10 Jan

Percy Grainger -- Complete Music for Wind Band 1

Written by

Royal Norwegian Navy Band
conducted by Bjarte Engeset.
Naxos 8.573679

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17 Dec

Cab Rank (van der Linden)

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Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Ludo Philipp

For some reason the music of Dolf van der Linden has largely passed me by, probably for the simple fact there wasn’t a lot of it about in my early years in New Zealand. I had to wait to come to England to discover it. Scottish comedian James Finlayson in Laurel and Hardy films unknowingly gave van der Linden a free plug every time his expression of surprise proclaimed “Dolf!”

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05 Dec

Cocktails for Two

Written by

(Johnston, Coslow)
Robert Farnon’s arrangement analysed by Robert Walton

The period of the early 1950s when Decca recorded a series of LPs by Robert Farnon’s Orchestra playing some of the top standards of the “Great American Songbook” is now considered more than ever in the 21st century a genuine Golden Era of arranging.

Read the article here...

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30 Nov

André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra Amore

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The charismatic Dutchman and his beloved orchestra founded 30 years ago are nowadays the nearest we get to new recordings of “our kind of music”...

Read the review here...

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25 Nov

Bramwell Tovey new Principal Conductor BBC Concert Orchestra

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The BBC Concert Orchestra has just appointed Bramwell Tovey as its new Principal Conductor.

This is very encouraging news as he has an established reputation for his performances of Gilbert & Sullivan.

His Friday Night Is Music Night debut next week (already "in the can") includes G & S songs plus selections from the works of Franz Lehar and Richard Heuberger, sung by the excellent Ailish Tynan and Simon Betteris.

The show is entitled "Winter Wonderland" so also takes in Rimsky Korsakov's "The Snow Maiden", Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker", Waldteufel's "Skaters Waltz" and Maurice Jarre's "Doctor Zhivago". Should be a delightful programme, in the old FNIMN style, and presented by Ken Bruce.

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21 Nov

In Dulce Jubilo - London Brass

Written by

Warner Classics 9029577021 (57.42)

Reviewed by Peter Burt

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21 Nov

Christmas With The King's Singers

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Warner Classics 9029576809 (58:13)

Reviewed by Peter Burt

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15 Nov

Tony Clayden receives Good Music Certificate from Evergreen Magazine

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Evergreen Magazine has just awarded its Good Music Certificate to the Co-Ordinator of the London Light Music Meetings Group, Tony Clayden.

The first joint recipients of this honour were the late David Ades and Alan Bunting, who did so much to keep Light Music alive.

Sadly, both men died relatively soon afterwards, and Alan’s family were left with a huge collection of recorded material, including CDs and on vinyl.

Alan had painstakingly digitally remastered much of the latter over a number of years for reissue on several different labels, including the highly–acclaimed Guild series.

Not only did Londoner Tony ‘gallop to the rescue’ by purchasing and retrieving them all from Alan’s home in Scotland, but he had already established the LLMMG – which had come into being after the Robert Farnon Society, led for many years by David Ades – ceased operations at the end of 2013.

The new group, which holds meetings twice-yearly in Central London, has recently held its eighth event. With its links to a number of other music websites and organisations, including the Light Music Society, it continues to promote the genre and helps to avoid the potential disappearance of probably thousands of once–familiar tunes.

A semi-retired recording and sound engineer, Tony is one of a small band of dedicated enthusiasts who recognise the value and worth of Light Music and he has amassed many musical contacts and friends during a long, interesting and varied career.

Tony, we thank you for filling a huge musical void and wish you well, as you continue to make historic and tuneful melodies available to the general public.

Angeline Wilcox, Editor
EVERGREEN MAGAZINE
WINTER EDITION
NOVEMBER 2017

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08 Nov

Silver Voice: Opera Arias Played by Flute and Orchestra

Written by

By Peter Burt
Katherine Bryan; Orchestra of Opera North / Bramwell Tovey
Chandos 5211 (65:07)

Katherine Bryan was educated at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and became principal flute of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2003, a position to which she was appointed at the age of 21.

Read the review here...

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06 Nov

Cornish Rhapsody

Written by

(Hubert Bath)
Analysed by Robert Walton

In the 1940s there was an outpouring of potted pieces for piano and orchestra written specifically for British films. These include The Dream of Olwen (Charles Williams) from “While I Live”, The Legend of the Glass Mountain (Nino Rota) from “The Glass Mountain” and just for a change the real Rachmaninov for “Brief Encounter” borrowed from the Second Piano Concerto. It was Steve Race who cleverly coined the phrase “the Denham Concertos” after the film studio that often featured such works on their soundtracks.

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23 Oct

Report on the Autumn Event of the London Light Music Meetings Group - October 8th 2017

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The Autumn Event of the London Light Music Meetings Group - October 8th 2017
The Autumn Event of the London Light Music Meetings Group - October 8th 2017

Tony Clayden welcomed us once again to the Lancaster Hall Hotel and opened the programme with Robert Farnon's Country Boy featuring vocalist Sheila Southern, with Bob conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This was particularly appropriate, as Sheila was with us in the audience.

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12 Oct

Flowing Stream

Written by

(Joyce Cochrane)
Analysed by Robert Walton

For me the name Joyce Cochrane has always been synonymous with just one composition, her beautiful Honey Child immortalized in Robert Farnon’s arrangement for the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra. So it was a nice surprise to come upon one that almost got away. Flowing Stream is included in the Golden Age of Light Music series in “A First A-Z of Light Music”. (Guild GLCD 5169).

Read the article here...

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12 Oct

Classic FM celebrates 60 Years of the Light Music Society - on 12th October

Written by

 

Classic FM is celebrating 60 Years of the Light Music Society, of which Robert Farnon was such a committed member

Thursday 12th October on Classic FM at 8.00pm Catherine Bott will present a celebration of the Light Music Society's work and the music that it preserves.

