Caros audiophiles, this week I present something light-hearted, some will perhaps say superficial, frivolous...but I think quintessentially British.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain sound very grand but they are a group of friends who came together in 1985 through a shared love of an instrument neglected since the George Formby era of the 1940s and since the dawn of rock n roll. They discovered, however, that many other people still 'secretly' loved the ukulele (it was a favourite of George Harrison who owned a large collection). And so from small clubs they now travel on "world tours with only hand luggage".
I experienced them joyously for the first time, but definitely not the last, this summer during the popular Promenade Concerts at the London Royal Albert Hall.
It was a late-night concert, normally not so well attended, but the Hall was completely full, an audience of 6000 enthusiastic music fans. And in what has apparently become a tradition, about 1000 had brought their own ukuleles, a riot of technicolour pink and green and blue and red instruments, in order to play along during one piece of music. Anarchy in the UK-ulele!
The UOGB play every kind of musical style. Classical of course, but also folk, pop, disco, rock, jazz, blues, They play Bach, Tchaikovsky, Ennio Morricone, Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana... they are very good musicians, they are not-so-good singers, but they perform always with a sense of fun.
This video is taken from a tv show. The serious intention was to illustrate how classical music has influenced other musical genres, how certain motifs repeat themselves in unexpected places. In this case, the Orchestra start with a melody composed by George Freidrich Handel which metamorphoses into...well, you will see.
I hope you are entertained! And I hope you will investigate other videos and their website to hear better examples of their virtuoso musicianship.