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.
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
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.
Copland House announces CULTIVATE 2019, an annual, intensive
creative workshop and mentoring program for composers in the initial
stages of their professional careers.
Six Fellowships are
awarded to American citizens or permanent residents to participate in
this week-long emerging composers’ institute, which takes place June
3-9, 2019 at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home and its
satellite venue at the historic Merestead estate, near New York City.
Fellows each compose one 5- to 7-minute, small-ensemble composition
(any combination of clarinet, violin, cello, and/or piano), which
serves as the core of their work at the institute.
consists of daily individual and collective sessions exploring and
refining the new works with composer-clarinetist and CULTIVATE
Director Derek Bermel and the Music from Copland House ensemble;
informal discussion sessions with prominent music executives and arts
leaders about practical, professional, and career matters; and a
final public concert and live recording premiering all the Fellows’
new compositions written for CULTIVATE.
(round-trip transportation within the continental U.S., session
participation, accommodations, food) are covered. All composers must
submit a CULTIVATE application form (PDF), three representative works
and recordings, and a 1- to 2-page resume. Deadline is December 1,
For program guidelines, application form, and
further information, please contact:
Copland House P.O. Box
2177 Peekskill, NY 10566
Ph. (914) 788-4659
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,
Highgate International Chamber Music Festival, November 20-25
here, and includes a free concert (bookings necessary): November
22 at 10 pm - Bax Viola sonata.
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
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.
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.
Yaltah Menuhin Award for Leeds Piano Competition
International Piano Competition is delighted to announce that The
Yaltah Menuhin Award will be presented to the 2018 Competition
pianist who demonstrates the greatest collaborative and empathetic
qualities in the chamber performance of the semi-final.
Concert pianist Yaltah was the youngest sister of Yehudi and
Hephzibah Menuhin. An early part of her career was spent as a
recitalist, performing with leading violinists, violists and cellists
including George Neikrug, Guy Fallot, Israel Baker and Michael Mann.
Towards the end of her career she performed with the then very young
rising star Nicola Benedetti.
After Yaltah's death in June
2001, a memorial fund was created in her name by Charlotte and Iain
Phillips. The primary objective of the Yaltah Menuhin Memorial Fund
is to help develop the talents of young pianists who have already
demonstrated proof of their outstanding musical ability and promise
in the practice of their art, by means of awards and bursaries.
Current alumni are all in the process of growing their international
careers and the distinguished French pianist Cecile Ousset is
Honorary Patron of the Fund. Further information about Yaltah’s life
and career can be found on
The Leeds International
Piano Competition, founded in 1963 by Dame Fanny Waterman, is one of
the most prestigious piano competitions in the world. The Competition
is held every three years and brings the best young talent from all
over the world to Leeds. Many of the greatest pianists of the past
half-century came through ‘The Leeds’, including Murray Perahia,
Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff.
The next Competition will be
held in September 2018 with Co-Artistic Directors Adam
Gatehouse and Paul Lewis at the helm. The Yaltah Menuhin Award is
part of a revamped prize package for the Competition which includes
the winner opening up for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's
2018/2019 season and an opportunity to be managed by artist
management group Askonas Holt. The Competition’s Patron is Murray
Perahia, and their Global Ambassador is Lang Lang.
contact Jade Verbick for further information -
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0113 831 4107
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.
Recital of William Busch songs
We have been contacted by Julia Busch, daughter of the British
composer, William Busch, to advise that there will be a recital of
her father's songs for the London Song Festival. It is titled The
Life and Times of William Busch
and will include the song-cycle There Have Been Happy Days.
The concert will also include songs by Finzi, Ireland, Tippett,
Poston and Van Dieren.
Diana Moore, the mezzo-soprano, has contacted the granddaughter of
Wilfrid Gibson who wrote the poems that William put to music in the
cycle, and she may well be attending.
The recital will be on Saturday 20th October 2018 at 2.00 pm at
the Hinde Street Church, Marylebone. Julia is very excited at last
to get William's songs and music performed as nothing really has
happened since John Amis did a programme for the BBC in 1989.
MWI has articles on the composer by
Julia Busch and
Sinclair Logan as well as some reviews (Lyrita
Naxos). Julia's was originally written for the British Music
Society Newsletter. She has high hopes that this recital will be a
sell out; she can be contacted at email@example.com.