Tonight, Catherine Bott champions this important body by featuring two hours of music by composers who have had connections with the Society and helped make it grow into the organisation it is today.

http://www.classicfm.com/…/full-works-conce…/upcoming-shows/…/full-works-conce…/upcoming-shows/

Ron Goodwin
633 Squadron – Main Theme

Eric Coates
Three Elizabeths SuiteA

rthur Bliss
Things to Come – March

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs
DuskErnest Tomlinson
Suite of English Folk Dances

Albert Ketelbey
Bells Across The MeadowHaydn Wood
London Landmarks

Billy Mayerl
Marigold

Edward Elgar
Chanson de Nuit Opus 15 No.1

Gustav Holst
A Moorside Suite

Percy Grainger
Handel in the Strand

Emile Waldteufel
Les Patineurs

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29 Sep

Light Music Matters - David Mellor talk

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On Monday November 6th, the  broadcaster and vice-president of Putney Music – David Mellor – will deliver a talk entitled:

'LIGHT MUSIC MATTERS'

He will explain why the music of Eric Coates, Leroy Anderson and many others merits an audience today.

The venue is the Dryburgh Hall, Putney Leisure Centre – corner of Dryburgh Road and Upper Richmond Road, London SW15 1BL.

Admission is free to members of Putney Music, guests will be charged £8.00 on the night.

For further details, call 07900 491 470.

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21 Sep

Royal Air Force 100th Anniversary

Written by

Various Performers
Chandos 10973(2) x

For those who love band music of the military variety this is a fine buy, as there are two albums – each of around 60 minutes duration – for about the price of one.

Read the review here...

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20 Sep

Going for a Ride

Written by

(Torch)

Analysed by Robert Walton

In the early 1950s when most people were requesting the top pop hits of the day, I was unashamedly asking for light orchestral numbers on the “Listeners’ Request Session” at our local radio station, 1ZB Auckland. I always signed my name “Blue Eyes of Remuera”. Anyhow, the very first record I requested was Going for a Ride by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra.

Read the article here...

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11 Sep

The Story of The Light

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A series of two programmes entitled 'The Story of The Light' are to be aired on Mondays 18th and 25th September at 10pm on BBC Radio 2 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of 'The BBC Light Programme'. Former JIM correspondent Brian Reynolds will be participating in the second of these programmes talking about 'Music While You Work' and light music programmes in general with comparisons to today's radio.

BBC link to info about the programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2017/38/the-story-of-the-light

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05 Sep

Moonglow/Theme from “Picnic”

Written by

(George W. Duning)
Analysed by Robert Walton

One of the most romantic scenes in cinematic history has just got to be the moment William Holden sensuously dances with Kim Novak in the 1955 film “Picnic’. From a laid-back piano/guitar quartet playing Will Hudson’s 1934 standard Moonglow, emerges George Duning’s glorious melody of the theme song from “Picnic”. This is one of the most effective musical juxtapositions of all time. The haunting orchestration was by Arthur Morton.

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30 Aug

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Symphony no.5, The Hebrides

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MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto, Symphony no.5, The Hebrides
Isabelle Faust ● Freiburger Barockorchester cond. Pablo Heras-Casado
Harmonia mundi HMM902325 (61:37)

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-47) was a terrifically talented Hamburg-born composer

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25 Aug

The Bad and the Beautiful

Written by

(Raksin)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Robert Farnon was one of the first light orchestral composers to come up with a most original idea. He found that a complicated beginning of a piece (almost atonal) not only provided a sense of risk-taking like a high wire act, but kept the listener guessing as to where it would finally alight in a normal tonal context. His Manhattan Playboy has all the elements of such a format in which the opening bars of the actual tune are a sort of boppish free fall before landing in the safety net of the home chord. The effect of all this was mind-blowing...

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17 Aug

40th Anniversary London Meeting and Banquet,1996

Written by

The printed programme for the 40th Anniversary London Meeting and Banquet in 1996.

Find it here...

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30 Nov

Polka Dot

Written by

(Eric Cook)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Whenever serious light music is discussed, the conversation inevitably turns to the finest orchestra in the genre, the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra. And it’s not just the standard of playing - that goes without saying.

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04 Aug

E J Moeran - In the Mountain Country Rhapsodies Overture for a Masque

Written by

E J MOERAN
In the Mountain Country Rhapsodies Overture for a Masque
Benjamin Frith, Piano; Ulster Orchestra ● JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8.573106 (57:06)

E J Moeran … who he? 

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22 Jul

Robert Farnon's 100th birthday and updated 2005 JAZZ.FM tribute programme

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We are grateful to Pip Wedge (former RFS Canadian Rep and Journal Into Melody columnist) for the following information: Robert Farnon lovers might like to know that Glen Woodcock, who has been broadcasting big band programmes on JAZZ.FM in Toronto for forty years, is updating a tribute programme he did in 2005 when Robert Farnon died, for broadcast this Sunday (23rd July) to mark what would have been Bob's 100th birthday on Monday (24th).
 
The programme can be heard via the Internet on Sunday evening at www.jazz.fm, 5:00pm – 10:00 pm Toronto time.  Unfortunately that puts it from 10:00 pm to 03:00 am UK time, but maybe some people would like to stay up to hear an hour or so, while others might be able to record it. Sorry we couldn't let you know sooner, but Glen only just sent an email to give a heads-up.

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23 Jul

Robert Farnon’s 100th birthday

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CENTENARY CELEBRATION
Robert Farnon’s 100th birthday
By Robert Walton

July 24th 2017 is exactly 100 years since Toronto-born Robert Farnon first saw the light of day.

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14 Jul

My Object All Sublime

Written by

(Gilbert; Sullivan)
Robert Farnon & His Orchestra
Analysed by Robert Walton

There can’t be many arrangements that have such a variety of musical nuts and bolts - Canadian Caravan, “James Bond”, “Maytime in Mayfair”, Count Basie, Fred Astaire and Gilbert and Sullivan...

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28 Jun

Elgar and His Peers, The Art of the Military Band

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ELGAR AND HIS PEERS, The Art of the Military Band SOMM CD0170 London Symphonic Concert Band conducted by Tom Higgins and the Joyful Company of Singers directed by Peter Broadbent...

Reads the review here.

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20 Jun

Raymond Lefèvre - Holiday Symphonies & Tomorrow’s…Symphonies du Futur

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RAYMOND LEFEVRE & HIS ORCHESTRA
Holiday Symphonies & Tomorrow’s…Symphonies du Futur
Vocalion CDLK 4592 (77:15)

Raymond Lefèvre (1929-2008) was one of the triumvirate of French easy listening orchestra leaders/arrangers/composers – the others being Paul Mauriat and Franck Pourcel – who sold millions of albums around the world in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Read the review here...

