Music Appreciation

Music Appreciation is a group of U3A members who like to listen to a wide range of music genres and extend their knowledge of the music and the composers.

Scout & Guide HQ (small hall)
4th Tuesday of the month
2.00 - 4.00pm
  • Leader: David Sunderland - 01695 574096
  • Session fee is now £2-00   including refreshments

Our programmes are varied and can last up to 2 hours depending on the choice of that month. A break for tea/coffee is taken about 3.00 pm.

Three times a year we have an open programme when members bring a CD track of their choice (lasting no longer than 6 mins). This allows everyone the chance and time to play their choice and make their comments on it.

Over past few years almost every genre of music has been played and listened to from light music to extreme classical including Stage Shows, Dance Music, Opera, Ballet and Orchestral and including Composers from Gershwin to Myaskovsky with performances by well known and sometimes little known soloists.

Come and join us for an interesting and stimulating afternoon with the opportunity to play and discuss your choice of music. Whatever your tastes you will be most welcome.

                                                         Forthcoming Programme for 2024


28th May:    ” Gustav Holst – a one-hit wonder ? 

This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Holst .

Ah, yes one hears   Holst –  “The Planets”.

Some composers write one piece so amazing that they are known for nothing else but although Holst died at only 56 , he composed almost 200 works, including operas , ballets , choral hymns and songs.  – a list taking  26 pages on Wikipedia .

This presentation will provide an opportunity to hear parts of several of his other works and supply some details  of his life and career.

25th June :  “The life and works of Aram Khachaturian ” (1903 – 1976)

Most classical music lovers will recognise at least  two pieces taken from works by this Armenian /Russian composer of  orchestral and film music but this presentation will introduce members to a wider range of his music  and some information about his life .

Last Updated on April 26, 2024

Music Appreciation – reports on previous meetings

23rd April 2024:   Open forum / BYO 

As usual this members choice meeting produced a wide variety of music from popular via musicals and Jazz to Classical . Composers included some unfamiliar names like Heino Kaski from Finland and Stephen Schwartz ( of “Godspell and “Wicked” fame) . There was a Mandolin version of some dances by Edward German and a trumpet concerto from Leopold Mozart , the father of Amadeus Wolfgang .

Play list

1 )Heino Kaski :  “A Night at the Seaside”  played by Janne Mertanen (piano)

2) Eric Whitacre : “ Water Night”   –    played by The London Symphony Orchestra Strings  c. Eric Whitacre

3)   Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice :   “ Don’t Cry for me Argentina” from “Evita”  – sung by Madonna

4) K Reid/ G Brooker : “ A whiter Shade of Pale “  sung by Annie Lennox

5) Edward German : “ Three Dances from “Nell Gwyn”  played by Simon Meyer ( Mandolin)

6) Stephen Schwartz :  “ When you believe”  from the musical “ The Prince of Egypt”                                                                                                         sung by the cast of the stage show

7)   Leopold Mozart :   Trumpet Concerto  pt 1    played by the Orchestre de Chambre Jean-Francoise Paillard

8) Johny Dankworth : “ Suite on William Hogarth”

9)  Gustav Holst:  “ Mercury”  from “ The Planet Suite


26th March 2024  – “ The life and Music of Jean Sibelius “

Considering the popularity of works by this composer and his status as the National composer of Finland, it is surprising that this was the full presentation on Jean Sibelius given to the group.

This omission was corrected by Colin Russ who illustrated a biography with chronological excerpts from his prolific output of over 500 works .

These included familiar pieces like the “Karelia Suite – 1st movement (once used as the introductory music for the TV programme  “ This Week” and “ Finlandia “  1st movement” ( still used as the introductory music for “ The Sky at night “and parts of two of his 7 Symphonies .

However , more rarely heard items were included including a piano impromptu , a string quartet and parts of his incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s  “The Tempest “.

Mention was made of his influence on the movement for Finnish nationalism and the mystery about his composing little in the last 30 years of his long life.

Sibelius  – Playlist

“ Vattendropper”  ( “Waterdrops”)  played by Yoshiko Arai on violin

“ Karelia Suite “   1st movement –   Played by the  Philharmonia Orchestra c, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Six Impromptus  OP 5  No 5 in B Minor   – Havard Gimse ( piano)

“Finlandia” – played by the London Symphony Orchestra  c, Gannadi Rozhdestvensky

“Valse Triste”      “             “                   “                   “

“Pelleas and Melisande”  – 1st movement  “ At The Castle Gate” ,     10th movement  “ The Death of Melisande”

“Voces Intimes”  – 1st movement  – Emerson Quartet

Symphony No 4 – 2nd movement  –  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  c. Simon Rattle

Symphony No 5 – 3rd movement   –        “                   “

“ The Tempest” Suite No 1   “The Storm”  & “ The Dance of the Nymphs”                                                                          played by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  c, Neemi Jarvi


27th February 2024 –  Music from around the World

The first part of this presentation by Nick Williams was a musical tour , giving us music from Tchaikovsky and Kenny Ball representing Russia , moving to Finland with some Sibelius , then to Hungary with music by Liszt and Germany with some Schumann.                                                                                                                                                            A long flight to China was necessary for part of a concerto based on a folktale in a version orchestrated to include traditional Chinese instruments.

The second part of the presentation was in the form of a quiz with the members asked to identify the country or city in the titles of the pieces .    While the music was familiar, the search for the answers produced much good natured speculation and memory searching.

A presentation obviously much enjoyed by the attendees.

Play list  – part 1

Russia :   “March Slav” by Tchaikovsky –   played by the Royal Philharmonic c, Adrian Leaper

“ Midnight in Moscow”  Played by Kenny Ball

Finland :    3rd movement of Sibelius “Violin Concerto”   played by Victoria Mullova (v)                                                                         with the Boston Symphony Orchestra    c. Seiji Ozawa

Hungary :   Liszt’s  “ Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 “   Played by the Berlin Philharmonic  c, Herbert von Karajan

Germany :  Piano Concerto in A minor by Robert Schumann   –  Played by Raola Lupa (p)                                                                        with the London Symphony Orchestra    c, Andre Previn

China :        “ Butterfly Lovers Concerto “    by Chen Gang and He Zhanjao  – last two movements                                                      Played by Joshua Bell (v) with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra   c.Tsung Ye

QUIZ Answers

“ April in Paris” – played by the Count Basie orchestra

“ Out of Africa “ by John Barry   from the film soundtrack

“ Tahiti-Trot “ variation by Shostakovich  on “ Tea for Two”

“ El Salon Mexico “ by Aaron Copland

“ Italian Symphony “ by Mendelssohn

“ Buenos Aires” from “ Evita” by Andrew Lloyd Webber


23rd January 2024:   The Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold

This presentation by David Sunderland gave a selection from the works of this prolific British composer .                         With 140 ” Classical” works and over 100 film scores to choose from , selection had proved difficult and concentrated more on his lighter music and film scores .

Malcolm Arnold started his career as a trumpet player , becoming principal trumpet of the London Philharmonic for many years while becoming famous and wealthy as a film and documentary score composer .

He wanted to be recognised as a composer of ” serious” music but his tonal style ( i.e. love of a good tune ) was more popular with concert audiences than it was with the music critics of the time .

Although many of the composer’s works showed a mischievous sense of humour , his life was full of personal tragedy .


1  “ The Bridge on the River Kwai Suite “   – finale  .                                                                                                                               Played by  the BBC Concert Orchestra c Barry Wordsworth

2   “ Trumpet concerto “  Played by John Wallace with the Bournemouth       Sinfonietta

3  “ Backus the Dandipratt”       Played by  the BBC Concert Orchestra c Vernon Handley

4 “ English Dances  – Set 2”   Nos 1 & 3    Played by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra c Andrew Perry

5  “ Symphony No 2 “  – 4th movement            – Played by the BBC Welsh orchestra c Malcolm Arnold

6   “Inn of the 6th Happiness” –  Suite  – finale   Played by the London Philharmonic

7 “ Grand Concerto Gastronomique  for Eater , Waiter , Food and Orchestra”                                                                                 Performed by the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra  c John Gibbons

8  “ Clarinet Concerto  No 2 “ – 1st  & 3rd movements                                                                                                                             Played by Michael Collins with the London Musici c.   Mark Stephenson


28th November : Open forum / BYO

Although several members were not able to attend, those who made it brought a wide selection of music . This included a frenetic jazz number by Fats Waller , the opening number from G&S’s ” Mikado”  , and classical items by Mozart , Chopin and Tchaikovsky   . We were also honoured with  contributions from the ” Earl of Grantham”           ( Downland Abbey Suite) and a flute sonata from  no less a personage than King Frederick the Great of  Prussia.

Our endeavours to generate some Christmas cheer were  helped by the generous supply of  Christmas snacks at  the interval . The meeting ended with a reading of a Christmas poem .


Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries  – overture

Tchaikovsky – The Snow Maiden  pt 1  Played by the BBC Philharmonic c. Vassily Sinaisky

Chopin – Etude in E major   played by Yu Kosuge (p)                                                                                                                                      Plus a vocal version called “ Tristesse” sung by Tino Rossi

Gilbert and Sullivan –  “ If you want to know who we are “  ( from “the Mikado”)                                                                                                                   Performed by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company

Mozart – Violin Concerto  No 3  (II) – Adagio   played by Arthur Grumiaux (v)                                                                                             with the New Philharmonic c Sir Colin Davis

Gershwin  – “ I got Rhythm” played  by Fats Waller                                                                                                                                                  “ Blame it on the Bossa Nova “    –  Edmundo Ross

Downton Abbey suites 1 & 2   played by the Budapest City Orchestra

King Frederick the Great – Sonata in G minor for flute and basso continuo

Reading of “ T’was the Night before Christmas”   read by Jim Carter


24th October 2023  – “ Dvorak – his life and music”

Barbara Redwood gave members a refresher on this Bohemian composer who become the national composer of Czechoslovakia and famed in Europe and America in the second half of the 19th century .

The music excerpts played were a mixture of works lesser known to our members  such as the piano and string quartets and more familiar ones like the Carnival Overture  and the Slavonic Dances .


From “ Four Romantic Pieces “  No 1  – Allegro Moderato

“ Silent Woods “

Symphony No 1 – Allegro

Symphony No 3  – Vivace

Serenade for Strings – Scherzo

1st set of Slavonic Dances–  Dance  No 2

Piano Quartet No 2  – 2nd movement  Lento

Carnival Overture

Cello Concerto  – 1st movement

String quartet No 12 –  “ American”

Aria “ O silver Moon”  – From the opera “ Rusalka  Sung by Renee Fleming

Humoresque No 7 arr Fritz Kreisler for violin


26th September 2023  :“ Music inspired by Magic “

This presentation by Marion Sunderland was on music based on fairy tales, or legends involving magic in some form including fairies , goblins , trolls ,wizards , witches ,  magic mirrors and  magic harps etc .Half of the music played was by familiar composers such as Edvard Grieg , Engelbert Humperdinck , Paul Dukas and Erich Korngold  .

We were also introduced to composers whose names do not appear very often like William Hurlstone , Joseph Bayer , Nicholas Medtnev , Frederick Kulhau and Kenji Bunch but all their music seemed to be enjoyed by the audience .


Erich Korngold – excerpts from “ Fairy Tale Pictures “

Engelbert Humperdinck – Overture from “ Hansel and Gretel “

William Hurlstone   – “ The Magic Mirror “   ( based on Snow White)

Paul Dukas  – “ The Sorcerers Apprentice”

Joseph Bayer –  excerpts from “ The Fairy Doll Ballet Suite “

Nicholas Medtnev  – “ Fairy Tales “

Frederick Kulhau – “ The Magic Harp” ( Norwegian legend)

Kenji Bunch  – “ Magic hour “ ( but only 2 ½ minutes long !)

Edvard Grieg –  “ In the Hall of the Mountain King “ from his Peer Gynt suite


22nd August 2023  – “ Musical Collaborations

Nick Williams informative and entertaining interpretation of “ Musical Collaborations”  brought some surprises to the meeting , pairing classical violinist with jazz violinist ( Menuhin & Grappelle), piano soloist with conductor/ pianist ( Ashkenazy & Previn), jazz alto sax player with jazz guitarist/ singer  ( Getz  & Gilberto), swing vocalist with swing band ( Sinatra and Count Basie) and  Lloyd Webber (Julian) playing Lloyd Webber ( Andrew).  He concluded with one of the expected collaborations , that of Lerner and Loewe but a lesser known/remembered musical  – “Brigadoon “.


Yehudi Menuhin & Stephane Grapelli :

“ Jealousy” – composed by Jacob Gade in 1925

“ These Foolish things”  music by Jack Strachey

“ The Lady is a Tramp” – music by Richard Rogers

Vladimir Ashkenazy & Andre Previn :

“ Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No 2  – 3rd movement “   played by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andre Previn with Vladimir Ashkenazy as piano soloist.

Stan Getz ( soprano saxophone) & Joao Gilberto ( guitar / vocals) – Bossa Nova

“ Desafinado “    music by Antonio Carlos Jobi

“ Quiet Night of Quiet Stars”  –      “        “  ( sung by Astrid Gilberto)

“ The Girl from Ipanema “             “         “            “              “

Julian Lloyd Webber ( cello)   &   Andrew Lloyd Webber ( composer)

“The first man you remember”  – from “ Aspects of Love”

“All I ask of you “   – from “ Phantom of the Opera”

“Pie Jesu”    –  from “ Requiem”

Frank Sinatra  &  Count Basie and  his Orchestr

“Come fly with me “    by Sammy Carr and Jimmy  Van Heusen

“ You make me feel so young” – by Josef Myrow and Mack Gordon

“ My Kind of Town” –  by Sammy Carr and Jimmy  Van Heusen

(Musical  arrangements by Quincey Jones)

Lerner and Loewe  – from their musical “ Brigadoon”

(1988 London cast recording  , sung by Robert Meadmon and Jacinta Mulcahy)

“ The Heather on the Hill”          and          “ Almost like being in love”


July 25th 2023 –  Open Forum / BYO

The group were treated to a diverse selection of music from several genres , classical , 30’s/ 40’s and modern vocals.(see playlist below).

These included 2 songs as a tribute to Tony Bennett and , a first for the group , Carnatic music from South India .

The double bass was given a rare opportunity to star as a solo instrument .

The presenters gave good introductions to their choices which prompted some interesting discussions.


Carnatic music ( from South India)  for Flute  – played by JA Jayman

Don McLean – “ Vincent”  from his “ American Pie Album

The Inkspots  – “ If I didn’t care”  and “ whispering Grass”

Beethoven – String Quartet No 2  in G major –II  Adagio

Played by the Amadeus string Quartet

Beethoven – Triple Concerto for Violin , cello and Piano – 2nd movement

Played by Davis Oistrakh (v) , Mstislav Rostropovich  (vc) and Svatislav Richter(p) with the Berlin Phiharmonic c Herbert von Karajan

Tony Bennett –  “ I left my heart in San Francisco” and “ Steppin’ out with my Baby”   fom his album “ Unplugged”  with the Ralph Sharon Trio.

Canteloupe – “ Ballero” from “ Songs of the Auvergne” – instrumental arrangement  plyed by Julian Lloyd-Weber  and the National Philharmonic Orchestra c Charles Gerhardt .

Paul Simon  – “ Pigs , Sheep and Wolves “

Shostakovich  –  “ King Lear Suite”

Bottesini  – Concerto No 2 for Double Bass and Orchestra

Played by Edgar Meyer with the St Pauls Chamber Orchestra  c.  Hugo Wolf


June 27th 2023  :    ” One-hit wonders – pt 3  – Humperdinck and Littolf” 

This presentation by David Sunderland featured another two composers who are now known for only one composition each . In the case of Engelbert Humperdinck it is his opera ” Hansel and Gretel” and specifically the  ” Evening Prayer ” duet .

With Henry Charles Littolf  is is the Scherzo from his Concerto Symphonique No 4 .

Yet both composers were prolific and popular in their own time , both composing for the theatre and opera as well as the concert hall .

Several other pieces from each composer were played from the limited recording s available and a brief biography given  of each .

While the recordings played of Humperdinck’s works were felt to lack variety , the piano works of Littolf were well received  and surprise shown that they were not more widely known .

Littolf’s colourful biography proved also to be entertaining !

Playlist :

1 Humperdinck: The “Evening Prayer” from  the opera “Hansel and Gretel”                                        The Singers were Renee Fleming and Leslie Garrett

2 : Humperdinck : Hansel and Gretel – overture                                                                                          Played there by The Staatscapella Dresden conducted by Otto Suitner

3 – Humperdinck – Humoreske      5.39                                                                                                          Played by the Bamberg Sinphoniker   conducted by Karl Anton Richenbacher .

4  Humperdinck : Overture to the opera  ” Dornroschen ”                                                                     Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera  conducted by Hans Swarowsky

  5 : Humperdinck – Shakespeare Suite No 1   – Introduction                                                                         Played by the Bamburg Simphoniker  conducted by Karl Anton Richenbacher


6  Litolff : Scherzo from the  Concerto Symphonique No 4   

Played there by Peter Donohoe with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  conducted by Andrew Litton .

7: Litolff –  Concerto Symphonique No 2   4th movement                                                                       That was again played by Peter Donohoe with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  conducted by Andrew Litton .

8: Litolff : Concerto Symphonique No 3 – 4th movement                                                                                              Played by Michael Ponti wit the Berlin Phiharmonic c, Volker Schmidt    

9: Litolff “Overture  Maximillian Robespierre  ” ( end)                                                                              Played by the Wurttenburg Sinphoniker c, Ulrich Weder

10: Litolff’s Piano Trio No 1 parts  of the 3rd and 4th movements                                                                            Played by the Miracourt Trio


May 23rd 2023 :  Alexander Scriabin and his music

Liz James gave an introduction to the life and music of this less well-known composer . She included music by some of the composers who influenced Scriabin eg Wagner , Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov . Some of Scriabin’s later music became increasingly spiritual and less accessible so Liz mostly played extracts from his earlier works .

