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

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Cyril Scott piano music

Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

Symphony for solo piano


Armstrng 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 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 and, developer Iain C. Phillips has now launched the third of the trio of sibling websites: 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 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

Bournemouth SO Resound’s Young Composer-in-Association

UK based composers aged 18 to 30 are invited to apply for BSO Resound’s Young Composer-in-Association, supported by Allianz Musical Insurance.

This position will offer one young composer the opportunity to develop their compositional technique and experience in a year long association with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s world-renowned disabled-led ensemble, BSO Resound. The Young Composer-in-Association will get to work with and compose for BSO Resound, benefit from professional mentorship from Alexander Campkin, the ensemble’s Composer-in-Residence, and receive a Ł500 bursary which is provided by Allianz Musical Insurance, BSO Resound’s Supporting Partner.

As well as composing for traditional instruments in the ensemble, the Young Composer in Association will have the chance to develop their skills in working with new instruments/ Assistive Music Technology and learn about composing for an inclusive and accessible ensemble. Lucy Hale was BSO Resound’s Young Composer-in-Association for 2017/18, she said of the experience: “Being Young Composer-in-Association with BSO Resound is a great opportunity. You get to work with first rate musicians who spend time with your music, you learn about the instruments (one of which is very unusual), and you can be introduced to BSO’s partner organisation OpenUp Music to learn about assistive music technology and see the workings of an inclusive youth orchestra. If I could do it all again I’d jump at the chance!” To read more about Lucy’s experience as BSO Resound’s Young Conductor-in-Association, please click here.

In 2018, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) made history becoming the first orchestra in the world to form a professional disabled-led ensemble. Six months after the ensemble’s creation, BSO Resound became the first disabled-led ensemble to ever perform at the BBC Proms, where they performed the London premiere of Hoping, the second movement of a piece by Alexander Campkin. Alexander Campkin, BSO Resound Composer-in-Residence, said “This is an invaluable opportunity for a composer to gain experience working with this amazing ensemble. I feel that working with BSO Resound for the last year has really helped me to develop as a composer, so I would strongly recommend young composers to apply. The practical experience of working with professional musicians is immensely beneficial to a composer.”

BSO Resound celebrated its first anniversary with a new corporate partnership which celebrates inclusion. Allianz Musical Insurance, the UK’s No.1 specialist insurer of musical instruments, became the ensemble’s supporting partner in January 2019. Clarice Goff, from Allianz Musical Insurance, said “Allianz Musical Insurance is dedicated to championing inclusivity and opportunity for everyone, which is why we’re delighted to be supporting BSO Resound’s Young Composer-in-Association. We are proud to be supporting the pioneering work of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and BSO Resound, and we’re excited to watch the next Young Composer-in-Association develop and thrive.”

BSO Resound’s Young Composer-in-Association is open to all composers between the ages of 18 and 30, and the BSO encourages applications from composers who would define themselves as disabled.

TO APPLY: Please provide the following to Alison Holmes at
- A CV and cover letter detailing why you are interested in this position (approx. 300 words)
- Example of pieces of compositional work - Digital Scores / Recordings / Audio Exports

The deadline for applications is Friday 10 May 2019 at 12 noon.

For further information, enquiries & requests please contact: Tamsin Eddey at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra /

Free streaming access to video of Verdi's Falstaff

Garsington Opera’s acclaimed 2018 production of Verdi’s comic masterpiece, Falstaff will be available on line for free on OperaVision for six months at

This hilarious and touching new production, directed by Bruno Ravella and designed by Giles Cadle, features Henry Waddington (Falstaff) making his role debut, American soprano Mary Dunleavy as Alice Ford, Richard Burkhard as Ford and Soraya Mafi as Nannetta. Victoria Simmonds (Meg Page), Yvonne Howard (Mistress Quickly), Oliver Johnston (Fenton), Colin Judson (Dr. Caius), Adrian Thompson (Bardolfo) and Nicholas Crawley (Pistola) complete the cast with the Garsington Opera Chorus. Richard Farnes (RPS Conductor of the Year 2017) conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in the second year of their residency at Garsington Opera.  The lighting designer is Malcolm Rippeth and movement director Tim Claydon.  