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15 Jun

International tribute to Paul Mauriat (about new recordings from Paris)

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Grand Orchestra of Jean Jacques Justafre (France) had its second birth in America thanks to the efforts of USA producers Alexander Goldstein and Boris Lontsikh. The producers reached out to Grand Orchestra of Jean Jacques Justafre (GOJJJ) leader, one of the last conductors of the legendary Grand Orchestra de Paul Mauriat. GOJJJ is welcome in many countries primarily for its efforts to preserve the style, and most importantly, the sound of Paul Mauriat's orchestra.

The producers gave GOJJJ a very different challenge. They carefully selected music material and style for the new arrangements, so that on the one hand, it would be recognizable to a wide circle of music fans, and on the other, introduce a new big symphonic orchestra sound of the 21st century...

Read more details about brand new CD album:
http://paulmauriat.grandorchestras.ru

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11 Jun

Hubert Clifford The Cowes Suite and other works

Written by

Vocalion CDLX 7338 BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp.

The Cowes Suite (Cowes Roads, Buccaneer, Carnival & Fireworks, Royal Visitor); Dargo (A Mountain Rhapsody); Irish Comedy Overture; Pageant of Youth; Left of the Line; Victorian Polka; Hunted (1952 film suite); Voyage at Dusk (Fantasy).

Read the review here...

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11 Jun

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs Orchestral Works

Written by

Vocalion CDLX 7338 BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp.

Crossings (Suite for Orchestra); Enchanted Wood; A Vision of Night (Symphonic Poem); Dusk (Waltz from the Fancy Dress Suite); Suite in A for Violin and Orchestra; The Cat and the Wedding Cake; Four Orchestral Dances.

Read the review here...

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31 May

Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra Concert – May 29th 2017

Written by

By  Tony Clayden

An extensively re-furbished Lauderdale House, in North London’s Highgate Village, was the venue for the annual Spring Concert given by the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra. This was their sixteenth consecutive Bank Holiday event, which was well supported by many faithful ‘regulars’ – including several from the London Light Music Meetings Group – and in addition, a number of ‘first timers’...

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19 May

Report on the Spring Event of the London Light Music Meetings Group - May 7th 2017

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About sixty people had made the journey to the Lancaster Hall Hotel in London to enjoy our bi-annual feast of light music.

Tony Clayden welcomed us to the meeting, ...

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19 May

George Melachrino

Written by

By Robert Walton

There was a school of thought that believed popular musicians with foreign sounding names had a commercial advantage over common or garden Anglo Saxon ones. Catchy names like Mantovani or Kostelanetz certainly had a ring to them but just because they looked or sounded more distinguished than say the Chacksfields or the Farnons of this world weren’t necessarily a guarantee of classier music. After all, most English born music directors had quite ordinary names, ...

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13 May

Elgar Complete Works for Wind Quintet

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ELGAR Complete Works for Wind Quintet, Chandos CHAN 241-33 Athena Ensemble. Don’t be put off by the title because this is one of the most charming and delightful double CDs you will ever encounter...

Edmund Whitehouse

Read the review here...

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08 May

Robert Farnon centenary

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24th July 2017 is the centenary of Robert Farnon's birth. Robert sadly died in 2005, but in his memory we are reproducing several tributes originally published in a Journal into Melody (JIM) special in May of that year.

http://robertfarnonsociety.org.uk/index.php/robert-farnon/centenary

Or through the Menu item "Robert Farnon" above to access the individual articles.

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06 May

Jacques Ibert

Written by

Chandos CHSA 5168

Swiss Romande Orchestra conducted by Neeme Jarvi...

Read the review here...

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02 May

Strauss in St Petersburg

Written by

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Neeme Järvi
Chandos CHAN 10937 (82:49)

This is a double-anniversary disc, offering a collection of mostly the composer’s lesser known works to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the orchestra as well as the 80th birthday of its principal conductor, Neeme Järvi, who is head of a musical dynasty and no stranger to these reviews.

Read review here...

 

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30 Apr

Obituary - Gordon Langford (1930 – 2017)

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Born in Edgware, Middlesex, as Gordon Maris Colman, he graduated from London’s Royal Academy of Music, where his piano teacher, Moran Demuth, suggested that he write under a pseudonym; he therefore adopted the professional name of Gordon Colman Langford.

He became a highly respected composer of light orchestral music and was famous within the Brass Band world for his compositions and arrangements for that genre. His experience as a trombonist must have enormously assisted him in this respect. He wrote a Trombone Concerto for Don Lusher, and a Sinfonietta for Brass Band, which became the signature tune for the BBC tv series Best of Brass. He acted as an adjudicator for a number of major brass band events.

Gordon Langford’s compositions were regularly featured to accompany BBC Television ‘Test Card’ transmissions, whilst he also arranged many of the songs performed by the Kings Singers. In 1971, he won an Ivor Novello award for his ‘March from the Colour Suite’. 

As a performer, he often appeared on BBC Radio broadcasts, sometimes with his own trio / quartet on Morning Music and Breakfast Special. He was the regular pianist with Lew Stone and his band, Eddie Strevens and his quartet and Ken Beaumont and his sextet. He played for Lou Whiteson and his Southern Serenaders and undertook most of the arrangements for that ensemble from the 60s onwards. In 1983, Gordon Langford directed his own sextet in the ‘revival’ of Music While You Work.

He was a long-standing member of the Light Music Society, attending many of their monthly London meetings during the 60s.

I had the good fortune to meet Gordon twice. The first time was sometime in the late 60s / early 70s, when at a private party held at a house in North London, he, along with a couple of friends, formed animpromptu trio and had all the guests enthralled with his piano playing. As a jazz performer, he was very much in the Dudley Moore mould, and was absolutely brilliant at ‘quoting’, i.e weaving fragments of totally different tunes into the piece upon which he was doing the jazz improvisations.

The second occasion was at a luncheon of the ‘Coda Club’, when Bob Farnon was honoured with an award for his services to music and a number of members of Robert Farnon Society were invited along to cheer-on the ‘Guv’nor’ . I found myself sitting next to Gordon and reminded him of that party all those years previously. He was affable, courteous, a real gentleman and very modest about his own achievements. It was a real pleasure to have re- made his acquaintance.

