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May 2024

For information about past and upcoming episodes of Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 3 you can follow this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001xmxc/episodes/player

It shows previous episodes which are still available for replay via BBC Sounds (for up to 30 days after broadcast) and also upcoming episodes with their dates of transmission (and by clicking on 'Show more' you can see the expected playlist)

Friday 24th May: Broadway - and all that jazz
Friday 31st May: Sounds of Spring (live from Maida Vale Studio 1)
Friday 7th June: Fair's Fair
Friday 14th June: Stage and Screen

April 2024

Bank Holiday Afternoon Concert by the
Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra

Monday 27th May 2024 at 2:30pm

Lauderdale House,
Waterlow Park,
Highgate Hill,
London N6 5HG

The Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra returns to this intimate north London venue with a new selection of unjustly neglected music. The ensemble, consisting of a string quartet, piano, flute and oboe and has been praised for their lively interpretation of 'Palm Court Music'.

The programme includes some parlour songs alongside instrumental numbers and will include amongst others: The programme includes some parlour songs alongside instrumental numbers and will include amongst others:

Irish Whispers (Charles Ancliffe)
As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld)
Premier Bonheur (William Salabert)
We Were So Young (Jerome Kern)
Züse Kleine Henriett' (Gerhard Winkler)
Chatterbox (Mathias Seiber)
Diva de L'Empire (Erik Satie)
Romanza Andaluza (Pablo de Sarasate)
Corsican Serenade (Pablo Pareño)
Tout Est Permit Quand On Rêve (Wilhelm Heymann)
Ain't We Got Fun (Richard Whiting)
Fra Frederiksvĉrn (Ole Bull)
When Baby Plays the Rumba (Leo Towers)
Ukraine (Frederick Charrosin)
I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (John Kellette)

Tickets £10 (Conc: £9. Kids: £5) are available from the Lauderdale House website: www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk/whats-on/aspidistra-2024
If you want to be assured of a seat, we recommend that you book a ticket in advance.

April 2024

(click to enlarge)

April 2024

Broadcasting Awards

The Voice Of The Listener & Viewer Broadcasting Awards are voted for by its members, which is why they are so highly valued by producers and presenters. The 2023 Awards were presented by Clive Myrie at the VLV's Spring Conference last Wednesday 24th April and I am delighted to confirm the winners in the Music & Arts category....

The Best Radio Music & Arts Award went to BBC Radio 3's Breakfast Show and was collected by presenter Petroc Trelawny and members of the production team. The programme attracts one of the network's highest listening figures and has recently being extended...it now runs from 0630 to 0930 on weekdays (Saturdays & Sundays 0630 to 0900).

Radio 3's Breakfast Show plays a wide variety of music and listeners are invited to email their suggestions to 3breakfast@bbc.co.uk. The current theme is Spring and the requests have ranged from Vivaldi to Sarah Vaughan).

The Best TV Music & Arts Award went to Channel 4's ground-breaking series The Piano and was presented to members of the production team. Presenter Claudia Winkleman and judges Mika and Lang Lang were unable to be present but appeared on video.

The Piano is a highly original concept in which amateur pianists perform on instruments at major railway stations and are secretly judged by two leading musicians. All ages of performers and styles of music are permitted. Each week's winner goes forward to a Grand Finale concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

The first series was a surprise hit, attracting an average of three million viewers, (one of Channel 4's highest figures in 2023).

As you may have noted on the front cover of Radio Times a new series of The Piano begins this Sunday 28th April at 9 pm (also available on Channel 4's Catch-Up).

If you are concerned about the future of Public Service Broadcasting (which embraces not only the BBC but also ITV and Channels 4 & 5) please consider joining The Voice Of The Listener & Viewer...full details can be found on www.vlv.org.uk, where you will also find the winners in the other Awards categories. The annual subscription is £30.

Anthony Wills, Trustee, The Voice Of The Listener & Viewer

April 2024

BBC Proms 2024

The programme for the 2024 season of Promenade Concerts has just been published. This year, John Wilson and his Sinfonia of London perform a programme of scintillating American classics including Copland's ballet 'Billy the Kid', haunting works by Barber and Ives, Gershwin's jazz-infused 'Rhapsody in Blue' and John Adam's 'Harmonielehre'. (4th August 2024)

April 2024

Introducing Past Perfect Radio

Radio Times has this week given a big plug - on its BBC Local Radio page of all places! - to a brand new digital radio station that will focus on the music of the 1920s to the 1950s, making considerable use of digitally remastered 78 rpm recordings.

The basic schedule will be as follows:

0600-12 noon Vintage Mornings
12 noon-1400 Lunch break (not off air, I trust!)
1400-1500 World War II songs
1500-1700 All That Jazz. ranging from bebop to Ella Fitzgerald
1700-1900 The Teatime Show concentrating on dance & big bands
1900-2000 Noel (Coward)'s Nightly Interlude
2000-2200 Showtime - songs from stage & screen with a fair amount of Fred Astaire
2200-midnight Vintage Love Songs from the likes of Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee & Frank Sinatra
Midnight-0600 Vintage music through the night

You can access the station via Alexa or via www.pastperfect.com/radio/

The station is owned by Nigel Jagger - no relation? - and we are promised that it will be AD-FREE, which raises a lot of questions.....Angel Radio, whose licence precludes it from playing any recordings made after 1969, still makes a very large mechanical copyright payment to PRS For Music and also broadcasts ads from businesses in the Portsmouth area. It also organizes Pay To Play fund-raising days where listeners make a small payment for hearing their requests.

