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The Golden Age Of Light Music – Going Places
Max SAUNDERS (1903 – 1983) Fantasy On National Airs (Early One Morning, The Ash Grove,The Campbells Are Coming, Londonderry Air) [3:55]
Jackie BROWN Going Places [2:54]
Kermit LESLIE and Walter LESLIE (pseudonyms for Kermit and Walter LEVINSKY) Enchanted Isle [2:48]
David BEE Mexican Interlude [2:41]
William HILL–BOWEN Park Avenue Waltz [2:48]
Cabaret Time In Paris (Selection) [5:42]
Alfred NEWMAN (1900 – 1970), Frank LOESSER (1910 – 1969) Moon Of Manakoora (The Hurricane) (1937) [2:55]
Joey RAMOS El Rancho Grande (My Ranch) [2:05]
Victor HERBERT (1859 – 1924) Streets Of New York [2:33]
Joyce COCHRANE Call Of The Casbah (theme from ITV serial “Destination Downing Street”) (arranged by Laurie JOHNSON) [2:33]
Richard WHITING Monte Carlo [2:49]
Alain ROMANS (1905 – 1988), Jacques LARUE Mediterranean Serenade [2:39]
Juan R DELGADO Viennese Lantern Waltz (also known as Lights of Vienna) [2:12]
Frank DE VOL (1911 – 1999) Southwest Territory [3:05]
Ronald HANMER (1917 – 1974) Scherzo: Avignon (based on ‘Sur Le Pont d’Avignon’)
Fred HARTLEY (1905 – 1980) Adios Mexico [2:45]
Robert FARNON (1917 – 2005) Taj Mahal [3:00]
Oliphant CHUCKERBUTTY (1884 – 1960) Fiesta Argentina [2:56]
Billy MAYERL (1902 – 1959) Mediterranean Cruise [2:26]
Harry WARREN (1893 – 1981), Sam LEWIS (1885 – 1959), Joe YOUNG (1889 – 1939) Cryin’ For The Carolines [3:44]
Marguerite Angele MONNOT  (1903 – 1961) The Poor People of Paris (La Goualante Du Pauvre Jean) [1:59]
Peter YORKE (1902 – 1966) Irish Fantasy – Songs To Remember No. 4 [6:54]
Robert STOLZ (1880 – 1975) Persian Nocturne [3:13]
Carroll COATES London By Night [3:35]
C C MOLLER Aarhus Tappenstreg (Aarhus Tattoo)
Robert Farnon (Stolz), Morton Gould (Ramos), Fred Hartley (Hartley), Richard Hayman (Monnot), Leroy Holmes (Romans/Larue), Laurie Johnson (Cochrane), Monty Kelly (Whiting), Kermit Leslie (Leslie), Guy Luypaerts (Warren), Werner Muller (Herbert), Norrie Paramor (Cabaret Time), David Rose (Newman), Dolf van der Linden (Bee), Frank de Vol (de Vol), all conducting their own Orchestras; Ray Martin (carroll), Peter Yorke (Yorke) both conducting their own Concert Orchestras; Aarhus Civic Orchestra/Thomas Jensen (Moller), BBC Midland Light Orchestra/H G Burgess (Hanmer), BBC Television Orchestra/Eric Robinson (Saunders), Louis Voss Grand Orchestra (Chuckerbutty), The Melachrino Strings/George Melachrino (Bowen)
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon (Farnon), Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Sidney Torch (Brown), Red Nichols and the Augmented Pennies (Delgado), Stuttgart Radio Orchestra/Kurt Rehfeld (Mayerl)
rec. reissues of 78 rpm discs 1941-1957, ADD
GUILD GLCD 5151 [78:45]
Experience Classicsonline

Max Saunders’s Fantasy On National Airs makes for a delightful start to this travelogue edition of the Golden Age of Light Music. It’s a quick picture-postcard visit to each of the four nations which make up the British Isles using four great tunes. It’s the kind of thing beloved of ITMA which often featured arrangements of folk-songs as musical interludes.

Jackie Brown’s Going Places is a delightfully racy Sunday afternoon country drive of the kind my dad would take my mum and me on during the summer. I remember them so well and this simply brought back the memories. The Leslies’ Enchanted Isle is more South Pacific than Solent. Mexican Interlude is a quirky little number, the kind of thing which we used to hear accompanying a short film at the Saturday morning cinema. Across the border and into North America for the Park Avenue Waltz – which is more European than American, but who cares when it’s as well done as this.

Back to Europe for Cabaret Time In Paris, a quick jaunt through some well known tunes which is followed by a sultry arrangement of Alfred Newman’s Moon Of Manakoora from the film The Hurricane. This really is quite a beautiful arrangement with rich strings and subtle wind and brass interjections. This is the very essence of light music.

El Rancho Grande is real cowboy stuff, and a real hoot to boot, but Victor Herbert’s Streets Of New York is an odd piece for it seems to be more Scottish than Big Apple.

Call Of The Casbah is mock Turkish delight – it could be a discarded moment from Kismet. One wonders how it could have become the theme from a TV serial called Destination Downing Street! It’s as English as sushi! Monte Carlo is part tango, part rumba, while the Mediterranean Serenade is a rather gaudy concoction which sits badly by the side of the somewhat impudent Viennese Lantern Waltz.

Southwest Territory is part cod Red Indian and part wide open space Americana. One of the real winners on this disk is Ronald Hanmer’s Scherzo: Avignon - taken from a disc in the composer’s own collection - which marries a couple of ideas which could have come out of the Polovtsian Dances with the song Sur Le Pont d’Avignon. It’s a wonderful little piece. Adios Mexico is a sultry tango, Taj Mahal is more restaurant than imposing building but Oliphant Chuckerbutty’s Fiesta Argentina has a real feeling for the event it is describing, even if it is obviously by someone who never travelled to the country involved. This is the second winner on this disk and it’s followed by the third, Billy Mayerl’s Mediterranean Cruise which is a sort of potted version of the kind of thing Ibert described in his magnificent Escales. This is a real find.

Cryin’ For The Carolines sounds little like Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime? and has the same feeling of emptiness to it, very odd indeed. The Poor People of Paris ups the tempo before Peter Yorke tramps through some well known Irish melodies -  in some odd orchestrations which makes the piece all the more enjoyable – in Irish Fantasy.

Another imitation eastern piece – Persian Nocturne – takes us into the home stretch. It’s very languid and delicately rhythmic. London By Night is all muted trombones and celesta, syrupy strings and woodwind arabesques. Lovely stuff. To end we have the Aarhus Tattoo. It’s a sort of quick-step march and, in keeping with much of this music, it’s lively and fun.

This is yet another fascinating collection of unknown and unusual pieces brought together in fine transfers and beautifully produced. As usual there’s something for everyone but for lovers of light music this is essential listening for we can never have too much melody and delicious orchestration to tantalize us. Bravo Guild!

  Bob Briggs


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