Jussi Björling Museum late appeal
This is not an appeal for a financial contribution; just your support.
Please circulate it widely.
The authorities in my home town Borlänge in Sweden have decided
to close down the Jussi Björling Museum. Björling, one of
the greatest tenors of the previous Century, and an inspiration for
thousands of other singers, was born in Borlänge in 1911, and had
a great international career, lasting almost 30 years until his untimely
demise in 1960 at the age of 49. In 1994 a museum to his honour was
inaugurated in Borlänge in the presence of his widow, and through
the years Music lovers from 68 countries have visited it. One of those
was John Steane, of Gramophone fame, and he wrote afterwards: ”This
is the best singer-museum in the World”. We, the Jussi Björling
Society, are now running a campaign to save the museum, and in very
short time more than 1200 Björling admirers from the whole World
have supported us. Among those are World famous tenors like Plácido
Domingo, Joseph Calleja, Piotr Beczala, Neil Shicoff and, most recently,
Jonas Kaufmann. If you, dear colleague, would also like to support our
Campaign, you only need to send your name and place of Residence to
It will be deeply appreciated!
The Jussi Björling Museum closes
It has long been known that the City of Borlänge wanted to move the Jussi Björling Museum out of its present building, where it was opened in 1994, but plans for the future have been unclear. In April 2020, the three Jussi Björling societies, Lars and Ann-Charlotte Björling and several persons in Sweden and abroad who were active in preserving his memory through books and CDs sent a letter to the Department of Cultural and Recreational Activities, stressing the importance of the museum and asking for clarification of the city's plans.
The questions were not answered until seven months later, in a letter from the head of the department dated 23 November, and on 24 November the corresponding political board took a formal decision confirming the information. It has thus been decided that after 1 January 2021, there will not be a separate Jussi Björling museum, and the present building will be emptied. The museum will be replaced by an exhibition of selected parts of the collections, either in the municipal library or in an adjacent building. The new exhibition will not contain any of the Björling family's depositions, since Jussi's children Lars and Ann-Charlotte have reacted to the decision by demanding that all the family's depositions are returned to them as soon as possible.
No person with special competence related to the new exhibition will be hired, so the collections, probably to a large part in storage, cannot be developed or help given with search in them (it was not excluded that some acquisitions to the collections may be made, if the Björling societies assist with expertise). Probably, the library will not continue any part of the sale of CDs and souvenirs.
The museum will still be open during 16 days in December, but it is especially regrettable that restrictions due to the corona pandemic will probably prevent some of those who would like to make a last visit. Contact with the curator Jan-Olof Damberg and orders by mail (email@example.com) or telephone (+46 24374240) will be possible for some period after the museum is closed.
We hope that it will be possible to build up a Björling museum again in another place.
The board of Jussi Björlingsällskapet (The Jussi Björling Society)
The Next Track Podcast
I've been co-hosting The Next Track, a podcast about "how people listen to music today," for nearly 200 episodes, and in that time we have covered a wide range of music, from rock to classical, and from avant garde music to the blues. We discuss different types of music, have interviewed dozens of authors of books about music and critics, and we also cover the technology that people use to listen to music today, both hardware and software.
Since the lockdown in March, 2020, we have interviewed a number of well-known classical musicians. For many of these artists, their normally tight schedules have been shaken up and they have time to talk about their work. Some of them have instigated new projects in lockdown, such as perfecting new repertoire, and others have gone as far as recording albums in unconventional settings.
Our latest episode features Simone Dinnerstein, who recorded her new album of works by Philip Glass and Franz Schubert in her Brooklyn home, and in the past six months, we have talked with Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Alina Ibragimova, Ian Bostridge, Marc-André Hamelin, Richard Egarr, Timo Andres, Mahan Esfahani, and critic Anne Midgette. We have a number of interviews planned for the coming months with other classical musicians, so I invite you to check out The Next Track. You can listen on our website, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or listen on Spotify.
Richard Tauber chronology updated
The new file can be downloaded
here. The newest edition has an extended picture
gallery, including some previously unpublished photos.
The 15th Malcolm Arnold Festival
‘A Man of the People’ is the theme of this year’s Malcolm
Arnold Festival; the annual celebration of the multi-faceted
composer and his music. Available online for the first time,
listeners will be able to join proceedings via the website
portal over 17th - 18th October 2020 - see
the website for details.
