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2020
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Some items
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Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


 

Recordings of the Month

September


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


TAKEMITSU MESSIAEN


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Schubert Symphony 9

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS & CLASSICAL NEWS

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.

Kirk McElhearn

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 The newest edition has an extended picture gallery, including some previously unpublished photos.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 leilaschneps@gmail.com

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. See 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 participate. 
 
Participant requirements: 
UK resident
A smartphone/laptop/computer/tablet
Commitment to experiencing 4 songs though the Lost in Song web app and completing the mood checker before and after 
Completion 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. 
 
To 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 2020.

The English Music festival - October in Sussex

From  Em Marshall-Luck, EMF Director

I am 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!

The full 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 em.marshall-luck@englishmusicfestival.org.uk 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 grateful!

I do very much hope to see you in Sussex next month.

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 premiere.

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 this respect.

The Discographies for A to F have been tidied up, some extra entries included and reformatted into pdf.

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.

David Barker

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 label.)
 
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 situation.
 
You can view the full programme of events at www.englishmusicfestival.org.uk/2020-online-festival/programme.php and tickets are available from www.englishmusicfestival.org.uk/2020-online-festival/box-office/box-office-front-page.php.
 
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 replacement event.
 
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!
 
So, 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.
 
Em Marshall-Luck
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
Peter Phillips

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://winterreise.online and https://dieschoenemuellerin.online, developer Iain C. Phillips has now launched the third of the trio of sibling websites: 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: schubert@chartus.net.       

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 downloaded as a pdf here. The Tauber website also includes an archive of photographs and audio clips related to the great Austrian tenor.

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 http://britishmusic18.ihostfull.com/index.html?i=2

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?

Brunhild Maxa
b.maxa@kms-gifhorn.de

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 possible.

Sincere wishes,
Christine Dugdale, Montreal, Canada
cdugclassical@videotron.ca


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. Phillips via mail@johanengels.net.”


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 work.

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.

I 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 his 90s.

Any details anyone knows would be gratefully appreciated.  Thank you.

Michael Edwards
mjedwards@foxall.com.au


Margaret Kitchin website

A new website dedicated to this British pianist has been set up. Visitors and contributors are welcomed.

www.margaretkitchin.org.uk


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 unknown
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 adrian@wyastone.co.uk and mention MusicWeb


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


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)


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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