Play list :

Symphony No 1 – 1st movement  Played by The Oslo Philharmonic c. Vasily Petrenko

Symphony No 2 – fifth movement     ”               ”                     ”                       ”

Wagner : Symphony in C – 3rd movement   – Played by the Leipzig Radio S.O,  c by Jun Markl

Tchailovsky : Piano Concerto No 1     played by Arkady Sevidov with the Russian Philharmonic

Scriabin :  Piano Concerto  op 20    3rd movement – Played by The Oslo Philharmonic c. Vasily Petrenko

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3  -2nd movement – Played by Simon Trpceski  and the RLPO

Scriabin : ” Prometheus – Poem of Fire”    – last 7 mins  Played by The Oslo Philharmonic c. Vasily Petrenko

Scriabin : Symphony No 2 – 3rd movement Played by The Oslo Philharmonic c. Vasily Petrenko     ( a rural idyll with birdsong – a marked contrast with Prometheus


April 25th 2023 :    Music of New Zealand and Australia

Presented appropriately on Anzac Day by Marion Sunderland ( New Zealand music ) and Bernie Handford ( Australian Music ).

Marion introduced 5 Maori songs alternating with works by the NZ composer Douglas Lilburn . The former included  the familiar ” Po Ata Rau” – known to us as ” Now is the hour ” and ” Po Kara Kara Ana” – a love song , last made familiar by the NZ singer  Hayleigh Western  some years ago .   Less familiar was  ” Hine e Hine” a song written by Princess Te Rangi Pai” – also known as Fanny Howie.                   All these were sung by the NZ soprano Kiri Te Kanawa and a Maori group but the  “canoe poi song ”  ” Waiata Poi” was sung by The baritone Peter Dawson  who although born in Australia , spent much of his life in NZ.

Douglas Lilburn ( 1915 – 2001) was born in New Zealand but studied music at the Royal College of Music in London . While there he was tutored in composition by Ralph Vaughan Williams . He became a composer and conductor as well as holding teaching posts in Wellington and Christchurch .

His “Concert Overture in D for String Orchestra for strings” has an arresting opening  and a Celtic air . The first of his ” four Canzonas” was originally intended for use in Ngaio Marsh’s 1940 production of “Hamlet” and his ” Festival Overture” was composed in the same year for a competition  for the New Zealand  Centennial .

Bernie played several songs by Native Australians and commented on their poor treatment in the past and present .                                        ” The Valley of the Morning Mist”  by Erskine and Tratt was very evocative of the sounds of the bush .                                                     An operatic aria , “ Vissi D’Arte” from the opera “ Tosca byPuccini,  sung by the Australian soprano Joan Sutherland reminded us how large a figure she was on the opera scene for nearly 4 decades 50’s – 80’s .                                                                                                     The members seemed to enjoy singing along to “ Island of Dreams “ by  the Australian group “The Seekers “ and  the Aussie Bush Band finished the program with a laugh with their wry comments on the problems of that Australian Institution  – the barbecue.

Playlist :

                      New Zealand music :

4 Maori songs sung by Kiri Te Kanawa and  Maori group

Hine e Hine – composed by Fanny Howie / Princess Te Rangi Pai

Hoea Ra – (A canoe poi song)

Po Ata Rau – familiar as ” Now is the hour”

Po Kare Kare Ana

Waiata Poi –   ” Tiny ball on end of string ”  – sung by Peter Dawson 

Music composed by Douglas Lilburn :

Concert Overture in D –  Played by the Ithaca College Festival Orchestra

Four Canzonas  – No 1  –    ”                ”                  ”

Festival Overture  – Played by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Australian Music

“Bound for South Australia”  – sung by the Aussie Bush Band

“Valley of the Morning Mist”  – by  David Erskine and Milton Tratt

” Native Born”     sung by Archie Reach (Native Australian)

” Island of Dreams”  sung by the Seekers

Sik O – Sung by Christine Anu ( Native Australian)

Bayini –  sung by Gurrulul (Native Australian)

“Vissi D’Arte” aria from the opera “Tosca ” by Puccini –     sung by the Australian soprano Joan Sutherland

“Aussie Barbicue”   performed by the Aussie Bush Band


March 29th 2023     Open forum  / BYOPlaylist 

Members enjoyed a wide selection of musical genres with vocal items from Grand Opera , a recent stage musical and popular music including a song that was the first published work by Puccini .

There were also Instrumental works for trumpet , guitar , Strings and full orchestra ranging in time from Elizabethan to 20th century . from John Dowland to Malcolm Arnold.


1 Two  arias from Operas by Puccini  :

“Vissi d’Arte “  from “Tosca”  sung by Leondyne Price (sop)

“ Che gelida mano “ from “ La Boheme”  sung by Richard Tucker

2 Serenade for strings in E minor – 2nd movement   by Elgar                                                                                                                                             Played by the London Philharmonic c, Paul Daniel

3  Concerto in D for Lute and strings  -1st movement  by Vivaldi  and  Fantaia tasia “ A fancy “ by John Dowland                                      Both arranged for guitar and played by Julian Bream

4   Symphony No 9  “ From the New World”  – 3rd movement  – by Dvorak  Played by the London Philharmonic c, Loughran

5  “This is the moment” from the musical “ Jeckyll and Hyde” by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse . Sung by Robert Cuccioli

6 “ Storiella d’amore” and “ Sole amore” from “ Five songs “ by Puccini  arranged for trumpet                                                                       Played by TineThing Helseth ( trumpet ) and Katherine Stott (piano)

7   Symphony No 5 in C minor  – 1st movement  by Beethoven     Played by the Berlin Philharmonic c Herbert von Karajan

8   Two songs sung in German by Caterina Valente,  “ Wo meine Sonne scheint” ( where my sun shines) and  “ Tipitipiso”                   The first was  a version  of “ This is my Island in the Sun “ by Harry Belafonte .

9    “ The Padstow lifeboat march” by Malcolm Arnold .


February 28th  2023:  “ The Royal connection”

With an enigmatic title to his presentation , Nick Williams had kept us guessing as to its content .

In the event he covered music by composers from Rachmaninov to Elton John with “Royal” references in the titles of their works along with music by performers or composers with names or nicknames relating to royaly or the noblility .

Music genres ranged from classical to Jazz via  stage/film musicals to “pop” and the selection was much enjoyed by those attending .


The King and I “ overture by Richard Rogers                  From the original film recording

“ Wine , women and song” waltz by Johann Strauss II ( “ The Waltz King” )                                                                                                         Played by the Strauss Festival Orchestra c. Andre Lenerd

“I just can’t wait to be king” from  the musical “ The Lion King “ by Elton John and Tim Rice.                                                         Original Broadway production CD .

Prince Rostislav”  Symphonic poem by Sergei Rachmaninov                                                                                                            Played by the National Symphony orchestra of Ireland  c Jerzy Maksymiuk

“ The young Prince and the young Princess” from “ Sheherezade” by Rimsky Korsakov                                                                     Played by the London Philharmonic c. Takuo Yuasa

“ These are the days of our lives” from the album “ Queen Forever”

“ Solitude “ and “Times aint what they used to be “ by Duke Ellington and his orchestra.

“ Don’t get aroind much anymore “ from the album “ Lt’s fall in love” by Nat King Cole .

“ If I can dream” by W Earl Brown – sung by Elvis Presley ( “ The King “ )


24th January 2023  : “Musical humour  – The Video “

David Sunderland presented a collection of humorous video clips with a musical theme ranging from the well-known Morecambe and Wise sketch with Andre Previn to demonstrations of unusual instruments and performances of musical parodies with a couple of cartoons thrown in for good measure .


1 Cartoon  – ” The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra ” based on the cartoons of Gerald Hoffnung

2 Less familiar or unusual musical instruments  including giant versions of the flute , tuba and saxophone and a demonstration of the Chinese version of the harmonica  – the Sheng .

3  Unusual arrangement of a familiar piece  – The Hungarian  Czardas  by Monti  – played on the tuba

4  Polyphony – Two tunes played at the same time on the tuba !

5  Victor Borge’s version Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 arranged as a piano duet

6  A sketch by the MozART quartet with them all apparently injured and bandaged up but still managing to play

7   Dudley Moore’s   Beethoven parody  on Colonel Bogey

8   The Vienna Philharmonic New Year concert 2012 performance of ” The Copenhagen steam Railway Galop ” by Hans Christian Lumbaye with sound effects and props .

9 A promenade performance of the ” Concerto Popolare – a concerto to end all concertos” by Franz Reizenstein

10   a performance by Felicity Lot and Ann Murray of  ” The Cats Duet” by Rossini

11  ” Classical Music Mash-up”  – a cartoon medley of music by many classical composers .


