Back to 2012/13 season

Who Missed Out This Time? (Derek Haslam, Nov.23rd, 2012)

Edward German (b.1862)Waltz from "Tom Jones"
Jean Francaix (b.1912)Wind Quintet No.1
Edward GermanWelsh Rhapsody
Peter HopeJaunting Car
Conlon Nancarrow (b.1912)String Quartet
Jacques Ibert (d.1962)Escales
Jennifer Higdon (b.1962)City Scape

This, like the similarly named programme I presented in 2009, was an emergency programme to fill a gap left by the unavoidable absence of the intended presenter.

The fashion for celebrating the half-centenaries, centenaries, sesqui-centenaries, bicentenaries of composers' births and deaths (and whatever names we give to other anniversaries farther back in time which are multiples of 50 years) guarantees a sizeable clutch of composers associated with any given year. In fact the number is usually sufficiently large that many composers get overlooked, especially if they are rather obscure and most of all if they were composers of light music.

There were 12 such anniversaries in 2012 (compared to 23 in 2009 when I last presented a programme of this type). The BBC Proms season celebrated Debussy and Delius extensively. There was quite a bit of John Cage, John Ireland's cantata "These things shall be" and Samuel Coleridge Taylor's "Death of Minnehaha" from the Hiawatha trilogy. Massenet was stingily represented by a 3-minute aria.

That leaves just six composers who are celebrated in the above programme. Actually there's an error — Peter Hope shouldn't be there at all! 1962 was the year of death of Ashworth Hope. I didn't realize my mistake until I'd compiled the programme. Not having any of Ashworth Hope's music available, and "Jaunting Car" being such a charming miniature, I opted to leave it in, but I did "fess up" to the audience!