln, around 1600. An indenture dated 1608 notes that he was to be apprenticed to Sir Nicholas Saunderson of Fillingham, near Lincoln, to instruct Sir Nicholas’s children ‘in skill of musick and plaieinge uppon instruments’, but he may have left the district in 1611, and was married in London in 1614. The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (GB-Cfm 32.g.29) includes four pieces attributed to Richard. Giles evidently taught his son to compose, for Richard’s pieces faithfully reflect his father’s characteristic style. Nobody’s Jigg, or Fleet Street is his most successful work, resembling the best of Giles’s folktune settings in its sensitive and imaginative treatment of the keyboard. His other extant works include Duo, Fain would I wed and Hanskin (all for keyboard; all his works ed. in MB, xxiv, 1965, 2/1974).
For bibliography seeFarnaby, Giles.
Farnam, W(alter) Lynnwood
(b Sutton, PQ, 13 Jan 1885; d New York, 23 Nov 1930). Canadian organist. He studied at home in Canada and then at the RCM in London (1900–04). After returning to Canada, he held posts in Montreal (1904–13), successively at the Methodist church of St James, St James the Apostle and Christ Church Cathedral. From 1913 to 1918 he was at Emmanuel Church, Boston, and, after a year in the Canadian Army, moved to New York, where he was organist of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (1919–20) and of the Church of the Holy Communion (1920 until his death). From 1927 he also taught in New York and at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia; among his pupils were Harold Gleason, Clarence Mader, Carl Weinrich, Robert Noehren, Hugh Porter, Ernest White and Alexander McCurdy. Farnam was a solo player of exceptional ability, who anticipated some of the characteristics of the Baroque revival, and made a conspicuous reputation as a recitalist in the USA, Canada, England and France. He recorded a number of player-organ rolls, which were later transferred to discs. (EMC2, H.W. Hawke)
Farncombe, Charles (Frederick)
(b London, 29 July 1919). English conductor. He first studied engineering, and then music at the Royal School of Church Music and the RAM (1949–51). In 1955, with the assistance of Edward J. Dent, he founded the Handel Opera Society, and was its musical director for 30 years. He conducted many modern British premières, including Rinaldo, Alcina and Deidamia, and directed staged performances of Handel oratorios and works by Cavalieri, Rameau, J.C. Smith, Arne, Haydn and Mozart. Productions by the society have been taken to festivals at Göttingen, Halle, Liège and Drottningholm.
Farncombe has conducted on tours in the USA and in Sweden, where he was music director of the Drottningholm court theatre, 1970–79, and appeared at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. He also conducted works by Handel at the Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe. His conducting is careful over matters of detail, often spirited, and sensitive over choice of tempo. Farncombe has edited (and in some cases translated into English) works that he conducted with the Handel Opera Society. He was made a CBE in 1977.
Farnon, Robert (Joseph)
(b Toronto, ON, 24 July 1917). Canadian arranger, composer and conductor. He began his career as a trumpet player in dance bands, and then for Percy Faith's CBC Orchestra. By 1942 he had composed two symphonies and in 1944 he came to Britain as conductor of the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force, alongside Glenn Miller and George Melachrino fronting the US and British bands. He took his army discharge in Britain, and Decca contracted him to work with their leading singers such as Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields; the BBC gave him a radio series with his own orchestra. He began composing for the cinema, and early successes out of some 40 scores included Spring in Park Lane, Maytime in Mayfair and Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.. The arrival of LPs gave orchestra leaders such as Farnon the opportunity to develop their arranging and composing talents more fully, and his Decca albums from the 1950s have become highly prized by admirers, especially fellow musicians in the USA. Many have acknowledged his influence, including John Williams, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones and Johnny Mandel. Farnon's light orchestral cameos are among the finest to have been written since World War II, notably Journey into Melody (1946), State Occasion (1946), Jumping Bean (1947), Portrait of a Flirt (1947), A Star is Born (1947), Peanut Polka (1950), The Westminster Waltz (1955) and the Colditz March (1972). His tone poems Lake of the Woods (1951) and À la claire fontaine (1955) have been compared favourably with Debussy and Ravel. Farnon’s orchestral style is influenced by the exciting North American rhythms of his youth, yet respects the traditions of light music he encountered in Britain. His scores are remarkable for the delicate, decorative touches he introduces for so many instruments in support of the main melodies.
