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ANNOUNCEMENTS & CLASSICAL NEWS

Bulgarian composer Konstantin Iliev

Commercially unrecorded, his first symphony is available via a radio broadcast and is available to download along with three other works by this composer including his fascinating Moments Musicaux from Spanish Radio free of charge. Link


Basil Cameron CD

I wonder if any of you out there can help me track down this Basil Cameron set (2CDs) seemingly issued on a small scale in the early 2000s. It was only available from Audiosonic in Gloucester.

Contents
Auber The Crown Diamonds – Overture
Grieg Lyric Suite
Handel arr. Harty Water Music – Suite
Hérold Zampa – Overture
Kodály Dances of Galánta
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio espagnol, Op.34
Rossini William Tell – Ballet Music
Schubert Rosamunde – Ballet Music in B flat and G
Sibelius Symphony No.2 in D, Op.43 Tapiola, Op.112

Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra/Basil Cameron
rec. 1943-1952
Catalogue No: BC 101

Rob Barnett
Replies please to rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


A Celebration of Howard Blake

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Howard Blake at Cadogan Hall, London, Thursday 7 September 2017, 7.30pm.

Program
Sleepwalking (for soprano vocalise & strings)
Piano Concerto
Diversions for Cello and Orchestra
Elegia Stravagante (Duo Concertante)


Geoffrey Blackmore

I have in my possession his original hand-written manuscripts of Blackmore's 'The Maid of the Midnight Sun' - all the orchestra parts plus the script. Plus another musical and some individual songs. I don’t know if they might be of interest to anyone? They are in excellent condition and make fascinating reading, but I am not sure what to do with them. The material is so dated, I’m not sure anyone would want to stage it any more, but do you know if it would be of interest to a museum or library? Is there any value in old manuscripts?

Jill Stevens (jill.priest@ntlworld.com)


Samuel Barber Documentary

H. Paul Moon has just finished a feature-length documentary about Samuel Barber who was born on March 9, 1910.   His 3-minute trailer (see below) lines up some famous people with their insights on Barber:  William Schuman, Thomas Hampson, biographer Barbara Heyman, Leonard Slatkin and Leonard Bernstein.  

This project is self-distributing, independent, without compromise -- it's not commercially viable, and it won't recover expenses he tells us.

TRAILER: Vimeo
OFFICIAL SITE:  www.samuelbarberfilm.com
FACEBOOK PAGE:  www.facebook.com/samuelbarberfilm
TWITTER:  @hpmoon


Can You Help?

Can anyone help me with answers to the following:-
a)  When and where was the composer, arranger and songwriter PETER AKISTER born and when did he die?  My researches suggest that he wrote the signature tune to the classic BBC radio comedy series Take It From Here, which ran from 1948 to 1960;  arranged the music for the 1939 film Discoveries;  his quintet played on a few episodes of the TV series Saturday Special, which ran from 1951 to 1953;   he composed the music for two 1956 British comedy films, Dry Rot and Sailor, Beware! (both starring Peggy Mount);   he orchestrated the music for a couple of episodes of the 1961 BBC TV series Charlie Chester on Laughter Service;  and  arranged the music for the 1963 TV film Dick Whittington.

b)  Where was songwriter  RALPH BUTLER (1886-1969) born?  He wrote words or music or both for  All by yourself in the moonlight,  Give yourself a pat on the back,  There’s a good time coming,  I’m happy when I’m hiking,  Let’s all go to the music-hall, and with Noel Gay Round the Marble Arch, The sun has got his hat on, Run, rabbit, run, Hey, little hen and We don’t know where we’re going, not forgetting that Butler and Peter Hart won an Ivor Novello award in 1956 for Nellie the elephant!

c)   When and where was  ROGER ECKERSLEY  born and when did he die?  He was  Director of Programmes at the BBC and in 1932 wrote the music with Eric Little’s words for It’s just the time for dancing, the signature tune of the BBC Dance Orchestra directed by Henry Hall.  

Replies please to rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


Loder Update

You may be aware of the Loder celebrations that took place in Bath in October 2015, and also of the book Musicians of Bath and Beyond: Edward Loder (1809-1865) and His Family edited by Nicholas Temperley (The Boydell Press, 2016). 

