Made In Britain

Tommy Pearson explores the highways and byways of music composed by British composers over the past hundred years.



Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.


1934-1939, After the Death of Elgar

Following the passing of Elgar, Delius and Holst, the young guns of the 1920s, became the new leading musical creators.

Britten: A Boy was Born (opening)

Holst Singers

Stephen Layton (conductor)

Bliss: March from Things to Come

BBC Philharmonic

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

Berkeley: Night Covers Up the Rigid Land, Op 14/2

Philip Langridge (tenor)

Steuart Bedford (conductor)

Britten: Scherzo - from King Arthur

Richard Hickox (conductor)

Bridge: String Quartet No 4

Maggini Quartet

Mayerl: Sweet William

Susan Tomes (piano)

Howells: King's Herald (from Pageantry)

Britannia Band

Howard Snell (conductor)

Lambert: Madrigal con ritornelli (Summer's Last Will and Testament)

Leeds Festival Chorus

Orchestra of Opera North

David Lloyd-Jones (conductor)

Rawsthorne: Piano Concerto No 1

Geoffrey Tozer (piano)

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Matthias Bamert (conductor)

Walton: Set Me As a Seal

Polyphony Choir





Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.


The Lost Decade (the 1950s)

Fricker: A Babe is Born

The Sixteen Choir

Harry Christophers (conductor)

Vaughan Williams (orch Gordon Jacob): Variations

Munich Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock

Matyas Sieber: Epilogue (To Poetry)

Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano)

Zsuzsa Kollar (piano)

Phantasy for cello and piano

Peter Szabo (cello)

Le Rossignol (4 French Popular Songs)

Andrea Melath (mezzo)

Improvisations for jazz band and orchestra (extract)

Johnny Dankworth and his orchestra

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Hugo Rignold (conductor)

Wilfred Heaton: Five Little Pieces

Black Dyke Band

Nicholas Childs (euphonium)

Stanley Glasser: E-goli (Lalela Zulu)

The King's Singers

Grainger, (arr Alan Gibbs): Goodbye to Love

John Mark-Ainsley (tenor)

Polyphony Choir

Stephen Layton (conductor)

Francis Chagrin: Overture - Helter Skelter

BBC Philharmonic

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

Howard Ferguson: Piano Concerto

Peter Donohoe (piano)

Northern Sinfonia

Michael Berkeley: Farewell

Joyful Company of Singers/Peter Broadbent





Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.


Our friends from the North

Presented by Martin Handley.

The first week of the series ends with a selection of music from the pens of a collection of significant northerners, many of whom studied in Manchester and some who are now our among our leading musical knights.

Peter Maxwell Davis: O Magnum Mysterium

Choir of Cirencester School/ composer

Howarth: Mosaic

Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band/ composer

Arthur Butterworth: Symphony No 1(1st movt)

Munich Symphony Orchestra/ Douglas Bostock

Harrison Birtwistle: White and Light

Mary Wiegold (voice)

Composers Ensemble/ Dominic Muldowney

Rawsthorne: Violin Concerto No 2

Rebecca Hirsch (violin)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/ Lionel Friend

Ellis: Elegiac Variations, Op 66

John Turner (recorder)

Tom Dunn (viola)

Jonathan Price (cello)

Thomas Pitfield: Studies On an English Dance

John McCabe (piano)

McCabe: Cloudcatcher Fells

Britannia Building Society Band/ Howard Snell

Wilby: Sonnet - If God Survives Us

Choir of Lincoln College, Oxford

Tom Lydon (conductor)





Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.


Dramatis Personae

A selection of music from 20th-century British theatre, opera, ballet and melodrama.

