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Highdays and Holidays
Peter YORKE (1902-1966)

The Playful Pelican [2,51]
Peter Yorke or Louis Voss and his orchestra
Highdays and Holidays [2.54]
Louis Voss and his Orchestra

Buddha’s Festival of Love [3.08]
The West End Celebrity Orchestra
Albert KETÈLBEY (1875-1959)

Wedgewood Blue [2.59]
Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
In a Chinese Temple Garden [3.07]
Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
Gerhard WINKLER (1906-1977)

Neapolitan Serenade [2.40]
Regent Classic Orchestra

Wedding March in Midget Land [2.58]
London Concert Orchestra
Erich BÖRSCHEL (1907-1988)

Sparrows’ Concert – Intermezzo [3.18]
Louis Voss Grand Orchestra

April Day [2.44]
London Concert Orchestra
Frederick George CHARROSIN (d.1976)

Busy Business [2.48]
International Radio Orchestra
Wilfred BURNS

The Ballet Dancer [3.12]
Bosworth’s String Orchestra
Philip GREEN (1910-1982)

Tequila – Paso Doble [1.29]
Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
George CROW

Wild Goose Chase [3.11]
Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
Charles WILLIAMS (1893-1978)

Cutty Sark [3.00]
National Light Orchestra
Serenade to a Mannequin [2.18]
Bosworth’s String Orchestra
Charles WILLIAMS (1893-1978)
Salute to Speedway [3.00]
West End Celebrity Orchestra
Henry CROUDSON (1898-1971)

Jack and Jill – miniature overture [2.59]
Louis Voss and his Orchestra
Claud VANE

Palace of Variety [2.38]
National Light Orchestra

Sportsman’s Luck [2.52]
West End Celebrity Orchestra
David HART

Sabre Jet [2.51]
West End Celebrity Orchestra
Claud VANE

Big Dipper [2.34]
Louis Voss and his Orchestra
Haydn WOOD (1882-1959)

Sketch of a Dandy [2.57]
Louis Voss and his Orchestra
Art STRAUSS and Robert DALE

Flight of the Toy Balloon [2.52]
National Light Orchestra
Kenneth ESSEX

Travel Centre [2.44]
West End Celebrity Orchestra

Sleepy Grasshopper [2.53]
Regent Classic Orchestra
Gerald CROSSMAN (b.1920)

Typical Teenager [2.46]
Louis Voss and his Orchestra
Louis MORDISH (1908-1996)

Harlequin’s Flirtation [2.56]
London Bijou Players
Recorded 1940s and 1950s
GUILD GLCD 5115 [76.40]

Of all the publishers’ libraries of mood music Bosworth was always one of the most engaging. Guild has here collated some prime specimens from 1937 to 1953. The most hard working band was that of Louis Voss though Bosworth’s own house band makes an appearance as do a number of light ensembles with plausibly high falutin’ names. The honesty-first London Bijou Players certainly make up in style what they may lack in heft. The items here were recorded to be used on newsreels and television as well as film and other sources. So in the main they’re pert, rather formulaic, tightly structured and musically cogent, instantly colourful and evocative and scored with acumen. A number are staples of the Light Music repertoire – Charles Williams, Ketèlbey and Haydn Wood amongst them – but there are plenty of far less well-known items to tickle the nostalgic buds.

Once such is the Playful Pelican, a piece of pert kitsch from the busy pen of Peter Yorke, though following it with the cosmopolitan Buddha’s Festival of Love makes for an entertaining contrast – plenty of Festival, very little Buddha. Louis Voss’ was an enterprising band but he can’t match the composer’s own various recordings of Wedgewood Blue – Ketèlbey’s own discs always had a certain frisson. Busy Business by Frederick Charrosin, one of the composers not labouring under an alias here ("Claud Vane" and "Kenneth Essex", decent sounding chaps, were actually Rufus Isaacs) is a wittily orchestrated affair – piano, pizzicati, and strong brass. And in one of those trademark Guild mood switchers The Ballet Dancer is all aerial grace and agility.

Charles Williams was one of the most accomplished of all these composers contributing a spruce piece of Elgarian Nauticalia in Cutty Sark and great sensitivity in Serenade to a Mannequin – it’s much better than its title. The title track goes to Peter Yorke and it’s positively luscious in its out-of-doorsness; all charabanc trips to the country, and romantic vistas. Not sure about the sound though – it sounds somewhat desiccated and as if rather too much noise reduction has been employed. Period concerns are represented – Speedway for example and the Sabre Jet. There are plenty of passing pleasures – the gorgeous tune in Henry Croudson’s Jack and Jill. Then there’s Travel Centre, a sign of the times when the age of the Holiday Abroad was fast approaching and a fine selection generally.

I needn’t mention the notes, which are characteristically wide ranging, though a number of the composers’ biographies have been covered before. I’m still of the opinion that too much top has been taken off but the sound is certainly not displeasing.

Jonathan Woolf

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