AN INCREDIBLE EVENING AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
THAT CONTINUED DECCA’S TRIUMPHANT
90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
Last night, Classic FM Live welcomed a star-studded array of musicians from Decca Records to the iconic stage of the Royal Albert Hall.
What continues to set Decca apart from the rest is its innate ability to cherry pick the finest talent from all ages and backgrounds, and yesterday’s line up was a testament to this. Staged by Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station, the concert featured artists from the young pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, part of the incredibly gifted and hardworking Kanneh-Mason family, to Britain’s Got Talent winner Colin Thackery, who at 89 years young, is nearly as old as Decca itself!
Both epitomise the diversity of Decca, and produced incredible performances to a packed-out audience. This was Colin’s debut at the Royal Albert Hall, but given the fervour for his rendition of “I Vow To Thee My Country”, expect it not to be the last. Isata similarly made her debut solo appearance at London’s landmark venue, showcasing her prowess behind the piano as she reworked two pieces from Chopin.
Broadcaster and chart-topping choirmaster Gareth Malone exclusively announced on stage the news of his forthcoming album, Music For Healing – which will see him return to his first instrument, the piano. He looked completely at ease behind the keys, performing the stunning album tracks “January” and “December”.
Talented British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, fusing jazz and classical music to conjure up images of 1920s Manhattan – conducted by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Stephen Barlow.
Classic FM’s Composer-in-Residence Debbie Wiseman OBE offered a world premiere of the “Decca Anthem”, with the song’s melody built on the notes D, E, C, C, A, and featuring a Latin text inspired by the pioneering qualities of the label. It was a truly beautiful body of work that had the audience on its feet from one of the UK’s most successful female composers.
As the spectacular fireworks display closed out the evening, it offered time to reflect on what’s been an incredible year of celebrations for Decca’s 90thbirthday. The label has featured at iconic British institutions such as the V&A Museum, The British Library and the Royal Albert Hall, published the gorgeous The Supreme Record Company: The Story Of Decca Records 1929-2019 book, released the critically-acclaimed Ron Howard-directed Pavarotti feature film – and there’s still even more to come, including an appearance at the Cheltenham International Book Festival this week.
Looking at last night’s incredible performers and to the countless other current stars at Decca, the future of the label looks to be as exciting, exhilarating and unpredictable as its eminent past.
Classic FM Live will be broadcast tonight from 8pm to 10pm on Classic FM, available across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio, at ClassicFM.com and on the Classic FM and Global Player apps.