05 Sep

A FESTIVAL OF FUČÍK

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A FESTIVAL OF FUČÍK

Royal Scottish National Orchestra cond. Neeme Järvi

Chandos CHSA 5158

For someone who in his time was considered to be the Bohemian Sousa [American “March King”], it is surprising that Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fučík [1872-1916] does not rate a line in a quartet of music reference books on my shelves.  But he must not be thought of as just a band composer/conductor.  He first studied the violin, and then switched to the bassoon, and occasionally percussion and timpani. Later he joined the composition class of his fellow Czech, Antonin Dvorak.  On this well-filled disc of almost 80 minutes duration the 22 tracks include concert overtures and concert waltzes as well as marches; just a “taster” of the more than 400 polkas, marches and waltzes Fučík wrote. His two best-known works are Entry of the Gladiators, forever associated by oldies with circus performers, and The Florentiner March. Other titles here include Uncle Teddy, Danube Legends, The Merry Blacksmiths, Children of the Regiment, Little Ballerinas, Under the Admirals Flag, and The Old Grumbler, a toothsome comic polka featuring the RSNO’s bassoonist David Hubbard. The man wielding the baton so effectively is the head of an Estonian musical dynasty with nearly 500 recordings to his name. If you are looking for good tunes well-played they are here a-plenty, all in the celebrated Chandos sound. Peter Burt

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14 Jun

Composer Ernest Tomlinson has died aged 90

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ernest tomlinsonEnglish light music composer Ernest Tomlinson, known for orchestral pieces including An English Overture, Little Serenade, Cantilena and Woodicock, has died aged 90.

Tomlinson was Chairman of the Light Music Society from 1966 to 2009 and subsequently President.

'Ernest Tomlinson will be warmly remembered as long as people enjoy listening to melodic music,' said soprano and broadcaster Catherine Bott. 'Light music is all about melody and enjoyment, always beautifully crafted and full of colour. Ernest was among the very best of British light music composers, his exceptional technical skills allied to a rare gift for melody.'

An obituary will follow in due course.

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01 Jun

Felix Mendelsohn – Overtures

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The Fair Melusine op.32 / A Midsummer Night’s Dream op.21 / Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage op.27 / Overture for Wind Instruments op.24 / Trumpet Overture op.101 / Ruy Blas op.95. / The Hebrides op.26 [Fingal’s Cave].

London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado

Deutche Grammophon 423 104 - 2

Read article here...

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Robert Farnon miscellaneous photos

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RFS Meeting, 13 October 2013.

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RFS Meeting, 26 November 2006.

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RFS Meeting, 2 April 2006.

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Err 1 : Photoset not found

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RFS Meeting, 16 October 2011.

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RFS Meeting, 28 November 2010.

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RFS Meeting, 30 November 2008.

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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.