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The Golden Age of Light Music -Stringin’ Along
Re-issues from 78 rpm discs and early 33 rpm LPs, recorded between 1949 and 1957 ADD
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5146 [77:36]
Experience Classicsonline


Victor YOUNG (1900 – 1956) Stringin’ Along [3:20]
Will JASON & Val BURTON Penthouse Serenade [2:51]
Trevor DUNCAN (pseudonym for Leonard Charles TREBILCO) (1924 – 2005) Mam’selle Moderne [2:48]
Kermit LESLIE & Walter LESLIE (pseudonyms for Kermit and Walter LEVINSKY) Rainy Afternoon [3:22]
Reginald KING (1904 – 1991) Heading for Home [2:45]
GIRAUD A New Born Love [2:17]
Ronald BINGE (1910 – 1979) Man In A Hurry [2:41]
Leo LeFLEUR Wedding of the Violins [3:16]
Paul LINCKE (1866 – 1946) Whirl of the Waltz [3:12]
FONTAINE & SPEGUEL Aperitif [3:11]
Vincent YOUMANS (1898 – 1946) Carioca (1934) [2:16]
Otto CESANA Devotion [2:44]
Peter DENNIS (pseudonym for Dennis BERRY) Fresh Up [2:56]
Lewis Wolfe GILBERT (1886 – 1970) & Henry R STERN (b 1874) By Heck [2:00]
Oscar HAMMERSTEIN II (1895 – 1960) & Johann STRAUSS II (1825 – 1899) I’m In Love with Vienna [2:19]
Emile DELTOUR & Fud CANDRIX Polka for Strings [2:11]
George MELACHRINO (1909 – 1965) Gay Romance [3:44]
Xavier CUGAT (1900 – 1990), Fausto CURBELO (b 1915) (arranged by Laurie JOHNSON) Tentacion de Amor [2 :46]
Ray MARTIN (1918 – 1988) Six Proud Walkers (Theme from the BBC TV serial) [2:49]
Vivian ELLIS (1903 – 1996) Flight 101 [2:47]
Ray MARTIN Ballet of the Bells [2:14]
Bernie WAYNE (pseudonym for Bernard WEITZNER) (1919 – 1993) Zsa-Zsa [2:30]
Frank PERKINS (1908 – 1998) The Frustrated Floorwalker [2:58]
David ROSE (1910 – 1990) Bordeaux [2:40]
Robert FARNON (1917 – 2005) Moomin [2:30]
George FRENCH Bobby Sox [2:05]
John Pi SCHEFFER (1909 – 1988) Apple Flap [2:48]
Guy Pierre LAFARGE The Little Ballerina [2:38]
Alfonzo D’Artega (Lefleur); Jackie Brown (Ballet of the Bells); David Carroll (Lafarge); Otto Cesana (Cesana); Emile Deltour (Aperitif); Richard Hayman (Hayman); Andre Kostelanetz (Youmans); Guy Luypaerts (Giraud); Kermit Leslie (Leslie); Werner Muller (Penthouse Serenade); David Rose (Rose); Dolf Van Der Linden (Candrix, Dennis, Scheffer); Bernie Wayne (Wayne); Victor Young (Young) all with their "Own" Orchestra; Ray Martin And his Concert Orchestra (Six Proud Walkers); Frank Perkins And his Pops Orchestra (Perkins); Georges Tzipine and his Salon Orchestra (Stern); Ambrose and his Orchestra with Strings/Laurie Johnson (Cugat); Danish State Radio Orchestra/Rovert Farnon (Ellis, Farnon); London Promenade Orchestra/Eric Rogers (Lincke); The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino (Melachrino); L’orchestre Devereaux/Georges Devereaux (French); Regent Classic Orchestra (King); Stuttgart Radio Orchestra/Kurt Rehfeld (Binge, Duncan)

Perhaps the time has come when we can paraphrase, like the advertisement for a certain beer, and drawl that this is ‘probably the best Light Music series in the world.’ It’s certainly the most extensive and is also compiled with a curatorial sense for the themes involved – seemingly inexhaustible but then someone has to sit down to do the hard work and collate the things, so it’s hardly automatic.

This latest entrant’s title is pretty self-explanatory. Many of the names of the composers and orchestras will be very familiar to initiates of the genre and to adherents of the series in general. Victor Young kicks things off with fanciful string work in the title track, the B section of which is a luscious intermezzo for solo violin (Young was himself a violinist) and then comes a dollop of Rachmaninovian piano to liven things still further. It’s a locus classicus of packing in a veritable symphony of moods and impressions. Werner Muller unveils a very suave Penthouse Serenade – one can imagine the à la mode 1956 furnishings from this ultra sleek number; the musical equivalent of Ernő Goldfinger’s furniture. By comparison there’s a bright, sprightly and brisk offering called Mam’selle Moderne from Kurt Rehfeld and his Stuttgart band; the number was written by Trevor Duncan. Note the elegant pizzicati.

Kermit Leslie contributes a very glamorous MGM waterfall of a piece, shot through with romantic reverie and that in its turn is immediately contrasted with the Regent Classic Orchestra’s spruce Heading for Home, on the esteemed Bosworth label.

Variety within the sub-genre, as one can tell, is the name of the game. Rehfeld appears again with a very witty and pictorial Binge number Man in a Hurry – the poor chap keeps getting stopped en route. From the busy annoyances of him we flee to the glittering imprecations of Wedding of the Violins and then on to visit the spicy Latin charms of Aperitif. George Tzipine makes a welcome appearance directing his Salon orchestra. Aficionados will remember that he made solo records as a violinist for Pathé, Odeon and Parlophone. His band has an easy swing and sports some fine winds and harp.

Ambrose swivels his hips – impeccably, naturally – for some Latin-Americana on Tentacion de Amor but I can’t say I much warmed to Bernie Wayne’s Zsa-Zsa. I know the Great Gabor could be cheesy but there really is a grim (dubbed?) choir to lessen the spirits. Robert Farnon’s Moomin re-establishes humour and confidence. And we end with a Tchaikovsky-doffing The Little Ballerina.

Plenty of vibrant vitality then in this issue. The transfers are good, the notes even better.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Bob Briggs

 


 


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