John Marson was born in 1932 and died in 2007. He studied the harp with Marie Goossens at the Royal College of Music in London, and in 1958, while still a student, began his professional career with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. A week after leaving college he joined the London Symphony Orchestra for two years before embarking on two decades of freelance work, during which he played solos, chamber music and concerti, worked with all the London orchestras and spent much time in recording studios. He played in many outstanding feature films including the original 'Star Wars'. In 1982 he was appointed principal harp of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and subsequently resumed his freelance career while increasingly engaging in composition, both for the harp and for other instruments and voice. He played for many West End and National Theatre productions including over three years as harpist in Lloyd Webber's 'Aspects of Love'.
The roll call of artists with whom John has worked include the Beatles, Richard Rodney Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby, John Dankworth, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Liberace, Martha Graham, Hans Werner Henze, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Zoltan Kodaly, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Pierre Monteux, Jessye Norman, Laurence Olivier, Luciano Pavarotti, Gennadi Rozhdestvenski, Frank Sinatra, George Solti, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, George Szell, William Walton, John Williams, Stevie Wonder and countless others.
In 1964 John was one of the two founders of the United Kingdom Harp Association, edited its magazines for many years and became President of the Association in January 2005. His book 'The Complete Guide to Harp Glissandi', is published by Lyra Music of New York, while his other major work 'The Book of the Harp - techniques, history and lore of a unique musical instrument', was published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd. in 2005.
Violin & Piano
Lenny Cavallaro – Sonata No. 1 in D Minor for Violin and Piano (or Harpsichord) Opus 4 – Digital Download
This 2014 publication might well have been composed 300 years earlier, being a truly baroque sonata in four movements (slow-fast-slow-fast). The composer has adhered not only to the harmonic and structural idioms of the time, but also to many of the other "unwritten" conventions. The work invites a great deal of freedom, and even leaves room for some improvisation. In the third movement the violin enters on a long, held note - this pattern recurs throughout, and in some ways appears to echo similar long notes in Bach's B Minor Sonata. The last movement is a set of variations, though neither chaconne nor passacaglia - these are melodic, in the Italian manner, and clearly sound less baroque. The thematic material derives from the opening of Papageno's aria Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen from Mozart's Magic Flute, but transposed from F Major to D Minor. This sonata was premiered at the Lincoln Center by Bobby Portney and has subsequently been recorded by Sarah Darling and can be heard on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UigLnCPNYSw
Violin & Piano
Lenny Cavallaro – Sonata No. 1 in D Minor for Violin and Piano (or Harpsichord) Opus 4