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Joseph James
Stanley Joseph Seeger (Composer, Arranger)
Francis James Brown (Composer, Arranger)

The music of Joseph James is the fruit of a long-standing collaboration between Stanley Joseph Seeger and Francis James Brown. Both composers in their own right, they met in Florence in the early 1950ís while studying with Luigi Dallapiccola.

Their recorded works include the film score for Priest of Love, a film biography of D.H. Lawrence directed by Christopher Miles, Sketches from The Scarlet Letter, an opera based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Concerto for 3 Bouzoukis and orchestra, Requiem after J.S. Bach, Wanderer Fantasy after Schubert and Fantasie after Schumann.

Stanley Joseph Seeger

Born: 1930 - Dallas, Texas, USA

Missing Biography

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Francis James Brown

Born: October 26, 1925 - Rochester, New York, USA
Died: January 18, 2008 - London, England

The American-born composer, Francis James Brown, studied at the Eastman School of Music in New York under its director, Howard Hanson. He received two Fulbright awards to travel to Florence, where he was a composition pupil of Luigi Dallapiccola. He was an accomplished pianist and a prolific composer of songs, orchestral, chamber and operatic music, showing great musical sensibility.

His collaboration with Stanley Joseph Seeger, a fellow-pupil of Luigi Dallapiccolaís, began in the 1950ís, and as Joseph James they wrote the score for the film Priest of Love in 1981. Their joint compositions include the opera The Scarlet Letter and the Requiem after J.S. Bach among other pieces.

Francis James Brown was actively involved in the recording of After Rachmaninov, released in January 2009, and the works in progress at the time of his death will be completed by his partner in composition.

Requiem after J.S. Bach

The Requiem, first performed at St James's Church, Piccadilly, in October 1997, belongs to the rich tradition of works based on the music of J.S. Bach, but it breaks with that tradition both in its form and technique of composition. It is a full setting of the text of the Latin Requiem Mass, and each of its parts is a vocal movement based on one of Bachís keyboard pieces, in some cases - particularly the fugues - a fairly direct transcription, in others a more complex transformation using both the harmonic progressions and the figuration of the original in a strikingly new context. The unifying element is J.S. Bachís Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor (BWV 903), used for the four Requiem aeternam movements and the final Kyrie, which frame the work. The distinctive sonority of Joseph Jamesís music is realized virtually entirely within the context of Bachís own instrumental, vocal and harmonic resources, but the transparent layering of the writing creates a new composition that probes deeply into the meaning both of Bachís original works and the solemn words of the Mass.


Source: The Music of Joseph James Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2011)

Arrangements of Works by J.S. Bach

Requiem after J.S. Bach

Links to other Sites

The Music of Joseph James (Official Website)




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Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 15:10