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Top That!

Duration:
1 hour, 57 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 07 September 2012

Friday Night Is Music Night presents Top That! a celebration of the musical genius, Irving Berlin. Anton Du Beke hosts this glittering event, recorded at the Watford Colosseum and starring Lee Mead, Mary Carewe, Matthew Ford, Georgina Jackson and the sixty piece BBC Concert Orchestra. Richard Balcombe conducts the orchestra and singers as they perform the best of Berlin's music including classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger numbers Top Hat, Cheek to Cheek, Change Partners, Isn't This A Lovely Day and Let's Face The Music and Dance. Plus highlights from Berlin's many musical and film scores such as Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam and White Christmas. Join us as Friday Night Is Music Night proves that Irving Berlin was right - 'There's No Business Like Show Business'!

First broadcast 7th September 2012.

Music Played

20 items
  • Image for BBC Concert Orchestra cb  Richard Balcombe

    BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Top Hat Overture

    (Berlin arr Langford)

  • Image for Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Alexander's Ragtime Band

    (Berlin arr Gould)

  • Image for Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Isn't This A Lovely Day

    (Berlin arr Richardson)

  • Image for Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Always

    (Berlin arr Hope)

  • Image for Georgina Jackson / Rhythm Section

    Georgina Jackson / Rhythm Section I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

    (Berlin arr Williams)

    (Ft Martin Williams – Tenor Sax)

  • Image for Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Top Hat (White Tie & Tails)

    (Berlin arr Moore)

  • Image for Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Change Partners

    (Berlin arr Hunter)

  • Image for Georgina Jackson / BBC Concert Orchestra Strings cb Richard Balcombe

    Georgina Jackson / BBC Concert Orchestra Strings cb Richard Balcombe They Say It's Wonderful

    (Berlin arr Williams ) (Ft. Martin Williams – Tenor Sax)

  • Image for Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Count Your Blessings

    (Berlin arr Fones, adapt Balcombe)

  • Image for BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Call Me Madam Overture

    (Berlin arr Woodman)

  • Image for Annie Get Your Gun Overture cb Richard Balcombe

    Annie Get Your Gun Overture cb Richard Balcombe Annie Get Your Gun Overture

    (Berlin arr Black)

  • Image for Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Let's Face The Music And Dance

    (Berlin arr Sidwell)

  • Image for Georgina Jackson / Rhythm Section

    Georgina Jackson / Rhythm Section Say It Isn't So

    (Berlin arr Williams) (Ft. BBC Concert Orchestra/Roderick Dunk)

  • Image for Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe How Deep Is The Ocean

    (Berlin arr Hope)

  • Image for Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Puttin' On The Ritz

    (Berlin arr Lindup)

  • Image for Georgina Jackson / Rhythm Section

    Georgina Jackson / Rhythm Section Let Yourself Go

    (Berlin arr Williams)

  • Image for Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Mary Carewe / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

    (Berlin arr Coleman)

  • Image for Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Matthew Ford / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe Cheek To Cheek

    (Berlin arr Docker)

  • Image for Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    Lee Mead / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe White Christmas

    (Berlin arr Dunk)

  • Image for The Company / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe

    The Company / BBC Concert Orchestra cb Richard Balcombe There's No Business Like Show Business

    (Berlin arr Black)

  • Smile...

    Smile...

    Singer Mary Carewe, presenter Anton Du Beke and singer Georgina Jackson relaxing backstage before the show at the Watford Colosseum.

  • Backstage at the Colosseum

    Backstage at the Colosseum

    Singers Mary Carewe and Lee Mead take a moment for a photo.

  • A Dapper Bunch...

    A Dapper Bunch...

    Conductor Richard Balcombe, presenter Anton Du Beke and singer Matthew Ford backstage at the Colosseum in Watford.

  • In Celebration of

    In Celebration of

    Irving Berlin, Anton Du Beke hosts the glittering event,which was recorded at the Watford Colosseum and starring Lee Mead, Mary Carewe, Matthew Ford, Georgina Jackson and Conducted by Richard Balcombe.

