6. More Broadcasting, 1927 – 1933

On March 10th 1927 a publication called The Nation reported that Mr James Chang (sic) played Bach’s Keyboard music very agreeably during the week 7th-12th.  I should like to commend particularly his performance of the Fugue in C Minor on March 9th.

In April 1927 the Irish News reports on a concert in the Ulster Hall ‘A very enjoyable orchestral concert organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation in aid of the Orchestral Players Benevolent Fund was held last night in the Ulster Hall in the presence of a large and enthusiastic audience… Mr James Ching, the distinguished pianist, gave of his best, and the Concerto in D minor (Bach) for piano and string orchestra was performed with great brilliance, the soloist being most cordially applauded.  Later on he played piano solos by Rachmaninov, Chopin and Glazounov with charm….The Duke and Duchess of Abercorn were present at the concert.’

The Leicester Mail also reported this concert which was broadcast and the reporter wrote ‘I met yesterday Mr James Ching, the well-known Leicester pianist, who was back from broadcasting in Belfast… Mr Ching had the honour of appearing in the first part of the programme and played Bach’s D Minor Concerto for piano and orchestra, and a group of solos; and at the interval the Duke sent a message to him to the effect that his Grace was so pleased with Mr Ching’s playing that he would like him to give and additional item.  Ever ready to oblige, Mr Ching gave the E Major French Suite.  It was rather an unusual procedure, and of course, one which was not uncomplimentary to the musician’.

The concert was well reported in the Belfast Echo as well ‘he gave a brilliant rendering of the two movements performed.  The dazzling themes and graceful melodies were translated with beauty inseparable from splendid technique…’

The Northern Whig – (Belfast) begins a report with the words ‘Perhaps the most beautiful music of the evening was the two movements of Bach’s D Minor Concerto played by Mr James Ching.’

A handwritten note from two listeners stuck into the cuttings book conveys the pleasure James’ piano playing had given them:

‘His playing gave me perfect joy, such delicacy, lightness, logic and balance (perfect phrasing that sends me into ecstasy of delight) – the piano sounded like reality – nothing lost, the tiniest shake and subtle crescendo, diminuendo, accent, all came through perfectly.  Please thank Mr Ching from two music lovers in the Medway area for a wonderful hour.  He has earned our eternal gratitude’.

Another handwritten postcard from Clevedon expresses similar sentiments from a F. D. Cox who wrote:  ‘I feel I must send just a line to thank you for the most beautiful and satisfying interpretation of a Fugue I have ever heard in your Bach recital last night – Wednesday.  My sister and I most thoroughly enjoyed it.’ 

The correspondent also sent a hand drawn cartoon as well.  It is evident that James’ playing was reaching a wide appreciative audience through these broadcasts which were continuing at the usual time of 7.15pm.

On 30th May 1927 under the main heading ‘Broadcasting’, the Evening Standard shows a photo of James with the sub-heading ‘Tonight’s stars’ – a billing he shared with an opera singer called Wish Wynne. He is shown broadcasting again on 1st June.

The Radio Times for 19th August announces the programmes for the day, which included James Ching playing two Choral Preludes and the French Suite by Bach at 4:10pm (approximately)! His photo features at the top of the page as one of two artists performing that day.

On 31st October the Times lists the broadcasting for the day which included Mr James Ching playing Bach’s French Suites at 7.15pm.  The Evening Standard hailed this as ‘The best relay from Sydney …  This fantastic achievement was made possible by the best long-distance relays yet attempted by the BBC’.  At the top of the page is a photos of James, a performer in the concert.