The Frank Bridge Estate - help
We are a French chamber music group, Ensemble Polygones,
and we are seeking to contact the heirs of composer Frank
Bridge in the hopes of obtaining permission to transcribe and
perform his Miniatures for trio in a quintet format.
Leila Schneps firstname.lastname@example.org
Documentary about Bernard Haitink on BBC Two
Made by John Bridcutt, and broadcast on September 26 at
730pm, later available on iplayer.
Streetwise Opera presents The Linden Tree
A project involving the homeless and professional
musicians such as the brodysky Quartet and Roderick Williams.
here for more.
Call for participants for a study into the effects
of virtual choral singing on mood and well-being
Brought to you by Limina Immersive, NHS Arden & GEM and
Ex Cathedra, Lost in Song is a web-based application that has
been specifically developed to lift spirits and provide an
opportunity to experience the joys of choral singing from the
comfort and safety of your own home. With songs arranged and
performed by award-winning Birmingham-based choir Ex
Cathedra, Lost in Song allows you to sing along with a choir,
while enjoying 360 degree footage of natural landscapes from
around the UK.
Limina Immersive are asking members
of the public to come forward and experience Lost in Song and
be part of their study that will evaluate the ability to
experience a boost in mood and improve general well-being.
Study participants will be asked to use the web application
on four separate occasions, testing four different songs over
the month of October 2020. The four songs that will be part
of the initial release are Stand By Me (Ben E. King),
Jerusalem, Skye Boat Song and Earthrise. Participants will be
asked to complete a mood checker before and after they
experience Lost in Song as well as a short follow up survey.
Cathrine Allen, CEO at Limina Immersive said: “We’re
really excited about this opportunity, that has been made
possible with the support of Innovate UK, and feel that we’ve
created something that’s easy to use and makes a big impact
on people’s moods. We’d like as many people to experience
this as possible to help us develop further and make a
difference on a much bigger scale.”
This is a remote
study which will require a device, such as a smartphone,
tablet or computer, that can access the internet to
to experiencing 4 songs though the Lost in Song web app and
completing the mood checker before and after
of survey questions
Data will be collected by NHS
Arden & Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit and
owned by Limina Immersive until September 2021, at which
point all participant data will be deleted.
participate in the study, please go to
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LostInSong to complete
the sign-up survey. Deadline for registration is 2nd October
The English Music festival - October
From Em Marshall-Luck, EMF Director
absolutely delighted to be able to tell you that the EMF is
playing its part in restarting music-making in the UK and
that our Autumn Festival will be going ahead this year. We
have been very aware of the plight of musicians in this
country, so many of whom have lost so much work and,
therefore, income since concerts stopped in March, and we
have been deeply concerned about the future of concerts and
live music in the wake of the lockdown. We are therefore
doing what we can to rectify matters by organising new
events, starting with an Autumn Festival at St Mary’s Church
in Horsham, Sussex. Booking is now OPEN for this event.
The Autumn EMF will be commence on the evening of Friday
9th October 2020 and will run through the whole of Saturday
10th. The opening event will be a violin and piano recital
comprising violin sonatas by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and
Delius, alongside Holst’s charming and characterful Five
Pieces. Saturday’s events will start with a piano recital
from Duncan Honeybourne, with music by Elgar (including the
Concert Allegro), Holst, Bax, Ireland and Bridge, as well as
Parry’s glorious Shulbrede Tunes. This will be followed in
the afternoon by a flute and harp recital given by Emma
Halnan and Heather Wrighton, featuring works by William
Alwyn, Malcolm Arnold and Paul Lewis among other composers
(including an arrangement of the ever-popular Greensleves).
The evening concert on Saturday will be given by the young
and dynamic Ensemble Hesperi, who present an intriguing
programme of baroque music from the British Isles, by
composers both familiar and less so!
programme may be viewed
here, and booking may be made
online or by cheque using the Programme
and Booking Brochure, which will shortly be sent out to all
those on our postal mailing list, along with the latest issue
of our Newsletter, Spirit of England. Spaces are strictly
limited due to physical distancing of audiences, so we
recommend early booking; tickets will only be available on
the door if any spaces are left, which we cannot guarantee.
