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British Light Music
(for detailed tracklisting see below)
New London Orchestra/Ronald Corp

rec. St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, CD1: 30 November-1 December 1995; CD2: 21-22 October 1996; CD3: 3-4 August 1999; CD4 11-12 April 2002. DDD
Originally released individually at full price and still available as Hyperion CDA66868; CDA66968; CDA67148; CDA67400 respectively
HYPERION CDS442614 [4 CDs: 76:53 + 76:25 + 78:45 + 77:58]

Experience Classicsonline

This wonderful set from Hyperion contains all the Light Music Classics that you could wish to hear, as well some that will probably be new to most listeners – a fantastic selection.

It opens with a lively and rousing performance of Eric Coates’s much-loved Calling All Workers, and works its way through all the greatest composers of this genre – Robert Farnon, Frederic Curzon, Albert Ketèlbey, Haydn Wood, Ronald Binge, Sidney Torch, and so on. Some of the delights featured include a sumptuous version of Geoffrey Toye’s The Haunted Ballroom and an extremely perky The Jumping Bean  by Farnon – brought wonderfully to life in a crisp, dancing performance. There’s also an exhilarating Devil’s Gallop (Charles Williams), an evocatively descriptive Carriage and Pair by Benjamin Frankel and Tomlinson’s utterly charming Little Serenade. Let’s not forget the sparkling Beachcomber (Clive Richardson) - of which Corp here gives an effervescent rendition and a gentle version of Edward White’s The Runaway Rocking-Horse. 

The incredibly famous ones include White’s Puffin Billy, Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade, Vivian Ellis’s Coronation Scot, Ernest Bucalossi’s Grasshopper’s Dance, and Jack Strachey’s In Party Mood. There are some also really unusual and interesting works, such as Ketèlbey’s Sanctuary of the Heart, a “méditation réligieuse”, In a Monastery Garden and In a Persian Market - where the New London Light Opera Chorus join forces with the New London Orchestra in a lively performance. Duncan’s Girl from Corsica is wonderfully exotic and opulent. Peter Hope’s gorgeously evocative Jaunting Car from the Ring of Kerry, the Siciliano by Harry Dexter - founder in 1956 of the Light Music Society, and Archibald Joyce’s luscious Songe d’Automne also deserve mention. 

The set features waltzes (such as Destiny by Sydney Baynes, Farnon’s Westminster Waltz, and Ivan Caryll’s Pink Lady Waltz) and marches (Coates’s Knightsbridge from his London Suite, Trevor Duncan’s March from A Little Suite and Curzon’s splendid March of the Bowman from the Robin Hood Suite). Television and radio music is also represented (Binge’s Secret Garden for the television series setting the children’s book, Vivian Ellis’s Alpine Pastures – the theme tune for the radio series My Word, Arthur Wood’s Barwick Green, surely eternally immortalised as the theme tune for The Archers, and Coates’s gorgeous By the Sleepy Lagoon (Desert Island Discs), as is music from plays (Lionel Monckton’s march Soldiers in the Park from his The Runaway Girl, a popular musical play that showed at the Gaiety Theatre, and Frederick Rosse’s The Doge’s March  from his music for a 1905 Garrick theatre production of A Merchant of Venice). 

Several composers are featured whom one might not immediately associate with light music, especially on the slightly more high-brow fourth disc: Armstrong Gibbs, whose Dusk is given a serenely beautiful performance, Elgar (Carissima), John Foulds (Keltic Lament) and Samuel Coleridge Taylor, whose Petite Suite de Concert brings the set to a scintillating conclusion. However, the choice of lighter works by these composers mean that the pieces fit into the programmes on the discs perfectly well, and they make excellent additions to the set. 

Ronald Corp is a great exponent of light music and these discs see him, and the New London Orchestra, in their element, capturing a great sense of fun, such as in Curzon’s Dance of an Ostracised Imp, Arthur Benjamin’s Jamaican Rumba and Henry Balfour Gardiner’s much-loved Shepherd’s Fennel Dance. 

All the works are performed with spirit and verve, and a real love and understanding of this music. A superb set.

