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December 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Ian Lace: A tribute to a retiring Editor

Ian Lace
Photo: Ian and Grace (formerly Barber) - a MusicWeb team

This is the last month that Ian Lace acts for me as Editor of Film Music on the Web. He has wanted to step down for some time but had been persuaded to hold the fort by a bit of severe arm-twisting from myself. It would be a very sad day but for the fact that he will continue to write his engaging and informative reviews for MusicWeb and also that his place will be very capably taken by Gary Dalkin who has been in post as Deputy Editor for several months and has now returned from his honeymoon with pen duly sharpened.

MusicWeb is a wonderful website put together by a huge collection of volunteers and much of that is due to Ian. I started Music on the Web (UK) as a British composer site which was one of Ian's special interests and he soon got in touch along with Rob Barnett and the three of us have managed its enormous expansion between us. Ian soon introduced me to Richard Adams and his Arnold Bax site became part of MusicWeb and then Ian himself added Respghi - these were the first of many such 'satellites'. It was Ian who introduced the idea that we might perhaps entertain CD reviewing. He was already well established in that area with Fanfare and BBC Music Magazine but he thought we might float a Film Music review site and see if it would be taken up.

The response was gratifying and Film Music on the Web is now one of the recognised review sites for film music. From there it was a logical step to review classical discs and that was the start of MusicWeb. The rest, as they say, is history.

I wholeheartedly thank Ian for his sterling work over the last seven years and you can be assured I am not going to allow him to rest on his laurels.

Len Mullenger

Rob Barnett adds:

My first contact with Ian Lace came in the early 1980s when he was kind enough to send me tapes (I still have them) of his groundbreaking radio profiles of Bax, Ireland and his beloved Coates. I seem to remember that I might have met him before that at an AGM of the British Music Society (BMS). Contact thereafter was pretty sporadic.

Our correspondence became more lively when John Talbot persuaded me first to edit the BMS journal in 1995 (my one and only edition!) and then, and much more pleasurably, to edit the BMS Newsletter in 1995. Ian had been a member of the BMS since its very early days. Now I was in pretty frequent contact with Ian as my earliest editions of the newsletter show. He was a blessedly generous contributor of articles and book and CD reviews and I came to rely on him very heavily in those distant days.

It took me a long time to come round to the internet and email but after a nudge from Martin Anderson and realising that an increasing community around me were web-equipped I launched out onto these uncharted seas in 1996. Ian, as ever, was already there. Our contact then became more frequent.

Ian was the pathfinder for CD reviewing at Len Mullengerís Classical Music on the Web. It was down to Ian that I began reviewing first film music CDs and then classical discs. He is a powerful and extremely knowledgeable force within the music sphere and his illustrated lectures on Coates, Ireland, Bax and musical Sussex are in constant demand. Ian came to stay with us in Stornoway during my last few months there in 1998. We drove out to see the gale-buffeted Atlantic cliffs, to the lighthouse at Point looking back towards the Scottish mainland and then to the westside at the Callanish Stones - a Hebridean Avebury or Stonehenge. We had lunch at Callanish in the interpretative centre. I recall playing to him, as we did those tours, on the car cassette player, an advance tape of Douglas Bostockís Bax Sixth Symphony and a private recording of Haydn Woodís violin concerto - Tchaikovsky/Korngold territory!

Ian has also just retired, after contributing reviews and articles, since 1996, to Fanfare which continues to carry the flame for intelligent, well-informed, substantial and provocative classical reviewing. Before that he wrote for BBC Music Magazine and others. Ian is in that very small band (is it only one?) of writers who move with fluency and confidence between the classical and film music spheres. He has done much to promote various classical works to film music fans and his references to film music in his classical reviews return the compliment.

I rather regretted having to give up writing reviews for Ianís film music site within MoW but as the Classical side grew I had no choice. Ianís tastes in film music are similar to my own though he and I do have certain blindspots. I am sorry to hear that he is standing down from editing FMotW a site which he has built from concept to a sustained and respected presence on the internet. Thank you, Ian. The consolation is that this move might at least leave you more time for reviewing.


Gary Dalkin adds:

I have only known Ian Lace for three years and only met him on rare occasions. Until I read the tributes above I was not aware of the full extent of his long advocacy of good music in whatever incarnation, for which we should all be most grateful. I can only offer my own personal gratitude to Ian for the opportunity to write for Film Music on the Web (and later when time allowed, Classical Music on the Web) and thank him for the many opportunities my involvement in the site has opened up. Ian has always shown the deepest enthusiasm for the best of film music, while lamenting the current low standard of so much contemporary cinema scoring. So now I can only wish Ian all the best for all future ventures, but am also delighted to be able to note that Ian won't be leaving MusicWeb, but helping to develop the sites even further in various new exciting directions.


Paul Tonks signs off with:

It has been an all-too brief period of years serving on the good ship 'Lace'. But Captains come & go. I wish Ian all the very best at his new mooring, & sincerely hope his foghorn continues to play loud & true.


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