02 Jun

Dateline September 2003

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► The recording sessions for the latest Robert Farnon CD did not take place in July as originally expected (see page 3 of our last issue), but it is now hoped that they can be slotted in soon. The titles will be almost the same as previously listed, with the possible addition of Tete a Tete (solos on flute and oboe), and The Nearness of You (for bass flute).

► Robert Farnon gave us the exciting news in July that he had started work on his Symphony No. 3. Subtitled "I Love Life", the opening theme is based upon his recent composition of that name. Bob told us that he simply felt the urge to be creative, hence the decision to commence this major project. Does this mean that we may eventually hear the first two symphonies – are there any plans to revise them for public performance? Sadly, no. "I’ve already used many of the themes in them for other works!" confessed Bob.

► Robert Farnon’s Lake of the Woods was played by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Wilson, in a recorded concert that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 14 May.

► Richard Jenkinson performed Robert Farnon’s Pictures in the Fire at a concert at the Gatehouse, Barston, West Midlands on 28 June. This was a special evening of music for cello and piano, and Richard was pleased to have the opportunity to play this piece once again, shortly after he performed it in Canterbury on 10 May, alongside works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy. Bob made this cello/piano arrangement for Richard last year, and he first played it in a recital at St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, London.

► As we went to press, Brian Farnon and his Orchestra were due to play a special piece by his brother Bob – "Idaho Opening" – at an event in Idaho on 7 August. No doubt Forrest Patten will be able to fill in the details in his News from The States in our December issue.

► ENSA Complete Concerts is the title of a new 2-CD set from a new label – Rex. A Forces Broadcasting Service programme by the Bob Farnon Orchestra is included: Journey Into Melody, Begin the Beguine, All Through the Day (Dick James, vocal), What is this Thing Called Love, The Nearness of You (Carole Carr, vocal), Oh Susannah, Love Walked In, The Stars will Remember (Dick James), Getting Nowhere (Carole Carr), South American Way, Journey Into Melody. Colin Brown has compiled this collection, and he was also responsible for the 1997 President CD "Journey Into Melody" featuring Robert Farnon and the same soloists (PLCD564). In fact all the titles on this new CD are also on the earlier CD, although the introductions to each number were edited out of the President CD. Also the President CD includes many more titles, so it would appear that Colin Brown has access to more than one of these broadcasts. On Rex we seem to have everything as it originally was, with producer Arthur Adair also making the introductions. CD1 in this set features a "Break For Music" with Henry Hall and his Orchestra; "Over to You" Geraldo; and "Top Of The List" RAOC Blue Rockets Dance Orchestra. CD2 begins with the Bob Farnon programme, then moves on to "Break for Music" Lou Preager and his Orchestra with Edna Kaye (alias Mrs. Stanley Black); and finally another "Top of the List" with the RAOC Blue Rockets Dance Orchestra. Unfortunately no recording dates are given, but these shows must date from around 1946/47 – maybe slightly earlier. The sound quality is reasonable, and the catalogue number of this Rex 2-CD set is REXX300 (the retail price is around £10). The RFS Record Service can still supply copies of the earlier President CD for £7.50 [US $15].

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.