Gardner: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

The Sixteen Choir

Benedict Hoffnung, William Lockhart (percussion)

Margaret Phillips (organ)

Harry Christophers (conductor)

Lambert: Horoscope (Saraband for the followers of Virgo)

BBC Concert Orchestra

Barry Wordsworth (conductor)

Bliss: Checkmate (Prologue - The Players)

Ulster Orchestra

Vernon Handley (conductor)

Vaughan Williams: Riders to the Sea (And May He Have Mercy On My Soul)

Linda Finnie (mezzo-soprano)

Northern Sinfonia

Richard Hickox (conductor)

Berkeley: A Dinner Engagement (In the Summer of My Time)

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Yvonne Kenny (soprano)

Jean Rigby (mezzo-soprano)

City of London Sinfonia

Britten: Owen Wingrave (Act II, Scene I)

Peter Pears (Speaker)

Wandsworth School Boys' Choir

English Chamber Orchestra

Benjamin Britten (conductor)

Maxwell Davies: 8 Songs for a Mad King - No 3, The Lady-in-waiting (Miss Musgrave's Fancy)

Kelvin Thomas (baritone)

Psappha Ensemble

Musgrave: Concerto for clarinet and orchestra

Victoria Soames (clarinet)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Thea Musgrave (conductor)

Birtwistle: Gawain's Journey (excerpt)

Philharmonia Orchestra

Elgar Howarth (conductor)

Muldowney: The Brontes (Wuthering Heights)

Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra

Dominic Muldowney (conductor)

Dove: Welcome, All Wonders In One Sight

Schola Cantorum of Oxford

Mark Shepherd (conductor)





Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.


More than a Celtic Twilight

The music composed in Scotland over the past 40 years has not always travelled well south of the border.

There is, however, a lot more to the Scottish voice than James Macmillan - as Martin Handley aims to reveal.

Thomas Wilson: There is no Rose

Cappella Nova Choir

Alan Tavener (director)

Buxton Orr: Intrada (A John Gay Suite)

Guildhall Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Peter Gane (conductor)

Thea Musgrave: Winter (The Seasons)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Nicholas Kraemer (conductor)

Ronald Stevenson:Traighen (Shores); The Rose of All the World

Susan Hamilton (soprano)

John Cameron (piano)

Leighton: Double Concerto, Op 88

John Turner (recorder)

Keith Elcombe (harpsichord)

Northern Ballet Sinfonia

Gavin Sutherland (conductor)

Hans Gal: 3 Preludes

Leon McCawley (piano)

Thomas Wilson: Refrains and Cadenzas

Grimethorpe Colliery Band

Peter Parkes (conductor)

Edward McGuire: Calgacus

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Rob Wallace (pipes)

Takuo Yuasa (conductor)

James Macmillan: The Gallant Weaver

BBC Singers

James Macmillan (conductor)





Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.


From Hills and Valleys

Wales might be the land of song to many, but its heritage of symphonic music is substantial.

It comes from the many concertos and symphonies of Daniel Jones, Williams Mathias and Alun Hoddinott; to the ambitious brass works premiered by Wales' leading brass band and the monumental choral works from, among others, Karl Jenkins.

William Mathias: A Babe Was Born

King's College, Cambridge Choir

Philip Ledger (conductor)

William Mathias: Dance Overture, Op 16

London Symphony Orchestra

David Atherton (conductor)

Grace Williams: Pied Beauty; Hurrahing the Harvest; The Windhover

(from Six Gerald Manley Hopkins Poems)

Helen Watts (contralto)

Members of City of London Sinfonia

Alun Hoddinott: Concertino for viola and small orchestra, Op 14 (1958)

Csaba Erdelyi (viola)

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Geraint Lewis: The Souls of the Righteous

Choir of St Paul's Cathedral

John Scott (conductor)

Pickard: Eden

Buy As You View Band

Robert Childs (conductor)

Karl Jenkins: Charge and Better is Peace (Ring in the Christ That Is to Be) - From The Armed Man

National Youth Choir of Great Britain


Karl Jenkins (conductor)

Daniel Jones: A Hymn for Peace

Welsh Opera Chorus

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Charles Groves (conductor)





A Good New Year

In the final programme of the series, Martin Handley looks back to some of the less heralded anniversaries of 2005 and forward to some significant birthdays in 2006.

