Thomas Trotter rehearsing my Toccata Festiva on the organ of Birmingham Town Hall in March 2012 (with me as page turner). He gave the world premiere later that day.

A masterclass in comic timing – Jimeoin’s debut on Live at the Apollo.

The forgotten Peggy Cochrane (1902-88), a big star in her day, equally at home on the violin as she was on the piano – and this early electric keyboard.

This is the great American organist Virgil Fox (1912-80) playing a solo arrangement of the last movement of the Sinfonie Concertante by Joseph Jongen. There are a few smudges and the audio / visual synch is hopelessly out, but this is a sensational performance.

I originally wrote this song in 1980 and have been updating it ever since. This is  an arrangement by the marvellous Cantabile…with illustrations.

Here is Jack Gibbons playing the first movement of Alkan’s Concerto for Solo Piano. It’s one of the most technically and physically challenging works ever written for the keyboard and is rarely performed because of that. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but up there with my personal all-time favourite pieces.

The great Teddy Brown (1900-46), all 400 lbs of him!

I never missed a Cherkassky recital if I could help it. He was a one-off, inimitable, mercurial and unpredictable. Few have dished up such delectable encores. This one is by his teacher, the great Josef Hofmann. ‘Kaleidoscop’ [sic] is the last of his four Charakterskizzen dedicated to his friend Leopold Godowsky.

Judy Garland singing ‘It Never Was You’ from Knickerbocker Holiday, a beautiful song with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and music by Kurt Weill. The song was recorded and filmed in one take on a movie set made to look like the London Palladium stage. Garland apparently sang this live on the set (accompanied by jazz pianist Dave Lee) in the 1963 film I Could Go On Singing (her last movie).

This is the great Byron Janis (b. 1928) at the height of his powers in the 1960s playing the last movement of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor. The piece was one of Janis’s specialities and this is a truly stunning account up there with Horowitz, Argerich, Van Cliburn and the composer himself. Tragically Janis’s career was curtailed when, in the early 1970s, he suffered increasingly from psoriatic arthritis. He struggled with this painful condition for twelve years before going public after a performance at the White House in February 1985.

Brilliant comical skit, Tim Conway – The Dentist.

Keith Lockhart conducts BBC Concert Orchestra performing main theme to Cinema Paradiso composed by Ennio & Andrea Morricone at the Royal Albert Hall during Film Music Prom 2011.


Venezuelan pianist and composer Gabriela Montero performs Gone with the Wind at Aldeburgh. The choice of music – and the voice singing the theme – are mine! 

England. This Sceptred Island, this other eden. this seat or Mars.

Music by Sir Hubert Parry, words by William Shakespeare paraphrased by Sir Esme Howard.

Steve Race – Cavaquinho.

Me… and Victor Borge. London Weekend TV 1973
Stephen Tharp plays one of my favourite organ works – Tu es Petra by Henry Mulet – on the organ of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Just about the best performance I’ve ever heard.
Dean Martin and Foster Brooks – best drunk act ever.
Patricia Rossborough (1900-1992) having fun with Anton Rubinstein’s Melody in F
Jack Benny and Mel Blanc in the classic sketch. Si!