  • An Insiders View by Singer Mary Carewe

    An Insiders View by Singer Mary Carewe

    Top That!
    Friday night is music night has always been a part of my professional life - I must have made my debut over 25 years ago!! Golly - what a very long time ago that is! One day maybe I will ask BBC contracts to find out exactly when that first one was...or maybe not!! In all those years some things have changed with the show's format but it remains one of the scariest things I ever get to do! We singers are often booked fairly late in the day and the repertoire we sing can sometimes remain undecided until a matter of days before the show; we have very little rehearsal time and if we are singing something we haven't done before we have to be brave and trust the conductor and the musicians - and ourselves - to pull it out of the bag! However, there is a massive thrill about working under that pressure and it's very satisfying when you get it right and in my experience working with the BBCCO is always fabulous and we have done some really exciting performances together.
    So it was with the usual mixture of delight and fear that I approached our rehearsal for Top That! I was delighted because I had been given some fabulous Berlin songs to sing - fearful because I happened not to have done any of those 4 songs before so the arrangements I would be hearing for the first time with the orchestra. But with Richard Balcombe at the helm and a team of R2 producers and technicians who I know well I knew I was in safe hands!
    First it's the piano rehearsal where we have a chance to meet and make sure we are all singing off the same hymn book as it were. I hadn't met Matt, Lee or Georgina before so that was fun - lots of saying hello from mutual friends and wondering why paths haven't crossed til now! Then going through the repertoire and what a collection of songs! Fab to hear Matt sing 'Top Hat And Tails' - pure class - and discovering a wonderful haunting song like Georgina's 'Say It Isn't So' and Lee's gorgeous lullaby 'Count Your Blessings'.
    Then we are whisked off to meet the orchestra and it's heads down, concentrate, listen and watch out for those tricky corners! For me everything made sense - one or two surprises but soon smoothed out by the ever calm Mr Balcombe.
    After rehearsals I eat something - nothing too much but enough to ensure energy for the show - and then it's time to get ready: a bit of glamour is of course demanded by all those wonderful Hollywood songs!
    Everyone stands by and then off we go - the BBCCO playing the fabulous 'Top Hat' overture and it's time to start feeling nervous. The nerves affect everyone differently but they affect me by making my mouth dry and I have to think about breathing properly - so I focus, wait for Anton to say my name and away I go: "Isn't This A Lovely Day"!
    Hurrah! I've been on and got through successfully - the adrenaline is still pumping...and then I have to get ready to do it all over again! ...And again!!!
    We finish with the classic, Broadway anthem "There's No Business Like Show Business" - by then I can relax and just enjoy channeling my inner Ethel Merman!

    The performance seemed to delight our Watford audience so I hope it will thrill all the listeners on Radio 2 too. For me it was a really lovely show and I fell in love with "How Deep Is The Ocean". I do hope I did the song justice and that I can now make it a regular part of my repertoire!

    What next? Well the autumn sees a number of exciting concerts for me from intimate cabaret to celebrating 50 years of James Bond at the Royal Festival Hall - information about these and more on my website of course You can also find me on Facebook and follow me on twitter - @mary11carewe – too! I’d love to hear from you!

    Mary Carewe Official Web page
  • Conductors' Corner

    Conductors' Corner

    Richard Balcombe is firmly established as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation.

    In opera he has conducted The Gondoliers (English National Opera), Barber of Seville (Ulster Orchestra), Magic Flute and Offenbach’s Bluebeard (English Chamber Orchestra), Rigoletto (English Touring Opera), Madama Butterfly and Magic Flute (Central Festival Opera), Falstaff, Tosca, Cosi fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro (London Opera Players), Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, The Gondoliers and Pirates of Penzance (Carl Rosa) and HMS Pinafore & The Mikado (D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in the UK and America). He has also conducted for Bryn Terfel, Jose Carreras and Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorgiu on BBC TV.

    He has been privileged to work with some of the world’s leading orchestras including Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille, Odense Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Estonian National Symphony, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Sonderjyllands Symphony, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orquesta Sinfonica Gran Mariscal (Venezuela); and in the UK the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, English Chamber, Halle, Ulster, National Symphony, BBC Concert, London Pro Arte, East of England, Northern Chamber, London Concert and London Musicians Orchestras and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

    In the West End he was Music Director for Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Carmen Jones, Cats, and Once on this Island; elsewhere - Divorce me Darling, Out of this world, The Gondoliers and How to succeed in business (Chichester Festival), Babes in Arms (Cardiff International Festival), Follies in Concert (London Palladium), Wonderful Town and South Pacific (Grange Park Opera), Anton and Erin Steppin Out, Puttin’ on the Ritz and Let’s do it (national tours 2010 -2012); Musical Supervisor for Promises and Lies and Top Hat (world premieres), and the national tour of Kiss me Kate.

    Richard is also a prolific orchestrator and arranger and has provided orchestrations for the LSO, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RSNO and the BBC and London Concert Orchestras; for artists including Lesley Garrett, Willard White, Michael Ball, Sir Cliff Richard, Will Young and Ronan Keating and for projects including The Sound of Musicals (Barbican and national tour), Sounds of Hollywood (Ruthie Henshall, national tour), Fred Astaire: His daughter’s Tribute (London Palladium), Hollywood Symphonic (France), Can you feel the love tonight, The Magnificent Musicals and Something Wonderful (UK tours); Out of this world, How to succeed in business, Babes in Arms and The Gondoliers (Chichester Festival), Promises and Lies (Birmingham Rep) and The Merry Widow (Carl Rosa). In 2009 he arranged, orchestrated and conducted the score for Adam Cooper’s Shall we Dance? (Sadlers Wells) and he has created reduced orchestral versions of 25 complete operas which are now used worldwide.

    His recording credits (as conductor and/or orchestrator) include The Martyr of Antioch (Sullivan), With a song in my heart (Wynne Evans), Love Unspoken, The Musicality of Irving Berlin, Showstoppers from Broadway, original cast albums of Once on this Island and Divorce me Darling, This time it’s personal (Michael Ball), The Rutter & Gadd Family album, The London Cello Sound, Fred Astaire: His Daughter’s Tribute, Short Stories (Mario Frangoulis); Brideshead Revisited and Merciless Beauty (as co-producer) and the DVD Sometimes I dream (Mario Frangoulis).

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