With little technical knowledge, Irving Berlin rose to be one of the most popular of songwriters for shows and films. Born in Siberia on 11 May 1888, his move to America was the shrewdest decision of his life. He died in New York on 23 September 1989, leaving the song White Christmas, his biggest hit, and popular in the recording by Bing Crosby, to become a traditional Christmas song.
Pleasingly Eclectic - Mike Wheeler listens to James Curnow, J S Bach, Andrew Downes, Simon Lesley, Randy Newman, Lennon and McCartney, and Irving Berlin from Curzon Brass
Ensemble. Big-band Jazz and Choral Traditions - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Will Todd and Nils Lindberg, performed by Derby Choral Union with the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Off the Wall? - The King's Singers' Christmas Songbook, heard by Keith Bramich. 'Each track ... is heavily arranged ...'
Ensemble. Vocal Chamber Music - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Mosaic at Derby Cathedral
Ensemble. A Relaxed Evening - Bill Newman attends a 'family sing-song' event in London
Ensemble. Plenty to Bite Into - Derby Concert Orchestra celebrates Christmas, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Thoughtful Performance - Derby Bach Choir's Christmas concert, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Musical Finesse - Songs by Gregg Kallor, recommended by Howard Smith. 'Go to the top of the class.'
Profile - A man of vision. Victor Herbert, the first composer to write for film, investigated by Jennifer Paull