He had by then moved from London to East Devon, where he very much enjoyed being involved with the preserved Seaton Tramway. During the last few years, failing health precluded his hitherto  regular forays back to the capital. In 2011, Gordon Langford was nominated for a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM) by the Governing Body of the Academy.

© Tony Clayden
April 2017

 

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25 Apr

Always Busy

Written by

(Tony Tamburello)
Analysed by Robert Walton

When Tony Tamburello died in 1992 at the age of 72, a brief obituary in the New York Times described him as a jazz pianist and vocal coach of the famous. His pupils included Tony Bennett (whom he once managed), Judy Garland, Juliet Prowse, Jerry Vale and Tommy Leonetti. The story goes he had a van permanently parked in a New York street for the purpose of teaching. The only recorded evidence I have that he played piano, was on a 10” LP of selections from Oklahoma and South Pacific by the Tony Burrello Trio, spelt you’ll notice with two r’s. When questioned about the identity of the pianist he immediately denied it. But his real love was composing, especially of the lighter kind but like songwriters Vivian Ellis and Jack Stachey who often strayed into the world of light music he couldn’t orchestrate, so it was necessary to seek the services of an arranger.

Read the article here...

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24 Apr

Gordon Langford dies aged 86

Written by

Gordon Langford, who has died aged 86, was an English composer, arranger and performer. He is well known for his brass band compositions and arrangements. He was also a composer of orchestral music, winning an Ivor Novello award for best light music composition for his March from the Colour Suite in 1971.

Langford's career had a notable relationship with the BBC. Some of his compositions and arrangements were used as Test Card music in the 1960s and '70s, with such titles as Hebridean Hoedown, The Lark in the Clear Air and Royal Daffodil being remembered by Test Card aficionados. He also wrote and arranged music for Friday Night is Music Night, as well as numerous other BBC programmes.

A fuller obituary will appear on this website in due course.

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23 Apr

Heinz Herschmann passed away in 2014

Written by

It has only  just come to my attention that the composer and pianist  Heinz Herschmann sadly passed away, aged ninety, in September 2014.

Heinz had been a regular attendee at meetings of the Robert Farnon Society for many years, and signified his support for the London Light Music Meetings Group when the latter was formed earlier that year.

Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1924, he fled from the Nazis just before WW2, arriving in England on the Kindertransport. I am preparing a full tribute to Heinz which will appear on the website in due course.

Tony Clayden

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22 Apr

Dance of the Blue Marionettes

Written by

(Leslie Clair)
Analysed by Robert Walton

After constantly analysing a great deal of light music in all its diverse forms, it’s always nice to return to the comfort zone of the legendary Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, rummaging through its archives for more marvels I may have missed.

Read the article here...

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11 Apr

Overtures, Preludes & Intermezzi

Written by

RICCARDO CHAILLY / FILARMONICA DELLA SCALA
Overtures, Preludes & Intermezzi

Decca 483 1148

The 64-year-old Milanese maestro – I once had the pleasure of seeing him conduct live – has been a Decca recording artist for almost 40 years and achieved over three million album sales, including much acclaimed box sets of Brahms and Beethoven symphonies*.

Read the review here...

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10 Apr

Differing Versions of the Same Set Light Music Selections - An Update

Written by

Just a little over two years ago, I wrote an article for the RFS site with the title "Differing Versions of the Same Set  Light Music Selections."

Over this time period, I have obtained information that would necessitate my adding additional material, as well as correcting some erroneous assumptions that I had made in the absence of such information.

Read the entire article here...

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07 Apr

A Sousa Celebration

Written by

Written by Peter Burt.

Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Kristjan Järvi
Chandos CHSA 5182 (68’26”)

If, like me, the name John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) conjures up thoughts of marches played by military or brass bands, this new release will be something of an ear-opener...

Read the review here...

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29 Mar

Concert review - The Best of John Barry: From Bond to Born Free

Written by

De Montfort Hall, Leicester – Friday 24th March 2017
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Dodd
Presenter: Henry Kelly

It had been the best part of a year since I had booked my tickets for this event – one of two concerts in the ‘Philharmonia at the Movies’ series with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Dodd.

Read the review here...

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29 Mar

LLMG, May 7, 2017 - Meeting Upate

Written by

 llmmg1

Lancaster Gate underground station is closed until July while they replace the lifts.

Many of our attendees use the station to get to our meetings.

LLMMG MAY 2017 Meeting  (complete PDF file)

Our next Spring meeting will take place on Sunday 7th May 2017
and our special guest will be Sigmund Groven,
world famous virtuoso Norwegian harmonica player.

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09 Mar

A Night at the Movies

Written by

A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES
Classic fM CFMD48

If you are looking for good tunes, they are here a-plenty, in what must be one of the best bargains of the year – a box-set of 50...

Read the review here...

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09 Mar

Laughter In The Rain / Love Will Keep Us Together

Written by

RAY CONNIFF
Laughter In The Rain / Love Will Keep Us Together
Vocalion CDLK 4602

Conniff (1916-2002) – another Vocalian lists debutant – his orchestra and chorus of 12 women and 13 men turned out immaculate albums like this 2-on-1 for years. It was back in 1956 that he began experimenting with voices as an integral part of the orchestra and his LPs developed the old swing era formula he had used as an arranger with Artie Shaw, Harry James and others.

Read the review here...

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09 Mar

Chinatown / Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet

Written by

PERCY FAITH
CHINATOWN / LOVE THEME FROM ROMEO AND JULIET
Vocalion CDLK 4599

It is good to welcome Percy Faith to the Vocalion catalogue – the home of the world’s best light orchestral recordings. Whilst, for me, neither of the albums on this 2-on-1 would rank in the top echelon of the Faith discography, they are both interesting.

Read the review here...

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09 Mar

Cascades to the Sea

Written by

CASCADES TO THE SEA
(Robert Farnon)
Analysed by Robert Walton

I first found the title Cascades to the Sea quite by chance while searching for information about Robert Farnon in K B Sandved’s superb 1954 encyclopedia “The World of Music”. It was then described as a tone poem. Also mentioned were Farnon’s first two symphonies, some études and several comedy symphonettes that at the time were all a complete mystery.

Read the article here...