22nd  November 2022  :  Open Forum / BYO 

A good selection of music was played from a variety of genres, vocal,with Janet Baker, Russell Watson. and Elvis. There was Orchestral music from Mozart,Gershwin and Korngold , not forgetting a rousing start with pieces from two famous Brass Bands . Members all left smiling ,


Desford Colliery Band :  St Louis Blues

Brighouse and Rastrick Band : Radetzky March by Johann StraussII

Two Italian songs , “O Sole Mio “and ” Volare ”  played by Andre Rieu and his orchestra

” Valse triste” by Oscar Nedhal   played by the RLPO c, Libor Pesek

” You raise me up” sung by Russell Watson

” Where Corals lie” and ” The swimmer” from ” Sea Pictures” by Elgar    Sung by Janet Baker wit the LSO  c Sir John Barbirolli

” Shall we dance? ” by George Gershwin  from the ” Gershwin in Hollywood ” Prom concert by John Wilson and his orchestra

“Marietta’s Lied ” by Korngold  , played by Nichola Bernedetti  and the Bournemouth S.O.  c Kiril Karabits

“Clarinet Concerto – Adagio ”  by Mozart  played by Michael Whight  and the Royal Philharmonic  c Nicolas Cleobury

” Silver Bells”    sung by Elvis Presley  , 1971 recording of Christmas songs ” Christmas Peace”


24th October 2022:    “Music inspired by the works of Shakespeare “

John Appleton gave this interesting presentation, illustrated with a wide variety of music written from the Elizabethan age up to the current day. From the theatre to the concert hall to film. Some familiar pieces, others less well-known and all obviously enjoyed by those present.


1 “Brush up your Shakespeare” from ‘Kiss me Kate’  by Cole Porter.   RSC Cast 1987.

2 “It was a lover and his Lass.”  by     Thomas Morley.   Elizabethan lute songs       Julian Bream and Sir Peter Piers

3 “Where the bee sucks there lurk I” –  by Robert Johnson (Shakespeares lutenist.)  from ” The Tempest”                                                                                                      Emma, Kirby David, Thomas, Anthony Rooley.

4 Charge and Battle   from “Henry Vth Suite.”  by     William Walton.       James de Priest Oregon Symphony Orchestra

5 “Forest of Arden.”  by      Patrick Arthur Doyle.     From the film “As you like it “Kenneth Branagh’s film.

6 “Sigh no more.”  by Patrick  Doyle  From “Much ado about nothing”  – Kenneth Branagh’s film

7 “West Side Story – Prologue.”  by Leonard Bernstein .-   Steven Speilburg film

8 “Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet.” by Tchaikovsky. New York Philharmonic

9 “Who is Sylvia” by  Franz. Schubert   – The King’s Singers

10 ” Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream”  by Felix Mendelssohn.     London Symphony Orchestra

  1. Scherzo.       ii Wedding March.

11 “Overture to Julius Caesar.” by Robert Schumann.      London Symphony Orchestra

12 “Overture to The Tempest”   .by Sibelius –   Finish radio Symphony Orchestra

13 Overture to Othello Dvorak. Berlin Philharmonic


27th September 2022 :  “One-hit Classical Wonders ?  – Part 1

Due to a technical problem, the scheduled presentation by Janice and John Appleton was postponed until the October meeting .

Instead , David Sunderland questioned whether the composers of two familiar pieces deserve to be regarded as ” one-hit wonders. The ” Dance of the hours” by Amilcar Ponchielli and ” The Procession of the Sardar” by Michail Ippolitov- Ivanov are familiar, even if their composer’s names are not and other music by them is rarely heard. However both these pieces are part of larger works, The Opera “La Giaconda ” and ” Caucasian Sketches ” respectively.

A short biography of each composer was given with examples from other musical works by them.   Both composers were famous and honoured in their lifetime but most of their music did not survive them for long.



       ” Dance of the Hours ”   From the opera “ La Gioconda”        Played by the Berlin Philharmonic c. Herbert von Karajan

     “Il Convegno”  arr.  2 clarinets and piano  Soloists : Javier Olmeda Nopuerta and Rafel Nevarro Berzoxa

      Concerto for Euphonium     – end      Played  by David Werner

     La Gioconda  – Overture (part)       Ponchiello  ” Cielo e mar”   ( “Sky and sea” from La Gioconda)                                             Sung there by the tenor Franco Corelli

       “Elegia per Grand Opera”  Played by the Minsk Philharmonic Orchestra  conducted by Silvano Frontini

Symphony No 2       Played by the Minsk Philharmonic Orchestra  conducted by Silvano Frontini


   Caucasian sketches Suite No 1     – part IV     “The Procession of the Sardar   “ Played by the Taiwanese Soloists orchestra

      Yar – kmel”  Spring overture   Played by the Slovak Radio S.O.  c Donald Johanos 

       Armenian Rhapsody on National themes    Played by the Armenian Philharmonic c, Loris Tjeknavorian   

     Symphony No 1  – 4th movement       Played by the Bamberg S.O.  c Gary Bryan


23rd August 2022  :  British Light Music

What is “ light music” ?    These days it could be called “ easy listening “ music .

The composer , arranger and conductor Ernest Tomlinson described it as:

“Music where the melody matters more than what you do to it”

There certainly is a lot of good tunes around , some by “Serious” composers like Sir Malcolm Arnold , Sir Richard Rodney Bennett ,William Alwyn and others who do not mind  “letting their hair down” in the most delightful way

However  today’s presentation by David Sunderland celebrated composers mainly known for their light music compositions . Some well-known like Eric Coates , others whose names are unfamiliar but whose tunes are instantly recognisable  like Vivian Ellis with his ” Coronation Scott”  for the series ” Paul Temple ” .

Many of their compositions introduced early Radio or television programmes  so this presentation was a trip down memory lane for most of the listeners .



1    “ The Devil’s Galop “

2   “ The Old Clockmaker “   Queens Hall Light Orchestra c. Ernest Tomlinson

3   “ The Dream of Olwen”       Philip Fowke (piano) RTE Orchestra  c. Proinnsias Duin


4  “  Elizabethan Serenade “        Slovak Radio Symphony OrchestrErnest Tomlinson

5      “Sailing by “                    Perry – Gardner Orchestra

6       Concerto for Alto Sax  III Rondo   Allegro giososo         Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra     c. Ernest Tomlinson


7     “ Spread a little Happiness” From the musical  ” Mr Cinders ”

8      “Alpine Pastures “               Queens Hall Light Orchestra    c. Sydney Torch

9        “ Coronation Scott”       Played by the Northern Sinfonia  c John Wilson


10    “ By the Sleepy Lagoon”      Northern Sinfonia   c. John Wilson

11 “ The Three Elizabeths Suite – I “ Halcyon Days”  Queen Elizabeth     Played by  the City of Birmingham S.O.  c Reginald Kirby

12    “ Calling all Workers”     Played by the New London Orchestra c Ronald Corp

13      “ Knightsbridge!  ( from “ London Suite”    )

14        “ The Three Elizabeths Suite  – II  “Elizabeth of Glamis “ Played by  the City of Birmingham S.O.  c Reginald Kirby

15      “ The Dambusters March”          BBC  Symphony Orchestra    c, David Parry


26th July 2022  : Open forum  / BYO

A varied selection of music and some friendly banter made sure that everybody went home smiling .

Playlist :

1 Rachmaninov – “Vocalise” arranged for flute and played  by James Galway with the national Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhard

2 “ I can’t get started” by Vernon Drake and Ira Gershwin

– sung by Barry Manilow with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (1994)

3 Mozart “ The Magic Flute “  – 2 bass arias sung by Roland Bracht

“ O Isis and Osiris” and “ In dieser Heil ……..“

4   Max Bruch  – Violin Concerto No 1 – 3rd movement

Played by Tasmin Little (v)  with the RLPO c by Vernon Handley (1990)

5    “ Your feet’s too big” sung by “The Inkspots”   (1935 recording )

Produced many smiles but probably not PC these days !

6   J.S. Bach : Brandenburg Concerto No 3  – 1st movement  – played by the   Festival Strings , Lucerne c. Rudolf Baumgartner.( The original introductory music for “the Antiques Road Show”.)

7  Schubert : Impromptu No 2 in A flat  played by Alfred Brendel (p)

8 “ Rhyadu” from the album “The Snow Goose” by the group “ Camel”

9 Chopin : Ballade No 1 played by Tamas Vasary (p)

10 Albinoni : Oboe Concerto Op9  No 2 – 2nd movement (Adagio)   

                 Played by Anthony Camden (Oboe) with  The London Virtuosi

11  Improvisations by the “ Trio Gitan”

On Paganini Caprice No 24 and Brahms Hungarian Dance No 5

12  “ Maggie May” sung by A.L. Lloyd  – a more traditional version of this            well-known song .


