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CD Review

The Golden Age of Light Music

The 1930's

  • Arthur Wood: Curtain Up from Ballerina Suite – BBC Variety Orchestra/Charles Shadwell
  • Leon Jessel: Wedding of the Rose – Jack Hylton And His Orchestra
  • Eric Coates: Westwards from Four Ways Suite – New Light Symphony Orchestra/Joseph Lewis
  • L. Noiret: Tea Dolls Parade – West End Celebrity Orchestra
  • John Ansell: Plymouth Hoe – Light Symphony Orchestra/John Ansell
  • Paul Lincke: Glow Worm Idyll – New Light Symphony Orchestra
  • Frederick Curzon: March of the Bowmen from Robin Hood Suite – London Palladium Orchestra/Clifford Greenwood
  • Reginald King: 'The Immortals' – Concert Overture – London Symphony Orchestra/Walter Goehr
  • Sherman Myers: Butterflies in the Rain – Fred Hartley's Quintet
  • Haydn Wood: May Day Overture – Light Symphony Orchestra/Haydn Wood
  • Dolphe/Gordon/Randall: Myths around the Candle Flame – Alfredo Campoli And His Salon Orchestra
  • Eduard Künneke: Overture from 'Tanzerische Suite' – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Eduard Künneke
  • Recktenwald: The Nightingale's Morning Greeting – Marek Weber And His Orchestra
  • Rodgers/Hart: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue – Paul Whiteman And His Concert Orchestra
  • Kennedy Russell: Dance of the Icicles from "The Wooing of the Snowflakes' – Leslie Jeffries And His Orchestra
  • Carl Robrecht: Samum – BBC Dance Orchestra/Henry Hall
  • Music from the Movies: 1937 selection – Louis Levy And His Gaumont-British Symphony
Guild Light Music GLCD5106 78m ADD
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This is yet another delightful compilation from the Guild stable dedicated to the emergence of the genre of British Light Music as a recorded medium in the 1930's. As with previous issues in this series, the popular mixes with the unfamiliar and the recordings themselves have been excellently remastered so enjoyment is surely guaranteed.

I am a passionate fan of Haydn Wood's music so I was more than thrilled to hear two of my favourite items, the lovely 'May Day Overture' and 'Curtains Up', both excellently played by Wood and Charles Shadwell with different orchestra. Another perennial favourite is Curzon's 'March of the Bowmen' from his 'Robin Hood Suite' which is also very well played by the London Palladium Orchestra under the baton of Clifford Greenwood.

There are quite a few rarities here however, mostly in the shape of composers such as Edward Kunneke and Leon Jessel whose 'Wedding of the Rose', I had not heard before and which is definitely charming. Eric Coates, Richard Rodgers and a great 1937 movie medley give the disc a sort of cosmopolitan feel to the compilation. David Ades writes some excellent notes and the project deserves continued encouragement for its capacity to unearth some long lost recorded treasures from the dusty archives.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech