Famous for its immediately attractive and engaging style, British Light Music grew to become one of the most popular musical genres in Britain during the first half of the 20th century. The Naxos British Light Music series of enduring orchestral favourites by composers such as Ernest Tomlinson, Edward German, Haydn Wood, Richard Addinsell and Eric Coates now reaches Vol. 8 and music by Trevor Duncan.
Allied to his melodic gifts, early experiences as a sound and balance engineer equipped Trevor Duncan with a profound understanding of instrumental colour. During the 1950s he composed music that became instantly recognisable in the light music tradition. The Girl from Corsica was heard almost daily on British radio and the theme tune for the BBC TV series Dr Finlay’s Casebook remains one of his most celebrated works (it’s part of A Little Suite, heard here in full). Duncan was an inspiration for other composers, and was capable of sensuous romance, breezy scene setting, delicate tone poems and irresistible glamour.
Conductor Andrew Penny has made over 50 recordings for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels. Much of the repertoire is British music and includes symphonies by Arnold and Havergal Brian, film music by Vaughan Williams and Walton, theatre music by Sullivan and Holbrooke, and light music by Coates and Arnold. His complete cycle of Arnold’s nine symphonies marking the composer’s 80th birthday in October 2001 became BBC Music Magazine’s top recommendation. He was awarded the MBE for services to music in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours.
The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra was established in 1929 as the first professional symphony orchestra in Slovakia. In addition to regular season concerts, which feature works by Slovak composers, many of them as premieres, the orchestra has performed at concerts abroad, visiting Austria and Hungary, and touring in Europe, Japan and Korea.