However, you may not know of the number of recordings of Edward Loder's music that can now be accessed.   Thanks to Professor Temperley's efforts, the online audio supplement referred to on page 5 of his book now contains much piano music and several songs by Edward Loder, as well as excerpts from his operas The Night Dancers (with piano accompaniment) and Raymond and Agnes (with orchestra, in Professor Temperley's 1966 revision), plus Loder's Flute Sonata and the sole surviving movement from his six string quartets.  There is also a song by each of Edward's cousins George and Kate Loder.   Commercially there is a CD of Ian Hobson playing Edward Loder's piano works on Toccata Classics (TOCC0322), and a companion CD of Hobson playing Kate Loder's piano music (TOCC0321) is due for release on 1 March 2017.  In addition, a recording of Edward Loder's 'Original Theme with Variations for the Flute' can be found in a collection 'British Flute Music in the Early Nineteenth Century' played by Gilberto Fornito and Christopher Howell on the Italian Sheva label (SH156 - review).

I would add that sheet music of many of Edward Loder's instrumental and vocal compositions can be downloaded from the ISMLP/Petrucci Music Library.  The site also has some violin music by Edward's father John David Loder.   For the future we can look forward excitedly to Retrospect Opera's planned recording of the original version of the opera Raymond and Agnes, now firmly scheduled for October 2017.  The recording is to be conducted by Richard Bonynge, who has already included the overture to The Night Dancers in his collection 'Victorian Opera Overtures' (SOMMCD0123).  Financial support for this Raymond and Agnes recording is still sought, and full details on this can be found on the Retrospect Opera website (www.retrospectopera.org.uk).  

Altogether these various enterprises represent a very gratifying outcome to the Loder Project initiated in 2012.  

All good wishes
Andrew Lamb


Transfer of analogue recordings

In retirement I now have the time to pursue various projects.

One of these is transferring cassettes and tape reel-to-reels of off-radio broadcasts and private recordings to CDR.

There is a sad history of valuable and occasionally irreplaceable recordings on cassettes and reels ending up in landfill when the music enthusiast dies. Other enthusiasts have these tapes and reels but lack the equipment to play them.

On a friendly, amateur, voluntary and non-commercial basis I have been transferring interesting recordings to CDR for friends and colleagues. I have on occasion travelled to the enthusiast's home (in the UK) and collected the reels and/or cassettes. I then take these home and make the transfers onto CDR. I keep one copy for myself and return the original reels/cassettes with a CDR to the enthusiast. No charge is made. Obviously large numbers take a long time but I hope that this might be helpful to people and would also extend the life of these recordings and my knowledge of the repertoire and of performances.

I would invite people to contact me at rob.barnett1@btinternet.com

Rob Barnett


Ida Gardner question

I have a early Edison Diamond Disc 80424 (thick record) from about 1917-18 of George Clutsam's Ma Curly-Headed Babby. The singer on it is Ida Gardner.  Does anyone know if she was an African-American singer?  I know she was known as "the Georgia nightingale"  If anyone has any additional info on her, please contact me at georgep905@yahoo.ca.


Medtner Newsletter

Those interested in being kept up to date with Medtner news should email Wendelin Bitzan to register their interest: wen.de.lin@web.de


Gaze Cooper website

Sarah Bradwell has written to us about her grandfather, the English, Nottingham-based composer, Walter Gaze Cooper (1895-1981). She would like to promote interest in his music and his life story. A recently established website for the composer and a performance in Nottingham of his Oboe Concertino all justify fresh attention.

There was a small interview on Radio Nottingham in June 2016, with some fascinating photographs.

Gaze Cooper's scores are housed in the Nottinghamshire Archive. The family hold a cuttings book from the orchestra with many news cuttings and programmes. They also hold letters which are going to be put into presentation wallets and eventually kept in  the archive so that as much information as possible is in one place. There is also a comments book which guest performers who played with the orchestra wrote in; fascinating reading.


Malcolm Arnold

Several interesting, historic radio recordings have recently been placed on YouTube by James Stuart (who has previously uploaded many other recordings of Arnold, including film music, and other 20th century British composers). These include:

Symphony No 1. Rumon Gamba/BBC Philharmonic. 80th birthday performance, Oct 2011
Symphony No 2. George Hurst/London Symphony Orchestra. BBC transcription disc-early 1960s
Symphony No 3. John Pritchard/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. 1st broadcast performance, 1958
Symphony No 4. Malcolm Arnold/BBC Symphony Orchestra. Premiere, 2 Nov 1960
Symphony No 5. Malcolm Arnold/BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. Broadcast premiere, 1 May 1966
Symphony No 6. Malcolm Arnold/BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. Premiere, 28 June 1968
Symphony No 7. Edward Downes/BBC Philharmonic. 21 Oct 1986
Symphony No 7. Charles Groves/BBC Philharmonic. 19 Nov 1991, Manchester
Symphony No 8. Charles Groves/BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. UK premiere 2 Oct 1981
Symphony No 8. Julius Hegyi/Albany Symphony Orchestra. World Premiere, May 1979
Symphony No 9. Charles Groves/BBC Philharmonic. Premiere, 20 Jan 1992
Symphony for Brass. Jerzy Maksymiuk/brass section of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Commonwealth Christmas Overture. Alexander Gibson/London Philharmonic Orchestra. Broadcast early 1960s
Electra.
Barry Wordsworth/BBC Concert Orchestra.
Fantasy on a Theme of John Field. Edward Downes/BBC Philharmonic/Martin Roscoe. 21 Oct 1986
Harmonica Concerto. Ole Schmidt/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Tommy Reilly. 25 July 1983
Homage to the Queen. Malcolm Arnold/BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. 10 Oct 1969
Philharmonic Concerto. Edward Downes/BBC Philharmonic. 21 Oct 1986
Rinaldo & Armida. Malcolm Arnold/BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. 6 Nov 1971


