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Better Never Than Late?

In what marketing observers are calling "a missed opportunity" the Thrupiece Philharmonic Society has released its 2019 Christmas album. It will finally reach the shops on Friday and will be available as a digital download from the Orchestra's dedicated worldwide interweb high speed super-hub digi-portal early next week. TPO Officials have declined to comment on the timing of the release, the wisdom of which has been questioned by many in the trade.

"Ideally it should have been released some weeks ago - preferably before Christmas", says top retail analyst Stopmee Anne Bywon. "The period leading up to 25th December - say 1st to 24th - generally sees the peak of Christmas music-buying with very few shoppers purchasing Christmas-themed records thereafter, other than perhaps between December 30th and Jan 5th when quite a lot of this kind of material is in the sales bin. Releasing a full price Christmas record in late January is a bold and certainly unconventional move", she adds.

Maestro Såphpäar O'Hands with the TPO at a recent concert in Steeple. Maestro O'Hands has deputised for Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Ms Legova whilst she "concentrates on other non-musical projects".

Those close to the TPO believe it is less a bold move on the organisation's part than a straightforward mistake: the result of recording and production being scheduled too late to guarantee a timely release. Typically the period required from recording to release is a minimum of two months - except in the case of the Corfe Mullen Chamber Singers' New Year's Day Concert which is rush-released in four days, by prior arrangement [and boy does it show [Ed]]. It looks as if the TPO simply did not leave enough time.

The TPO website today - strongly suggests that the album is not a delayed 2019 release but rather an early Christmas 2020 package. Industry insiders remain sceptical.

Adding to the intrigue - and perhaps explaining the "logistical issues" - is the fact that nowhere on the sleeve or in the accompanying materials is the conductor of the new release named, leading some to suspect that Maestra Irina Legova, who was originally scheduled to conduct the band and choir, was not involved. No-one at the TPO was prepared to speak out on the matter but speculation is rife that the sessions were instead conducted by the ever-reliable maestro Såphpäar O'Hands who has frequently substituted for Ms Legova both at rehearsals and in performance. The choice of repertory - traditional carols and Christmas songs in tasteful and tuneful arrangements - certainly does not suggest the guiding artistic hands of Ms Legova, whilst the fact that the orchestra plays accurately and with enthusiasm has led many to believe that "quite clearly she had absolutely nothing to do with it"


A Song for Christmas by The Thrupiece Philharmonic and The Amanda J Threadbone Singers is a Hornimint Records Release and is available from all good record shops [if you can still find one], the orinoco store and the TPO Shop. It will be available as a digital download from the TPO Concert Hall worldwide interweb high speed super-hub digi-portal from early next week.


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