Farnon has written hundreds of works for the London publishers Chappell, many familiar worldwide as signature tunes. The BBC commissioned his Rhapsody for violin and orchestra in 1958, but his later career has concentrated on arranging and conducting for international stars such as Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Lena Horne, George Shearing, Eileen Farrell, Joe Williams and Sarah Vaughan. His skill as an arranger was recognized with the award of a Grammy in 1996 for a track on an album with trombonist J.J. Johnson; in Britain he has received four Ivor Novello Awards, including one for outstanding services to British music (1991). In 1998 he was awarded the Order of Canada. (EMC2, M. Miller)
Orch: Sym. no.1, D, 1940; Sym. no.2 (Ottawa), B, 1942; The Princess and the Ugly Frog, 1943; Canadian Caravan, 1945; Willie the Whistler, 1946; Journey into Melody, 1946; Ottawa Heights, 1946; State Occasion, 1946; How Beautiful is Night, 1947 [addl. lyrics, M. Raskin, 1963]; In a Calm, 1947; Jumping Bean, 1947; Pictures in the Fire, 1947; Portrait of a Flirt, 1947; A Star is Born, 1947; All Sports March, 1948; Gateway to the West, 1948; Grandstand, 1948; Manhattan Playboy, 1948; Goodwood Galop, 1950; Huckle Buckle, 1950; Melody Fair, 1950; Peanut Polka, 1950; Proud Canvas, 1950; Sophistication Waltz, 1950
Lake of the Woods, 1951; Alcan Highway, 1952; Playtime, 1952; Almost a Lullaby (Prairie Sunset), 1953; Mid Ocean, 1953; Poodle Parade, 1953; World Series, 1953; En route, 1954; Malaga, 1954; A Promise of Spring, 1954; Scherzando for Tpt, 1954; Swing Hoe, 1954; À la claire fontaine, 1955; Derby Day, 1955; Int for Hp, 1955; The Westminster Waltz, 1955; Boom Town, 1956; La casita mia, 1956; The Frontiersmen, 1956; Lazy Day, 1956; Moomin, 1956; Blue Moment, 1957; Open Skies, 1957
City Streets, 1958; Dominion Day, 1958; Mr Punch, 1958; Rhapsody for Vn and Orch, 1958; The First Waltz, 1959; Headland Country, 1959; Holiday Flight, 1959; Little Miss Molly, 1959; Hymn to the Commonwealth, 1960; On the Seashore, 1960; Travel Topic, 1962; Pleasure Drive (1964); Westbound Passage, 1964; Prelude and Dance for Harmonica and Orch, 1966; Horn-a-Plenty, 1969; Power and Glory, 1969; Shepherd's delight, 1969; Sounds of History, 1969
Flute Fantasy, 1973; The Snow Goose, 1973; A Vn Miniature, 1973; In a Dream World, 1974; Concorde March, 1975; Canadian Rhapsody, 1983; The Wide World, 1983; Lake Louise, 1984; The Magic Island, 1984; Swallow Flight, 1984; Nautical Trilogy, 1993; Royal Walkabout, 1993; For Eileen, 1995; Cascades to the Sea, conc., pf, orch, 1998; Cruise World, 1998; Hollywood Stars, 1999; Scenic Wonders, 1999
Brass band: Here Comes the Band, 1966; Une vie de matelot, 1975; Morning Cloud, 1977; Crown Ceremonial, 1978
Jazz works: Portrait of Lorraine, 1964; The Pleasure of your Company, 1969 [for Oscar Peterson]; Saxophone Triparti, 1971; Travellin' Jazz, 1973; Trumpet Talk, 1973; Two's Company, 1973
c40 film scores, incl. Just William's Luck, 1947; Maytime in Mayfair, 1948; Spring in Park Lane, 1948; Elizabeth of Ladymead, 1949; Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N., 1951; Where's Charley?, 1952; All for Mary, 1955; Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, 1955; King's Rhapsody, 1956; The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, 1958; The Road to Hong Kong, 1962; The Truth about Spring, 1965; Shalako, 1968; Bear Island, 1979
Television themes: Colditz, 1972; The Secret Army, 1977; A Man Called Intrepid, 1980; Kessler, 1981; The Cabbage Patch, 1983
Songs, incl. Country Girl, 1966; The Last Enemy (C.A. Arlington), 1990