June 28th 2022 :  “ Franz Schubert ( 1797 – 1828)  – his life and music”

Rosemary Fletcher presented a biography of the  Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras, Illustrated with examples from some of his wide range of range of compositions that  are still performed today .

She pointed out that ,despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast number of compositions , including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music, and a large body of piano and chamber music. ..

Rosemary commented that appreciation of Schubert’s music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased greatly in the decades following his death.

Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann , Franz Liszt , Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works and today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers in the history of  Western music and his work continues to be admired.

Playlist :

Opera : “ Rosamund”  Overture  played by the Staatskapelle Dresden  c. Willi Boskovsky

Piano Impromptus D899 : No 1 in C minor & No 2 in E flat  – played by Mitsuko Uschida

3 Songs :  Die Fonella   / Erlkonig  / An Silvia   – sung by Bryn Terfel

Symphony No 8   “ The unfinished “ – 1st movement   – played by the Staatskapelle Dresden c, Giuseppe Sinopoli

Chamber music :  The Trout quintet  – 1st movement  –  played by Andras Schiff (p) with the Hagen Quartet


May 24th 2022  : Women Composers :

This presentation by Barbara and Colin Redwood managed to cover 1000 years of musical compositions by 15 women from Hildegard of Bingen to the current era so a busy programme .

There were some familiar names like Fanny Mendelsohn and Clara Schumann but introducing group members to lesser known women from Europa and the USA –  like Maria Paradis and Florence Price and covering early Church music to TV commercials .

Play list :

Fanny Mendelssohn :  String Quartet in E lfat Major  I – played by Quatuor Ebene

Clara Schumann :     :Scherzo No 2 in C minor Op 14-  played by Isata Kannah-Mason (p)

Louise Farrenc :         Symphony No 3 in G minor IV – Finale     Played by the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra

Maria Paradis  :        Sicilienne in E flat major arr Cello and Harp       Played by Johannes Goritzki & Jaqueline Pollauf

Ethel Smyth :                 Trio for Piano , violin and Cello  in D major –      I               Chagall Trio

The March of the Women  ( Suffragettes march)      Chorus of the Plymouth Music Series Minnesota

Amy Beach :           Berceuse for piano and cello     Stephen Hough(p) and Steven Isserlis

Florence Beatrice Price :  Fantasie Negrie  – played by Lara Downes (p)

Lilli Boulanger :      Nocturne  for 4 hands  – Janine Jansen & Itamar Golan

Nadia Boulanger : 3 Pieces for Cello & Piano  No 1   – Amil Peled  & Lucy Mauro

Madelaine Dring:  Danza Gaya (arr Oboe and piano)    Played by Leslie Odom & Soomee Yoon

Judith Weir :          Love bade me welcome – sung by   Choir of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge

Rachel Portman : Emma Piano suite  – played by the composer (p)

Anne Dudley :       Henry’s theme ( Music from the TSB TV commercial n  Played by Anne Dudley Humonics

Debbie Wiseman :   Elizabeth II – Jubilee fanfare    –   National Symphony Orchestra of Wales .


26th April 2022 : Open forum / BYO

Several members were not able to attend the meeting so missed an enjoyable and enjoyed selection of pieces from a mixture of musical styles , orchestral , instrumental and vocal , opera and  film  with some old favourites and some rarer offerings.

Playlist :

Franz Lehar “ You are my heart’s delight “ – sung by Placido Domingo

Philip Glass:   “ Glassworks” – final movement “ Closing”

Charles –Marie Widor : Organ Symphony No 5 – Toccata and Fugue

Played by Ian Tracey at the Liverpool Cathedral Organ .

Paul McCartney: “ Yesterday”  played by Yorkshire Imperial Metals band

Sydney Bechet: “ Dans les rues D’Antibes”

Played by the Bar Marina All Stars

Sergei Rachmaninov : “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”

Played by Nicholai Evrov with the Bulgarian State Philharmonic .

Ennio Morricone:  Theme from “ Cinema Paradiso” Irene

Played by Chloe Hanslip ( violin) with the BBC Concert Orchestra

A.M, Goodheart : “ Variations on “Tipperary”

played by Irene Scharrer (piano)

Joachin Rodrigo : Concerto de Aranjuez

vocal  version by Segovia  as “ En Aranjuez con tu amor”

Sung by Andrea Bocelli

George Gershwin: “Rhapsody in Blue” * start)    Played by Boyan Vodanitcherov (piano)  with the Bulgarian State Philharmonic.

Benton Overstreet & Billy Higgins : “ There’ll be some changes made”

Played by the Bar Marina Jazz All Stars


March 22nd 2022  – “ Listen to the wind”  a presentation by Norma Wardle

Norma started by introducing the instruments forming the wind section of a concert orchestra , The flute and piccolo , single reed instruments like the clarinet and saxophone  and double reed instruments like the oboe , Cor Anglais and Bassoon .

Rosemary Fletcher had brought along her flute to demonstrate the technique of playing it but declined to demonstrate it on the grounds of being “too rusty “.

It therefore fell to “the man with the Golden Flute “  i.e. James Galway to play part of Danzi’s flute Concerto and 2 more of Danzi’s works were used to demonstrate the clarinet  and the complimentary combination of flute and clarinet .

The largest of the wind instruments was demonstrated by part of Hummel’s Grand Concerto for Bassoon .

In the second half of the programme the bassoon showed it’s humourous side with Debussy’s “ Goliwogs Cake Walk” before we moved to jazz venues for works featuring Artie Shaw  on clarinet and Paul Gonzalves on tenor saxophone .

The presentation finished with combining the wind instruments in the gran finale of one of the finest works written for small wind ensemble the  -Mozart’s Serenade in B flat .

This was an interesting and informative presentation that was evidently enjoyed by those present .

Playlist :

1 ) Danzi – Concerto for flute and orchestra   – played by James Galway  (flute)        and the Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra

2)  Mozart – Oboe Concerto  – played by John Anderson and the Royal  Philharmonic Orchestra

3) Dvorak –  Cor Angalais solo from the start of “ New World Symphony “

4) Danzi – Fantasia for Clarinet and Orchestra – played by Sabine Meyer     and the Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra

5) Danzi – Concerto for flute and clarinet – played by James Galway and Sabine Meyer  with  the Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra

6) Hummel – Grand Concerto for Bassoon & orchestra    played by Michael Werba and the Wiener Strechen solisten

7) Antonio Mario Romera – Cuban “ Charanga “ music –  played by Enrique Navarro (flute)  wit the Rotterdam Conservatory Chamber Orchestra

8) Bellini – Oboe Concertino in E flat major    –  played by Nicholas Daniels and the Peterborough String Orchestra

9 Debussy – Golliwogs Cake walk – arranged and played by Daniels Smith

10) Artie Shaw – “ Nightmare”

11) From the CD “Duke Ellington at Newport” – the Paul Gonzalves “set” on tenor saxophone .

12) Mozart – Serenade in B flat “ Gran Partita”  – finale  – played by Members of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields  c. Neville Mariner


February 22nd 2022  Restart of meetings : 

In this presentation , Nick Williams gave members his interpretation of a musical Grand Tour .

It was introduced by Nat king Cole’s ” Around the world” then on to China and the Yellow River piano concerto  before crossing into India for 2 items from the stage musical ” Bombay Dreams “. We then travelled west to Europe for ” a Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies” by Franz Liszt  before heading North to Scandinavia to hear a track from Abba’s  album ” Voyager” . Moving southeast we headed for a voyage though Bohemia and the Czech Republic down the river Vltava  (or The Moldau)  curtesy of Bedrich Smetana and the last movement of the suite ” Ma Vlast”. Westward to the Republic of Ireland and  the title number from the stage show ” Firedance”  with music by Bill Whelan  , then further west to finish in the USA  with 2 unusual versions of pieces by George Gershwin .       These were arrangements  for Harmonica and Orchestra by the master of that instrument , Larry Adler with George Martin .

The journey would have been a nightmare for a travel agent to arrange but the trip was obviously thoroughly enjoyed by the group members .


Feb 2022 Playlist

1“Around the World” –  Sung by Nat King Cole

2   “ The Yellow River Concerto – 4th movement –“ Defend the Yellow River”

Played by Yin Chengzong  -piano ( one of the 4 composers)       and the Slovak Radio   Symphony Orchestra  conducted by Adrian Leaper

3 “Bombay Awakes “ and “ Bombay Dreams” from the CD of the  musical      “ Bombay Dreams”    by the “Bollywood” film composer AR  Rahmen  –

4    “Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies”   by Franz Liszt 

Berlin Philharmonic  conducted by Herbert Von Karajan ( 1971 recording)

5“ I still have faith in you “ from the latest  Abba  CD  “ Voyager “

6    “ Vltava” (alternately called the Moldau river) – 3rd movement of “ Ma Vlast” by Bedrich Smetana

Played by the national Youth Orchestra of Great Britain           conducted by Sir Roger Norrington

7  “ Firedance” from the stage show of the same name . From the the 25th Anniversary CD with the RTE Orchestra .