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04 Mar

British Tone Poems Volume 1 Chandos CHAN 10939

Written by

BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Rumon Gamba. Spring (Frederic Austin); Blackdown - from the Surrey Hills (William Alwyn): The Witch of Atlas – after Shelley (Granville Bantock); A Gloucestershire Rhapsody (Ivor Gurney); A Berkshire Idyll (Balfour Gardiner); The Solent (Vaughan Williams).

Read review here...

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02 Mar

Jan Stoeckart - Obituary

Written by

By  Tony Clayden

Jan Stoeckart (November 1927 – January 2017) was a Dutch composer, conductor and radio producer, who often worked under various pseudonyms,

Read the obituary here...

http://robertfarnonsociety.org.uk/index.php/jim/jim-new-articles/2017/jan-stoeckart-obituary

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02 Mar

Concert of British Light Music - February 26th 2017

Written by

By  Tony Clayden

A cold, wet, and windy Sunday February 26th saw a second concert of British Light Music performed by the Mark Fitz-Gerald Orchestra. The venue was once again the British Home and Hospital in Streatham, South-West London. The event followed-on from the success of the first concert in 2016, and was held in aid of funds for the Home.

The programme, which was devised – as before – by Ian Finn, included a number of well-known Light Music compositions, together with some lesser-known works.

Read the article here...

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09 Feb

Ecstasy

Written by

(Mourant)
Analysed by Robert Walton

For many years I have been meaning to analyse Walter Mourant’s Ecstasy but somehow I never got around to it. I can’t believe I left it so long, because it’s one of the few openings that made such a lasting impression.

Read the entire article here...

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26 Jan

New section: sheet music

Written by

We have a new section: sheet music. Please submit any sheet music you think fit for the website.

 

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25 Jan

Bright Lights

Written by

(Victor Young)
by Robert Walton

When David Rose wrote Holiday for Strings he probably had no idea how much it would influence a whole generation of light orchestral composers...

Read the article here...

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29 Mar

LLMMG MAY 7, 2017 meeting update

Written by

We've updated our May flyer to indicate that Lancaster Gate underground station is closed until July while they replace the lifts.

Many of our attendees use the station to get to our meetings.

LLMMG MAY 2017 Meeting  (complete PDF file)

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04 Jan

Hunt-and-peck

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During the 1990s while living in Bath, my wife and I regularly attended the winter series of symphony concerts at the Colston Hall in Bristol. We always sat in the same seats in the choir stalls behind the orchestra facing the conductor. To all intents and purposes we were part of the percussion.

Read the entire article here...

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03 Jan

André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra

Written by

Falling In Love / The Flying Dutchman
Decca 5708288

This is the latest release from the phenomenon that is the Dutch violinist and conductor who has already sold over 40 million albums.

Read the entire article here...

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06 Jan

David Mellor hosts Light Music Masters on Classic FM

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On Saturday evenings at 9 o'clock from 7th January until Easter, David Mellor will host Light Music Masters on Classic FM.

This is a new series following positive reaction to the first series, broadcast last year.

More details can be found here:

http://www.classicfm.com/radio/shows-presenters/light-music-masters/upcoming-shows/

However, the website player says: "Sadly our broadcasting rights do not allow us to play to locations outside the UK."

Slightly more programme detail -- basically that for he first three episodes:

DATE: 7 JANUARY 2016

DAVID MELLOR’S LIGHT MUSIC MASTERS*

Last year, David Mellor presented a series of programmes which shine the spotlight on a much-maligned – but much-enjoyed – genre of music: Light Music.  Following feedback from Classic FM listeners, hundreds of whom got in touch to ask for more, David now begins a brand new series of his /Light Music Masters/.

Between now and Easter, David will be picking out plenty of undiscovered gems: tonight's choices include a few treats from the album /Puttnam Plays Puttnam/ – in which son pays homage to father – as well as some Neopolitan songs from the great Luciano Pavarotti.

We’ll also enjoy established favourites: for example, Richard Addinsell’s /Warsaw Concerto/ and Robert Farnon’s /Westminster Waltz/, which begins with the unmistakable sound of the bells of Big Ben.

DATE: 14 JANUARY 2016

2100*    DAVID MELLOR’S LIGHT MUSIC MASTERS*

Join David Mellor for the second instalment of 2017’s Light Music Masters. Throughout the series, he’ll be shining a spotlight on composers from the much-loved genre, including Eric Coates, Ronald Binge and Ron Goodwin. There’ll be tunes you’re sure to recognise, and some new discoveries along the way, so make sure you join him for a truly enjoyable hour of music.

Tonight’s masters include the man who David dubs the “genius of Light Music”, Leroy Anderson, with some of the American composer’s lesser known works /Serenata/ and /The Waltzing Cat/. We’ll also hear from another composer from across the pond, Leonard Bernstein, described by David as “almost too talented for his own good” with musicals such as /On The Town /and /West Side Story./ Rounding off the programme will be a Richard Hayman arrangement of Lionel Bart’s music for /Oliver/.

DATE: 21 JANUARY 2016

2100*    DAVID MELLOR’S LIGHT MUSIC MASTERS*

Join David Mellor as he crosses the Atlantic to shine the spotlight on a number of American Light Music specialists, in particular Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin.

Amongst the highlights are a modern-day recording making use of a piano roll of Gershwin himself playing his /Rhapsody in Blue/ with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting, and the songs of Jerome Kern arranged for choir. We’ll also be treated to Henry Macnini’s iconic music for the /Pink Panther/.

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11 Dec

BBC Concert Orchestra - Bramwell Tovey 'Urban Runway'

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On 16th Dec 2016 at 2pm from BBC Maida Vale Studios Bramwell Tovey conducts the UK premiere of his Urban Runway and Kathryn Rudge performs songs by Ivor Novello and Eric Coates. You can listen live from 2pm on BBC Radio 3.

Bramwell Tovey’s Urban Runway is laced with both jazz and minimalist flavours. Housed in a cakewalk rhythm, the piece is a musical stroll through the big-city American streets of New York and Rodeo Drive. Co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2008, the piece receives its UK premiere by the BBC Concert Orchestra at this afternoon concert conducted by the Grammy award-winning composer himself.

Songs by Eric Coates and Ivor Novello are performed by BBC New Generation Artist and highly acclaimed mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge, alongside John McEwan’s vibrant Solway Symphony, completing the programme at the BBC’s iconic Maida Vale Studios.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ehwwhn

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11 Dec

Blue Tango -- Very Best of Leroy Anderson Light Classics -- Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra

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New Leroy Anderson CD
IAIN SUTHERLAND CONCERT ORCHESTRA.
ALTO ALC 1324

"Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was arguably the most successful 20th century American composer of light orchestral music, ...