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.
Reviving Cellier’s lost light opera "Dorothy"
From time to time Victorian Opera Northwest receive comments and
letters making suggestions for resurrecting forgotten British operas
and musicals. Our full opera recordings have featured Balfe, W V
Wallace (both Irish) G Macfarren, Sullivan as well as a collection of
overtures from 1834-1893 by Balfe, Barnett, Benedict, Loder,
Macfarren, Goring Thomas, Wallace, and now Cellier.
composers had clearly learnt their theatre skills and the
orchestration demonstrates that they have learnt their craft to a very
high standard despite a sometimes lack of higher education. Over the
last year we have had requests for a lighter vein of operetta, the
most interesting of which is Alfred Cellier. An Englishman of French
parentage he was a chorister with Sullivan at the Chapel Royal before
acquiring formal musical education. A notable musical director of a
theatre orchestra he composed six operettas/musicals. When he became
Sullivan’s musical director for the Savoy Operas in London and New
York premières he wrote 10 curtain-raisers to accompany the
Gilbert & Sullivan operas.
A few of Cellier’s curtain raisers
and light operas have become of 21st century interest. His first three
operas were written when musical director at the Theatre Royal,
Manchester. Of them,The Sultan of Mocha written in 1874 reached New
York. Others failed to interest the wider theatre public yet he
persevered. His Nell Gwynne was written to a book by H B Farnie. The
librettist blamed the composer for its failure while the composer
blamed the librettist. Both replaced their partnerships; Cellier
decided to revise Nell Gwynne by inviting B C Stevenson (a librettist
of Sullivan’s The Zoo) to write the new book. Dorothy was the result
and became a tremendous West End success that out-shone the popular
Mikado, which was playing concurrently.
A project is underway
by Victorian Opera to record this forgotten comic opera, Dorothy. With
no autograph and the music presumed lost, extensive research
eventually uncovered the band parts. From them a full score has been
prepared by Michael Harris and matched to the extant vocal score. It
is proposed to record the work to discover the secret of its
fascinating, unbridled success. The project will be carried out in
conjunction with the excellent student musicians and singers of the
Royal Northern College of Music under guest musical director, Richard
To be able to accomplish this task we need to attract
the support of sponsors and subscribers who have an interest in
helping revive our British Musical Heritage. More information on the
project and composer, Cellier can be obtained from
www.victorianoperanorthwest.org We hope to welcome you.
Raymond Walker, Chairman, Victorian Opera
MWI needs your help
MusicWeb International needs some extra help. We are looking for
someone to join the team who prepares the review pages.
these are done in html, it is not necessary that you are familiar with
this language. The process is quite simple and anyone who uses
Microsoft Word to a reasonable level (e.g working with hyperlinks)
would be able to do this with guidance and a little practice.
You would start with a half batch of reviews (five) each week.
We estimate that this would take about an hour at the start, getitng
less with practice.
For PC users, there is a program developed by Microsoft
(Expression Web) which is easy to learn, and free to download. Mac
users would need to find a similar program, eg Komodo Edit.
Please contact Len Mullenger if you think you can help.
Crowdfunding to record the music of Graham Whettam
Graham Whettam (1927–2007) was a largely self-taught composer who
occupies a place in the English symphonic tradition. His works include
five symphonies – among them the 'Sinfonia Contra Timore' and the
'Promethean Symphony' – and a wealth of chamber works, including four
string quartets, various trios and a series of works for solo
In 2016, I was approached by Christine Talbot-Cooper, Chairman of
the Gloucester Music Society and a Vice-President and Administrator of
the Piano Trio Society, about the solo-violin music of Graham Whettam.
Christine has been an admirer and champion of Whettam's music for many
years, encouraging, for instance, the Carducci Quartet to perform his
first String Quartet, a work which they later recorded, alongside the
String Quartet no.4, on their own label, Carducci Classics (CSQ5847).