We will be following all government and World Health
Organisation recommendations and policies to keep our
audiences safe (including face coverings for all audience
members except those who are exempt, physical distancing
throughout the church, hand sanitising stations and one-way
systems around the venue), so, for those of you who might be
nervous about venturing out, please rest assured that the
Festival will be taking place in a safe environment.
Putting on an event at
such a time is naturally a financially risky venture, and the
Festival has already been very badly hit by COVID-19 so we
strongly exhort those of you who are able to join us for this
event, please to do so. We and the musicians are absolutely
relying upon your support, as the Festival simply cannot be
in a position where it makes a loss on such an event; and as
full a house as possible given the circumstances would be
most encouraging and heartening for our artists. So please
come along and enjoy a wonderful weekend’s music-making.
Finally, a plea for help spreading the word about this
event. Those of you who live in Sussex or surrounding
counties – are you able to take any leaflets or posters for
us, to help us spread the word about this event? We have DL
leaflets, A4 posters, and some laminated A3 posters
available. Please email me at
email@example.com if you can
help in this way, which we would most greatly appreciate! And
if any of you were able to forward the attached leaflet about
this event to any friends, family members or colleagues whom
you think would be interested, I would be so tremendously
I do very much hope to see you in Sussex
CW Orr's Cotswold Hill Tune
Does anyone know the details (where, when and who) of the
premiere performance of CW ORR's Cotswold Hill Tune? The
earliest performance I could locate was on the BBC Midland
Radio on 2 July 1939. I understand that it was published in
1939 and was composed a couple of years earlier. I have a
sneaky feeling that the BBC Broadcast may well have been the
Regards and thanks
John France (please
contact me through the Message Board)
Piano Trio Discography
At times, it seemed like this would never be finished, but
it is (almost). The final section of the alphabet (U-Z) is
now complete. I say "almost" because I
skipped over Beethoven and Brahms, so that's where I will go
back to. It has taken far longer than I'd intended, but
running the website and coordinating the reviews does occupy
a lot of time, so the COVID lockdown has come in handy in
The Discographies for A to F have been
tidied up, some extra entries included and reformatted into
In future (along with wading through the
Beethoven and Brahms behemoths), I will publish a 6 monthly
update file of new entries (June and December), which will of
course also be incorporated into the main files.
A virtual English Music Festival
Come and join us at the English Music Festival in a
fortnight’s time! No, alas, not in person – but at our online
EMF, from the safety and comfort of your own home!
Given the cancellation of the physical Festival (as a result
of COVID-19 and subsequent government restrictions) we are
doing the next best thing – an online Festival of concerts
and talks, held at (broadly) the same times that the EMF
events were planned to take place, and featuring as many of
the same artists and composers as we could muster.
We have asked our artists wherever possible to provide live
filmed concerts and talks from their homes in lock-down, and
are delighted to have received talks and recitals from
Roderick Williams, Paul Guinery, Duncan Honeybourne, Joseph
Fort, Hilary Davan Wetton, Richard Blackford, Joseph Spooner
and Nicholas Bosworth, Rupert Marshall-Luck, and Ensemble
Hesperi. Where artists have not been able to provide us with
a live film (due to their ensemble size, for instance) we
have instead compiled a radio-style presentation of
carefully-curated works from EM Records discs. (We regret
that, due to licencing restrictions, we have not been able to
use recordings from record labels other than the EMF’s own
We will be charging for access to these
online events, because part of our reason for setting this up
(as well as to compensate our loyal and enthusiastic
audiences for lack of a real event) was to be able to give
some financial remuneration to musicians, so many of whom
have lost vital work and income as a result of the current
You can view the full programme of events
and tickets are available from
The process of viewing the events online will be
simple and easy: once your ticket sale has been processed, I
will email you with a link to enable you to access the
event(s) in question. At the start time of the event,
you will need to copy and paste the link into your browser
and the film, talk or radio presentation will appear on the
screen as a thumbnail – just click on the thumbnail, and the
event will start automatically.
So, please do join
us for this – as well as experiencing some lovely music (and
being able to peek into artist’s homes in lockdown!), you
will be supporting our musicians, and helping the Festival to
recover the high costs of setting up and running this
Finally, I would be hugely
grateful if you could forward this email to as many
interested friends, colleagues and family members as you can
– the more people who support this event, the stronger the
EMF will be in emerging from this situation!
position your computer in front of your favourite armchair,
reach for a good bottle of wine, and settle down to enjoy a
weekend of musical discovery.
