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CD Review

The Golden Age of Light Music

An Introduction

  • Robert Farnon: Gateway to the West - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon
  • Sidney Torch: Going For a Ride - Sidney Torch and His Orchestra
  • Richard Rodgers: With A Song in My Heart - André Kostelanetz & His Orchestra
  • Jonny Heykens: Heykens' Serenade - Ron Goodwin & His Orchestra
  • Raymond Warren: Martinique - Ray Martin & His Orchestra
  • Donald Philips: Skyscraper Fantasy - Charles Williams & His Concert Orchestra
  • David Rose: Dance Of The Spanish Onion - David Rose & His Orchestra
  • Harold Arlen: Out Of This World - theme from the film - Mantovani & His Orchestra
  • Robert Busby/Eddie Hurran: Paris To Piccadilly - L'orchestre Devereaux/Georges Devereaux
  • Charles W. Ancliffe: Festive Days - London Promenade Orchestra/Walter Collins
  • Philip Green: Ha'penny Breeze theme from the film - Philip Green & His Orchestra
  • Morton Gould: Tropical - Morton Gould & His Orchestra
  • Edward White: Puffin' Billy - Danish State Radio Orchestra/Hubert Clifford
  • George Melachrino: First Rhapsody - Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino
  • Frédéric Chopin: Fantasie Impromptu - Kingsway Symphony Orchestra/Camarata
  • Eric Coates: London Bridge March - New Light Symphony Orchestra/Joseph Lewis
  • Angela Morley: Mock Turtles - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon
  • Edward MacDowell: To A Wild Rose - Peter Yorke & His Concert Orchestra
  • Leroy Anderson: Plink, Plank, Plunk! - Leroy Anderson & His "Pops" Concert Orchestra
  • Arthur Benjamin: Jamaican Rhumba - Percy Faith & His Orchestra
  • Trevor Duncan: Vision in Velvet - New Concert Orchestra/Jack Leon
  • Dolf van der Linden: Grand Canyon - Dolf van der Linden & His Metropole Orchestra
  • Hart, Layman: Dancing Princess - Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra
  • Leo Peter: Dainty Lady - Reginald King & His Light Orchestra
  • Haydn Wood: Bandstand "Frescoes" Suite - New Concert Orchestra/Serge Krish
Guild Light Music GLCD5101 77m
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The 1940's

  • Byron Lloyd: Music in the Air - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Sidney Torch
  • Cole Porter: Just One of Those Things - Billy Ternent & His Orchestra
  • Clive Richardson: Melody on the Move - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams
  • Richard Rodgers: Out Of My Dreams - The Geraldo String Orchestra
  • Armando Orefiche/R. Connelly: em>Linda Chilena - The Stanley Black Orchestra
  • David Raksin: Laura - Morton Gould & His Orchestra
  • Claude Debussy: Golliwog's Cakewalk - Mayfair Orchestra/Walter Goehr
  • David Rose: Manhattan Square Dance - David Rose & His Orchestra
  • Edward White: Runaway Rocking Horse - Orchestre Raymonde/Robert Preston
  • George Melachrino: Woodland Revel - Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino
  • Manning Sherwin/Eric Maschwitz: Music for Romance - Albert Sandler & His Palm Court Orchestra
  • Robert Farnon: Canadian Caravan - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams
  • Eric Coates: Waltz from "The Three Bears" - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Eric Coates
  • Jack Brown: Metropolis - New Century Orchestra/Sidney Torch
  • Allan Gray: Gorgeous Hussy - The Harmonic Orchestra/Hans May
  • Peter Yorke: Ascot Enclosure - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams
  • Traditional: Ten Green Bottles - BBC Variety Orchestra/Charles Shadwell
  • Sidney Torch: Wagon Lit - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Sidney Torch
  • Haydn Wood: Roving Fancies - The Regent Classic Orchestra
  • Nicholas Brodszky: "The Way to The Stars" - Film Themes - Two Cities Symphony Orchestra/Charles Williams
  • Jack Strachey: Theatreland - New Concert Orchestra/Jay Wilbur
  • William C. Polla: Dancing Tambourine - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra/Morton Gould
  • Irving Berlin: "Blue Skies" - Blue Skies, Always, Heat Wave, Getting Nowhere, A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody, You Keep Coming Back, Like A Song, Blue Skies - Louis Levy & His Music From The Movies
Guild Light Music GLCD5102 78m
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The 1950's