Read entire article here...

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04 Dec

London Fantasia

Written by

(Clive Richardson)
Columbia Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by
Charles Williams featuring Clive Richardson, piano.

Analysed by Robert Walton

It was in 1990 that Carlin Music asked me to write a “Theatrical Overture” for their library. On the day of the session, imagine my surprise when one of my idols of music Clive Richardson casually strolled into CTS studios at Wembley. I had already met him at a Robert Farnon Appreciation Society recital but this you can understand was something else. His contribution to the session were two new compositions of his called Shopping Around and Mantovani Strings. While he was very generous in praising my work, I was totally immersed in that famous ‘Richardson’ sound. For many years it had been my intention to analyse his London Fantasia for JIM. So why not now?

Read entire article here...

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04 Dec

Haydn Wood's "Merry Dale" recorded on CD

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Haydn Wood's march "Merry Dale" written for Slaithwaite Brass Band (Slaithwaite the village of his birth) has been recorded for the very first time on a CD called "Evolution".

Merry Dale was never published but was given by Haydn Wood directly to the band, who still own the original hand written manuscript parts.

Merry Dale has never been performed by any one other than Slaithwaite Band or outside the village.

Also on the Evolution CD is a recording of "A Brown Bird Singing" another piece composed by Haydn Wood performed as a cornet solo.

Music from the CD is being featured on Yorkshire Brass (Radio Leeds, York, Humberside + others) on Sunday 4th December and is available for a month on the BBC iPlayer.

The CD Evolution is available by post, price £11 inc p&p direct from Slaithwaite Band. See slaithwaiteband.org.UK for contact details.

 

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22 Nov

British Light Music at The British Home

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Poster for 26th Feb 2017

British Light Music at
The British Home

The Mark Fitz-Gerald Orchestra is holding a
fundraising concert in aid of The British Home.

Piano soloist Stephen Dickinson.

3.00 pm - Sunday 26th February 2017

Concert Hall, The British Home, Crown Lane, SW16 3JB

Tickets: £7.00 and Concessions £5.00 to include tea and coffee.
Tickets are limited please call the Home on 0208 670 8261 to
purchase your tickets or visit the website at www.britishhome.org.uk

The British Home is an independent charity that cares for people with disabilities and long
term medical conditions. Charity Number 206222

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14 Nov

The Goose Pimple Factor Or On The Bumpy Road To Mahler

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According to Robert Walton

Goose bumps, goose flesh, goose pimples, chill bumps or the medical term cutis anserina, are the swelling on the skin at the base of body hairs which may occur when a person is cold, scared or in awe of something. Basically it’s a rush of adrenalin. To be stimulated or overwhelmed is a very individual thing, depending of course what turns you on. It might be a structure, a view, a painting, a book, a person, a voice, or in my case, music.

Read entire article here...

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02 Nov

Two new meetings in November

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Tony Clayden will be presenting an afternoon of recorded music at the British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum on Saturday 19th November.

Please phone Eileen on 020 8670 3667 if you are coming so that catering can be assessed. Details below:


New Eltham Methodist Church, Footscray Road, New Eltham, London SE9 3UL
(Turn right out of New Eltham Station from Charing X, cross over traffic lights, and church is a few hundred yards on the left - less than 5 minutes walk).

Click here for more about the PSA Society)

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31 Oct

The Great British Mood Music Album - a comment

Written by

I have read Bob Walton's article with interest, and although I have already left a comment, I indicated that I might wish to expand on it once having looked at the article in closer detail.

I gather from his comments that he gives the palm of outstanding song writing and quality songs to American song writers while on the other hand that of quality instrumental mood music composers to those in the UK.

Read the entire article...

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23 Oct

John Parry has passed away

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We are sorry to hear from Forrest Patten that longtime RFS member John Parry passed away on 21st October in Florida at age 76.

John, outside of being one of the original members of the RFS, was involved for a number of years at Chappell's in London before re-locating to Toronto and starting his own production music library, Parry Music.

RIP, John.

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20 Oct

The Great British Mood Music Album

Written by

By Robert Walton

I don’t know when the expression “The Great American Songbook” was coined and by whom, but a more suitable name for that magical era from about 1920 to 1960 was long overdue. Will Friedwald and Michael Feinstein both use the phrase freely. Before it entered the language, those evergreens, mainly from Broadway shows and Hollywood musicals, were usually described as “standards”. This is the term for tried and tested songs of outstanding quality and originality that have earned their place over the years for their sheer staying power and have become established in the repertoire. But the word “standard” isn’t exactly the most descriptive of names.

Read the entire article here...

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19 Oct

The next LLMMG meeting: May 7th 2017

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The next LLMMG meeting will take place at the Lancaster Hall Hotel on Sunday May 7th 2017 – All are welcome, please tell your friends!

An afternoon of Light Music

on Sunday May 7th. 2017
at The Lancaster Hall Hotel,
35 Craven Terrace, London W2 3EL

Doors open: 1.30pm, Programme: 2pm - 6pm

The event includes presentations using recordings
and will also feature guest presenter:

Sigmund Groven - World famous virtuoso Norwegian harmonica player

Admission fee: £12.00 - includes refreshments during the first interval

Nearest stations: Paddington(main line), Paddington & Lancaster Gate (underground)
On-street parking available and very limited spaces in
the hotel car park @ £8 per vehicle
See map below

Further details from Tony Clayden
email:
telephone: 020 8449 5559

© 2016 London Light Music Meetings Group
49 Alexandra Road, Well End, BOREHAMWOOD, Herts WD6 5PB

Everyone is welcome!

 

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19 Oct

London Light Music Meetings Group - Sunday 9th October 2016

Written by

It was time once again for Light Music lovers to come together at the Lancaster Hall hotel, for our twice-yearly feast of light music. The BBC may think that light music is dead, but we say 'not while we're alive!'

Tony Clayden welcomed us to the meeting, opening the proceedings with Eric Coates' Television March, which was specially composed (apparently, at very short notice) for the re-opening of the BBC Television Service in 1946, and was used daily for several years thereafter. This was to commemorate, in November, the 80th anniversary of the start of regular high-definition television broadcasting in Britain, which was also a world 'first'.


