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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    




 
 
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Hyde Park Shuffle
Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960)

Jamaican Rumba; From San Domingo; Caribbean Dance
Henry KRIPS (1912-1987)

Serenata Piccola; Romanze; Blue Mountains; Legend
Mike KENNY (b. 1939)

Ocean Road

Katharine PARKER (1886-1971) arr. Percy GRAINGER

Down Longford Way

Frederick WHAITE (1887-1964)

Argentina

Eric JUPP (1923-2003)

Bobsleigh

Alfred HILL (1870-1960) arr. Henry KRIPS

Waiata Poi

Jack GRIMSLEY

Rebecca's Dream

Tommy TYCHO (b. 1928)

Lifesavers' March

George DREYFUS (b. 1926)

Serenade for Small Orchestra

William LOVELOCK (1899-1986)

Hyde Park Shuffle

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/Guy Noble
rec. Studio 520, ABC Adelaide, 25-28 Aug 1998, 17-18 May 2001. DDD
ABC CLASSICS 476 272-2 [60:23]

This is a recording surging with life and impact.

If Guy Noble's Benjamin Jamaican Rumba is more languid than usual it is also more sensuous and warm than conventional pacing permits. From San Domingo is another of his Caribbean evocations; sultry yet catchy with woodblock clatter. The final reach for a repeat of the Jamaican Rumba's commercial success came with Caribbean Dance candidly subtitled A New Jamaican Rumba. Again it is catchy and colourful - that’s for sure. Pity though that ABC did not think to include the Jamaicalypso as well.

Henry Krips was the brother of conductor Josef Krips who was such a fixture in Australia. Henry is here represented by four miniatures. The Serenata Piccola has a central pavane echoing Ravel's but surrounded by smiling bright romance. The brief Romanze and the longer tone poem Blue Mountains are delicate scene-setters which instantly establish mood and emotional depth. Blue Mountains perhaps recalls the languid line of Bess You Is My Woman Now. The tone poem Legend has a leading role for Janis Laurs’ solo cello - a soulful yet passionate observer to some isolated endearing wilderness landscape; the solo saxophone is not left out of the picture either. The style, once again, is indebted to the English pastoral school - loosely resembling George Butterworth and Vaughan Williams. Krips also orchestrated Alfred Hill's famous Maori song Waiata Poi (a Dawson monster hit) - a jaunty piece.

Mike Kenny's Open Road is more commercial - 1950s innocent and flighty. It shuffles and glints along -a polished ingénue of a piece. In the same line is Eric Jupp's smooth Bobsleigh. Jupp made a great success with the ABC audiences and his antecedents were impeccable in the light vein. He had worked in the Old Country with the bands of Geraldo and Ted Heath. Jupp had also learnt a thing or two from Eric Coates. Tommy Tycho's confident Lifesavers' March from the Sydney Suite has all the confidence and sunshine of a 1950s newsreel.

Jack Grismley wrote many signature tunes for Grundy Television from the 1960s onwards. His Rebecca's Dream recalls Malcolm Arnold's most idyllically serene writing: a lovely piece.

German émigré George Dreyfus is not quite the usual blend. Recognisable in his miniature Serenade for Small Orchestra is a mix of lyrical Copland, Malcolm Arnold (unmistakably echoed here) and Vaughan Williams. Oh, and there's also a fragment of Waltzing Matilda.

Nice to see and hear anything by William Lovelock. British-born he came to Australia to head the Queensland Conservatorium in 1956 and stayed there until 1981. His Hyde Park Shuffle is one of his few forays into light music. It's a cheeky confident confection with Coates, Elgar and RVW jostling shoulders. This would have fitted one of Adrian Boult’s popular anthologies to a tee.

I have heard Down Longford Way before in a 2 CD ABC Australian Light Classics anthology ... and on no account to be missed. It is another sentimental rural portrait where accustomed English pastoral lanes are warmed by an Antipodean sun.

Frederick Whaite's Argentina is an accomplished professional combination of tango and 1950s-style sentimentality - there's even a solo piano chiming the piece along with Delian warmth.

It would be a serious mistake to let this pass you by if you are a British light music maven.


Rob Barnett

 

 



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