Sir Richard Rodney Bennett

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

In the true tradition of the theatre, that the show must go on, Sir Richard certainly proved a point despite suffering from a heavy cold.

Helping him out at short notice was the well-known jazz vocalist Norma Winstone and together they sang and played their way through an array of standards of his own and other compositions.

They included works by Gershwin, Arlen, Berlin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart. Sir Richard made special mention of the lyricist who he felt sometimes went unnoticed and in particular he spoke fondly of Johnny Mercer.

He also played his celebrated composition The Waltz from Murder on the Orient Express. It is amazing to think that Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, knighted in 1998 for his services to music, has written so much music: orchestral works, quartets, concertos, symphonies, operas, ballets, songs, madrigals, jazz pieces and much more – totalling over 600 items. He has scored over 50 films including some documentaries in the earlier part of his career.

It was a capacity audience for this Bury Festival concert and the finale was particularly moving duet when Richard and Norma sang As Time Goes By.

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