Read entire article here...

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13 Oct

Peter Yorke's "In the Country" - Some Notes

Written by

It is wonderful to note that much music of worth formerly inaccessible to us save through radio broadcast or as background or signature use on television programs or documentaries may now be fully accessed by interested listeners thanks to the internet with postings on YouTube; much of this material though not all of it originating in those recently released series of Guild recordings of light music.

Read the entire article here...

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20 Sep

Melody of the Stars

Written by

(Peter Yorke)
Analysed by Robert Walton

One of the most underrated light orchestral composers, arrangers and conductors of the 20th century was unquestionably Peter Yorke. He successfully introduced the element of surprise into his work and in some ways was even more symphonic than George Melachrino. Yorke was a master of the dramatic gesture. A typical example of what I mean is in “Till The Clouds Roll By” selection. Listen to the connecting passage between Who and Ol’ Man River. Talk about putting an instant stamp on your music. No one slept during a Yorke performance, especially live!

Read the entire article here...

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19 Sep

Sound of Music 'Liesl' actress Charmian Carr dies

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The American actress Charmian Carr, who played Liesl in The Sound of Music, has died aged 73. She was the daughter of musician Brian Farnon, and the niece of Robert Farnon.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-37403372

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charmian_Carr

http://charmiancarr.com/

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17 Sep

Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra on Radio

Written by

Adam Bakker writes:

Dear All,

Tomorrow afternoon, Saturday 17 Sep 2016, Kingston Hospital Radio is doing a feature on the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra from 3:15 to 5pm.

They get people from all over the world listening to this programme.

You can tune in too with the link below:

http://tunein.com/radio/Kingston-Hospital-Radio-s248346/

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12 Sep

David Rose's "Gay Spirits," alternate piece with same title

Written by

During the course of my travels over the light music segment of the music repertoire, through various selections, some familiar, others less so, I came upon a rather unique situation upon revisiting a piece that I've known for the longest time.

That piece is David Rose's "Gay Spirits," which was one of the earliest light music selections that I acquainted myself with, and incidentally, even before encountering the composer's "Holiday for Strings" which would inevitably remind me of "Gay Spirits," as these two pieces are remarkably similar in their bearings. But I didn't know the name of the selection due to its manner of usage as accompanying music in what they refer to in the UK as a test card and in the USA as a test pattern. As hours of daily broadcasting have considerably expanded over the years, one is much less likely to encounter these intervals between live broadcasts, at least here in the USA. But due to the circumstances of my initial exposure to this piece, I was not to obtain the much desired particulars about it - the title and composer - until a few more years had passed. And this latter took place on a radio show entitled, "The Charlie Stark Music Shop" which I had occasion to refer to when commenting on Bob Walton's analysis of "Frenesi."

Read the entire article here...

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09 Sep

Next London Light Music Meetings Group meeting on October 9, 2016

Written by

  llmmg1

llmmg2

Our next Spring meeting will take place on Sunday 7th May 2017
and our special guest will be Sigmund Groven,
world famous virtuoso Norwegian harmonica player.

 

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06 Sep

Lap of Luxury

Written by

(Wally Stott)
Analysed by Robert Walton
[Written before the composer underwent a change of identity to Angela Morley]

Just mention the name Wally Stott/Angela Morley and that’s your guarantee of the highest quality music.

Read the article here...

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06 Sep

Tony Clayden acquires the record collection of the late Alan Bunting

Written by

Alan Bunting, who passed away in January 2016, amassed a huge collection of CDs, LPs, ‘45’ and ‘78’ rpm records, all of which have now been purchased from Alan’s family by Tony Clayden.

Amongst several thousand items are a great number of light-orchestral recordings by Percy Faith, Ray Conniff, David Rose, David Carroll and many others. Some are in mint, unused condition, whilst many others had been pre-owned and were obtained by Alan from all over the world.

Also included is a very large collection of record catalogues, many dating-back to well before WW2, and a selection of music reference books.

These will all require a great deal of sorting-out, but eventually it is hoped to produce a definitive list.

In the meantime Tony invites preliminary enquiries from serious enthusiasts who are potentially interested in this material. He may be contacted as follows:-

by email - Send Tony an email
by telephone - 020-8449 5559 (from outside the UK +44 20 8449 5559)
by post - 49 Alexandra Road, Well End, BOREHAMWOOD, Hertfordshire, WD6 5PB, England.

 

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01 Sep

Wagner - 'The Ring' Without Words

Written by

ORCHESTRAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE RING CYCLE

Berlin Philhamoniker / Lorin Maazel
Telarc CD80154

Richard Wagner (1813-83) is a “Marmite” musician –

Review by © Peter Burt 2016.

Read entire review here...

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26 Aug

Silent Night played by The Queens Hall Light Orchestra

Written by

To celebrate STUDIOCANAL's 40th Anniversary 4K release of Nicolas Roeg's 'The Man Who Fell To Earth', starring David Bowie, UMC will be releasing for the first time in any format the original soundtrack, containing seminal pieces by Stomu Yamash'ta and John Phillips, who composed specifically for the film.

This long-awaited release is significant for the Robert Farnon Society only because it includes Silent Night played by The Queens Hall Light Orchestra, conducted by Robert Farnon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Who-Fell-Earth/dp/B01J71M76C/ref=sr_1_1_twi_aud_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1472160225&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Man+Who+Fell+To+Earth+Soundtrack

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23 Aug

Frenesi

Written by

(Alberto Dominguez)
Artie Shaw version analysed by Robert Walton

Whenever I play Frenesi in public, I normally get absolutely no reaction whatsoever from anyone in the audience. I don’t know what that says about my playing or indeed about one of the catchiest Latin American melodies ever.


Read the entire article here...

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17 Aug

By The Sleepy Lagoon

Written by

(Eric Coates)
LSO version conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras
Analysed by Robert Walton

By The Sleepy Lagoon was written in 1930. Selsey has a lot to answer for, because Coates’ most famous composition was inspired by the view on a warm summer’s evening looking across the “lagoon” from the east beach at Selsey towards Bognor Regis. The sea at that time of day is an incredibly deep Pacific blue, but it appeared pink like an enchanted city with the blue of the Downs behind it. Who needs to go halfway around the world for inspiration, when you’ve got everything in your own backyard?