Founder-Director, The English Music Festival
DDirector, EM Records and EM Publishing
An appeal from The Tallis Scholars
It's good to know that our recordings are helping many of
you through your day in these challenging times. Sadly,
Covid-19 has decimated The Tallis Scholars' finances. With so
many people in far greater need than us we are not asking for
donations but, if you subscribe to Apple Music, Spotify or
another streaming service, please support us by playing our
recordings. We receive a small royalty for every track you
play and every track really does help. Aiming high, we have
assembled a Marathon playlist featuring 26.2 albums - see
here for more information.
Thank You & Stay Safe
Armstrong Gibb Society
We are proud to announce that we have a new website for
the Armstrong Gibbs Society. It can be found, as before, at
www.armstronggibbs.com. We would be very grateful if you
could spread this news to friends, colleagues, members etc,
and anyone who you think may be interested. We are committed
to doing all we can to help all musicians and members of the
wider public become more familiar with Gibbs' music. He has
become rather an overlooked composer, and we hope very much
that the new website will help people to discover many of the
hidden gems in Gibbs' huge output of music. We hope that you
will find the new website interesting and easy to use. Find
us on Facebook. Please "Like Us" - it helps spread the news !
David Rust Secretary
Armstrong Gibbs Society
Schubert song cycle resources
After launching the resources
https://dieschoenemuellerin.online, developer Iain C.
Phillips has now launched the third of the trio of sibling
https://schwanengesang.online. Users are invited and
encouraged to contribute material, ideas etc., with a view to
making these websites the ultimate go-to resource for all
things related to Schubert’s Winterreise, Die schöne Müllerin
and Schwanengesang. Iain can be reached via the contact
form on the website or via e-mail:
Richard Tauber Chronology
This very extensive resource, compiled by Daniel O'Hara,
has been hosted on the
Tauber website (run by Marco Rosencrantz), for 12 years, and
has grown from 30 to 95 pages over that time. It is now also
available through MusicWeb International, and can be
as a pdf here. The Tauber website also includes an
archive of photographs and audio clips related to the great
British Music Radio relaunch
The online on-demand classical music radio station devoted to
British music is relanching this month (June 2019). The URL is
Any information about Colin Evans?
After a long search in the internet for some facts about the
composer Colin Evans I finally got to your page http://www.musicweb-international.com/garlands/120.htm.
I'm a German music teacher for flute and recorder, and my students
love to play and to perform the music of Colin Evans. I can't hardly
find anything about him for the moderation of my students' concerts.
Can you help me? Is he the drummer of the Shadows? Is he still
alive? Where was/is he living? I wonder what the titles of his Sun
Dance Suite want to say? "Ikranian Dream" for example. Does there
exist any information about this composer?
Opera on Video - a new website resource
On December 1,
Opera on Video launched a new website with the intention
of eventually providing a complete
overview of opera recorded on video. Each recording is shown with an
excerpt to watch and extensive information about the performance
(venue, opera company, singers, orchestra, stage director and
designer and much more) and the recording. If a recording is
commercially or publicly available on DVD/BD, streaming or download
information and a link is provided too.
John Ansell's Innisfail Suite - any recordings?
For many years, I've tried in vain to find a recording anywhere of
John Ansell's "Innisfail" Suite, with absolutely no luck, save for a
MIDI recording of the Andante from this work. I've checked through
iTunes as well as You Tube, and have just about given up, as it would
be delightful to hear the full work played by an orchestra, although
I suspect this could be a "lost cause".
I have found
the very well-detailed notes about this composer on MWI, and
thought I'd try one more time, to see if perhaps someone who cares
enough to list John Ansell's works so thoroughly, might know of a
recording somewhere. Thank you so much for any word, even if it is
not to be - the andante is beautiful in itself, and I will simply
have to imagine the other movements. I also checked IMSLP in case
some written music of his could be found there, but I see he isn't
listed at all. Such a loss, truly. I appreciate any help, if
Christine Dugdale, Montreal,
Website celebrating stage designer Johan Engels
On what would have been his 66th birthday, a new website
www.johanengels.net was launched on April 4 to celebrate the
extraordinary visionary talent of the late stage designer Johan
Engels. An ongoing project, the website aims to record and present a
comprehensive overview of Engels’ body of work around the globe and
provide a source for research and inspiration to future generations.
