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The Golden Age of Light Music - Light Music from the Silver Screen
Robert FARNON (arr.) Early One Morning from "Spring In Park Lane" Robert Farnon and his Orchestra, 1953
ORTELLI / PIGARELLI Song of the Mountains (La Montanara) from film "The Glass Mountain" Sidney Torch and his Orchestra, 1950
Arthur SCHWARTZ Dancing in the Dark soundtrack recording from "The Band Wagon" MGM Studio Orchestra conducted by Adolph Deutsch, 1953
Bronislau KAPER Adoration soundtrack recording from "Lili"
MGM Studio Orchestra conducted by Hans Sommer, 1953
Victor YOUNG Call of the Faraway Hills from film "Shane"
Ron Goodwin and his Concert Orchestra, 1953
Francis CHAGRIN The Beggar's Theme from film "Last Holiday"
Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra, 1950
Clifton PARKER Seascape from film "Western Approaches"
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Muir Mathieson, 1946
John ADDISON Theme from the film "The Man Between"
Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra with Dave Shand, saxophone, 1953
Mischa SPOLIANSKY Dedication from film "Idol Of Paris"
Queen's Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch with Mischa Spoliansky, piano, 1948
José PADILLA La Violetera from film "City Lights"
Philip Green and his Orchestra, 1951
Allan GRAY Theme from the film "This Man Is Mine"
Queen's Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Charles Williams, 1947
Guy WARRACK Men of Arnhem – March from film "Theirs Is The Glory" London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Muir Mathieson, 1947
Philip GREEN Romance from film "The Magic Bow"
Louis Levy and his "Music From The Movies" with Reginald Leopold, violin, 1947
Andre MATHIEU Quebec Concerto from film "Whispering City"
Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra with Arthur Dulay, piano, 1949
Maurice JAUBERT Valse Grise from film "Le Carnet De Bal"
Sidney Torch and his Orchestra, 1952
Charles WILLIAMS Throughout the Years from film "Flesh And Blood" Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra, 1951
George MELACHRINO Vision d'Amour from film "Woman To Woman" Melachrino Strings conducted by George Melachrino, 1947
Philip GREEN Hour of Meditation from film "Twenty-Four Hours Of A Woman's Life" Sidney Torch and his Orchestra, 1952
Anthony COLLINS Saga of Odette from film "Odette"
Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra, 1950
George MELACHRINO Danse d'Extase from film "No Orchids For Miss Blandish" The Melachrino Orchestra conducted by George Melachrino, 1948
Kenneth LESLIE-SMITH Mansell Concerto from film "The Woman's angle" Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra – piano Arthur Sandford, 1952
Philip GREEN Gaelic Fantasia from film "Saints And Sinners"
Philip Green and his Orchestra, 1949
Recordings made between 1946 and 1953

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Here is a collection of music from films all made around 1950 and recorded at the time. Those who are old enough to have been movie-goers in those days may find listening to this disc a wonderful nostalgic trip. In fact you would not necessarily need to have been to the cinema because some of the music from these films became very well known in its own right; through gramophone records and wireless. Also, there were large sales of some of the popular numbers in the form of sheet-music piano arrangements. It was a time when there were a lot more pianos in homes than there are today.

But this is not just for old nostalgics. What struck me was the quality and volume of talent that went into both composing and playing this music. OK, there is a fair amount of derivative and sometimes sentimental tosh, but even that is skilfully done. The best music is very good indeed and I found it immensely enjoyable.

An important feature of this collection, as explained in the booklet by David Ades who is responsible for it, is that there was not an intention to produce a “Best of ... CD”. There are plenty of such compilations around. Consequently there are many tracks here that are on CD for the first time. A positive example of this policy is the selection from the film The Glass Mountain. It was the music that made the picture famous rather than its content and the hit extract that everyone knew was The Legend of the Glass Mountain. On this disc we get the Song of the Glass Mountain, a worthier piece of music in my opinion. There are wonderfully evocative, beautifully orchestrated nature sounds and lyrical cor anglais and horn solos, splendidly rendered by Sidney Torch and his orchestra. Another result of the policy is that one of the biggest film music hits of the period, The Dream of Olwen from the 1947 film, While I live, is not included.

In addition to music that owes much to swing, big band and jazz, there is a fair selection of that popular sub-genre in film music; the piano concerto. The vogue was started by the most famous example of all, the Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell from the 1941 movie, Dangerous Moonlight. Here, we get, among others, Andre Mathieu’s Quebec Concerto from Whispering City. Within this genre you can be pretty sure that you will be able to indulge in a good dose of pastiche Grieg, Rachmaninov or Liszt - or a combination of all three.

There should be something for everybody in this compilation of music that in many cases has deservedly outlived the films for which it was written. In the field of historical movie music the CD is a worthy addition.

John Leeman 




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