The Carl Davis Collection was created as a perspective on my working life – a career spanning six decades of musical activity embracing film, television, dance and concerts, combined with reissues of complementary recordings. The last decade saw the creation of ballets (Alice in Wonderland for the English National Ballet and Cyrano for the Birmingham Royal Ballet). This was in the first wave of CDs extending into film and television, either soundtracks - Cranford or re-workings, Carl’s War, and reflections of unusual and personalised concerts (Christmas represented by Sacred Seasons, and Give Me a Smile, a World War II Anniversary disc). Major orchestras with whom I had enjoyed concertizing include the Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra recorded for me. If I didn’t conduct I brought in the relevant person, Paul Murphy who had conducted over 30 performances of Cyrano with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Re-issues play a supportive role – filling in the gaps with relevant performances I thought should be heard again. So we include an historic CD one-fifth of my score for the five hour epic silent film Napoleon played by the Wren Orchestra who had premiered it in 1980.
Sacred Seasons is made up of arrangements created or used by me frequently in Christmas concerts and some, like the Bach arrangements, created for the CD. Give Me A Smile reflects a Southampton concert in 1984 for 400 U.S. GIs who came over for a D-Day Anniversary now recorded by me with many additions.
In short, The Carl Davis Collection serves as a memorandum as well as a recording and leaves a legacy. All modern communication devices are employed: the website, downloading, iTunes, Twitter and Facebook. And the future? More ballet, more films concert works, stage musicals and finally music for children to perform – there is no end, only the beginning.