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The Golden Age of Light Music – Marching and Waltzing
Various Orchestras
rec. 1936-1956
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC
GLCD 5136 [77:55]




John Phillip SOUSA King Cotton [2:40]; (1) Mischa SPOLIANSKY Melba Waltz (arr Ron Goodwin) [2:33]; (2) Abraham HOLZMANN Blaze away (arr Sidney Torch) [2:51]; (3) Victor HERBERT Absinthe Frappé [2:50]; (4) Archibald JOYCE Royal Standard [2:38]; (5) David ROSE One Love [3:10]; (6) GILBERT "The Spirit of Youth" March [2:51]; (7) Albert KETÈLBEY A Mayfair Cinderella [3:09]; (8) Eric COATES Oxford Street (from "London Again") [3:28]; (9) Charles WILLIAMS The Young Ballerina [2:35]; (10) Ronald HANMER Proud and Free [1:40]; (11) Harry WARREN Shadow Waltz [3:28]; (12) Ray MARTIN Strings on Parade [2:23]; (13) Noel COWARD "Someday I’ll find you" (from "Private Lives") [2:53]; (14) Family Album – Waltz (from "Tonight at 8.30") [3:08]; (15) Hubert BATH Empire Builders March [2:44]; (16) Oscar STRAUS Love’s Roundabout [3:17]; (17) Robert FARNON Out of Town March [2:18]; (18) Gypsy Seydell BEAL & Eddie MEDAL Just the one I adore [3:03]; (19) Clive RICHARDSON Tom marches on [1:57]; (20) Paul Jules DURAND Mademoiselle de Paris (arr Percy Faith) [2:18]; (21) Kenneth ALFORD On the Quarter Deck [2:55]; (22) The Middy [1:35]; (23) Carl Michael ZIEHRER Ziehrer Waltz Medley [3:15]; (24) C C MOLLER Battle March [2:43]; (25) Hans ENGELMANN Melody of Love [3:01]; (26) Trevor DUNCAN Great Quest [6:19]
London Coliseum Orchestra, Reginald Burston (conductor) (1); Ron Goodwin & his Concert Orchestra (2); Sidney Torch & his Orchestra (3); Al Goodman & his Orchestra (4); West End Celebrity Orchestra, Louis Voss (conductor) (5); David Rose & his Orchestra (6); London Palladium Orchestra, Jack Frere (conductor) (7); London Concert Orchestra (8); Tivoli Concert Orchestra, Svend Christian Felumb (9); Danish State Radio Orchestra, Robert Farnon (conductor) (10,18); Symphonia Orchestra, Theo Arden (11); Morton Gould & his Orchestra (12); Cyril Stapleton & his Concert Orchestra (13); Frank Chacksfield & his Orchestra (14); Louis Levy & his Gaumont British Symphony (16); Lou Preager & his Charm of the Waltz Orchestra (17); David Carroll & his Orchestra (19); London Promenade Orchestra, Walter Collins (conductor) (20); Percy Faith & his Orchestra (21); Old Tyme Orchestra, Jack Leon (conductor) (22); Marek Weber & his Orchestra (24); Aarhus Civic Orchestra, Thomas Jensen (conductor) (25); Phoenix Theatre Orchestra, Clifford Greenwood (15); Regent Concert Orchestra (23); Billy Vaughan & his Orchestra (26); New Concert Orchestra, Dolf van der Linden (27): recorded various locations 1936-1956

Like most of its predecessors in Guild’s splendid series, this disc is arranged around a general theme rather than a single composer or performer. In this case it derives from a radio programme of the 1950s and 1960s with the same title. It simply alternated marches and waltzes. Let me say straightaway that, perhaps surprisingly, this does not in itself necessarily lead to monotony, as the waltzes in particular vary greatly in mood and character. Great care has obviously been taken to ensure suitable variety. Unfortunately that does not guarantee that the music chosen will be consistently interesting or that a more generalized kind of monotony does not set in at times. I found my attention wandering frequently during the first few tracks, during such waltzes as "Absinthe Frappé" and "Our Love", and somewhat bombastic marches as "The Spirit of Youth" and "Royal Standard". Fortunately things improve with the charming Ketèlbey waltz and with the items by Eric Coates and Charles Williams. These latter works are played by Danish orchestras with a spirit and delicacy respectively that put many of the English orchestras to shame. After those highlights the interest and standard of performance continues to vary. Again amongst the best are two from foreign orchestras – the Robert Farnon and C C Moller items. These do suggest that such orchestras might provide a theme for a future CD in this series. As a whole however there are more items that are interesting and well played than are not, although it is a pity to end with the Trevor Duncan piece that greatly outstays its welcome and does nothing for his reputation.

As you may gather, I do not regard this as being one of the better collections in a generally very valuable series and it can be recommended mainly to those buying them all. Such purchasers will not be bothered by the curious notes which discuss only a few of the items included, presumably on the basis that the others have been covered in early collections. A more cautious welcome should be given as far as the more general collector is concerned, with a warning that there are other collections in the series that are likely to prove of greater overall interest.

John Sheppard




 


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