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.
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.
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.
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
As before Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra
offer polished, genial readings full of joie de vivre.
Goldilocks strikes gold. Undeservedly neglected light
by John France and Jonathan