  • George Gershwin: Liza - David Rose & His Orchestra
  • Duke Ellington: Caravan - Philip Green & His Orchestra
  • Marshall Ross: Marching Strings - Edmundo Ros & His Orchestra
  • Frank Perkins/Bradford: Fandango - Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra
  • Charles Williams: Heart-O-London - Charles Williams & His Concert Orchestra
  • Brett Wilson: Hey Presto! - New Concert Orchestra/Frederic Curzon
  • Noel Gay: The Melody Maker - Roberto Inglez & His Orchestra
  • Robert Farnon: Proud Canvas - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon
  • Richard Addinsell: Festival - Mantovani & His Orchestra
  • Richard Rodgers: Blue Moon - Paul Weston & His Orchestra
  • Ray Martin: Dancing Bells - Grosvenor Concert Orchestra/Peder Van Zuider
  • Augustin Lara: Granada - Monty Kelly & His Orchestra
  • Joe Heyne: Petite Waltz - Billy Cotton & His Band
  • Sidney Torch: Shortcake Walk - Sidney Torch & His Orchestra
  • R. Heywood: Flirtation Waltz - Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra
  • Angela Morley: Angel Cake - Dolf van der Linden & His Orchestra
  • David Rose: Waltz of The Bubbles - David Rose & His Orchestra
  • Robert Busby: Sportsmaster - Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon
  • Edward White: Paris Interlude - Music by Camarata
  • Charles Trenet: At Last, At Last - Ray Martin & His Orchestra
  • Busch, Delugg: Roller Coaster - Henri Rene & His Orchestra
  • Fred Ahlert: The Moon Was Yellow - Stanley Black, His Piano & His Orchestra
  • Cyril Watters: Piccadilly Spree - New Concert Orchestra/R. de Porten
  • Geoffrey Henman: Champagne March - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon
  • Esy Morales: Jungle Fantasy - Percy Faith & His Orchestra
  • Parade of the Film Hits - Broadway Melody, Laura, Wedding Of the Painted Doll, Please, Over the Rainbow, A Fine Romance, Be My Love, La Ronde, The Trolley Song - Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino
Guild Light Music GLCD5103 78m
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These three excellent discs are the first to emanate from a series that is to be devoted to that rich seam of British Light Music by the ever enterprising Guild label. As is indicated by the titles, the first disc offers a wide ranging selection of pieces that is titled as an introduction while the other two discs are dedicated to specific decades in what was supposedly the heyday of this beautiful genre. The music was compiled by that doyen of BLM, David Ades who has already contributed so much to Michael Dutton's many releases dedicated to Robert Farnon, Mantovani and The Queen's Hall Light Orchestra series.

Volume 1, as I am wont to call it contains quite a few pieces that have been duplicated in various discs on the Dutton Vocalion label, mostly the Queens Hall items. The great composers such as Farnon, Charles Williams, Sidney Torch and Eric Coates all have some small pieces whilst there are also the rarer items by David Rose, Duncan's 'Vision in Velvet' and an interesting tidbit from Morton Gould. This issue serves as a useful introduction to the multi-faceted style of the genre and is expertly annotated by David Ades with recordings ranging from the 30's to the 50's.

The second volume dates from the 1940's with about twenty short pieces from a veritable plethora of artists. Among the more memorable are a delightful 'Waltz from The Three Bears" conducted by Eric Coates himself and a number of other intriguing pieces such as 'Ascot Enclosure' by Yorke, 'Wagon Lit' by Sidney Torch and a fine medley of Irving Berlin themes titled 'Blue Skies'. The recordings sound quite well for their age and again, the remastering is excellent.

In 'The 1950's' we are regaled with another delightful collection of tunes from such masters as Robert Farnon, Frederic Curzon, Mantovani and a host of other composers and artists. Addinsell's beautiful 'Festival' is wonderfully done by Mantovani and his orchestra whilst Henman's 'Champagne March' veritably bubbles over in Robert Farnon's exquisite interpretation. The disc ends with another medley, this time from various film hits, performed with style by the inimitable George Melachrino.

As a lover of the genre, I can live with the inevitable duplication that entails when collecting such recordings. It is now to be hoped that Guild will focus on some neglected areas of this genre with such important composers such as Curzon, Haydn Wood, Trevor Duncan and Ernest Tomlinson receiving their full due through individual collections. However, these discs deserve all the widest currency and are highly recommended to all those who wish to begin exploring this fabulous genre.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech