From the Library: Classic Musicals

Elrik Mer­lin writes:

Today’s pro­gramme is very straight­for­ward: it’s a col­lec­tion of songs from clas­sic musi­cals, from the days of Gilbert and Sul­li­van to more or less the present. It’s not an exhaus­tive col­lec­tion — in fact it isn’t even all the musi­cals in my library (I’ve omit­ted Shog­goth on the Roof — I played that the oth­er day — and I thought Evil Dead was a bit strong for our Main Stream, though I was sore­ly tempt­ed hehe­he) but I hope you’ll find it an enjoy­able one.

I would draw your atten­tion to one show in par­tic­u­lar, which I was remind­ed of by fel­low Cale­don­ian Mr Why­brow and formed the inspi­ra­tion for this set. That is The Arca­di­ans — music by Lionel Mon­ck­ton and Howard Tal­bot; lyrics by Arthur Wim­peris — the most pop­u­lar of Edwar­dian musi­cals, receiv­ing its pre­mière in Lon­don in 1909, the year that Ble­ri­ot flew across the Chan­nel. This pro­duc­tion essen­tial­ly rep­re­sents a bridge between the Vic­to­ri­an operettas of G&S and the musi­cal as we know it today. Some of the songs — Pipes of Pan in par­tic­u­lar — may be famil­iar even today (they were to me). The pic­ture above shows a post­card pro­mot­ing the orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion. It tells of an air­man who flies his plane to a far off land untouched by time and returns to Lon­don with some of the inhab­i­tants.

We’ll be hear­ing high­lights from this today along with the odd song from oth­er musi­cals of the peri­od that I recall my par­ents lis­ten­ing to when I was grow­ing up, such as Chu Chin Chow (we had a World Record Club LP). And there’s Okla­homa! and My Fair Lady, Chit­ty Chit­ty Bang Bang and a bit of Andrew Lloyd Web­ber (I only own a cou­ple of com­plete works of his and my favourite is Cats: that’s what you’ll hear today). There’s a selec­tion of Bus­by Berke­ley hits too, from the movies that helped peo­ple to smile last time we had a reces­sion on the cur­rent scale. And there’s a lot more, of course.

I hope you enjoy the selec­tions. I’ll be back on Wednes­day and Thurs­day next week, when I hope to play you a cou­ple of sets of British folk music that I’ve not played before.

From the Library is pro­duced in con­junc­tion with the Cale­don Library; today’s pro­gramme was pro­duced by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to it on our Main Stream as fol­lows:

If you want to have the Radio Riel Main Stream play­ing on your par­cel, please set the media music URL to: http://217.112.91.221:9004/live

If you want to lis­ten off-world, sim­ply click here.

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