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The Official Album of H.M. The Queen Mother's 100th Birthday Celebrations on Horse Guards.
Various orchestras and massed bands conducted by Barry Hingley OBE.
Decca 467-100-2 78m DDD.

The happy and glorious celebrations that have permeated these last two months will no doubt have pleased the Matriarch no end. This wonderfully produced album is the official souvenir of an event that has had many of us harking back to the good old nostalgic days with the songs and tunes that shaped a century of British and Imperial development. Thus the stirring sounds of the medley entitled 'Songs of the British Isles' is perennially nostalgic whilst the more overtly romantic and sweet and sour arrangements of 'What a Wonderful World and 'Memories' bring us closer to the real world. Decca have also included some delightful introductions in the way of short excerpts from BBC news bulletins that sound almost exactly the same every ten years! Barry Hingley's skilful arrangements of various popular songs from the earlier half of this century are winningly done whilst the now legendary pipes and drums find their moving place in 'Amazing Grace' and the tear jerking 'Sound of the Pipes' composed especially for the QM's 90the birthday. However the real highlight of the album is the wonderful song, 'Happy and Glorious' which really signifies the respect and love of a nation towards such a charismatic figure. The album shows that for pomp and circumstance, there's no better than a thoroughly British occasion!

Gerald Fenech

Malta also has fond memories of Queen Elizabeth and King George VI especially in the award of the George Cross to our island in 1942. Many happy returns to the Queen Mother from a former bastion of the Empire!

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