Composer of the Week

Sunday, 24 May 2015
Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson (Lord Berners) (1883-1950)

Lord Berners - Exemplary English Eccentric

Lord BernersLord Berners is known for inviting his horse into the house for tea, dyeing pigeons on the lawn in vegetable dye and hosting outrageous parties.

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All this time devoted to pranks might make you think his compositions would be trite and amateurish. But that impression is hard to back up when you realise that Stravinsky once described Berners as the most interesting of English composers. In 1920s England there was plenty of competition for that title.

Berners’s forte was in writing ballet music. As Elric Hooper points out in this programme: “He was efficient, swift and understanding of the demands of the dancers’ stamina and breathing. He would cut or increase on demand. Ballet was his natural milieu.”

Music Details:

BERNERS: Triumph of Neptune, Prelude - English Northern Philharmonia/ David Lloyd-Jones (Marco Polo 8.223711)
BERNERS: Luna Park, Adagio  - RTE Sinfonietta/ Kenneth Alwyn (Marco Polo 8.223716)
BERNERS: Poisson d'or - Peter Lawson (pno) (Albany TROY 290)
BERNERS: Psychological Fragment, Le Rire - Peter Lawson (pno) (Albany TROY 290)
BERNERS: La Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement - BBC Scottish SO/ Nicholas Cleobury (Marco Polo 8.225155)
BERNERS: Triumph of Neptune, Hornpipe - English Northern Philharmonia/ David Lloyd-Jones (Marco Polo 8.223711)
BERNERS: Luna Park, Serge Lifar - RTE Sinfonietta/ Kenneth Alwyn (Marco Polo 8.223716)
BERNERS: Wedding Bouquet, Allegro  - RTE Sinfonietta/ Kenneth Alwyn (Marco Polo 8.223716)
BERNERS: Les Sirenes, Entry of Fashionable folk - RTE Sinfonietta/ David Lloyd-Jones (Marco Polo 8.223780)
BERNERS: Come on Algernon from Champagne Charlie  - BBC Concert Orchestra/ Rumon Gamba (Chandos CHAN 10549)
BERNERS: Valse Brillante  - English Northern Philharmonia/ David Lloyd-Jones (Marco Polo 8.223711)