BBC National Chorus and Orchestra & Wireless Singers


The various musical ensembles of the BBC are today respected worldwide as first class in every respect. What is interesting is that this recording shows us three of today’s groups in their earliest form. The BBC National Chorus was formed very shortly before this recording was made, and was designed for large scale choral works. It became the BBC Chorus in 1932, the BBC Choral Society in 1935 and in 1975 took its current name of BBC Symphony Chorus.

For works requiring smaller forces, in 1924 the Wireless Chorus was formed, with Stanford Robinson as its first concert master. It was Britain’s first regular professional broadcasting ensemble. In 1927, an octet from the Chorus was established as a separate ensemble, under the name of The Wireless Singers.

The group became more and more successful, making many recordings as well as radio broadcasts, and from 1971 became the BBC Singers, one of the world’s leading vocal groups. The ORCHESTRA, fine though it is, is not named. It is likely to be one of the BBC ensembles of the day, perhaps the fledgling BBC Symphony Orchestra, formed at around the time of this recording.