English Composers: Mike Batt

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.

Pho­to: Mike Batt at the Cado­gan Hall

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