Garsington Opera are delighted to continue their partnership with the streaming site OperaVision, sharing their productions with a global audience. Launched in 2017, OperaVision streams performances from all over the world, allowing viewers to watch productions from the greatest European opera houses and festivals for free from the comfort of their own home. As well as full-length performances shown with subtitles, it features extracts, interviews and behind the scenes footage.  

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 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

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.

Rare Delius opera in performance

Two rare Delius operas live in 2019 and 2020.

Northern Opera Group production of Irmelin in May 2019. Two performances planned, in Leeds and Bradford. This will be only the second staging of Irmelin (after Beecham’s).

Investec Opera Holland Park will present a double bill of Delius' Margot la Rouge and Le Villi in 2020. Set in the seedy Paris underworld, Delius’s only verismo opera Margot la Rouge was composed for the Sonzogno competition. This will be performed in its original orchestration. Intended five public performances.

Recording Dame Ethyl Smyth's The Prison

The Experiential Orchestra is in the process of putting together funding for the first recording of Smth's final work, including a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. For more information, download the press release here.

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

Film, Youtube and Computer Games Introduce a New Generation to Orchestral Music

The following summarises the results of a 2018 survey commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic about the experiences of children with classical music.

Four in five children (80%) aged under 16 have experienced orchestral music – and 76% from as young as the age of six - although the classroom is no longer the home of music education, with many children saying their school does not even encourage them to learn to play a musical instrument.

With growing numbers of young people attending its matinee concerts, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned nationwide research to better understand how a representative sample of 586 children aged 6-15 were being introduced to orchestral music. The findings show film, gaming and online media are replacing the classroom in nurturing an early interest in the world of orchestral music.

Film has become the biggest single influence for introducing children to orchestral music (41%), followed by soundtracks to television programmes (34%). Children as young as six cite film (44%) and television (34%) as introducing them to the orchestral genre with YouTube also emerging as a growing influence on children of all ages (16%).

Only 29% of children said they had listened to orchestral music at school. In fact around a third of children aged 6-15 (32%) said their school did not encourage them to learn a musical instrument, a feeling that rose (44%) the closer children got to their GCSEs (ages 14-15). Children that felt their school did not encourage them to learn a musical instrument were more than twice as likely to say they had never experienced orchestral music at all (23% Vs. 10%). Further, they were more than twice as likely to express no interest whatsoever in discovering any genre of music in their own time (13%, compared to 6% that say their school encourages them to learn an instrument).

Despite the feeling that schools could do more to nurture children’s interest in music, the survey suggested that everyday home life encouraged children to experience orchestral music. One in four children (25%) said they had been introduced to the genre during a car journey and 17% said they had heard it on the radio when at home with their parents.

Computer games also look set to be a new source of cultural influence for children. Overall, 15% of children said they had discovered orchestral music as a soundtrack to a computer game they had played. Boys were more than twice as likely to mention computer games as a source for hearing orchestral music (21% Vs. 9% of girls) - and the influence of games starts early: As young as the age of seven, around 18% of children say computer games introduced them to orchestral music. At this age, it seems that gaming is more influential than music lessons (17%) in giving young people a connection to the genre.

Attending live performances from a young age also emerged as integral to children’s engagement with the orchestral genre. Overall, 15% of children said they had been introduced to orchestral music when visiting the theatre and 11% mentioned attending a music concert.

Website celebrating stage designer Johan Engels

On what would have been his 66th birthday, a new website 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”

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

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 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 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.

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

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 (

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

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 (  

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 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

Medtner Newsletter

Those interested in being kept up to date with Medtner news should email Wendelin Bitzan to register their interest:

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
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

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

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 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

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 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:

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

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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