Violet Carson – Pianist, Singer, Musician 1898-1985 – Part 3

Some Reviews and Live Performances and Concerts by Violet Carson

Lancashire Evening Post – Saturday 26 November 1938
Lancaster’s New Ballroom – More that 200 people attended a dinner dance at the King’s Arms Hotel, Lancaster, last night, organised by the management (Mr an Mrs Alexander MacAskill) to introduce to the public the new ballroom, cocktail lounge and other improvements…An enjoyable evening closed with a cabaret, which included Harry Korris and “His Little Lad”, Violet Carson and David Southwood, impressionist and mimic.

Lancashire Evening Post – Saturday 2 December 1939
New Victoria, Preston – Sunday 3rd December at 7.15: Ben Reynolds and his London Astoria Band, with Alf Thomson, Liverpool’s Bing Crosby. Radio’s Popular Entertainer at the Piano, Violet Carson

Lancaster Guardian and Observer – Friday 17 January 1941
C.E.M.A. Recital – Lancastrians will be privileged to see and hear two well known B.B.C. artistes, both ranking high in their particular sphere, when they visit the Art Gallery, at the Storey Institute, to-morrow, for a recital under the auspices of the Pilgrim Trust (the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts). They are Miss Violet Carson, Radio’s “North Star” pianist, a specialist in old folk songs, and Mr. Alfred barker, the violinist, who was for some years the leading violinist of the Halle, Liverpool Philharmonic Society and the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra.

Lancaster Guardian and Observer – Friday 24 January 1941
C.E.M.A. Recital – Famous Artistes Visit Lancaster – Mr Alfred Barker (violinist), and Miss Violet Carson (soprano vocalist), two well-known B.B.C. artistes, submitted an excellent programme at the Art Gallery, Lancaster, on Saturday evening, at a recital provided by the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, and sponsored by the Lancaster Storey Institute Students’ Association, of which Mr G. Taylor is hon. general secretary.

Outstanding Features

A supplied report states: “Mr. Barker, like the true artist he is, gave a new freshness to popular string melodies by his pureness of tone, and his interpretation coupled with a masterly exposition of violin technique delighted his audience. His exquisite rendering of “The Waltz Bluette” by Drigo was so warmly received that an encore was given, and he further entranced his listeners by playing Schubert’s famous “Cradle Song”. Especially interesting was the piece “Russian Melody,” his own composition which, the writer is informed, afforded an agreeable surprise to the composer when he heard it being sung by Russian soldiers on the march when he visited that country some time ago. Mr. Barker was ably supported by Miss Beryl Dallen who, in true professional style, accompanied his playing.

Miss Violet Carson, who is so often heard in the B.B.C. Children’s Hour…charm(ed) her audience with a sweet and sympathetic performance of traditional and folk songs with her own accompaniment. Particularly pleasing was the singing of the Vain Suite (Vergebliches Standchen Op.84 No.4) by Brahms and the Kentucky Folk Song, “Noah’s Ark.” As request items, she also sang the striking number, “Miss Otis Regrets,” (Cole Porter) and the delightful “Darling, je vous aime beaucoup,” (Anna Sosenko) which were ample proof of her versatility.

Lancaster Guardian and Observer – Friday 14 August 1942
C.E.M.A. Concert – At the Victoria Hall on Saturday, a free C.E.M.A. concert was given by Alfred Barker, the B.B.C. and Halle Orchestra leader; John McKenna (tenor), and Violet Carson, accompanist and soprano.

Lancaster Guardian and Observer – Friday 9 February 1945
Lancaster Music and Arts Club – A Memorable Inaugural Concert – an inaugural concert of a series sponsored by C.E.M.A….an outstanding and unqualified success…the hall was filled to capacity with a very representative and enthusiastic audience. Violet Carson (mezzo-soprano), Harold Fairhurst (violin), and Eric Harrison (piano), presented a programme of fine music which had been carefully selected and arranged to appeal to all tastes. An important contributory factor to the successful appeal of the evening was the clever, concise and often witty remarks of Harold Fairhurst, which established that friendly atmosphere so necessary to the complete enjoyment of intimate music making.

Songs At Piano – Violet Carson sang two contrasted groups, accompanying herself at the piano. To do this with any degree of success is a rare and accomplished feat, which recalled to my mind the late Sir George Henschel. To say that Miss Carson was completely successful is to understate the case. She imbued her performance with a charm, grace and personality that would have “put over” anything from cabaret to lieder. Schubert’s great invocation and hymn to the art of music, celebrating its consolations, “To Music,” is one of the most beautiful melodies in all song. The singer breathed warmth and life into what is so often dispassionately rendered, as she did with “Star Vicino,” giving us all the life and romance inherent in the words, and not smothering the emotion which must have originally moved the composer, by the traditional impersonal approach to classicism. Grieg’s “The Princess” invites comparison with Delius’ setting of the same poem, and stands the test very well. It is a charming song and has perhaps more flesh and blood in it than the rather ethereal approach of Delius. Brahms’ “The Vain Suit” (Vergebliches Standchen Opus 84 No.4) can be described as “a dialogue at the window,” and is one of his best known songs. The composer, usually so reticent, has made it exceptionally clear that he was pleased with his work, and the singer was most happy in the strongly emphasised characterisation.

Violet Carson’s second group, folk songs, was a tremendous success and received an ovation, particularly from the younger elements of the audience. It was grand to see such enthusiasm and just a little sad to realise that one can never quite recapture that first thrill which many of these young people were experiencing hearing these songs for the first time.

Violin Solos – Harold Fairhurst displayed a ripe and experienced musicianship in a well-contrasted group of solos. The Andante in C for Violin alone by J S Bach, showed his complete assimilation of the logical complexities of a more serene age. Accompanied by Violet Carson he played Rebecca Clarke’s clever arrangement of a Chinese tune which she calls “Chinese Puzzle.” Her dexterous use of the traditional pentatonic scale is extremely well done. “Le Printemps,” a most difficult piece of the once iconoclast Darius Milhaud, was very interesting and exceptionally well-played…a brilliant performance of the Paganini Caprice No. 13 ended this group.

The concert ended on a popular note with Violet Carson singing Tchaikowsky’s “None but the Lonely Heart” with a most effective violin obbligato by Harold Fairhurst. (E.A.D.)

The Stage – Thursday 31 August 1950
Have Another Go – A new series of “Have A Go” will start in the Light Programme on September 20…Musical illustrations will again be provided by Violet Carson…

The Stage – Thursday 26 October 1950
Violet Carson – November 6 will see the first of a new Light Programme series coming from the North, centred on the popular singer and pianist, Violet Carson. Miss Carson, who comes from Manchester, made her first broadcast in 1936 (sic) in “Songs at the Piano” (she always plays her own accompaniments), and has been on the air regularly ever since from all over the country. She is equally versatile as a solo or accompanist, and is often associated with the phrase “musical illustrations were provided by…”, and very ably she does so, as the many listeners to “Have a Go!,” to mention only one example, can testify.

The Stage – Thursday 15 November 1951
Songs – New ballads include “Little Rascal”, recently broadcast in “Grand Hotel” by Harold Williams, and recorded by him on Columbia. It is also a favourite with Violet Carson.



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