Carewe, Mary


Mary Carewe is one of the most accomplished and versatile concert and recording artists in the UK.

She is as comfortable performing theatre and film music, cabaret songs and contemporary classical music as she is in the studio recording for film, TV and radio.


Image Credit: 
Aiden McCarthy


BCMG was formed in 1987 from within the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is established as one of Europe’s leading ensembles.   Sir Simon Rattle is the Group’s Founding Patron and has conducted BCMG in the UK, on tour in Europe and America, and on several EMI recordings. The Group has strong relationships with its two Artists-in-Association Oliver Knussen and John Woolrich, and also with Thomas Adès who conducts the Group during 2006/07 in Birmingham, London, Cologne and Paris, and with whom BCMG is invited to Carnegie Hall, New York in 2008. BCMG was awarded The Arts Ball 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award and has also won prestigious Prudential, Royal Philharmonic Society, Gramophone and PRS Millennial awards. In May 2005, BCMG was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Audience Development for its popular Rural Tours programme.
The core of BCMG's work is the performance of new music, and the Group has premiered over 100 new works by leading UK and overseas composers. Most have been commissioned with the help of a large number of individuals through BCMG’s ground-breaking Sound Investmentscheme. The Group regularly tours nationally and internationally. Recent UK engagements have included appearances at the Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, and at the BBC Proms with Birmingham Opera Company for Benjamin Britten’s CurlewRiver.  In April 2006, the Group toured the UK with New York-based jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, performing Blue Latitudes, a piece commissioned through BCMG’s Sound Investment scheme. Previous projects have included a European tour with Sir Simon Rattle in 2000, a tour of India in 2002 with Judith Weir and Indian storyteller Vayu Naidu and visits to the Berlin, Radio France Présences and Vienna’s Wien Modern Festivals, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal.   
BCMG is committed to engaging the widest possible range of people with its work, and runs extensive learning and audience-building programmes in pursuit of this aim. Projects with young people in and out of school and with adults in a range of community settings are complemented by free performance projects such as the Group’s popular ‘Rural Tours’, Late-Night performances and Meet-the-Composer days. BCMG broadcasts often on BBC Radio, has made TV programmes for BBC and Independent Television, and numerous CD recordings.  The relationship with NMC is particularly strong, with the recent launch of a new CD of Britten’s film music and several more discs planned.

Brabbins, Martyn

Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.
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This disc brings together for the first time a comprehensive collection of all the surviving music that Benjamin Britten wrote during the 1930s for the General Post Office (GPO), Southern Railways and other organisations. It features premiere recordings of Coal Face, The Way to the Sea, Men Behind the Meters, Negroes, Peace of Britain, The King's Stamp and Telegrams, plus the first recording of the complete music for Night Mail.

The scores for this recording were specially reconstructed from manuscript and other sources held at the Britten-Pears Library, by composers Joseph Phibbs and Lloyd Moore under the supervision of Colin Matthews, Executive Producer of NMC and Director of the Britten Estate - which has funded the recording.



'Writing film scores quickly, for strictly limited performance forces, was an inestimable professional training, as was collaboration with Auden. The results, as laid out in this 10-part sequence, are fascinating' The Sunday Times

'A catalogue hole has been filled with this conspectus of Britten’s imaginative film music of the 1930s, including the GPO Film Unit classics Coal Face and Night Mail. Perky winds, brass and percussion dominate, and Brabbins’s accounts with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group vibrate with character' The Times

'Lashings of period-feel, especially in Simon Russell Beale's spruce delivery of the iconic 'Night Mail'' The Independent on Sunday

'The inventive ingenuity in every fragment Britten produced is extraordinary, while the practicality and economy involved in writing for these ensembles left a more permanent mark on his music too, particularly on the scoring of his three chamber operas'
The Guardian

‘Night Mail with Simon Russell Beale’s suitably hushed narration catches the mystical tension and excitement with a virtuoso performance’ MusicWeb International



Recording date: 11-12 March 2006

Recording venue: CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Engineer: Mike Clements
Producer: Colin Matthews
Post-production on Night Mail: Ian Dearden 
Editing & mastering: Emma Paffley for K & A

Cover image: From the film 'Coal Face' (C) Royal Mail Film Archive

(P) 2007 NMC Recordings Ltd

Faber Music
Chester Novello
Catalogue number:
NMC D112
Release Date:
12 March 2007