The Light Programme: Remembering Ernest Tomlinson

Today we present a pro­gramme of Light Clas­si­cal music, and once again we are remem­ber­ing a major star in the Light Music fir­ma­ment who has sad­ly left us, name­ly Ernest Tom­lin­son MBE (19 Sep­tem­ber 1924-12 June 2015), com­pos­er, arranger and Pres­i­dent of the Light Music Soci­ety, whose music we are fea­tur­ing today.

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.

The late Ernest Tom­lin­son, along with Gavin Suther­land,  Bri­an Kay and oth­ers, has been respon­si­ble for the immense resur­gence of inter­est in Light Music in the 21st cen­tu­ry and the redis­cov­ery of these mar­vel­lous com­po­si­tions. And if you are a lover of Light Music, please do find out more about the Light Music Soci­ety.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. If you are in the Unit­ed States or Cana­da, please click here to launch the Stream Licens­ing play­er. To lis­ten from out­side North Amer­i­ca, click here to start your play­er .

This pro­gramme is also avail­able in enhanced-qual­i­ty AAC. Tune in here: http://64.237.34.50:9000/

Pic­tured: the BBC Mid­land Light Orches­tra.

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