John Rutter: What Sweeter Music

The Cambridge Singers


Rutter (conductor)

Edward Gregson: Blazon

BBC Philharmonic

Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

Tippett: Piano Sonata, 1st Movement

Peter Donohoe (piano)

Arnold: Oboe Concerto, Op 39

Jennifer Galloway (oboe)

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

Rutter: Musica Dei Donum

Karen Jones (flute)

Cambridge Singers

John Rutter (conductor)

Michael Ball: Chaucer's Tunes

Black Dyke Band

Nicholas Childs (conductor)

Benjamin Frankel: Pause for Thought, Op 14/3

Northwest Chamber Orchestra


Alun Francis (conductor)

Richard Rodney Bennett: Trumpet Concerto

Martin Winter (trumpet)

RNCM Wind Orchestra

Timothy Reynish (conductor)

Bennett: A Good Night

Joyful Company of Singers

Peter Broadbent (conductor)




01Edwardian Snapshots20041220

Today, he reveals the unexpected range and diversity produced in the first decade of the last century, when a new wave of composers emerged - familiar names like Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge and Gustav Holst, but also composers like Williams Hurlstone and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who died before their promise bore a lasting reputation.

Conductor Alasdair Mitchell champions the music of John Blackwood McEwen, whose once popular Border Ballad, Grey Galloway, is the major offering.


Martin Handley presents a series spotlighting some of the unexplored music composed in Britain in the 20th Century.



In Time of War

A selection of music composed to lift the spirits or express something of the personal tragedies of this turbulent time.

Patrick Hadley: I Sing of a Maiden

Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Frank Bridge: Rebus

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Richard Hickox (conductor)

George Lloyd: March - HMS Trinidad

Black Dyke Band

David King (conductor)

Lambert: Aubade Heroique

Orchestra of Opera North

David Lloyd-Jones (conductor)

Addinsell (arr Douglas): Warsaw Concerto

Martin Roscoe (piano)

BBC Philharmonic

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

Walton (arr Paul Hindmarsh): Romance (from Next of Kin)

James Watson (conductor)

Lutyens: Chamber Concerto No 1

Jane's Minstrels ensemble

Roger Montgomery (conductor)

Moeran: Sinfonietta

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Howells: Like As the Hart

Choir of St Paul's Cathedral

John Scott (conductor)




02Fishing For Tunes20041221

Percy Grainger, Australian by birth by English by adoption, travelled to Lincolnshire and the West Country to go "folksong fishing" - his colourful term for folk song collecting.

Some of the fruits of his labours and those of composers George Butterworth, Gustav Holst and Ernest Moeran are included in Tommy Pearson's second selection, which also includes part songs and pieces for the British brass and military band inspired by traditional tunes.

Charles Stanford, the teacher of many of the new wave of composers, wove three traditional Irish tunes into his influential Irish Rhapsody No 1.

Vaughan Williams forged a unique style from the music of past centuries, including folk song, as conductor Richard Hickox acknowledges as he introduces his recording of the masterpiece Flos Campi.




031945-1951. A Time Of New Beginnings20051228

The new cultural optimism was reflected in the founding of major artistic festivals - like Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Edinburgh - the birth of the BBC Third Programme and the Festival of Britain.