8   Two pieces from “ The Glory of Gershwin” CD , a tribute to the composer with arrangements of his works by Larry Adler and George Martin for Harmonica and orchestra .

“ Rhapsody in Blue” (originally for piano)  with Larry Adler on harmonica .

Summertime” ( from the opera “Porgy and Bess”)  with Larry Adler ( harmonica) and Jazz saxophanist Courtney Pine                                                                      with the George Martin Orchestra


November 23rd  2021 “ Open forum / BYO “

Members enjoyed a wide selection of music including “ Christmas” items like “ Unto us a Child is born “ from Handel’s “Messiah” and part of JS Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There were some lesser known items –  Anton Rubinstein’s Piano Concerto No 4 , Gerald Finzi’s “ Romance for String Orchestra”  and Gounod’s “ Juxex” from his “Mars et Vita” .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Mozart was represented by the Rondo from his “Oboe Concerto in C” and Bruch by his well-known and much loved “Violin concerto No 1 “.

We were also asked to guess the language of a song which proved to come from an album by an Australian aborigine singer  – certainly a first for our group. As a reminder that we no longer have a Jazz appreciation group running ,we were  treated to a Jazz arrangement of a familiar piece which turned out to have been the introductory music to TV’s “ Cinema” with Barry Norman .

We ended with a “guess the theme”  in a set of variations – Dohnanyi’s “Variations on a Nursery Song”  – Twinkle, Twinkle , little star”  .                                   Everyone seemed to go home smiling so a most enjoyable afternoon.


Handel :  “ Unto us a Child is born” from “ Messiah   Sung by The Scholars Baroque Ensemble with soloists

Max Bruch : Violin Concerto No 1  – 1st movement     Played by Pinchas Zuckerman with the London Philharmonic        conducted by Zubin Mehta

JS Bach :   Christmas Oratorio    Sung by Coro della Radio Svizzera Logano and soloists  plus  I  Barochisti conducted by Diego Fasolis

Gounod: “ Judex”  from “ Mars et Vita              Played by The  RLPO with Libor Pesek

Anton Rubinstein:  Piano Concerto No 4  in D minor – 1st   movement   Played by Natasha Paremski with the Moscow Philharmonic                                                                                                                                                                                 c. Dmitry Yablonsky

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunapinga :  “ Wyathal”  from his album “ Gurrumul”

Gerald Finzi : Romance for String Orchestra         Academy of St. Martin in the Fields c. Sir Neville Marriner

Richard Carroll Lamb: “ I wish I knew how it would feel to  be free”         Played by Jeff Goldblum (p) with The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

Erno Dohnanyi : “Variations on a Nursery Song   – Introduction , theme and  first 2 variations                                                                                 Played by Erno Dohnanyi (p)       with the Royal Philharmonic  Orchestra c, Sir Adrian Boult


October 26th 2021  “ Tchaikovsky and friends “

This was an informative and interesting  presentation by Vaughan Wall about the composer and some of the people who provided  financial or emotional support during his career . It was illustrated by some entertaining anecdotes and excerpts of some of his lesser known works (see playlist below).


1) Suite No 4  “ Mozaritana  Played by The New Philharmonia Orchestra c . Antal Dorati

2) Symphony No 2 “ Little Russian “  -second movement                                                                                                                                                                                                Played by the Berlin Philharmonic c. Herbert von Karajan

3) The Snow Maiden  “ Dance and Chorus of the Birds                                                                                                                                                                                        Played by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra c, Igor Golovshian

4) “Souvenir d’un lieu cher”  – Played by Ilya Kaler (violin)                                                                                                                                                                                                  with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra c. Dmitry Yablonsky

5)   Swan Lake – The Waltz from Act                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Played by the London Symphony  Orchestra c. Andre Previn

6)  Piano Concerto No 2 – first movement =                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Played by Peter Donohue (piano)  with The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra c. Rudolf Barshai

7)  Symphony No 4 – first movement                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Played by the Berlin Philharmonic c. Herbert von Karajan

8)  Festival Coronation March                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Played by the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra   c,  Guennadi Rojdestvenski


Restart meeting   28th September 2021 :   ” Humour in Music ” 

To celebrate our restart of the group , David Sunderland  presented a selection of examples of humour in  music , humourous songs, humour from hearing the unexpected and musical parodies  – familiar music but in the style of another composer .

As promised , every one left with a smile  !


Track 1   Ibert – Divertissement  – Parade and finale                                                                                                                                                                                                Played by the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra c, William T, Stromberg        

Track 2        “On the trail”  from the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde                                                                                                                                                                       Played by the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra c  Andrew Litton

Track 3  Gilbert and Sullivans “ the Mikado “  – My object all sublim                                                                                                                                                                   Sung by  Donald Maxwell  as the Mikado at the 2007 Buxton Gilbert   and Sullivan Festival

 Track 4   The Hippopotamus song by Flanders and Swan     Sung by the operatic bass Ian Wallace

   Track 5       E.J Moeran and  Peter Warlock setting of    ” MaltWorms”       Sung by Nielsen Taylor

   Track  6    “The Mermaid”  Trad  arr Whitworth  sung by the Kings Singers

   Track 7      Mussorgsky’s setting of “Mephistopheles  song of the flea “            from Goethe’s ” Faust                                                                                                                    Sung by the British bass Sir John Tomlinson                

Track 8         Haydn  String Quartet   Op 33 No 2 “ The Joke”  –     Adagio “ 

Track 9   –   Sibelius Symphony No 5      -end

Track  10     Chopin  – Mazurka No 47  Opus 68 no 2      played by Vladimir Ashkenazy

Track 11     Chopin  – Mazurka No 47  Opus 68 no 2     arr for 4 Tubas by Daniel Abrams                                                                                                                                          Composed for the 1956 Hoffnung Music Festival .

Track 12  Andante from Haydn’s Symphony   – known as the”  Surprise” Symphony   –  excerpt                                              

  Track 13   Donald Swan’s version of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony                                                                                                                                                                   Played by the Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra  at the1956 Hoffnung  Music Festival       

Track 14 :  Beethoven Parody composed by Dudley Moore      Played by the concert pianist Piers Lane

 Track 15:   Eric Fenby – “ Rossini on Ilkls Moor”     Royal Ballet Sinfonia  c Gavin Sutherland


February 25th 2020 : ” Let’s Dance”

Nick Williams started with the classic waltz of Johann Strauss the Younger and jazzed up versions from Dave Brubeck and Dmitri Shostakovich . He moved on to examples of dance music from Stage and film Musicals and “modern” ballet via Mexican traditional dances before returning to more music from Stage and film Musicals .( See playlist below )
While not managing to move any of his audience to get up and dance , there was definitely some foot tapping and shoulder swaying going on,
An afternoon of music much enjoyed by a good attendance .


Johan Strauss II – Emperor Waltz   Played by the Strauss Festival Orchestra  c  Andre Lenard

Dave Brubeck – ” It’s a Raggy Waltz”

Dmitri Shostakovich : “Waltz No 2″ from ” Jazz Suite No 2 ”  Played by The Russian State Symphony Orchestra
” Tahiti Trot”                                               Conducted by Dmitry  Yablonsky
(Reputedly , for a bet , he completed this re-orchestration from memory in 45 minutes after listening to a version of “Tea for Two” )

Leonard Bernstein – ” America” from ” West Side Story” – a recording of a Broadway stage production starring Marie Kesselman.

Harry Warren & Al Dubin – ” 42nd Street ” Stage production with Wanda Richert

Aaron Copland – ” El Salon Mexico ”                                                                 Played by the BBC Philharmonic c. John Wilson
Four Dance Episodes from “Rodeo” – “Saturday Night Waltz ”              ”                    ”
– “Hoe Down ”                                                                                                        ”                      ”

George Gershwin – ” An American in Paris ” (Ballet sequence)
2015 Broadway Production

Lerner & Lowe – ” My Fair Lady ” – ” I could have danced all night”
Sung by Katherine Jenkins

George Merrill & Shannon Rubicam – ” I wanna dance with somebody” Sung by Alexandra Burke from the Stage production of the musical “The Bodyguard ”


January 28th 2020 : ” One -hit classical wonders ?”
Some well-known pieces are by composers few of us can name or , if we can , we cannot recollect another work by that composer . In most cases there were other works by that composer that were popular but are now rarely or even never performed . In some cases any other works have been lost so to call them “A one-hit wonder” is appropriate . In his presentation David Sunderland introduced four composers as examples of both types . These were Johann Pachelbel , Paul Dukas , Luigi Boccherini and Samuel Barber. .He played parts of other works by 3 of these composers and left the group members to decide if the title ” One-hit wonder” was appropriate .


JOHANN PACHELBEL – Canon in D Played there by the London Symphony Orchestra
PAUL DUKAS “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
Played by the National Youth orchestra of Great Britain conducted by Semyon Bychkov in a Prom concert of 2010

“Villanelle for horn and orchestra”
Played by Esa Tukia (french horn) with the Finnish Radio S.O.

