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CD Review

The Golden Age of Light Music

British Cinema & Theatre Orchestras

  • G. Groitzsch: The Juggler – Commodore Grand Orchestra/Joseph Muscant
  • Ernest Bucalossi: Grasshoppers' Dance – Paramount Theatre Orchestra/Arthur Anton
  • Jerome Kern: "Show Boat" (Selections) – Coventry New Hippodrome Orchestra/William Pethers
  • Felix Arndt: Nola – Regal Cinema Orchestra/Emanuel Starkey
  • Doll Medley: Dainty Doll, Lonesome Little Doll, Rag Doll, Little Dutch Doll, Doll Dance, Wedding Of The Painted Doll, China Doll Parade – Paramount Theatre Orchestra/Arthur Anton
  • Percy Fletcher: Bal Masque – Valse Caprice (from Two Parisian Sketches) – Plaza Theatre Orchestra/Frank Tours
  • Noel Coward: "Conversation Piece" – Selections: – His Majesty's Theatre Orchestra/Reginald Burston
  • Lewis Gensler: Speakeasy – Troxy Broadcasting Orchestra/Joseph Muscant
  • John Belton: Ye Merry Blacksmiths – Granada Walthamstow Orchestra/Charles Manning
  • Jerome Kern: "The Cat And The Fiddle" (Selections) – Palace Theatre Orchestra/Hyam Greenbaum
  • Albert W. Ketèlbey: Bells Across The Meadow – London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean
  • John S. Zamecnik: Babylonian Nights – Gaumont State Orchestra/Alfred Van Dam
  • Brian Hooker/Rudolf Friml: "The Vagabond King" (Selections) – Coventry New Hippodrome Orchestra/William Pethers
  • Percy Fletcher: Fifinette – Intermezzo Gavotte (Three Light Pieces Suite) – Prince Of Wales Playhouse Orchestra/Frank Westfield
  • Montague Ewing: Fairies In The Moon – Intermezzo Entr'acte – Troxy Broadcasting Orchestra/Joseph Muscant
  • Vivian Ellis/Cole Porter: "The Fleet's Lit Up" (Selections) – Geraldo And His London Hippodrome Orchestra
  • Cecile Chaminade: Scarf Dance – Plaza Theatre Orchestra/Frank Tours
  • Gabriel Sebek: In The Sudan – Gaumont State Orchestra/Alfred Van Dam
  • "King Of Jazz" (Selections) – Regal Cinema Orchestra/Emanuel Starkey
Guild Light Music GLCD5108 78m ADD
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Guild continues to hand out delightful treats to the light music connoisseur with this spanking new issue in their wonderful Light Music series. This time, it's the turn of British Cinema and Theatre Orchestras with a concoction of works that recreate the mood from the pre war and immediate post war days. The plethora of artists involved in this release beggars belief and the comprehensive totality of the undertaking continues to confirm Guild's dedication to the genre.

You would be somewhat surprised to find Albert Ketelbey's much loved 'Bells across the Meadows' in this compilation but it is beautifully done by the London Palladium Orchestra under Richard Cream's direction. Other memorable pieces here are the works by Percy Fletcher and the emotional selections from the Jerome Kern musicals, especially the immortal 'Showboat'. Another intriguing feature in this compilation are the orchestra names such as 'Troxy Broadcasting Orchestra' and 'Plaza Theatre Orchestra evoking memories of a vanished age.

Guild has used fine transfers for these recordings and they all come up with minimal hiss but outstanding clarity. Yet again, the indefatigable David Ades surpasses himself with fascinatingly detailed notes that really recreate the atmosphere of those bygone days. Another winner in all departments!

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech