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Walker, Don(ald John)


(b Lambertville, 28 Oct 1907; d Trenton, NJ, 12 Sept 1989). American orchestrator and composer. After early experience playing various instruments and arranging, he pursued studies in business at Rider College (Trenton) and then the University of Pennsylvania. He arranged a hit record for Fred Waring before graduation (1927) and afterwards joined his staff. His work for Waring, Fred Culley, and Al Goodman in radio, live shows and recordings led to orchestration for Sigmund Romberg’s radio series, a success which added credentials as a ‘legitimate’ orchestrator to his already-established jazz expertise; it also began an association with Romberg that included Walker’s first full Broadway assignment, May Wine, and the development of material left at Romberg’s death into the score for The Girl in Pink Tights. The arrangers under contract to Chappell Music (Bennett, Spialek and later Royal were the others besides Walker) would assist each other as needed; for instance, Walker took over Carousel after Bennett had orchestrated only two numbers (suspending work on his own Memphis Bound to do so), and he provided orchestrations without credit for Kiss Me, Kate, South Pacific, and The King and I. After ending his Chappell contract around 1950, Walker eventually worked with most of the great names in musical theatre.

Walker’s work stands out in several respects. Coming from the world of radio and recordings, he was a pioneer in eliminating the automatic doubling of the vocal line in the orchestra, the previous Broadway norm. Exceptional stylistic versatility is obvious when one juxtaposes the large-scale operatic lyricism of Carousel and The Most Happy Fella, the unpretentious liveliness of Damn Yankees and The Music Man, the delicate romance of She Loves Me, and the specific milieux of Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret. Related to this is his inclination to create a unique instrumental complement for every show rather than relying on some standard layout. This may involve the omission of violins and violas altogether (Anyone Can Whistle), the use of instruments reminiscent of the klezmer ensemble (Fiddler on the Roof) or Berlin cabaret (Cabaret), or displaying specific solo timbres (cimbalom in The Gay Life, harmonica in Shenandoah). In all cases, Walker’s choices instantly evoke and create the world of the particular work to an extent that knows no superiors.


WORKS


(selective list)

Musicals: Allah Be Praised! (with B. Bergersen) 1944; Memphis Bound (after A.S. Sullivan) 1945; Courtin’ Time 1951; The Inn People 1973

Theatre orchs (composer in parentheses): Leave It to Me (C. Porter), 1938; Stars in Your Eyes (A. Schwartz) collab., 1939; Panama Hattie (Porter), 1940; Let’s Face It (Porter), collab., 1941; By Jupiter (R. Rodgers), 1942; A Connecticut Yankee (Rodgers), rev. 1943; Something for the Boys (Porter), collab., 1943; On the Town (L. Bernstein), collab., 1944; Carousel (Rodgers), 1945; Up in Central Park (S. Romberg), 1945; Park Avenue (Schwartz), 1946; Finian’s Rainbow (B. Lane), collab., 1947; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (J. Styne), 1949; Miss Liberty (I. Berlin), 1949; Call Me Madam (Berlin), 1950; Pal Joey (Rodgers), rev. 1952; Wish You Were Here (H. Rome), 1952; Carnival in Flanders (J. Van Heusen), 1953; Me and Juliet (Rodgers), 1953; Wonderful Town (Bernstein), 1953; The Girl in Pink Tights (Romberg), 1954 [also developed]

The Pajama Game (R. Adler and A. Ross), 1954; Damn Yankees (Adler and Ross), 1955; Silk Stockings (Porter), 1955; The Most Happy Fella (F. Loesser), 1956; The Music Man (M. Willson), 1957; Greenwillow (Loesser), 1960; The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Willson), 1960; The Gay Life (Schwartz), 1961; She Loves Me (J. Bock), 1963; Anyone Can Whistle (S. Sondheim), 1964; Fiddler on the Roof (Bock), 1964; Flora, the Red Menace (J. Kander), 1965; Cabaret (Kander), 1966; Zorbá (Kander), 1968; The Rothschilds (Bock), 1970; Shenandoah (G. Geld), 1975

