Marianne Olyver ends Granary season

TONY COOPER The present season of music at Andrew and Jill Giller's Old Granary Studio comes to a close this Saturday (7pm) with Marianne Olyver and Her Orchestra presenting a programme entitled Souvenirs of a Golden Age.

TONY COOPER

The present season of music at Andrew and Jill Giller's Old Granary Studio comes to a close this Saturday (7pm) with Marianne Olyver and Her Orchestra (a five-piece ensemble established in 1991) presenting a programme entitled Souvenirs of a Golden Age. It will bring back to life fondly-remembered music from the period of light music heard regularly in the fashionable restaurants of London and the resorts and spas of Europe from the late 1800s to the second world war.

Nowhere was this musical genre more so popular than in Britain. During the Twenties the famous Lyons Corner House chain of restaurants spent no less than £150,000 per annum on their orchestras and engaged virtuoso violinists such as Margaret Holloway to lead its ladies' orchestra at their famous Oxford Street establishment while the Piccadilly Grill Room Orchestra's 160 recordings enabled its leader, De Groot, to afford a Stradivarius violin.

Light music broadcasts took up more BBC broadcast hours than any other kind of programme but, regrettably, changes in fashion and the broadcasting policy in the Sixties left the sizeable audience for light orchestral music somewhat neglected, squeezed between the high art content of Radio 3 and Radio 2's mainly middle-of-the-road stuff.

Fortunately, great music refuses to die and the void created by the lack of quality light music performances and broadcasts through the Seventies and Eighties has led to a resurgence of interest in this musical genre and Marianne Olyver, in particular, has taken the initiative to perform it.

Olyver's concerts are, indeed, a revelation and reflect an exciting blend of styles ranging from Viennese classics to the gipsy music of Hungary and Romania as well as British light music classics and the great romantic virtuoso masterpieces of Brahms, Lizst and Paganini.

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Souvenirs of a Golden Age is drawn from her extensively researched and constantly evolving repertoire of British and European light music masterpieces from the late 19th century to the 1950s - the “golden age” of light music.

Her programme at the Old Granary includes Czardas (Monti), Marigold (Billy Mayerl), Meditation (Massenet), Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso (Saint-Saens), Schon Rosmarin (Kreisler), Play Gypsy (Kalman), 18th Paganini Variation (Rachmaninov), Fantasie Sonnambula (Bottesini), Syncopation (Kreisler), Tanti Anni Prima (Piazzolla), The Canary (Poliakin) and Gypsy Carnival (Jascha Krein).

The concert promises a nice ending to the season.

Tickets are £15 on 01502 679088. The venue is situated at Priory Farm, Maypole Green, Toft Monks, near Beccles; www.oldgranarystudio.co.uk

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