January meeting

Our next meeting will be on Monday 30th January 2023. 

Jeremy Barlow’s  topic is Sergio Celibidache: the greatest conductor of the 20th Century?, in which he will present and discuss live recordings of the controversial Romanian conductor’s work, from his early career as conductor of the post-war Berlin Philharmonic, to his final tenure in charge of the Munich Philharmonic until his death in 1996 . 

The following meeting on 13th February 2023 be our Members’ Evening. 

All members are invited to select a piece of music, of up to 10 minutes, to have played.  This can either be your own CD which you bring, or a link to a YouTube recording.  In either case, so we can draw up a schedule in advance, please will you bring details on Monday or send details to Robin Lim email: robert.lim@virginmedia.com as soon as possible.

We hope we will be able to welcome you on 30t January.


November meeting

Music from the Southern Hemisphere

Our next meeting will be on Monday 7th November 2022 at 7.30 when Ed Tinline will be presenting Music from the Southern Hemisphere.  In this session he will focus on music in, and from, southern Africa.

Looking ahead, after this we have two further meetings before we break for Christmas:

21st November when Simon Nicholls from the Scriabin Society will explore aspects of the work of Alexander Scriabin, and

5th December when Ruth Barlow will present  Christmas Crackers – her popular classical music quiz.

We hope we will be able to welcome you on 7th November and to subsequent meetings this season.

Next meeting


The next meeting will be on Monday 10th October and will be a presentation by Ruth Barlow entitled Music in 18th Century London a wander around London’s eighteenth century opera houses and music rooms. Starts at 7:30 but there will be a brief agm at the start which should not detain us long.

£3 for non-members but if you find a brochure in the TIC, Oxfam or elsewhere there is a voucher! Membership for the season is £22.

Look forward to seeing you there.


End of season

The first half of this year’s programme finished last evening in fine style

We have been able to meet in person again since September and we have enjoyed some excellent presentations. This year, we have had the benefit of audio-visual display which some speakers have used to great effect. It means we can use YouTube to display particular performances.

We finished the season in style last night with Ruth Barlow’s presentation of classical music in animation. Of course, Fantasia, featured prominently with several extracts, together with other Disney characters in musical settings. The first clip was the Cat Concert0 dating from 1946 featuring Tom and Jerry and which won Disney an Oscar for best short subject. Other animations included a rather more modern Geometry of Circles by Philip Glass and a fascinating 2018 animation Line Rider produced by DoodleChaos. This was a particularly fitting end to the first half of the 2021/22 programme and a ‘first’ in presentational terms for the Society.

Fantasia was not a success for Disney and he was put under some stress financially because of that. Its release during the war meant it could not be displayed in Europe. It was only some years later that it became a hit and has since been reissued several times.

Talking of ‘firsts’, Ed Tinline’s evening ‘Harmony around the Baltic’ was also a first in that we had photographs from each of the Baltic countries to illustrate the music being played.

Alan Forshaw’s Listening to Beethoven in a different light was memorable for several reasons. He reminded us that in Beethoven’s day, many people – perhaps the majority – would not have heard his works in a concert hall with orchestra but in the form of piano transcriptions and he played some modern versions. Not all the performers would have had the skill of Liszt so what people would have heard would have been very variable. Alan also played arrangements in different formats of familiar works which often gave a new insight into them.

An excellent and varied programme with the added attraction of film or still illustrations of the works being played. We look forward to the second half starting on 31 January 2022 with John Challenger discussing the Cathedral’s Father Willis organ.

Seasons greetings to all our members and readers and we look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year.

We’re back!

The Society is to hold its first session of the new season starting on 13th September

Yes, we’re back and we are planning to hold our first meeting on 13th September 2021 in the Guide’s Centre starting at 7:30 as usual.

The season will get off to a flying start with a presentation by Jeremy Barlow entitled The Legend of Orpheus and the birth of the Opera. The Greek legend has been the source and inspiration of many pieces of music by composers as varied at Gluck and Stravinsky.

We hope to have as normal a meeting as possible and we look forward to meeting members again. Please keep check back on this site, or on Facebook, for any last minutes changes or announcements.

The full 2021 – 2022 programme will be posted here in a few days.


Many older readers may well have come to classical music via the Disney film Fantasia in which a visual story was accompanied by various classical pieces. The last presentation via Zoom and YouTube looked at the life of the conductor of the music, Leopold Stokowski and featured other performances he conducted and an interview with him.  An extremely interesting programme carefully put together by the chair of SRMS, Peter Horwood. 

Stokowski was actually English with a Polish father and Irish mother and he died near Salisbury at Nether Wallop in Hampshire.

As well as the Rite of Spring (from Fantasia), we heard the Adagio by Samuel Barber, an orchestral version of Bach’s Air on a G String and Ave Maria

Not as good as meeting in person of course but these sessions have their own value in that we can watch performances and interviews via YouTube.  New and existing members are welcome and to get details of the next meeting on 22 March, please leave a message here, on Facebook, or contact a committee member if you know one of them.  We look forward to seeing you. 


Come and join us

The Society is continuing to meet on line and we would welcome existing or new members to join us

We have been meeting with the aid of Zoom and YouTube and several successful evenings have been held in the past few months. I know many people are afraid of some of these programs such as Facebook, Twitter et al, but if you are sensible there is very little risk.

To get onto Zoom, just type it into your search engine* and there are several sites which will guide you through the installation which is easy. To join the Society’s evening, you will need to get an invitation from one of us: Peter, Ed or Ruth will organise this and you will receive an email with the necessary links.

The meeting starts with an introduction on Zoom, then we sign out and follow the relevant YouTube link to the performance(s). Then back together via Zoom for a brief discussion. It’s all free so there is no question of entering personal or bank details which worries a lot of people.

Last night (28 December 2020) for example, we listened to Beethoven’s Hammerklavier sonata Opus 106. To see and listen to this follow this link: https://youtu.be/Sf9eZdeS8es (there is an advertisement to start but at the bottom right you’ll see a counter and then you can close the ad). It really is that easy.

If you have not used Zoom before (or the other similar programs such as Teams or WebEx) there are a couple of extra things. You will need a webcam unless you have a Mac, laptop or other device with one installed (there will be a tiny camera in the middle at the top of the screen). You may find people cannot hear you because you are muted. Hover the mouse over the bottom of the screen and a row of symbols will pop up one of which is the mute button shown as a microphone.

So we hope to see you soon and the next meeting is on 11th January starting at 19:30. Just make contact with one of the Committee and we will get you onto the list and send an email invitation. If you are not a member, you can send a message using this site or via Facebook if you prefer (just type: Facebook, Salisbury Recorded Music Society). We look forward to seeing you again.

*Personally, I do not use Google because they use your information to sell to companies, hence those pop-ups which are so annoying. I use Startpage.com which is a private search engine. Others use DuckDuckGo another private search engine.

Peter Curbishley

Sad news

The death of Terry Barfoot

Society members will be sad to hear that Terry Barfoot has just died, aged 70.  Terry did several presentations to the Society the most recent of which was on Bruckner.  This was a difficult assignment in the context of a Society evening as Bruckner’s works are expansive shall we say, and putting together a programme to show the range of his oeuvre was not easy.

Terry and I spent some time discussing this and needless to say he came up with a programme of musical selections combined with visual material as well which was extremely well received.   He had a natural gift for presentation and combined with a deep knowledge and love of music and composers meant his presentations were both erudite and entertaining.

His Arts in Residence weekends were also hugely enjoyable and very popular.  He will be a sad loss to the music world.

Peter Curbishley