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Last week, Radio 3 went overboard with a Festival of British Light Music, and that produced a good deal of music which was decidedly naff, some good and some masterpieces, reminding us that Vienna at New Year does not have all the best tunes.
Stuffy this ain't, but it doesn't half show the versatility of the CBSO, sandwiched between a British Light Music Classics evening conduct-t ed by John Wilson, who wears his ex-x pertise so lightly, and the Andris Nelsons Petrushka and Daphnis and Chloe programme.
A compilation of British Light Music released by Sanctuary Classics on two audio Compact Discs by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia under Gavin Sutherland, again takes the mind back because it features two pieces much featured by Fritz Spiegl in his April Fool's concerts of half a century ago.
One unusual recital happens on October 15, when harmonica player James Hughes will be joined by a string quartet in a programme of British light music.
Opening the new season on September 16 will be the Northern Sinfonia under Gateshead-born principal conductor John Wilson, in a programme of British light music from the likes of Arthur Sullivan and Henry Wood.
Other welcome returnee conductors number among their ranks Walter Weller, bringing his expertise in core-repertoire Central European music, the affable Nicholas McGe-gan directing Handel's last oratorio Jephtha in Birmingham Town Hall, and the much-loved John Wilson, bringing his insights into British light music music and into the showbiz of ballroom dancing to concerts which will very quickly sell out.
THE compact disc has caused a surge of new interest in British light music.
John Wilson, whose concerts of British light music have become a popular feature of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's programmes, is included in a strikingly youthful list of contenders for the Conductor award, while James Macmillan's new opera The Sacrifice, staged by Welsh National Opera at the Hippodrome in the autumn, is nominated twice under Opera and Large Scale Composition.
British Light Music Classics 1-4 New London Orchestra/ Ronald Corp (Hyperion CDS44261/4)
Nothing lazy about the wonderful "Workers' Playtime" programme of British light music miniatures the CBSO offered on Friday, under the irrepressible baton of the enthusiastic John Wilson.

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