An English Overture 

21 October 2004 tbs.pm/529

Best Of British Light Music (5 CD set)

One of the best things about growing up in Somerset in the 70s was being able to watch the incredible Westward Television colour start-up each morning. The visuals were beautifully shot – the map of the Westward region with illuminated transmitters on the studio wall in Derry’s cross, the pan down a transmitter mast suddenly becoming a pan down a crane boom, the climatic extended Westward ident; each frame was perfectly judged. Then, to cap it all, it was accompanied by a beautiful medley of local music written to picture by Paul Lewis – “An English Overture”.

This piece was rerecorded recently by Gavin Sutherland, and is now available as part of a treasure trove of British Classical music called “The Best Of British Light Music” on Sanctury Classics. Gavin’s recording is a better recording technically (and you can enjoy it in stereo, of course!), has more light and shade and brings out details you may never have heard before. The composer, in fact, considers this version “definitive”.

Well worth buying yourself an early Christmas present, a reminder of a time when regional television was something people actually did properly.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Liverpool, Friday 14 June 2024