Peter Wishart: Alleluya, A New Work Is Come in Hand

Polyphony Choir

Stephen Layton (conductor)

Britten: Occasional Overture

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Simon Rattle (conductor)

Elizabeth Maconchy: String Quartet No 5 (1948)

Bingham Quartet

George Dyson: Veni Emmanuel (Concerto da Chiesa)

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

David Lloyd-Jones (conductor)

Eric Ball: Resurgam

Grimethorpe (UK Coal) Band

Elgar Howarth (conductor)

Gerald Finzi: Clarinet Concerto

Alan Hacker (clarinet)

English String Orchestra

William Boughton (conductor)

Vaughan Williams: Music and Silence

Joyful Company of Singers

Peter Broadbent (conductor)




03A Sense Of Place20041222

Tommy Pearson takes a musical journey through the British Isles, from the Scottish Highlands to the Norfolk Broads and all points in between, including music by John Ireland, William Baines and Hamish MacCunn.

Stephen Johnson also offers his thoughts on Herbert Howells's youthful Piano Quartet in A minor, a work that he considers to be an unacknowledged masterpiece.

04The Pity Of War20041223

George Butterworth is the most well known of the composers who never returned from the killing fields of Flanders, but there were others, among them Cecil Coles, W Denis Browne and Ernest Farrar.

A generation later, the promising talent of Walter Leigh was silenced.

We also hear from two survivors, Ivor Gurney and George Lloyd, and from a composer whose masterly cello concerto was composed as a memorial for all those who never returned from the first world war - the Concerto Elegiaco "Oration", by Frank Bridge

05The Passing Seasons20041224

Tommy Pearson reveals how successive generations of composers have evoked the passing seasons in their music, from Frank Bridge's summer landscape and a magical midsummer nocturne by Rebecca Clarke, to a haunting autumnal soundscape from William Alwyn.

The Halle Orchestra's music director, Mark Elder, also offers his impression of Arnold Bax's vivid early symphony Spring Fire.

06The Young Guns20041227

The second week kicks off with the young guns of the 1920s and 30s; the "enfants terribles" who took the British musical establishment by storm.

Tommy chooses some of the unfashionable gems from that time, including music by Arthur Bliss, Constant Lambert and Alan Rawsthorne.

Peter Warlock's biographer Barry Smith gives his thoughts on why "The Curlew" should be given a more regular hearing.

07Inspired By Great Words20041228

Tommy Pearson explores the many ways in which composers of the first half of the last century used great poetry and prose to create music which is distinctively British in character.

Shakespeare was a potent influence for vocal pieces by Vaughan Williams and Roger Quilter.

The opening paragraphs of Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native provided the inspiration for Holst's orchestral masterpiece Edgon Heath.

Gerald Finzi set great words like no other composer of his generation.

Pianist and broadcaster Ian Burnside waxes lyrical about the classic recording of Finzi's Dies Natalis sung by Wilfred Brown.

08Mysticism And Exoticsm20041229

Today Tommy Pearson looks at some of the music written by British composers with a deep interest in all things exotic.

Sanskrit literature, Celtic mysticism and the occult were all influential paths for British composers in the early decades of the twentieth century.

The programme includes music by Bernard ven Dieran, Cyril Scott, Kaikhosru Sorabji and the mighty Three Mantras from John Foulds' opera Avatara.

09Looking Over The Shoulder20041230

In the penultimate programme of this series, Tommy Pearson introduces some of the British music inspired by past generations, including works by EJ Moeran, Hubert Parry and John McCabe, plus Edmund Rubbra's Improvisations on Virginal Pieces by Giles Farnaby, with thoughts from Rubbra's son Adrian Yardley.

10 LASTAnniversaries And Re-discoveries20041231

Tommy Pearson ends the series with a selection of birthday tributes and re-discoveries.

2004 marked the centenary of the birth of the Scottish composer Erik Chisholm and the 75th anniversary of the birth of Kenneth Leighton both of whom are represented here by some of their distinctive piano music.

There is also a chance to re-assess the work of Robert Simpson, Eugene Goossens and Howard Ferguson.

To end Stephen Johnson introduces a performance of Malcolm Arnold's elusive Symphony No 6, recorded recently at his birthday concert.

0209Don't Frighten The Horses20060105

Martin Handley looks at some of the modernist composers with a 'friendly face'.

