ROBERT FARNON: From the Highlands, From the Emerald Isle.
Robert Farnon and his Orchestra.
Dutton Laboratories Vocalion
Series CDLK4100 78m ADD (Mastered from Decca originals 1957 Mono/Stereo).
Rarely have I been so enamoured of a CD. This is a magnificent example of
traditional melodies arranged by the master orchestrator and composer, Canadian,
Robert Farnon. This album is a straightforward pairing of two LP classics
which in the adroit words of David Ades, 'have never been surpassed'. The
sheer beauty of the melodies strikes to the heart and the way they are
orchestrated tends to brings tears to the eyes. Tunes such as the 'The Campbells
are coming', 'Barbara Allen' and 'Blue Bells of Scotland' come alive in such
a way that you feel that you could not have known them before except in Farnon's
colourfully vivid orchestration. All the tunes have some special instrument
permeating the background and some of them are blissfully poignant in their
imagination. If perhaps, 'From the Highlands' remains the most memorable
of them all, the LP 'From the Emerald Isle' is far from short on inspiration.
There are a host of familiar melodies like the wonderful 'Londonderry Air',
the hilarious 'Irish washerwoman' and the poignant 'The girl I left behind
me'. Everything comes alive in Farnon's hands and the orchestra sing like
a hundred pipers! It is difficult to express the magic that this music creates,
but it is easy to participate in it. All you have to do is grab hold of a
copy before it is too late!
Dutton's vivid remastering is, as usual, state of the art whilst the original
LP covers and colourful notes make a package of the utmost desirability.