The Light Programme: A Classical Touch

Today, we focus on the “light orches­tral” or “light clas­si­cal” end of the Light Music spectrum.

We can think of Light Music as fill­ing a gap between out-and-out clas­si­cal music, and the excep­tion­al qual­i­ty music pro­duc­tion library and film music of the 1940s-50s — the lat­ter also fea­tur­ing from time to time on The Light Pro­gramme. It’s a con­tin­u­um with per­haps Sul­li­van at one end (and we’ll hear some of his Over­tures today) and maybe Coates at the oth­er – though it’s dif­fi­cult to define bound­aries. In between are com­posers like Addin­sell, Alwyn, Ketel­bey, Tom­lin­son, Binge, Lane and oth­ers, and it’s their music that we’ll be fea­tur­ing today. What these pieces and com­posers have in com­mon, is a “clas­si­cal” approach to melod­ic music. Their work is full of great tunes, and it utilis­es orches­tral forces with as much aplomb as any clas­si­cal com­pos­er. But in gen­er­al (though not always), the music is a lit­tle lighter in tone and feel.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Merlin. 

Click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal player. 

Pic­tured: the BBC Mid­land Light Orchestra.

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