Long before Madonna’s lucrative three-word “Like a Virgin” spin-offs, Albert Ketèlbey had his own attention-grabbing version: In a Chinese Temple Garden, In a Monastery Gardenand, my favourite of all, In a Persian Market. On a cattle farm which bordered the wide Macleay River in NSW, aged seven or eight, I would be excitedly poised in the living room with several makeshift costumes at the ready to perform this masterpiece while my mother played the piano. A towel around my head for The Beggars in the Market Place, an unfortunate sheet for The Caliph Passesand – my pièce de résistance– a pink nylon “found it at Fossey’s” number, my best shot at The Princess Approaches. We would follow that up with a jaunty duet, the title of which would be banned today.

Rosemary Tuck

I had as yet to have my first piano lesson, but this music would conjure up a whole new dimension with vivid images of exciting lands and people. It would speak immediately and directly to me, and in...