David Dunstan
for Malcolm Arnold Society


Elsie April

I am undertaking some research into the life and works of “Elsie April” (1885-1950), composer, pianist, accompanist and musical “secretary” to Noel Coward in the 1930s.  The BMS ran an article about Elsie in 2010 submitted by Pat Jacob, her granddaughter. I wondered if anyone would be able to help me with the following:

1. I am trying to track down a photograph of Elsie. Can anyone assist?

2. I would very much like to make contact with Pat Jacob. Is there anyone out there who knows where she or other members of the family can be contacted. If so please get in touch with me or please pass my email address to her or them.

3. Further information about Elsie April.

I firmly believe that Elsie’s work merits wider recognition, hence my research. Any assistance in this is very much appreciated.

Yours truly

Tony Castro
tony@tonycastro.plus.com


Obituaries of classical musicians at The Independent

The Independent newspaper has ceased its print version, and will now only exist online.  It will apparently no longer continue to publish obituaries, but its archive remains freely available, and there is a significant number of obituaries, many of classical musicians available here.


British Library Sound Archives

A treasure trove of recordings.  Examples include:
So much Matyas Seiber in one place
Vintage artists - chamber music
116 recordings made by the violinist Derek Collier (1927-2008) - some intriguing things here including Swedish, British and Italian repertoire


Can anyone help me find out who the critic 'Capriccio' was?  He was writing in Musical Opinion and Music Trade Review during the First World War.  I have a review 'Concert Notices' by him dated June 1915 pp604/5.

Regards and thanks
John France
johnfrance37@gmail.com


Nystroem broadcast help

Can anyone help our Editor, Rob Barnett with a off-air recording of Gosta Nystroem's Sinfonia del mare with soprano Ailish Tynan and the BBC SO/John Storgards, broadcast on 30 June 2008 It's a work I have reviewed twice for MWI and have my fingers crossed that someone will be able to help. Anyone who might be able to help can contact me at the usual email address: rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


Violin concertante ebook

The second and revised edition of Tobias Broeker's free ebook "The 20th century violin concertante" is now online and available from his website www.tobias-broeker.de. Tobias has also expanded his research from information and recordings to rare scores and manuscripts, and has started to typeset the manuscripts into a scorewriting program and make the pdfs available for interested persons. The first few pdfs are online, but more will follow soon.


Sibelius Violin Concerto - US Premiere

The Maud Powell Society has a substantial article on her performance of the Sibelius concerto in New York in 1906 - read it here.


Searching for the music for Eleanor Farjeon's Sussex Alphabet

This concerns a project that I am developing with South Downs National Park. As I am sure you are aware this is the newest of the National Parks to be created in the UK, though in terms of the time it took, it's almost the oldest! As part of the celebration of its existence we are planning both to republish Eleanor Farjeon's Sussex Alphabet - a series of poems characterised by fantasy, humour and deep love of the county. At the same time we will produce a new set of poems which we hope the school children in the Park will write - and publish these as A Southdowns Alphabet.

Beside these lovely poems and, of course, Morning Has Broken - set to music by Cat Stevens - Eleanor also wrote a poem On The Road to Alfriston which is, in fact, the village where I live.

Though her original Sussex Alphabet was published by Pear Tree Press in 1939 she actually wrote the poems in 1924 and these were set to music by her brother, Harry.

My colleague Peter Robinson has a copy of both the Pear Tree publication and the musical poems.

However, as Peter wrote: It seems my scarce copy of the Sussex Alphabet set to brother Harry Farjeon's music, is only Vol. 1 of 2. It takes us up to 'N': Nightingales. However, for our purposes it has the all important 'D': Downs poem. Incidentally, you will see that this was in fact Harry Farjeon's own copy -it is signed bottom right on the front cover.