Read the entire article here...

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07 Aug

Auber Overtures ● 1

Written by

AUBER Overtures ● 1
Orchestre de Cannes – conductor: Wolfgang Dörner

Naxos 8.573553

Daniel-François-Esprit Auber – a name to be conjured with, but not nowadays! Even a classical music presenter recently said on air that he had never heard of him...

Read review here...

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02 Aug

Cinema Classics The Piano At The Movies

Written by

See Siang Wong
Sony 8985353612
The world of film music is a rich repository of good tunes and this new two-disc album has 24 mostly memorable themes played by See Siang Wong, a 37-7year-old Netherlands born Chinese pianist...

Read the review here...

 

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01 Aug

Film Music Classics Vaughan Williams

Written by

FILM MUSIC CLASSICS Vaughan Williams Naxos 8.573659 RTE Orchestra conducted by Andrew Penny. 

Read the review here...

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24 Jul

Just William’s Luck

Written by

(Robert Farnon)
Analysed by Robert Walton
Soundtrack music compilation from the first “Just William” film.

For many years discerning light music lovers often wondered what influenced those light orchestral classics of Robert Farnon.

Read the entire article here...

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15 Jul

Mind If I Make Love To You

Written by

(Cole Porter)
Pete King’s arrangement analysed by Robert Walton

For many years now my Guild collection of the “Golden Age Of Light Music” has been providing me with a perfect soundtrack for afternoon tea. But more than that, it has become something of an everyday quiz for country folk, in my case living on a farm at the edge of Europe in the far west of Ireland. I try to identify the tunes, composers, arrangers and orchestras from a vast treasure trove of titles. This virtual ‘university’ of music helps to maintain the brain as well as entertain.

Read the entire article here...

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13 Jul

Caprice for Strings

Written by

(Edward White)
The London Promenade Orchestra version
Analysed by Robert Walton

I first heard Caprice for Strings quite by chance in 1953 on a radio programme in New Zealand from 1YA Auckland. Because there was no back announcement, it remained unknown until I wrote to the station for information.

Read the entire article here...

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29 Jun

Notes and Suggestions on a Performance of Rutter's Requiem

Written by

I have been covering quite a wide range when writing these Notes and Suggestions essays, but I must say, I never imagined that I would be writing such an essay on this particular work.  Of course, it comes from the fact that I attended a performance of it recently at Carnegie Hall as part of the Mid-America series where it is very often presented, usually conducted by the composer himself.  And subsequently, I listened to a few performances of it on YouTube as I sometimes do when a work makes a sufficient impression on me so that I might want to partake of it further.

Read entire article...

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28 Jun

The 39 Steps

Written by

Jim Stokes informs us through the RFS Facebook page: "THE 39 STEPS comedy version produced by Doug Denoff used some RF music as overture music before the opening curtain."

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28 Jun

The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral - a review

Written by

Written by Peter Burt.

JOHN RUTTER Psalmfest
The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ● Andrew Lucas
Naxos 8.573394

I imagine that a number of readers will be familiar with John Rutter’s carols and hymn tune settings. This his latest release, ...

Read the article here...

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28 Jun

Viennese Dances - a review

Written by

Written by Peter Burt.

JOSEPH LANNER Viennese Dances
Orchestre de Cannes cond. Wolfgang Dörner
Naxos 8.573552

Devotees of the New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna will know the name of Joseph Lanner (1801-1843). He has been claimed as ‘father of the Viennese waltz’ and was a contemporary of Johann Strauss I (1804-49), the viola player in his first quartet until they quarrelled and the latter left to form his own group.

Read the entire article...

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27 Jun

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Written by

(André Previn)
Analysed by Robert Walton

There are very few tunes that make me cry. Sometimes Mahler or Farnon unleash a mini ‘Niagara’ in me, but Previn’s utterly sublime theme of total tranquility from the 1961 film “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” has all the elements to produce a similar reaction. Even the melody is crying out to be heard! For me it evokes some of man’s finest qualities: hope, joy, kindness, unselfishness and of course love. It’s like a religious experience. Only music can truly convey such feelings. Previn possesses a natural gift to tug at your heartstrings. The old romantic!

Read entire article here...

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09 Jun

Mannequin Melody

Written by

(Clive Richardson)
Analysed by Robert Walton

As I’m sure you know, I get a great kick out of analysing light orchestral pieces, especially ones that are jolly and cheerful. Without doubt Mannequin Melody fits into that category perfectly. In fact it puts one instantly into a good mood. This Clive Richardson composition contains many of the qualities of the 1940’s Golden Era, including the presence of the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon.

Read the article here...

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08 Jun

The Last Walz - The Strauss Family and Vienna - book review

Written by

John Suchet –

THE LAST WALTZ – The Strauss Family and Vienna

Hardback  277pp   ISBN:978-1-78396-116-0

Published by Elliott and Thompson,  London,
in association with CLASSIC FM RADIO.

Price  £25.00

Having written six books about Ludwig van Beethoven, upon whom he is an acknowledged expert, John Suchet has now turned his attention to the Strauss family –  ‘dynasty’ as he describes it – and the Vienna of the nineteenth century.

Read the entire article...

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02 Jun

Classic fm - 'David Mellor's Light Music Masters'

Written by

Coming up on Classic fm -
'David Mellor's Light Music Masters'

Saturday 4 June, 9pm

David begins his survey of Light Music with a man who helped put the genre on the map – Arthur Fiedler.

He came out of the violin section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and went on to direct the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 seasons. The composer and the orchestra even hold the Guinness World Record for the largest single audience for a classical music concert – an incredible 400,000 people.

Tonight David will tell their story and play the music that made them so popular. Instantly recognisable and timeless pieces include I got Rhythm with Earl Wild on the piano, and Jaloussie by Jacob Garder, which went on to be the first 78 to sell a million copies.

Saturday 11 June, 9pm

In the second programme in this new series, David Mellor shines the spotlight on one of the finest Light Music composers of the 20th century: Eric Coates. Coates was recognised throughout the word for his his hummable tunes and brilliant orchestrations, both of which we’ll hear in abundance tonight. But as David promises to prove, there’s more to this English composer than his Dambusters March and London Suite. Join him to discover some surprising stories, which are guaranteed to make you hear Coates’ music in a new light.

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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.