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The Golden Age of Light Music - Picking Strings
Details of works and artists below
Re-issues of 78 rpm and 33 rpm records
rec. 1947-58 ADD
GUILD GLCD5156 [78:53]
Experience Classicsonline

There’s a belief that the Inuit, or Eskimos, have an inordinate number of words for snow. This is not true, although the idea persists. What is true is that after reviewing quite a number of this excellent series of light music reissues from Guild, I have run out of superlatives. The series just gets better and better, the programming more interesting, the sound seems to improve, and, best of all, there will be more to come.

This marvelous bright and breezy disk is most enjoyable. I’m not going to go through the selection track by track but I shall mention some of the real hits on offer. It’s always fascinated me as to why light music composers love pizzicato strings. Here we have Ronald Hanmer’s Picking Strings, starting pizzicato, then the middle section has a glorious (bowed) string melody, returning to the opening to close. Calvi’s Vacances is a deliciously racy little number and Chacksfield’s Candid Snap perfectly compliments it. With its reminder of Wagner’s Wedding March from Lohengrin, Martin’s Carriage For Marriage is a real hoot; a beautifully scored work – containing a nice part for celesta – and one with a big smile on its face. The Leslie’s Night Flight To Madrid reminds one of the title music the BBC used to give their Sunday evening serials, and it’s such a shame that it fades out – an unusual occurrence on these disks. 

Clive Richardson’s Running Off The Rails is a wonderful headlong train ride, with absolutely no sense of danger in sight! Another mode of transport is evoked in Angela Morley’s Flight By Jet. This starts as mock Walton, then rushes away as we take off. There’s a British 50s movie feel here. Don Gillis’s Symphony No.5½ is his best known work and Perpetual Emotion is the first, and best, movement from that work. It’s a kind of dueling fiddles type of piece. 

Final plaudits for Bob Haymes’s Road Show – keeping up the tempo – Vic Reynaers for keeping the fiddlers in business in his Tandem Promenade, Van Phillips for the cod Oirisihness of his Tom Fool and for sheer cheekiness I have to nominate Roger Roger’s Through The Town which starts as if it’s Gershwin’s Walking the Dog. I am not mishearing this. However, after the opening it’s decidedly Roger Roger.
Another winner from Guild.

Bob Briggs

Details of works and artists:

Gérard CALVI (pseudonym for Grégoire Elie KRETTLY) (b.1922) Vacances (Holiday Time) [3:15]
Frank CHACKSFIELD (1914-1995) Candid Snap [2:34]
Ronald HANMER (1917-1994) Picking Strings [2:49]
Lorenz HART (1895-1943) and Richard RODGERS (1902-1979) Mimi [1:57]
Ray MARTIN (1918-1988) Carriage For Marriage [1:52]
Kermit LESLIE & Walter LESLIE (pseudonyms for Kermit and Walter LEVINSKY) Night Flight To Madrid [2:14]
Otto CESANA (1899-1980) Marionette [3:09]
VAREL and BAILLY Savoy Beware (Escale A Victoria) (arranged by Frank CORDELL (1918-1980)) [2:11]
Clive RICHARDSON (1909-1998) Running Off The Rails [3:01]
Trevor DUNCAN (pseudonym for Leonard Charles TREBILCO) (1924-2005) Dream Of Tomorrow [2:24]
Norman WHITELEY A Song For Penelope [2:46]
Angela MORLEY (at that time known as Wally STOTT) (1924-2009) Flight By Jet [2:22]
Don GILLIS (1912-1978) Perpetual Emotion (from Symphony No. 5½ - ‘A Symphony For Fun’) [3:18]
Earle H HAGEN (1919-2008) and Herbert SPENCER (1905-1992) Silver Fizz [1:49]
Alan PERRY (pseudonym for Ernest TOMLINSON) (b 1924) Fashion Promenade [3:03]
F ANDRINI and Florian ZaBACH (1918-2006) Runaway Romance [2:08]
Margueritte Angele MONNOT (1903-1961) Enfin Le Printemps (Finally It’s Spring) [2:07]
Norrie PARAMOR (1914-1979) Hollywood Freeway [3:00]
George CATES (1911-2002) Champagne Time [1:54]
Chucho MONJE La Feria De Las Flores (The Flower Fair) (arranged by Mario Ruiz ARMENGOL) 3:22]
Rafael HERNÁNDEZ (MARIN) (1892-1965) El Cumbanchero [2:10]
Steve KIRK Swizzlesticks [2:51]
George MELACHRINO (1909-1965) Busybodies [2:51]
Bob HAYNES Road Show [2:18]
Nancy HAMILTON and Morgan LEWIS (b.1906) How High The Moon (1940) [3:19]
Vic REYNAERS Tandem Promenade [2:06]
Van PHILLIPS (1905-1992) Tom Fool [2:27]
Pierre DELANOE (1918-2006) and Gilbert BECAUD (1927-2001) Passe Ton Chemin (Pass Your Way) [3:17]
Roger ROGER (1911-1995) Through The Town (Rythme Des Rues) [2:42]
Percy FAITH (1908-1976) The Fiddling Bullfighter [2:23]

Acquaviva (BOB HAYMES), Marioi Ruyz Armengol (CHUCHO MONJE), Eddie Barclay (MONNOT), Gérard Calvi (CALVI), George Cates (CATES), Otto Cesana (CESANA), Frank Cordell (VAREL & BAILLY), Percy Faith (FAITH), PéPé Gonzalez (RAFAEL HERNANDEZ), Philip Green (CLIVE RICHARDSON), Andre Kostelanetz (RODGERS & HART), Kermit Leslie (LESLIE), Dolf van der Linden (STEVE KIRK), Ray Martin (MARTIN), David Rose (NANCY HAMILTON & MORGAN LEWIS), Boris Sarbek (DELANOE & BECAUD), all conducting their own Orchestras; Roger Roger and his Champs Elysses Orchestra (ROGER), The Connaught Light Orchestra (NORRIE PARAMOR and PHILLIPS); The Brussels New Concert Orchestra/ Vic Reynaers (REYNAERS); Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon (ANGELA MORLEY); The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino (MELACHRINO); New Symphony Orchestra of London/Don Gillis (GILLIS); The Spencer–Hagen Orchestra (HAGEN & SPENCER); The Symphonia Orchestra/Curt Andersen (FRANK CHACKSFIELD and TREVOR DUNCAN); Stuttgart Radio Orchestra/Kurt Rehfeld (RONALD HANMER, ALAN PERRY and NORMAN WHITELEY); Florian ZaBach his Violin and Orchestra (ANDRINI & ZaBACH)





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