We are trying urgently to do four things and this led us to Mr Scowcroft's web site and your name. We would like to try to find the two volumes of this music and, if possible, get everything in a form so that a pianist and and eventually a school choir could sing these poems again - and eventually sing our new poems too. So this will require another composer, but we'll deal with the first problem at the moment.

Thank you for your advice and help. I can be reached on 01323 870073 or at june.goodfield@virgin.net

June Goodfield


Julian Lloyd Webber’s last ever filmed performance as a cellist available to watch now

On 3 April 2014, Julian Lloyd Webber, along with wife Jiaxin and accompanist Pam Chowhan, launched Rhinegold LIVE with music from their recent Tale of Two Cellos tour. Just a few weeks later Julian announced his retirement from performance due to a herniated disc in his neck.

The concert was filmed, and four videos are now available to watch at Rheingold UK. The four videos represent Julian’s last ever filmed performance as a cellist:
- Summer Sunset, by Roger Quilter
- Moon Silver, by William Lloyd Webber
- Prelude from ‘The Gadfly’, by Dmitri Shostakovich
- All I Have to Do Is Dream, The Everly Brothers

The videos are available as part of Rhinegold LIVE’s commitment to offering accessible and affordable music to all. Also available is a live audio recording of the informal Q&A that followed their recital, in which the trio discuss stories from their most recent tour, William Lloyd Webber’s centenary year, the differences between playing classical and rock, Julian’s passion for Leyton Orient and the importance of music education.

All Rhinegold LIVE material is recorded using the AKG C414, and Pam plays a Schimmel Konzert Grand kindly donated by Peregrine’s Pianos.

This concert was sponsored by Teacher Stern solicitors.


Online Polish music resource

I would like to draw your attention to the new project dedicated to Polish renowned composers Witold Lutoslawski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki. The aim of the project is to make works of these composers avaiable to the wider public. It is a venture of the National Audiovisual Institute of Poland, a government agency under the Ministry of Culture with a mission to digitize, archive, record, share and promote Polish audiovisual heritage.

To celebrate the jubilee anniversary of the birth of Lutoslawski, Gorecki and Penderecki we have launched www.threecomposers.pl an on-line music collection containing almost all the works by Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The recordings, at full lenght, have been carefully selected for the highest artistic level or their special historical value.

The whole content of the collection is available to the public all over the world for free.

The collection comprises nearly 300 pieces composed since 1924 up to present (in at least one audio recording), which have been enriched with 950 articles in Polish and English language version, concerning genesis or the circumstances of creating a given composition. This service have been developed by a team of experts - musicologists and music critics. Moreover, the collection consists of a number of additional contextual, iconographic and film materials, providing information on the life and works of the artists. Over 70 per cent of the collection comprises recordings from the archives of Polish Radio, digitized at our initiative.

Among the recordings available, one can listen to performances of the world-renowned instrumentalists and bands, including inter alia Anne-Sophie Mutter performing Lutosławski’s "Chain II. Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra", conducted by Jan Krenz; Krystian Zimmerman performing for the very first time in Poland Lutosławski’s "Piano Concerto" dedicated to him, under the baton of the composer; Mstislav Rostropovich in Penderecki's "II. Concerto for Cello” or the Kronos Quartet in registrations of string quartets of the Three Composers.

On some recordings, the great composers also perform as instrumentalists, for example Witold Lutosławski playing his "Folk Melodies", "Bucolics" and "Three Pieces for youth" on the piano; Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, accompanies Wanda Warska at the piano, who sings "Three fragments to the words of Wyspiański" and Krzysztof Penderecki, also playing the piano (!), accompanies Eugenia Umińska while she performs "Three miniatures for violin and piano".

Moreover, at the website one can find recordings that had never before been recorded for commercial purposes, such as Penderecki’s opera "Black Mask" performed at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw (September 1988) directed by Robert Satanowski; and the world premiere records of such works as Lutosławski’s "String Overture " from 1949 recorded in Prague under the direction of Grzegorz Fitelberg.

The collection includes also some very rare musical "gems" such as a two-minute fanfare "Wratislaviae gloria" composed by Górecki in 1968 for Andrzej Markowski, the then head of the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, or electronic "Aulodia" by Penderecki - the first proposal of a piece that was supposed to dignify the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.

Agnieszka Wolak
National Audiovisual Institute of Poland


Help required!

My name is Steve Pazin and I am a member of the Clovis Community Band of Clovis, California. The band is going to play a selection named “Normandy Veterans March” by Chris North. I can not find any performance notes regarding this selection. I know that he was born around 1910 and died around 1949. I assume he composed this march recognizing the Veteran’s who were part of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.