I myself attended, several years ago, a memorable performance by Yossi
Zivoni at the Cheltenham Music Festival of Whettam's third solo-violin
sonata; and this vivid experience meant that, with Christine's
approach, my enthusiasm was immediately kindled. Once the works'
scores had been reissued by Edition Peters, I had the opportunity to
examine them in full and was struck by their detail and depth, as well
as by the strongly idiomatic writing, a response that was heightened
still further when I performed the first solo sonata at a recital for
the Gloucester Music Society in Gloucester Cathedral earlier this
Spanning a period of over 40 years, Whettam's works for solo violin
are informed and directed by compositional rigour, technical assurance
and an analytical musical grammar but, at the same time, are full of
vivid colour, dramatic inventiveness and, above all, a sense of deep
humanity. Christine and I firmly believe these works, with their
passion, sincerity and integrity, are deserving of a wider audience
than they have enjoyed hitherto, and we are therefore working with the
acclaimed label EM Records to present their World Première recordings
for release worldwide on audio CD and digital download. It is our hope
that this planned recording will help to reawaken musicians' and
audiences' interest in Graham Whettam's work, and lead to more
opportunities for performances and recordings of his music generally.
A crowdfunding campaign is currently in place to raise funds for
the recording (a further £4,200 is needed, following financial support
from the RVW Trust and from individual donors). If you would like to
support this project, please visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-music-of-graham-whettam –
benefits include a free copy of the disc upon its release, an
invitation to the CD launch event, and the opportunity to attend the
Thank you very much!
Rupert G. Marshall-Luck
VIOLIST | MUSICOLOGIST
BRIT Awards Apprentice Scheme
Monmouth based Nimbus Records are one of ten companies selected to
pioneer the new BRIT Awards Apprentice Scheme. Talented young people
from England and Wales will now get the chance to kick start their
careers in the music industry.
Each Apprentice will be taught
all aspects of the record industry, receive practical ‘hands on’
experience, develop relevant skills, make key contacts, earn a salary
of £15,000 and receive specialist training in either business
administration or digital marketing.
The BRITs Apprentice
Scheme will start in January 2018 and last 14 months up to the end of
February 2019, and it is hoped will then lead to further employment
opportunities in the industry. The successful candidates will also
have an opportunity to experience working at The BRIT Awards. The
scheme was devised by UK record labels association the BPI, which owns
and runs The BRIT Awards and which also developed its charitable arm,
The BRIT Trust, which was set up in 1989.
an important way to help bring in new and diverse talent into the
industry and are in line with the Government’s commitment to
education, skills and training. It is open to individuals aged 18 and
over and the deadline for applications is 17th November 2017, apply
Antony Smith, Business
Director Nimbus Records, said: We are delighted to partner the BRITS
and BPI in this new Apprentice Scheme and feel it is a positive
opportunity for Nimbus and for the successful candidate. We are
involved in every aspect of the record industry. From producing,
engineering and editing recordings through to design, legitimising,
PR, sales and marketing. We have our own studio, CD and DVD
manufacturing, printing, music publishing and distribution in both
physical and digital domains. This is a great opportunity for someone
to learn everything about the music industry and a great opportunity
for us to learn more about the music buying habits of the next
For more information visit
www.divaapprenticeships.com, telephone 0203 189 1784 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for applications
is 17th November 2017, apply on-line at
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
Nantwich Choral Society, based in Cheshire, are sponsoring a
competition to compose a Christmas carol for SATB chorus and
children’s choir. The three winning compositions will be performed
live in a Christmas concert this year. More information at their
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
A Celebration of Howard Blake
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Howard Blake at
Cadogan Hall, London, Thursday 7 September 2017, 7.30pm.
Sleepwalking (for soprano vocalise &
Diversions for Cello and Orchestra
Elegia Stravagante (Duo Concertante)
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 (email@example.com)
Samuel Barber Documentary
H. Paul Moon has just finished a feature-length documentary about
Samuel Barber who was born on March 9, 1910. His 3-minute trailer
(see below) lines up some famous people with their insights on Barber:
William Schuman, Thomas Hampson, biographer Barbara Heyman, Leonard
Slatkin and Leonard Bernstein.
This project is
self-distributing, independent, without compromise -- it's not
commercially viable, and it won't recover expenses he tells us.
OFFICIAL SITE: www.samuelbarberfilm.com
FACEBOOK PAGE: www.facebook.com/samuelbarberfilm
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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