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Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975)
Orchestral Music - Volume 5

Goldilocks (excerpts) (1958) [35:40]
Overture; Lazy Moon; Save A Kiss 1 * ; The Pussy Foot; Pirate Dance; Who’s Been Sitting in My Chair 2 *; Lady in Waiting Ballet; Shall I Take My Heart and Go 3 *; The Town House Maxixe; I Never Know When and Pyramid Dance 
Goldilocks: ‘Lady in Waiting’, Waltz * [3:26]
Goldilocks: ‘Shall I take My Heart’ (instrumental) [2:24]
Suite of Carols (version for woodwinds) (rev. 1959 version) [10:46]
Kim Criswell (soprano) 1, 2; William Dazeley (baritone) 1, 3
BBC Concert Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin
rec. The Colosseum, Town Hall,
Watford, UK, 3 to 5 September 2007
* World premiere recording

NAXOS 8.559382 [52:16] 
Experience Classicsonline


What a pleasure to hear such jolly upbeat music. Leroy Anderson’s Goldilocks music lifts the spirits right from the start. This, the fifth album in the Naxos Anderson series, concentrates almost entirely on his music for the 1958 Broadway musical. Alas it was not a success; it expired after only 161 performances.
The book took most of the blame. The show’s title Goldilocks probably didn’t help it much either and at that time there was a lot of competition on Broadway including: West Side Story, The Music Man and My Fair Lady.  But Leroy Anderson’s music was mostly praised. 

The Goldilocks Overture sparkles; all the excerpt numbers are little gems. ‘One Good Kiss Deserves Another’ has a winning melody. William Dazely singing nicely in the ballad style of the period and is joined by a nicely coy Kim Criswell. ‘Shall I Take My Heart and Go’ is another lovely, dreamily-romantic ballad. This number is also reprised separately as an instrumental item. These two songs alone, one feels, should have ensured the success of Goldilocks especially as presented here. But this 70+ reviewer is an unashamed romantic and a lover of the musicals of this period. 

Additionally there is: ‘The Pussy Foot’, a terrific swing number that will set your feet a-tapping. The ‘Pirate Dance’ bounces cheekily along, tongue-in-cheek redolent of all those Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn swashbucklers of that period. The droll ‘Who’s Been Sitting in My Chair’ is quite unlike Eric Coates’s Three Bears, rather it begins in Old-English rustic style before developing into a burlesque-like number - apparently in the show Maggie actually dances to it with a guy in a bear suit. The memorable ‘The Lady-in-Waiting Ballet’ is a quintessential Leroy Anderson with its sweeping, swinging waltz tune. ‘The Lady in Waiting Waltz’ (played later, separately) glistens and it has witty allusions to Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel and Der Rosenkavalier. ‘The Town Maxixe’ is an easy-going number that swings along interrupted by material reminiscent of old-style madrigal tunes.  ‘I Never Knew When’ is another appealing romantic ballad, but without vocals, beginning almost Arabian Nights-like before developing into smoochiness. The ‘Pyramid Dance’ is all exuberance, bouncing and rushing along, a sort of mix of Khachaturian and Rimsky-Korsakov. 

Followers of the reviews of the preceding four volumes in this series will no doubt remember that Leroy Anderson arranged a number of suites of carols for different combinations of instruments - the others were for strings and brass. This collection,

for wind instruments, comprises: ‘Angels in our Fields’, ‘O Sanctissima’; ‘O come, O come Emmanuel, O come’ (an inspired little pastorale); ‘Little Children’; ‘Coventry Carol’; and ‘Patapan’. 

As before Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra offer polished, genial readings full of joie de vivre. 

Goldilocks strikes gold. Undeservedly neglected light music. 

Ian Lace 

see also Reviews by John France and Jonathan Woolf

 

 

 


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