Wednesday, November 23, 2016

BACK TO THE MUSIC....

.....and a piece that came to mind as I harked back to the days of childhood.  When I was seven, I developed a pretty serious kidney disease which kept me in Southampton Children's Hospital for a few months and resulted in me missing a whole year of schooling - something I`ve been trying to make up for ever since.

Of course, those were the days before television and after returning home from hospital I used to lay in bed and listen to Children's Hour on the old BBC Home Service.  The programme came on at 5.00pm each evening and did what it said on the tin, providing entertainment and education for young listeners like me.   It had regular features and also `drama series` usually with six episodes and it was the introductory music to these series that fascinated me at the time and still live in the memory from 70 years ago. 

I remember one series was called `Ballet Shoes` and the music which introduced it was Wolf-Ferrari`s Jewels of the Madonna.  Another was a series of talks on current affairs by Stephen King-Hall, which whilst not wildly entertaining nevertheless introduced me to the overture to Reznicek`s comic opera Donna Diana. It`s a happy, jaunty piece with a haunting melody. The opera is rarely performed these days but the overture is still a popular stand-alone piece at symphonic concerts and it`s easy to understand why.   Here it is.......


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