One of the most remarkable stage designers of his generation,
Engels’ design was hugely influential in productions ranging from the
Royal Shakespeare Company, Vienna State Opera, Opéra de Marseille,
National Theatre of Norway, Bregenzer Festspiele, and innumerable
Broadway shows. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best
Costume Design in 1994, recognised for his imaginative work in
Tamburlaine The Great, which starred Antony Sher as Tamburlaine and
Tracy-Ann Oberman as Olympia; for The Boys in the Photograph, he was
awarded the Naledi Theatre Award for Best Set Design in 2010.
Anybody with any material that might be of interest (photographs,
costumes drawings, clippings, personal reminiscences – anything at
all!) and who would be happy to contribute to the further development
of the website: please contact the developer of the website, Iain C.
Clifton Johns - Information needed
I am interested in finding out any information possible about
the South Australian composer Clifton Johns - both about him and his
He was active in the field of light orchestral music, at
least, probably around the 1950s to 1960s: a composition of his,
"Holiday Bound", is included on a recording of various music under
the same title, as well as on another called "Here's to Holidays".
Another work of his that used to be broadcast occasionally in
Australia was an orchestral medley called "International Journey".
And that is all the work of his that I have ever heard of.
have a slight personal connection with him, in that, as a young boy,
I lived next-door-but-one to him in the Adelaide hills in South
Australia in the early 1960s, where I grew up, and knew his family
casually, if not closely - hence my interest. I would like to know of
any works he composed, and to hear them if I can locate them
anywhere, or to learn about any other musical activity of his, or any
other details about his life. I don't even know if he is still
alive, but he would have to be well into his 90s now if he is. That
he served in World War II would also set his age at not less than
Any details anyone knows would be gratefully
appreciated. Thank you.
Margaret Kitchin website
A new website dedicated to this British pianist has been set up.
Visitors and contributors are welcomed.
Frank Merrick - can anyone help?
Nimbus (through Adrian Farmer) is working with the Merrick family
and Bristol University Special Collections towards what may emerge as
a Frank Merrick Edition.
To date there are three LPs they have been unable to locate. Can
you help please? No one would be expected to 'donate' their LPs; just
to let Nimbus borrow them for copying.
The missing titles are:
1. Merrick Society, FMS14. Repertoire
2. Rare Recorded Edition, SRRE 139. Field Edition Volume 9.
Repertoire believed to be Piano Concerto No. 6
3. Rare Recorded
Edition, SRRE 156. Repertoire believed to be Merrick Piano Concerto
No. 1 & Tomlinson 'An English Suite'
If you are able to help please contact Nimbus at
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.
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.
The Crown Diamonds – Overture
Handel arr. Harty
Water Music – Suite
Zampa – Overture
Dances of Galánta
Capriccio espagnol, Op.34
William Tell – Ballet Music
Rosamunde – Ballet Music in B flat and G
Symphony No.2 in D, Op.43
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra/Basil Cameron
Catalogue No: BC 101
Replies please to
I have in my possession his original hand-written manuscripts of
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Can You Help?
Can anyone help me with answers to the following:-
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.
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!
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
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 -
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
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
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
Those interested in being kept up to date with Medtner news should
email Wendelin Bitzan to register their interest: email@example.com
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.
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.
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).
Symphony No 1. Rumon Gamba/BBC Philharmonic. 80th birthday performance,
Symphony No 2. George Hurst/London Symphony Orchestra. BBC transcription
Symphony No 3. John Pritchard/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
1st broadcast performance, 1958
Symphony No 4. Malcolm Arnold/BBC Symphony Orchestra. Premiere, 2 Nov
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,
Symphony No 9. Charles Groves/BBC Philharmonic. Premiere, 20 Jan 1992
Symphony for Brass. Jerzy Maksymiuk/brass section of the BBC Scottish
Commonwealth Christmas Overture. Alexander Gibson/London Philharmonic
Orchestra. Broadcast early 1960s
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
for Malcolm Arnold Society
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
I firmly believe that Elsie’s work merits wider
recognition, hence my research. Any assistance in this is very much
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
British Library Sound Archives
A treasure trove of recordings. Examples include:
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
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
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:
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
National Audiovisual Institute of Poland
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.
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
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
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 email@example.com
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