Birmingham Town Hall

Birmingham Town Hall is a must stop on the pilgrimage route of any oratorio lover. Here Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Elgar’s Dream and The Kingdom and many other great works had their first performances. I stopped by for a look. Last November I heard Gerontius here sung by the marvelous Birmingham choir Ex cathedra.

Frances Badger

I was on my way to King’s Norton on the train for an appointment with Frances Badger. Her Grandmother sang in the famous Sheffield Chorus conducted by Henry Coward who travelled to Canada in 1908. Frances was so gracious and showed me her extensive archive which her Dad had put together which includes tour itinerary and the souvenir badges and tuning forks given to each choir member.

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4 Responses to Memories of 1908

  1. craig says:

    Is it really the king’s norton? What is a norton, anyway?

  2. If you’re sightseeing around London, you might want to have a peek at some of the more notable recording venues. Kingsway Hall was the sight of many famous Decca recordings in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s until the Underground extension introduced too much rumble for it to be useful. This is a real shame, as it was pretty well the “perfect” hall for recordings. Decca, and several other labels moved on, predominantly to Walthamstow Town Hall, which might also be worth a look (and a listen). Just looking through my CD collection quickly, I found that my set of Beethoven Symphonies on period instruments performed by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music (on L’Oiseau Lyre) was recorded in both these halls.

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