Alfie Boe presents a selection of Your Hundred Best Tunes plus a few of his personal favourites from the worlds of opera, operetta and film.
"Bad Boy of Opera" Alfie Boe joins Radio 2 for this special show to celebrate the listeners' favourite classical tunes. Alfie hails from Fleetwood in Lancashire - the youngest son in a family of 9 children. Alfie's father first introduced him to opera and fine singing - and his record collection of the likes of Caruso, Gigli, and Bjoerling inspired young Alfie to persue a music career. In this Christmas special Alfie recalls those great tenor voices from his dad's record collection and features some of the repertoire of the Radio 2 show - Your 100 Best Tunes.
Your 100 Best Tunes was first broadcast on 15th November 1959 on the Light Programme. The actor and broadcaster Alan Keith submitted a programme idea for a series featuring the "100 Best Tunes in the World". Alan was contracted for a 13 week run. It complemented a typical Light Programme schedule which included Down Your Way (presenter Franklin Englemann); Sing Something Simple (Cliff Adams Singers); Hancock's Half Hour; and Take It From Here (Jimmy Edwards; Dick Bentley and June Whitfield). The original series featured Alan's own selections from his research but as the show's popularity grew the listeners themselves wrote in with their favourite choices and a top 100 tunes chart was compiled. Alan continued to present the show until his death in 2003 at the age of 94. Richard Baker took the helm until 2006.
Alfie Boe's selection includes recordings by Richard Tauber; Maria Callas; Richard Crooks and Caruso's 1902 recording of "Vesti La Guibba which became the first record to sell one million copies. His orchestral choices are taken from the last listeners' poll carried out in 2003 and include excerpts from Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending", Bedrich Smetana's "Ma Vlast" and Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini".
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