Bingham: The Shepherds' Gift

BBC Singers

Robert Quinney (organ)

Stephen Cleobury (conductor)

Maxwell Davies: 5 Klee Pictures (A Crusader; The Oriental Garden; Twittering Machine)

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Peter Maxwell Davies (conductor)

Dring: Melisande, The Far Away Princess

Robert Tear (tenor)

Philip Ledger (piano)

Knussen: Horn Concerto

Barry Tuckwell (horn)

London Sinfonietta

Olive Knussen (conductor)

Tavener: The Lamb

The Sixteen Choir

Harry Christophers (conductor)

Maw: Little Concert

Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

Britten Sinfonia

Nicholas Cleobury (conductor)

Souster: Echoes

Besses o'th' Barn Band

Peter Bassano (conductor)

Bedford: Recorder Concerto (4th & 5th Movements)

Piers Adams (recorder)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

Matthews: Pluto

Halle Orchestra

Ladies of the Halle Choir

Mark Elder (conductor)

Beamish: The Wise Maid

Robert Irvine (cello)

Bryars: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (excerpt)




EMSEton Choir Book20061105

Lucie Skeaping visits Eton College in Berkshire to look at the Eton Choirbook, the most outstanding choirbook to have survived the Reformation.

She is joined by Jeremy Summerly and they discuss the importance of this vast book and play music by the most important composers represented in the collection.

EMSLive From Uppingham School20061104

Lucie Skeaping launches the Early Music Show's month-long Made in Britain series with a live concert from Uppingham School in Rutland.

Alison Bury and Rachel Isserlis (violins)

Sebastian Comberti (cello)

Maggie Cole (harpsichord)

Works by William Boyce and Thomas Arne.

EMSMusic For The Jacobean Theatre20061112

As part of The Early Music Show's Made in Britain series, Lucie Skeaping visits The Globe Theatre in London to look at music from the Jacobean theatre.

The Globe's music director Clare van Kampen escorts Lucie through the hallowed corridors, accompanied by music by Holborne, Cornysh, Dowland, Morley, Hume, Playford and Phillips.

EMSScotland; Stirling Castle20061125

Lucie Skeaping talks to James Ross about the music that might have been heard at Stirling during the time of Mary Queen of Scots and her son, James VI of Scotland.

Music includes extracts from a mass by Robert Carver and a feature about the work of French Huguenot composer Jean Servin.

EMSThe 40 Part Motet20061126

Catherine Bott investigates the story behind the creation of Tallis's magnum opus and explores its links with one of the Tudor era's architectural masterpieces, Nonesuch Palace.

EMSThe Mackworth Collection2006111120071021

Catherine Bott visits the Music Department at Cardiff University, home to the Mackworth Collection.

This collection of manuscripts was built up over several generations of the Mackworth family, whose family seat was at Gnoll Castle, Neath, in Wales.

She meets Dr Sarah McCleave, who has catalogued the collection, and they talk about the different generations of the family who added to the collection, and the social side of music-making within the family in the 18th and 19th century.

Including music by Sandoni, Hasse, Bononcini and Handel.

She meets Dr Sarah McCleave, who has catalogued the collection, and they talk about the different generations of the family who added to the collection, and the social side of music-making within the family in the 18th and 19th centuries.

EMSThe Roseingraves20061119

As part of the month-long celebration of early music from Great Britain and the British Isles, Catherine Bott travels to Dublin to learn more about the colourful 18th-century Roseingrave family, who seem determined to be more than just a footnote in the history of music.

EMSThomas Tomkins20061118

Lucie Skeaping visits Worcester Cathedral to mark the 350th anniversary of the death of Thomas Tomkins, who held a cathedral post as organist during the 17th century.

She talks to Stephen Cleobury, who was a chorister at the cathedral and conducts the BBC Singers in the madrigals and anthems performed during the programme.


How can you define British music?