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CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

The Golden Age of Light Music: Light and Lively
see end of review for details
rec. 1950-58. ADD
Re-issues of 78 rpm discs and LP records
GUILD GLCD 5160 [79:05]

Experience Classicsonline

Let’s start with my favourites. Robert Farnon’s Derby Day and Peanut Polka make very good bookends in this delightful concoction. Derby Day is a marvellous tongue-in-cheek march of the kind heard in 1950s newsreel films. Peanut Polka is a really tangy piece - obviously they’re salted peanuts! Percy Faith’s Caribbean Night is sultry and hot blooded, very nice indeed. Angela Morley’s Miss Universe, written before political correctness deemed this kind of thing as sexist, is one of those pretty girl is like a melody walk down the catwalk in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini looking great kind of things - I can visualise it now as I write. This is a lovely piece with some racy writing for muted trumpet and high winds. Michael Carr’s Falling Star is full of lovers’ music - dreamy and sensuous - and a nice touch of trombone using the plunger mute. You couldn’t get further from Tannochbrae than Trevor Duncan’s bongo-filled Smile Of A Latin - great fiddle tune and snappy brass punctuations. Billy Mayerl’s Reno Runaway - what is this about? Escape to a quickie divorce? It’s a brief and breezy miniature. Proud As A Peacock is a silly symphony in itself and it’s good to have it here, especially for the funky harpsichord. Eric Spear seems only to be remembered for one composition - the title music to TV’s Coronation Street. You’ll know David Curry’s Leprechauns’ Dance but, probably like me, you’ll be shocked because I always thought that this piece had something to do with cowboys and the wild west! Peter Yorke’s Monica is a character portrait with lots of strings and little else. Al Golding’s On The Fiddle is one of those American scherzos, all movement and flattened thirds and fifths, reminiscent of the first movement of Don Gillis’s Symphony No 5½.

As usual, each track is full of interest and packed with good things - these Guild Golden Age releases (see review index) are just like a box of favourite chocolates, there’s always another with a satisfying centre to make you come back for more. I’m addicted to this series and you should be too!

Bob Briggs  

Robert FARNON (1917 - 2005) Derby Day [2:25]
Gérard CALVI (pseudonym for Grégoire Elie KRETTLY) (b.1922) Le Bal De Madame De Mortemouille (Madame De Mortemouille’s Ball) [2:42]
Percy FAITH (1908 - 1976) Caribbean Night (Noche Caribe) (from “Starlift”) (1951) [2:55]
Helmut ZACHARIAS (1920-2002) The Boy On The Carousel [2:29]
José FONTAINE: Whimsy [2:23]
Eugene CINES (1918 - 2004) Spindrift [3:21]
Joe LEAHY: Theme from “Studio X” (1956) [3:11]
Francois J M CHARPIN: Golden Strings [1:59]
Cole PORTER (1891 - 1964) Everything I Love [3:05]
Angela MORLEY (at that time known as Wally STOTT) (1924 - 2009) Miss Universe [2:17]
Michael CARR (1905 - 1968) Falling Star [2:31]
Ken MORRIS (pseudonym for Ken MACKINTOSH) (1919-2005) Strings On Wings [3:03]
Leon POBER (1920-1971) Rainbow’s End [2:51]
Trevor DUNCAN (pseudonym for Leonard Charles TREBILCO) (1924 - 2005) Smile Of A Latin [2:32]
Francois LEMARQUE: La Grenouille [2:14]
Billy MAYERL (1902 - 1959) Reno Runaway [2:33]
Eric SPEAR (1908-1966) Proud As A Peacock [2:02]
Nino ROTA (1911 - 1979) Stars Shine In Your Eyes (from “La Strada”) [2:48]
David CURRY: Leprechauns’ Dance [2:50]
JACOBSON: Everyday [2:48]
George ELLIOTT: Piccadilly Playboy [2:47]
Ted KOEHLER (1894 - 1973) and Harold ARLEN (1905 - 1986) (arranged by Tony OSBORNE (pseudonym for Edward Benjamin OSBORNE (1922-2009)) I’ve Got The World On A String [2:20]
Guy LUYPAERTS (b.1917) Chatter Box [1:31]
DAVIS: Silhouettes In The Sand [2:11]
Peter YORKE (1902 - 1966) Monica [2:35]
Len STEVENS (full name Herbert Leonard STEVENS) (d 1989) Smart Set [2:49]
Frank CORDELL (1918 - 1980) Rhapsody In Red [2:22]
Al GOLDING: On The Fiddle [2:49]
Robert STOLZ (1880-1975) African Moon [2:52]
Robert FARNON: Peanut Polka [2:37]
Acquaviva (Jacobson), Lou Busch (Pober), Gérard Calvi (Calvi), Frank Chacksfield (Duncan), Frank Cordell (Cordell), Percy Faith (Faith), Richard Hayman (Cole Porter), Joe Leahy (Leahy), Guy Luypaerts (Fontaine and Luypaerts), Ray Martin (Davis), Cyril Ornadel (Carr), Tony Osborne (Arlen), David Rose (Rota), Boris Sarbek (Lemarque), Eric Spear (Spear), Sidney Torch (Golding), all conducting “his” own Orchestra; Mishel Piastro and his Concert Orchestra (Peanut Polka); Florian ZaBach, His Violin and Orchestra (Charpin);
Amsterdam Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Tom van Elst (Cines); The Connaught Light Orchestra (Yorke); The Crawford Light Orchestra (Curry); Danish State Radio Orchestra Conducted by Robert Farnon (Farnon Derby Day, Morris)
Grosvenor Studio Orchestra conducted by Dolf van der Linden (Stevens); The New Century Orchestra, conducted by Erich Börschel (Mayerl); The Symphonia Orchestra conducted by Curt Andersen (Elliott); The Telecast Orchestra, conducted by Elliott Mayes (Morley), conducted by Robert Farnon (Stolz); Helmut Zacharias and his Magic Violins (Zacharias)



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