Em Marshall

Detailed tracklisting:
CD 1 [76:53]
Eric COATES Calling All Workers [3:20]
Geoffrey TOYE The Haunted Ballroom [8:15]
Anthony COLLINS Vanity Fair [3:53]
Robert FARNON Jumping Bean [2:24]
Sydney BAYNES Destiny [8:29]
Frederic CURZON The Boulevardier [3:55]
W Meyer LUTZ Pas de quatre [3:39]
Ronald BINGE The Watermill (with Ruth Scott, oboe) [3:45]
Charles WILLIAMS The Devil’s Galop [3:12]
Armstrong GIBBS Dusk [6:07]
Edward WHITE Puffin’ Billy [3:40]
Albert W KETÈLBEY Bells Across the Meadows [4:40]
Charles WILLIAMS The Old Clockmaker [3:12]
Archibald JOYCE Dreaming [6:04]
Ronald BINGE Elizabethan Serenade [3:20]
Vivian ELLIS Coronation Scot [2:57]
Charles ANCLIFFE Nights of Gladness [5:39]
CD 2 [76:25]
Eric COATES Knightsbridge March from London Suite [4:34]
Percy FLETCHER Bal Masqué: Valse-Caprice: [6:35]
Ernest BUCALOSSI The Grasshopper’s Dance [4:10]
Arthur WOOD Barwick Green - A Maypole Dance from My Native Heath [3:20]
Fred HARTLEY Rouge et Noir [2:46]
Robert FARNON The Peanut Polka [2:56]
Benjamin FRANKEL Carriage and Pair [2:49]
Haydn WOOD The Horse Guards, Whitehall from London Landmarks [3:50]
‘Trevor DUNCAN’ March from A Little Suite [3:18]
Ronald BINGE Sailing By [2:50]
Gilbert VINTER Portuguese Party [3:19]
Clive RICHARDSON Beachcomber [3:13]
Herman FINCK In the Shadows [5:54]
Robert DOCKER Tabarinage [3:28]
Albert W KETÈLBEY Sanctuary of the Heart ‘Méditation réligieuse’ [4:50]
Robert FARNON The Westminster Waltz [2:58]
Edward ELGAR Carissima [3:41]
Charles WILLIAMS Girls in Grey [2:38]
Edward WHITE The Runaway Rocking-Horse [3:59]
Frederic CURZON March of the Bowmen from Robin Hood Suite [4:42]
CD 3 [78:45]
Haydn WOOD Montmartre [3:47]
Clive RICHARDSON, arr. HANMER Melody on the Move [2:42]
Jack STRACHEY In Party Mood [4:01]
Trevor DUNCAN The Girl from Corsica [4:37]
Lionel MONCKTON Soldiers in the Park [3:51]
Felix GODIN, arr. Adolf LOTTER Valse Septembre [5:22]
Ronald BINGE Miss Melanie [2:25]
Ivan CARYLL Pink Lady Waltz [5:25]
Robert FARNON Portrait of a Flirt [2:44]
Harry DEXTER Siciliano [4:37]
Albert KETÈLBEY In a Persian Market [6:15]
Jack STRACHEY Theatreland [3:19]
Archibald JOYCE Songe d’Automne [4:46]
Vivian ELLIS, arr. Sidney TORCH Alpine Pastures [3:40]
Ernest TOMLINSON Little Serenade [3:31]
George MELACHRINO Woodland Revel [3:10]
Tolchard EVANS, arr. Fred HARTLEY/Ken WARNER Lady of Spain [3:02]
Charles ANCLIFFE Smiles, then Kisses [4:26]
Sidney TORCH On a Spring Note [2:31]
Eric COATES Music Everywhere (‘Rediffusion March’ [3:20]
CD 4 [77:58]
‘Marshall ROSS’ Marching Strings [2:45]
Peter HOPE Jaunting Car from The Ring of Kerry [2:46]
‘Trevor DUNCAN’ High Heels [3:13]
Frederic CURZON Dance of an Ostracised Imp [3:21]
John FOULDS Keltic Lament from A Keltic Suite Op. 29 † [4:14]
Charles WILLIAMS Rhythm on Rails [2:47]
Eric COATES By the Sleepy Lagoon [4:03]
Arthur BENJAMIN Jamaican Rumba [2:06]
Albert W KETÈLBEY In a Monastery Garden [5:53]
Charles WILLIAMS A Quiet Stroll [2:55]
Percy FLETCHER Demoiselle Chic - Parisian Sketches No 1 [3:59]
Jack BEAVER Cavalcade of Youth [3:40]
Fredric BAYCO Elizabethan Masque [2:16]
Henry BALFOUR GARDINER Shepherd Fennel’s Dance [5:31]
Charles ANCLIFFE Thrills [6:04]
Frederick ROSSE The Doge’s March from The Merchant of Venice [4:55]
Petite Suite de Concert Op. 77: La caprice de Nanette [4:00]; Demande et réponse [4:56]; Un sonnet d’amour [4:01]; La tarantelle frétillante [2:23]


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