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October 2020

Classic Musicals on the BBC

Information from Anthony Wills:

Over the next few weeks, the BBC are showing classic musicals each week on BBC2 and BBC4 TV.

A Star Is Born (Judy Garland, James Mason) (1954)
Thursday 29th October, 8 pm BBC4
Music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ira Gershwin
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b0078zpn/a-star-is-born

The Band Wagon (Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse) (1953)
Saturday 31st October, 2.30 pm BBC2, repeated Thursday 5th November, 8 pm BBC4
Music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Howard Dietz

The above films might only stay on iPlayer for 30 days after transmission.

However.......

More can be found on BBC iPlayer: -

A number of classic movie musicals are still available on BBC iPlayer to perk up viewers as venues remain shut and large-scale live performances remain impossible.

The films come predominantly from the Golden Age of Hollywood

Top Hat (1935)
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are the go-to for musical movies and Top Hat, featuring music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, may be one of their finest.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0074r4k/top-hat

Carefree (1938)
The perfect pairing of Astaire and Rogers continues with this comedy, which also features the work of Berlin. The film controversially (at the time) featured a "long on-screen kiss", which shocked audiences in their droves.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0078lxg/carefree

The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Based on Dwight Taylor's 1932 musical of the same name (but controversially leaving out a lot of Cole Porter's original tunes) this was another of the ten movies Astaire and Rogers did together.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0074r43/the-gay-divorce

The Sky's the Limit (1943)
Joan Leslie and Astaire star in the 1943 film which has music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0078nqj/the-skys-the-limit


October 2020

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - A new piece of British Light Music

On 30 September, in their first Spotlight Series concert, musicians from the RPO brass and percussion sections performed Jim Parker's 'A Londoner in New York' to a socially distanced audience at Cadogan Hall.

Experience the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple through this live recording in association with ILC Music Degrees (West Suffolk College) and enjoy an extract from a conversation with Jim Parker and trombonist Matthew Knight as the introduction. You can listen to the full interview with the composer here.

Find out more about the Spotlight Series of concerts here.


September 2020

BBC Instrumental Sessions

As part of the BBC Instrumental Sessions, the bassoons of the BBC orchestras perform Eric Coates’s Calling All Workers, arranged by Steve Magee.

More information about these sessions can be found HERE


August 2020

Did you hear Brian Reynolds on Serenade Radio?

CALLING ALL WORKERS

Remember 'Music While You Work' on the BBC? The programme began 80 years ago this year.

Announced in the Radio Times as a “half hour’s music meant specially for factory workers to listen to as they work”, it soon proved a favourite with all listeners, as its familiar signature tune by Eric Coates rang out.

On August Bank Holiday Monday, Serenade's Brian Savin traced the programme's fascinating history along with Brian Reynolds.

You can listen to the programme again via our Streaming Audio page HERE


August 2020

'Lockdown' videos from The Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra


'Heather on the Pampas' by Sydney del Monte, arranged by Anastasia Arnold


La Morenita by Mátyás Seiber arranged by Roy Bell


The Donkey Serenade by Rudolf Friml arranged by Adam Bakker


August 2020

Light music featured as background music for TV shows

You might like to know that light music is often used as background music in the BBC TV programme 'Antiques Road Trip'.

A recent episode in the series was particularly productive with the following items spread over two programmes:

On a Spring Note
Coronation Scot
Runaway Rocking Horse
also
Swedish Rhapsody, Tick Tock Tango and Fun Fair (these three items were played by Ray Martin and his Orchestra, the latter two being adjacent items on a CD.

Not all of the programmes feature as many items of light music as the example above but there is quite often something to delight us. Also 'Car SOS' uses light music in some episodes.

If you feel so inclined you might still be able to view these programmes on 'catch-up' TV.

Peter Luck


Click here for archived news items


Read the report on our Autumn meeting
held in October 2019




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New CD reviews added:

09/10/2020
DELIBES : BALLET SUITES
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Neeme Järvi

05/10/2020
RESPIGHI
Riccardo Chailly- Filarmonica Della Scala

29/09/2020
THE NDO PROJECT – a short history and a review of its latest CD release , 'Autumn Leaves'

29/09/2020
THE MAGIC OF MANTOVANI
The Original Recordings with Joseph Calleja

19/09/2020
GREAT CLASSIC FILM MUSIC
Volume II
Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra
Iain Sutherland

19/09/2020
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
AIRLINES
Emmanuel Pahud flute
Orchestre National de France / Desplat

11/09/2020
ANDRÉ PREVIN / DAVID ROSE
LIKE YOUNG & LIKE BLUE

07/09/2020
ERIC COATES: ORCHESTRAL WORKS VOL. 2
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / John Wilson

The London Light Music Meetings Group was formed in 2014 to continue to hold the meetings which were formerly organised by the Robert Farnon Society.

Each of these takes the form of a Sunday afternoon event during which recorded musical items are presented and discussed; they are held in May and October of each year.

The range of music genres is broadly as before embracing Light Orchestral, Film, TV and Theatre - related, Big Band and similar material.

The previous successful format is retained with a central feature/guest speaker and includes live performances from time to time.

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