Today we present a programme of classical and light-classical music by English composers, both well-known and too often forgotten; contemporary and from the last few hundred years. We’re featuring tracks from a recently-released album by composer Mike Batt — A Classical Tale — alongside music from other contemporary composers such as Christopher Gunning, and English composers from the Baroque period to the present.
From the press release:
“A Classical Tale is a compilation of some of Batt’s work as a classical composer. The album contains “some of the more traditional-sounding, purely symphonic ‘classical’ music” composed by Mike.
“In a career spanning more than 45 years, Mike Batt has indulged in the successes of songwriting, production, performance and composition. Having enjoyed astounding chart success (8 hit singles and 4 gold albums with The Wombles), Batt went on to write some of the country’s most memorable pop singles, notably Art Garfunkel’s international number one single ‘Bright Eyes’, ‘Caravan Song’, performed by Barbara Dickson, and a slew of hits for artists including Cliff Richard, David Essex, Alvin Stardust. His solo career included two albums, ‘Schizophonia’ and ‘Tarot Suite’, both of which were with the London Symphony Orchestra and he achieved new heights of success as a solo artist when his single ‘Summertime City’ made the number four spot.
“Mike is now revisiting his ‘love affair with the art of composition, orchestration and conducting’ with the release of this brand new compilation album containing an inspiration collection of his classical work. Mike has selected music from throughout his career including from the award-winning scores for the animated television series ‘The Dreamstone’ and films ‘Caravans’ and ‘Keep The Aspidistra Flying’, as well as ‘Classical Graffiti’ ’ performed by the classical crossover band The Planets — and music from the film ‘Watership Down’, thus providing fans with a concise anthology of his career in classical music. Produced, arranged and conducted by Mike, the music is performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra and The Planets.”
You can find Batt’s notes on the album here.
Today’s programme includes some real gems, including Hubert Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens, which is heard far too seldom outside the context of royal events.