Salon Orchestra Favourites
Salonorchester Schwanen cond.
Recorded 10,11 August 1999 DDD
The Skater's Waltz op.183 (Waldteufel). Brise de mer Mattinata
(Leoncavallo). Tango (Albeniz). Poeme (Fibrich). Melodie in F major (Rubinstein).
Serenade No.1 (Drdla). Il bacio (Arditi). Drunt' in der Lobau (Strecker).
Die Millionen des Harlekin - Serenade (Drigo). El relicario (Padilla). Spiel
auf deiner Geige das Lied von Lied und Lust (Stolz). Wien du Stadt meiner
Traume (Sieczynski). Serenata (Toselli). Sie horen Paul Lincke - Potpourri
Salon Music probably means different things to different people. To some
it may mean the Trio of ladies of a certain age playing at the local Thé
Dansant, to some it would mean the sort of thing one would expect to have
heard on a Continental holiday years ago. One thing is certain - in this
country at least - it would not be a complimentary description. It has been
applied in a dismissive and patronising way to composers who have strayed
from the straight and narrow in the eyes of a blinkered listener - Elgar's
Salut d'amour comes to mind. To most, I would imagine, it would mean
tuneful pieces, sentimental and probably syrupy and certainly old-fashioned.
This Naxos CD uses the term to include music either written for the concert
hall or the opera house which is then adapted for whatever instrumental forces
are available for performance and, of course, it must include pieces specifically
with the salon in mind. Its peak in popularity was the late 18th and early
19th Centuries when recorded music was still largely a dream and there was
a growing, increasingly affluent society wishing to hear more from the mass
of music already available elsewhere. This disc is from Germany, the recording,
the orchestra and the notes are an English translation from German. The selection
of items, then is from a Central European viewpoint and a British selection
from the same period would probably be rather different - Albert Ketelby,
for instance, would doubtless appear somewhere.
The music chosen is a mixture of the familiar and the unknown. Arditi's Il
bacio, Albeniz Tango, that old war horse Serenata by Toselli,
Leoncavallo's Matinata, Vienna City of my Dreams, an extended Skaters
Waltz - these and others would strike a instant chord. The excellent
playing, sounding fresh and alert throughout, attempts to catch the period
atmosphere and succeeding with the arrangements used sounding authentic.
Lots of rubato and exaggeration, gipsy fiddling, accordion interludes - they
are all there. The recording - clear but a touch ' toppy'. An enjoyable record
with a limited appeal, no doubt, but as this is Volume I if you like it there
is obviously more to follow.