” Symphony in C ” opening of the first movement
Played by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier

LUIGI BOCCHERINI – “String Quartet in E major, G275 (Minuet) ” Played there by Richard Lesser with the Vanburgh Quartet
” Cello Concerto No 9″ – 3rd movement Played by Jaqueline Dupre with the English Camber Orchestra                   conducted by Daniel Barenboim in 1967
“Guitar Quintet No 4” – Fandango. Played there by Eros Roseli and the Magnifica Comunita

SAMUEL BARBER – Adagio for Strings Played there by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop
Violin concerto – second movement Played by Isaac Stern with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein
The School for Scandal Overture Played by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yoel Levi
Symphony No 1 – first movement Played by the St Paul Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin


November 26th 2019 :   Humour and music 

To compensate for the gloomy weather , Norma Wardle cheered up the members  with a much appreciated selection of music showing different aspects of musical humour .  These included comedy songs  by Flanders and Swann , comedy monologues about music by Victor Borge  , comic sounding music like the cats duet by Rossini , and music that simply made one smile and feel good .     I am sure that all of those attending went away happier than when they arrived . Most appropriate for our last presentation before Christmas .


1. Shostakovich Jazz Suite   – Waltz and Polka  Played by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra c. Riccardo Chailly

2. Johann Strauss II:  “Banditen Galop”   played by the Vienna Philharmonic c. by Willi Boskovsky

3. Victor Borge   “A Mozart Opera

4. Ferdinabd Hérold –    “Clog Dance” from the ballet ” La Fille mal Garde”  Played by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House ,       Covent Garden  and arranged and conducted  by John Lanchberry

5. Vaughan Williams English Folksong Suite  – Folksongs from Somerset     Played by the RLPO c by John Wilson

6. Flanders & Swann :   ” Misalliance”  and ” Kokorati”  from the album “At the Drop of a hat”

7. Hans Christian Lumbye :  ” Champagne Galop ”  and “Copenhagen Steam Railway Gallop”   – Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra c by Gennady Rozhedestvensky

8. Bob Hagart and Yank Lawson’s World’s Greatest Jazz Band playing ” Big noise from Winetka”  for double bass and drums

9 The Pasadena Roof Orchestra   playing ” Everything stops for Tea”.( very appropriate just before the interval ) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

10. Rossini –   Cats Duet     with Felicity Lot  and Ann Murray  (a wonderful performance  on video)

11  Lionel Hampton  – “How High the Moon”

12. Edouard Strauss:    ” Ohne Bremse”   (“Without  Brakes ”  – a fast and furious polka)                                                                                                                                                            Vienna Philharmonic  c Willi Boskovsky

13. Carl Orff Carmina Burana :  –  “Olem lacus colueram”  ( The roasting swan song)

18. Offenbach:   Gaieté Parisiemme :  Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra  c, Andre Previn


October 22nd 2019 :  Open Forum / BYO 

Playlist of members choices:

Chopin – Piano Concerto No 2  – 2nd movement  played by Garrick Ohisson with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra    conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk .

Mantovani and his orchestra playing their signature tune ” Charmaine” 

Max Bruch “Canzone” transcribed for Flugelhorn and played by  by Sergei Nakariakov with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy

Tchaikovsky – ” The Snow Maiden” incidental music – the introduction  played by the BBC PHilharmonic Orchestra conductd by Vassily Sinaisky

Elgar – ” Introduction and Allegro”  –    played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by sir Andrew Davies

Elgar :  ” Symphony No 1 ” – first movement  –  an old recording ( remastered) with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the Halle Orchestra

Rod Stewart singing his version of ” Maggie May” in a live concert recording

Chopin – ” Berceuse” played by Daniel Barenboim

Tchaikovsky – ” The Snow Maiden” incidental music – ” The Dance of the Tumblers – played by the BBC PHilharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vassily Sinaisky

Steve Goodman : ” City of New Orleans”  a ballad about a long distance railway journey – sung by Willie Nelson


September 24th :   A showing of the video of “Elgar”  – a documentary by Ken Russell for the BBC                                                                           – made in 1962  for the “Monitor” series 

This was an excellent documentary , covering Elgar’s humble background  , his difficulty in gaining recognition and an acknowledgement of the important supporting role played by his wife . Most informative and greatly enjoyed by the group members.. (This video is available on request for loan  to those group members who were unable to attend on the day)

August 27th 2019 : Open forum / BYO

Bank holiday week , holidays or grandchild minding duties may have been responsible for an exceptionally low attendance at this meeting but this did give those present the chance to play more than one track each for a change !
These were mainly vocal numbers but came from opera , film , folk , jazz and popular music. There was a particularly beautiful rendition by Nataria Devrath of ” Bailero” from Canteloupe’s “Songs of the Auvergne ” and an amusing piece by the pianist Stephen Hough based on a well-known Australian song tune.
Mozart had a good day with arias from three of his operas as did Alexander Armstrong wearing his singers hat.
To make up for the demise of the Jazz Appreciation Group , there were two interesting settings of Shakespeare sonnets by John Dankworth , sung by the inimitable Cleo Lane .
We also heard a section of one of the more accessible works by the experimental composer Charles Ives .
So an enjoyable variety of music.


Mozart – “Queen of the Night” aria from “The Magic Flute” sung by Luciana Serra with the Staatskapelle Dresden c. Sir Colin Davis

Mozart “Laudate Dominum” from ” Vesperai solonnes de Confessione Sung by Edith Mathis with the Leipzig Radio Chorus and the Staatskapelle Dresden c. Sir Colin Davis

Mozart “La, ci darem la mano” from ” Don Giovani” sung by Thomas Allen and Marie McLaughlin with the Academy of St Martins-in-the Fields orchestra conducted by Sir Neville Mariner

Mark Knopfer : “Going Home” and ” The Mist covered Mountain ” from the film ” Local Hero ”

Eric Coates : ” By the Sleepy Lagoon”
( Desert Island Discs signature theme)

Alexander Armstrong singing ” When a Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square ” , ” Over the hills and Far Away” and ” Stranger in Paradise”

Canteloupe : ” Bailero” and ” Three Barrios ” from ” Songs of the Auvergne” sung by Nataria Devrath

John Dankworth: ” Where the bee sucks” and ” Shall I compare thee” from his settings of Shakespeare sonnets – sung by Cleo Lane

Charles Ives : ” The Alcotts ” , part 3 of his ” Piano Sonata No 2 titled Concord , Massechusetts ” in an orchestrated version by Henry Brant

Stephen Hough: “Matilda’s Rhumba” variations on a well-known Australian song tune – played on the piano by the composer


July 23rd 2019 : ” The Natural World interpreted in music “

Many composers have attempted to picture in music the wonders and mysteries of the Natural World. Alma and Roger Abel played some of their favourite examples . These covered the  sea and mountains , the weather and the seasons not forgetting two  of the planets living creatures at different ends of the size scale – the lark and elephants !

A good turn-out of group members enjoyed an afternoon of glorious music  on a very hot day. Perhaps Alma and Roger could have included ” We’re having a heat wave , a tropical heatwave !  .

Play list

” Utopia” by George Fenton  (  from ” The Blue Planet” series)

” Dawn Chorus” from John Barry’s ” The Beyondness of Things ” – English chamber Orchestra

“Land of the Mountain and the Flood ” by Hamish McCunn – Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson

“The Wave”  composed and played by Ludovico Einaudi

Beethoven Symphony No 6  (Pastoral”) – Storm scene   – London Symphony Orch  c Wyn Morris

“Winter” and “Spring ” from Glazunov’s ” The Seasons”   Scottish National Orch c. Neemi Jarvi

“Summertime” from Gershwin’s ” Porgy and Bess ”  sung by Rene Fleming

” Autumn” from Glazunov’s ” The Seasons” Scottish National Orch c. Neemi Jarvi

” Elephants” from Saint-Saens ” Carnival of the Animals ”

” The Lark Ascending” by Vaughan- Williams – Nicola Benedetti (violin) with the LSO conducted by Andrew Litton

“Nocturne” from the ” Durham Concerto” by Jon Lord  – RLPO conducted by Mischa Damev

“Judex” from ” Mors et vita” by Charles Gounod  – RLPO c by Libor Pesek


June 25th 2019 :  ” The versatile Piano” 

Marjorie and Stan Bryan reminded us of  the various roles that can be taken by the piano ; as solo instrument , to accompany another instrument  in concerti , in chamber music groups and to accompany a vocalist . The presentation was illustrated with well chosen examples (see playlist below ) which were obviously enjoyed by the group members .  A good afternoon’s listening  for piano fans !

(Notes on this presentation can be provided on request )


Solo instrument :

Liszt        – Lieberstraum ( Daydream) No 2     played by Kun Woo Paik

Beethoven –  Piano Sonata No 23 in F minor Op57 -III   Played by Vladimir Ashkenazy

Schubert : Moments musicaux  D780  – No 4 – played by Andras Schiff

Scott Joplin : “The Entertainer ” and ” Pineapple Rag” – played by Joshua Rifkin

Two Pianos :

Rachmaninov :  Suite No 1 for 2 pianos  – ” Easter” played by Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe

With another instrument :

Rachmaninov : Cello sonata in G minor Op 19 – 3rd movement                                                 –                                 played by Benedick Kloeckner (cello) and Anna Fedorova ( piano)

Puccini : “Storiells d’amore”   and  “Sole e amore” arranged for trumpet by Tine Thing Helseth                  with Kathryn Stott on piano

Accompanying a singer :

Schubert : ” An Die Music ” D 547 and ” Auf dem wasser zu singen”  – Felicity Lott ( soprano)                             with Graham Johnson on piano

In Chamber music : 

Schubert : Piano Quintet  D667 ” The trout quintet”  Played by The Hagen Quartet plus                                     Andras Schiff on piano

In piano concerto with full orchestra : 

Shostakovich : Piano Concerto No 2 in f major Op 102 – 2nd movement                        played by                   Boris Giltburg with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic  conducted by Vasily Petrenko

Beethoven :  Piano Concerto No 4 in G Op 58  – 3rd movement     –played by John Lill                                    with the Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson


May 28th 2019 :  ” The Best of British “

Nick Williams presented a selection of music that represented the best in several genres of British music . There were familiar works by British classical composers  – Elgar , Delius and Britten plus Richard Addinsell.                     The world of popular music  was represented by performances by British singers , Elton John , Phil Collins and Matt Monro with Katherine Jenkins singing ” I vow to thee my country ” based on a theme from Holst’s “Planet suite                                                                                                                         Two numbers from  the success of British musical “Billy Elliot ” brought in the world of  musical theatre .

This was a varied programme which deserved a larger audience but was appreciated by those attending .

                                 Play list :

Edward Elgar – Cello concerto  (1st movement ) played by Felix Schmitt with The London Symphony Orchestra conduced by Rafael Frubeck de Burgos

Ralph Vaughan-Williams  – Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis                                                                            Played by the LSO as above

Frederick Delius – “The Walk to the Paradise Garden “                                                     Played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  conducted by Meredith Davies

Benjamin Britten :  “Dawn”  from ” Four Sea Interludes”  ( from his opera ” Peter Grimes” ) played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra c, Andrew Davies

Richard Addinsell :  ” The Warsaw Concerto ”  ( written for the 1941 film ” Dangerous Moonlight” )  played by Cristina Ortiz (piano) with the Royal Philharmonic c. Moshe Atmon

Elton John : “Crocodile Rock” 

Phil Collins : ” Two Hearts

Matt Monro : Wednesday’s Child 

” Deep in the ground” Sung by Tim Healy (Billy)and “Electricity” sung by Haydn Gwynne (as his father) from the musical “Billy Elliot”                Music by Elton John / lyrics by Lu Hall

Katherine Jenkins singing “ I vow to thee my Country”   Words by A. Patrick to music from Gustav Holst’s ” Planet Suite “

April 23rd 2019 :   Open forum / BYO 

As usual a wide selection of music was presented by the group members . Two members independently chose duets by a duo comprising an opera singer and a “pop” singer ( see below) . There were connections between two other items  , Ferde Grofe’s ” Grand canyon Suite ” and George Gershwin’s ” Rhapsody in blue”  ” ( Grofe  orchestrated Gershwin’s piece composed for piano solo ) .                                               With the demise of the Jazz Appreciation Group , a former member of that group used this opportunity to add to our members  jazz  education via  Stephane Grappelli and the Diz Disley Trio. Two operatic sopranos were given an airing in works by Mascagni and Villa-Lobos and the harp had two items . A Varied and enjoyable selection .

Playlist :

Andrea Bocelli Duet with Dua Lipa singing “If only ”

Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni – sung by Maria Callas

” Come fly with me” sung by the inimitable Frank Sinatra

“Claire de Lune” from “Suite Bergamasque” by Debussy played by Dame Moura Lympany (1988 recording) (piano)

” Lover come back to me” played by Stephane Grappelli (guitar) and the Diz Disley Trio (1975)

“Sunrise ” from ” The grand Canyon Suite” by Ferde Grofe played by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein

Bachiana Brasilieros No 5 by Villa-Lobos for soprano and cellos
Sung by Kiri Te Kanawa and the Lyn Hanrill Ensemble (1983)

Pachelbel’s Canon – a version for solo Harp played by Sarah Hill

” Poeme for violin and Orchestra ” by Ernest Chausson
Played by Maurice Hasson (v) and the BBC Concert Orchestra c, Barry Wordsworth

” Perhaps Love” -a duet version sung by Placido Domingo and John Denver (1981)

” The Eternal Dream” by Carl Jenkins – played by Catrin Finch (harp)

The andante from ” Rhapsody in Blue ” by George Gershwin
Played by Boyan Vodenichenko (piano) with the Balkan state Orchestra c, Jo Alfidi

March 26th  2019   :     ” Water ” 

Rae Martin drew on his technical knowledge of the properties of water to introduce music related to the vapour , liquid and solid phases of this substance vital to life on Earth.

We went from the grey clouds of Liszt’s  ” Nuages Gris ” through Chopin’s ” Raindrops prelude ” to the “Lonely waters ” of E.J. Moeran , Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake ” , Thea Musgrave’s ” Loch Ness” ( complete with monster) and Smetana’s ” Die Moldau” . and the pace ( and volume level)  increasd with  the thunder of Grofe’s ” Niagara Falls  suite “.

The temperature then dropped with Georgy Svirdov’s ” Snowstorm Waltz ”  to the eerie chill of Vaughan Williams ” Antarctic Symphony ” . We returned to warmer climes with Debussy’s ” La Mer ”  and ended on an optimistic note with Judy Garland singing ” Over the Rainbow ” .

An interesting theme illustrated with good music choices – much appreciated by the group members present .

February 26th 2019 :  Selections from the Classic FM list of the top-selling classical Album of the last 25 years.

It may have surprised some of our members  that, according to this Classic FM survey , 7 out of the top 20 albums are by Welsh artists and the best selling living composers are Howard Shore, Ludovico Einaudi . John Williams and Karl Jenkins . However  Vaughan Wall managed to find a wider selection of music that made for an afternoon of pleasant listening . It was a shame that so many of our regular attendees were not present to enjoy it !


Shostakovich       – Jazz Suite No 2  – Waltz 2   from the ” Shostakovich Jazz album”

Holst  – Uranus from the Planet Suite   played by the CBSO c Simon Rattle

Andrew Lloyd-Weber :     ” Music of the Night ” from “Phantom of the Opera”  sung by Katherine Jenkins on her  album “One fine day”

Luciano Pavarotti  singing ” Caruso” from his album ” Love Songs

Blake singing ” Swing low , sweet chariot” from their album “Blake”

Ludovico Einaudi playing ” Primavera ” from his album “Islands”

Michael Nyman :  ” The heart asks pleasure first” from the album of the soundtrack of “The Piano ”

Nigel Kennedy playing ” Unknown Soldier ” from the album ” Classic FM album 2005 ”

Andrea Rieu  playing “Love theme from the film Romeo and Juliet ”  from the album ” Music of the Movies”

Andrea Bocelli singing  “Canto della terra ” from his album ” Sogno”

Hayley Westenra   singing ” River of Dreams ” from her album “Pure”

Russell Watson singing “Nella fantasia” from his album ” The Voice”

January 22nd 2019 :  Howard Hanson – American neo-romantic composer “par excellence”  and educator 

Howard Hanson was among the first 2oth C American composers to achieve widespread prominence .He was described as “the American counterpart of Rachnaninov , though with a Scandinavian-American accent” . Yet , outside the USA his works now are rarely heard . To remedy this David Sunderland gave an introduction to the  life and music of this composer who wrote over 40 works including 7 symphonies , an opera plus music for chamber orchestra , choir and Band . In addition  as  conductor of the Eastman- Rochester Orchestra  he premiered hundreds of works by other American Composers .


Track 1 – “The Interlochen theme ” – used in the film “Alien”
( From Symphony No 2 )

Track 2 Symphony No 2 —- first Movement
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz

Track 3 “Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth ”

The pianist was Carol Rosenberger with the New York Chamber Orchestra ,
conducted by Gerald Schwartz .

Track 4 Symphony No 1 – first movement
Nashville Symphony Orchestra c, Kenneth Schermerhorn

Track 5 Merry Mount Suite – IV Prelude to Act II and Maypole Dances
Nashville Symphony Orchestra c, Kenneth Schermerhorn

Track 6 Symphony No 4 Requiem -IV Lux aeterna
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz

Track 7 piano concerto in G Op 36    II , III & IV
The pianist was Carol Rosenberger with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz

Track 8 “Pastorale for Oboe , strings and harp ”

.Track 9 ” Mosaics” ( 1957 )
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz

Track 10 Symphony No 7 – 3rd movement
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz


Last Updated on April 26, 2024