I would appreciate any information you or any of your colleagues could pass along to me. We’re going to perform this march this weekend.

Thank you,
Steve Pazin

Anyone who can help, please email Rob Barnett.


And all the trumpets sounded by Ronald Corp

Commissioned by the Highgate Choral Society and completed in 1989, the cantata is a setting of verses from the Latin poem Dies irae and war poems by Charles Hamilton Sorley, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, and Edward Thomas. The central section is a setting of Vigil Strange by Walt Whitman which tells of the death of a young comrade in battle.

And all the
trumpets sounded was intended as a companion piece to Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem and owes a debt to Britten’s War Requiem.

Reviews after the first performance in Highgate:-
‘......a major work which should find a place in our great choral repertory’ (The Hampstead and Highgate Express)
‘Even after a single hearing there is no doubt that And all the trumpets sounded deserves to find a place in the programme of our choral societies, and I recommend it to the Three Choirs Festival. (Musical Opinion)
Now on CD - Dutton Epoch CDLX7280 Mark Stone (baritone); New London Children’s Choir: The London Chorus: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Ronald Corp

CD reviews:-
International Record Review - April 2012
‘the shadow of Britten may inevitably loom, and with textures dominated, as you would expect from the title (drawn from John Bunyan, not otherwise set here) by trumpets and bass drum, there is no avoiding the fact. All the same Corp is his own man, for the most part steering clear, or so it seems to me, of Britten’s sometimes biting astringency’ (Piers Burton-Page)
Fanfare July/August 2012
‘this is first class music of a sort sorely needed’......’from the first bar to the last this is a moving, powerful piece’ (James A Altena)
The work is scored for baritone soloist, SATB choir with optional children’s choir (or soprano solo) and modest orchestra - 2222.2300. timp perc (2) and strings.

Duration 38 - 40 minutes
Published by Stainer and Bell
Web site: www.ronaldcorp.com
Ronald.corp@btconnect.com


March 1st 2013
I am presently researching the late Victorian / Edwardian composer, arranger and teacher, Wilfred Ellington Bendall (1850-1920), who was friend and secretary to Sir Arthur Sullivan, and professor of piano at the recently formed Guildhall School of Music (from c.1888-c.1905). I shall be interested to hear anything that anybody has to tell me about Bendall, particularly anything relating to autograph manuscripts of his music, or the whereabouts of band parts, vocal score material etc for any of his stage shows.

I am especially keen to find photographs of Wilfred Bendall, and would also be thrilled to discover any living relations.

Please contact me directly at robin@amber-ring.co.uk


Questions concerning Bliss’s Things to Come (TTC) film score and concert suite:-

1. According to the BBC John Curwen & Sons Ltd. provided the orchestral parts for the Proms premiere Sept 12 1935. Why Curwen and not Chappell & Co? Did Chappell outsource parts to Curwen and was this common with Bliss’s scores?
2. Given the above, have Curwen ever been contacted about Bliss’s TTC score? What happened to Curwen’s archive and music plates?
3. I own a rare score, the full symphonic edition of the March by Novello. The year of publication is 1939 (Lewis Foreman catalogue lists 1937?). The remaining five movements of Bliss’s definitive concert suite are copyright dated 1940. Why the difference in years? Also, the back cover of the March Novello full score lists seven movements including World in Ruin and Machines . As the definitive suite does not include World in Ruin was this simply a typo error by Novello? If not, could Novello still hold a plate for World in Ruin? Altogether I have counted four different versions of the concert suite: Proms 1935, Proms 1936, the Novello full symphonic edition from 1939/40 and Bliss’s recording 1957.
4. A letter (April 6 1938) from Doris Silver, London Films to Basil Gray, BBC lists eight movements to the film score but for some reason omits completely the March. Any views why and is there any possible connection here with the year 1939 mentioned above and transfer of the rights for the March from Chappell to Novello?
5. Following on from this, what exactly was the arrangement over the score rights between Chappell & Co. and Novello?
6. With regard to the Idyll movement, is there any physical evidence this music was later recycled by the composer?
7. Does anyone own a copy of Decca matrix TA 1734 (untitled, possibly Bliss’s abandoned Idyll music).
8. Have any BMS members spoken to Bliss in person about the missing film score and why only Attack on the Moon Gun survived?
9. Did Bliss sanction use of his No.1 of 3 Jubilant Fanfares (or a variant thereof) in the film?
10. Does anyone have knowledge of the so-called Utopian Hymn recorded & discarded by Denham Film Studios (78 rpm recording owned by the late John Huntley).
Thank you for any help or suggestions you are able to offer
Bill Snedden

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