BIBLIOGRAPHY


D. Walker: ‘Who Says Arranger?’, Theatre Arts, xxxiv/11 (Nov 1950), 53–4

B. Allison: ‘The Kid from Lambertville’, New Hope Gazette (1 July 1982)

B. Allison: ‘The Further Adventures of Don Walker’, New Hope Gazette (8 July 1982)

B. Allison: ‘Don Walker, Arranger of Broadway Musicals’, New Hope Gazette (15 July 1982)

JON ALAN CONRAD


Walker, D(aniel) P(ickering)


(b London, 30 June 1914; d London, 10 March 1985). English historical scholar. He read French at Oxford University (BA 1935); he was also a classicist and studied composition and chamber music. This combination of skills provided the context for his doctoral dissertation on French verse in 16th-century music (1940) and his later research. In 1945 he was appointed lecturer and reader in French at University College, London, and in 1961 reader in Renaissance Studies at the Warburg Institute, University of London. He remained at the Warburg until his death, having been elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1974. His interdisciplinary scholarship continues to influence musicologists and cultural historians working in quite different fields. His pioneering work on musique mesurée remains a source of stimulus to students of both French music and Renaissance humanism. More recently, his innovative study of Ficino's astrological music and the associated concept of spiritus (a vital substance mediating between the heavens and earth, and between soul and body), has become the starting-point for new research into the Renaissance magical tradition and its influence on musical ideas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

WRITINGS


Studies in Musical Science in the Late Renaissance (London, 1978) [W]

P. Gouk, ed.: Music, Spirit and Language in the Renaissance (London, 1985) [G]

French Verse in Classical Metres, and the Music to which it was Set, in the Last Quarter of the Sixteenth Century (diss., U. of Oxford, 1940)

‘Musical Humanism in the 16th and Early 17th Centuries’, MR, ii (1941), 1–13, 111–21, 220–27, 288–308; iii (1942), 55–71 [G]

‘The Aims of Baïf's Académie de poésie et de musique’, JRBM, i (1946–7), 91–100 [G]

‘The Influence of musique mesurée à l'antique, particularly on the airs de cour of the Early Seventeenth Century’, MD, ii (1948), 141–63 [G]



with F. Lesure: ‘Claude le Jeune and musique mesurée’, MD, iii (1949), 151–70 [G]

‘Some Aspects and Problems of musique mesurée à l'antique: the Rhythm and Notation of musique mesurée’, MD, iv (1950), 163–86 [G]

‘Le chant orphique de Marsile Ficin’, Musique et poésie au XVIe siècle: Paris 1953, 17–28 [G]

‘Ficino's spiritus and Music’, AnnM, i (1953), 131–50 [G]

‘La musique des intermèdes florentins de 1589 et l'humanisme’, Les fêtes de la Renaissance [I]: Royaumont 1955, 133–44 [G]

‘Kepler's Celestial Music’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, xxx (1967), 228–50 [W]

‘La tradition mathématico-musicale du platonisme’, Platon et Aristote à la Renaissance: Tours 1973 (Tours, 1976), 249–60; Eng. trans. in W

‘Some Aspects of the Musical Theory of Vincenzo Galilei and Galileo Galilei’, PRMA, c (1973–4), 33–47 [W]

‘Joan Albert Ban and Mersenne's Musical Competition of 1640’, ML, lvii (1976), 233–55 [W]

‘The Musical Theories of Giuseppe Tartini’, Modern Musical Scholarship: Oxford 1977, 93–111 [W]

‘Seventeenth-Century Scientists' Views on Intonation and the Nature of Consonance’, Archives internationales d'histoire des sciences, xxvii (1977), 263–73 [W]

‘La valeur expressive des intervalles mélodiques et harmoniques d'après les théoriciens et le problème de la quarte’, La chanson à la Renaissance: Tours 1977, 93–105; Eng. trans. in W


EDITIONS


Claude le Jeune: Airs [1608] (Rome, 1951–9)

with F. Ghisi and J. Jacquot: Musique des intermèdes de ‘La pellegrina’, Les fêtes du mariage de Ferdinand de Médicis et de Christine de Lorraine, Florence, 1589, i (Paris, 1963)


BIBLIOGRAPHY


G. Tomlinson: Music in Renaissance Magic: toward a Historiography of Others (Chicago, 1993)

P. Gouk: Music, Science and Natural Magic in Seventeenth-Century England (New Haven, CT, 1999)

PENELOPE GOUK




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