Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No way to treat a great English composer

For those who haven't heard the story, it seems the BBC has sent a rejection letter to an independent producer who wanted to make a film about the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, citing lack of topicality (or "findability" in the new jargon) as the reason.

The letter includes a now-infamous request to the producer in question to let them know about any forthcoming premieres of Mr Williams' work, so that this apparent "findability" deficit could be addressed. As any fule kno, Vaughan Williams died in 1958 and the whole point of the proposed film was to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death next year.

I have to confess that this story, originally published in the Observer, had me checking the date on Sunday to make sure it wasn't an April Fool, but I'm not going to blog in detail on it because (a) it's a few days old now, and (b) The Half-Blood Welshman has said all I would really want to say on his blog.

Suffice to say that RVW was, as Half-Blood says, a signifcant musical figure. One of his most under-rated pieces, in my view, is Five Tudor Portraits, which I sung at the Royal Festival Hall in 1978 as part of the Hertfordshire County Youth Choir. Happy memories.

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2 comments:

rob's uncle said...

re: 'which I sung at the Royal Festival Hall'; I suggest you meant to type 'which I sang . . ' I notice that past tenses are all ahoo in the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone findability at the corrupt bbc? I dont think (any)ability exists at that freakhole!