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Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951)
Romberg conducts Romberg - Volume 2
My Maryland (1927)
Your Land and My Land
Silver Moon
Boys in Grey
The New Moon (1928)
Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
Lover, Come Back To Me
Stout-hearted men
Wanting You
One Kiss
Viennese Nights (1930)
I Bring A Love Song
You Will Remember Vienna
Viennese Nights Waltzes
May Wine (1938)
Dance, My Darlings
Just Once More Around The Clock
Something New Is In My Heart
Sunny River (1941)
Up In Central Park (1945)
Close As Pages In A Book
April Snow
The Big Back Yard
Jean Carlton, Shirlee Emmons, Lois Hunt, Genevieve Rowe (sopranos)
Jo Cameron, Lillian Cornell (mezzo-sopranos)
Eric Mattson, Richard Wright (tenors)
Larry Douglas, Lawrence Brooks, William Diehl, Warren Galjour (baritones)
RCA Victor Chorus
The Robert Shaw Chorale/Robert Shaw (chorus master)
Sigmund Romberg and His Orchestra
Recorded 1945-50
NAXOS 8.110886 [77.26]


This is the second in Naxos’s Romberg series collating the composer-conducted recordings of 1944-51. They caught him just in time because he died aged sixty-four shortly after committing these tracks to posterity. The cast list is pretty much common to both volumes but this second one catches Romberg just after the early flourishing of The Student Prince (1924) and The Desert Song (1926) to the later works in which he more completely assimilated American models and idioms.

That said we do begin with some lusty and spicy Americana in the rousing Your Land And My Land from My Maryland in which Glory Glory Halleluiah features, shall we say, prominently. Lillian Cornell is probably the pick of the singers in the selections from this 1928 work with its book by Dorothy Donnelly – she floats her tone delightfully in Mother. In the same year that Romberg wrote My Maryland he collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II on The New Moon from which we have five songs. One of them, Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise has entered the bloodstream of American popular music, not least in its transformation as a jazz standard. Eric Mattson sings it plangently – but the process by which it was transformed will be somewhat obscure to both Romberg and jazz lovers alike.

Viennese Nights brings a whiff of the old Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, into which Romberg had been born and in which he had made so successful a start as a student of Richard Heuberger. The swirl of the Waltz animates You Will Remember Vienna as does, rather more improbably, what sounds like a Hawaiian guitar. Shirlee Emmons has a big voice with an operatic top, which she deploys to fend off the sugar coating of Romberg’s saucy melodies. By the time we reach the 1941 Lordy from Sunny River, once more with lyrics by Hammerstein, we encounter a more demotic and transatlantic idiom. Muted trumpet opens it and the musical has rather supplanted the more old-fashioned operetta trappings. Up In Central Park has the advantage of a book by the witty Dorothy Fields and Romberg gives us lush strings and felicitous lilt.

Peter Dempsey fills in the musical background nicely; the copies used are clean and have been well transferred. It’s good that this important figure’s recordings have been so authoritatively presented in this winning disc.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Patrick Gary

Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951) Romberg conducts Romberg Vol.1 - The Blue Paradise (1915) Auf Wiedersehen - Maytime (1917) Will You remember? - Blossom Time (1921) Blossom Time Waltzes; Tell me Daisy; Song of Love - The Student Prince (1924) Drinking Song; Deep in my Heart, Dear; Ballet; Golden Days; Serenade; Student Prince Waltzes - The Desert Song (1926) Riff Song; One Alone; Romance; Girls! Girls! Girls! (French March); Desert Song Waltzes; One Flower grows alone; Desert Song; Medley (Romance, Desert Song Waltz) - Lawrence Brooks (ten), Stuart Churchill (ten), Lillian Cornell (sop), Shirlee Emmons (mezzo sop), William Diehl (bar), Warren Galjour (ten), Lois Hunt (sop), Eric Mattson (ten), Genevieve Rowe (sop), Richard Wright (bar) RCA Victor Chorus, Robert Shaw Chorale, Orch. Conducted by Sigmund Romberg - Rec. 1944-51, RCA Victor Studios, ADD NAXOS Historical 8.110866 [74.35] [RW]

These score over the early Pearl transcriptions by giving us the chance to hear the orchestration with improved clarity. The singing is strong throughout. … see Full Review




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