Upbeat: CODA

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The Independent Culture
Mrs Bucket wouldn't be able to resist - soirees hardly come more exclusive than this. Tomorrow evening Gunnersbury Park Museum, once a Rothschild family home, is reclaimed by the dynasty for an event to raise funds for the B'nai B'rith Jewish Music Festival.

Paying customers will be able to wander round the Rothschild collection of carriages and Victorian costumes before settling down for a song recital given by soprano Charlotte de Rothschild. (Will premier cru Chateau-Lafite and Mouton Rothschild be available on tap?)

The recital programme includes a healthy helping of songs composed by a 19th-century antecedent, Mathilde de Rothschild, among them 'My Lady Sleeps' and 'Where Lilac Blows'. 'Mathilde was a pupil of Chopin's,' says Ms de Rothschild. 'The songs aren't just salon pieces . . . they're Lieder of genuine quality.' Clearly there's more to the family than banking and bottling.

Also in the concert are songs by friends and teachers of Rothschilds down the years, among them Mendelssohn, Rossini and Liszt. Many of these were unearthed by Charlotte de Rothschild in Paris, on the leaves of a Rothschild family 'musical autograph book' into which composer friends consigned compositional jottings.

Tomorrow's event has the look of a dry-run for next year's celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mayer Rothschild, founding father of the dynasty. There are plenty more Rothschild residences in the queue waiting to keep up appearances.