Frank Bury Piano Music

FRANK BURY (1910-1944)

Frank Bury was born in 1910. He read music at Cambridge and then went to the Royal College where he studied conducting with Malcolm Sargent and composition with Gordon Jacob.

He was also taught by Bruno Walter and founded the Ludlow Choral Society. He was killed during the airborne landings in Normandy whilst serving in the army, aged 44.

I have only found one work by Bury, and it is very fine - the Prelude and Fugue for Two Pianos. In this, his writing appears to be essentially diatonic but contains interesting harmonies and modulations and I was reminded of the work of Mervyn Roberts; a little less adventurous but perhaps with a stronger sense of tonailty and less willing to be sidetracked from the main idea. Nevertheless he was only 44; who knows how he might have developed....

Anthony Goldstone, in the preface to this work, published for the first time in 1989 by Robertons of Wendover, comments on the striking features of the fugue: the mixture of 6/8 and 9/8 bars, cross-rhythms, ostinato pedals imitating timpani, surprising turns of harmony and the occasional excursion into bitonality and the whole-tone scale. It is a well-written work, well-crafted and enjoyable to play.

I was told by the late Kenneth Roberton that other Bury manuscripts exist. Perhaps someone out there knows where they are............

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