The producer and programme scheduler will be Duncan Barkes who in the past worked on LBC, BBC Radio London and Radio 5 Live.

I have not yet sampled the station but it will certainly fill a hole in a way that the BBC's proposed extra radio services for the audiences they (deliberately) forgot about won't.

Anthony Wills

April 2024

Comment : 'Friday Night is Music Night' on Radio 3
rom Anthony Wills

I have just caught up with the first ever edition of FNIMN on Radio 3. To be perfectly honest it was too long - an hour longer than it used to be on Radio 2 (apart from Outside Broadcast editions). They broke it up with an extended interval featuring members of the CO, some of whom have been in the orchestra for over 30 years! Katie Derham did her best to maintain a feeling of excitement but with only one solo singer and a featured violinist the forces were inadequate. The CO's current Principal Conductor - a Finnish lady - didn't handle some of this kind of music very well, so there was very little of the old Radio 2 "spark" (take a bow, Mr Balcombe and Mr Sutherland!). Wynne Evans (tenor) was mediocre to weak (his Be My Love was simply appalling) and my advice would be to stick to the Go Compare! jingles (which must be a nice little earner for him..) The Ukrainian violinist was patchy.

This inaugural edition will be shown on BBC4 on Sunday 5th May (Bank Holiday weekend) so do have a look...it wouldn't surprise me if they don't make a few judicious cuts.

The Friday April 12th broadcast looks much stronger, not least because it will feature the excellent Louise Dearman & Graham Bickley, who are masters in interpreting songs from the shows.

I must say I do find it strange that the progs are not being broadcast live...there is no producer credit and no information about how to obtain audience tickets. From what I can see (and the BBC doesn't make it easy) it's going to be moving around the country and there will be "themed" editions.

I hope you've got Sunday 12 May firmly in your diaries, I shall be revealing my Favourite Musicals From The 60s at the London Light Music Meeting at the Lancaster Gate Hotel W2 and there will be loads of other presentations covering the full gamut of Our Kind Of Music (as David Jacobs called it). No advance booking, £15 (cash) on the door, 2 pm start. See you there!

March 2024

Henry Mancini Centenary
1924 - 1994

April 16th 2024 sees the centenary of the birth of Henry Mancini, born Enrico Nicola Mancini, he was an American composer, conductor, arranger, pianist and flautist. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film, he won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

You can read more about his life and career via Wikipedia here.

March 2024

Sarah Vaughan Centenary
1924 - 1990

The 26th March 2024 saw the centenary of the birth of "The Divine" American Jazz singer and pianist Sarah Vaughan who sadly died at the age of 66 on 3rd April 1990.

You can read all about her life and career via Wikipedia here.

March 2024

Recording British Music – A personal history of fifty years researching and recording neglected repertoire

If you are thrilled by the revival of the music of British composers from the first half of the twentieth century – from Elgar and Delius to Bax, Brian, and John Foulds, not to mention Richard Arnell and, of course, Vaughan Williams – then you will want Lewis Foreman's first-hand account of how some of it was done in the recording studio over a period of fifty years. Foreman's memories of composers, conductors, and artists, and some half-dozen recording companies, begin with the Lyrita label and end with Dutton Epoch.

Foreman's activities have included not only researching the repertoire, but also taking session photographs, and this autobiographical account features more than 200 colour plates. He writes about recording sessions entertainingly, and includes anecdotes and even two cartoons. Also memorialised are several of the musicologists – Anthony Payne, Christopher Palmer, Graham Parlett, Martin Yates, Rodney Newton, and Jeremy Dibble – who have brought composers' sketches and forgotten music to performance.

Ultimately, this book is a fascinating journey through Britain's rich heritage of music-making.

For full details, pricing and pre-ordering see the Dutton Vocalion website:

January 2024

Composer Ernest Tomlinson's Daughter -
Hilary Ashton to speak at our October meeting

This year 2024 marks the centenary of the birth of one of the most prominent figures in the world of British Light Music, Ernest Tomlinson.

In addition to his undoubted prowess as a composer, arranger and conductor, Ernest was for many years the 'engine' of the Light Music Society and was responsible for rescuing a huge amount of sheet music which would otherwise have been scrapped – much of it literally from BBC skips !

Thanks to his sterling efforts, The Library of Light Music is today a thriving adjunct to the LMS; it continues in the capable hands of ET's daughter, Hilary Ashton and her team, providing a much-appreciated service to many orchestras in the UK and beyond.

We are delighted to announce that Hilary has graciously accepted our invitation to travel to London from her home in the North of England and will deliver an illustrated talk on the life and work of Ernest at our October 2024 meeting.

Please make a note of the date in your diaries NOW :-
Sunday October 13th at our usual venue – Lancaster Hall Hotel, 35 Craven Terrace London W2 3EL
Meeting starts at 2pm.

2024 also marks the centenary of two other outstanding luminaries from the world of light music – Wally Stott/Angela Morley and Trevor Duncan. We will be featuring special tributes to both these gifted musicians at our Spring and Autumn sessions.

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