The Golden Age of Light Music – Magical Melodies
Melody Fair [2:28]
Leslie Jones and his Orchestra
Loveliest Of The Lovely [3:53]
101 Strings/Rudolf Friml
Carnival Tango [2:38]
Dolores Ventura, piano, and the Carnaval Orchestra
Autumn Nocturne [3:44]
John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra
Warum Nur, Warum? (Why Just Why?) [2:22]
Hans Georg Arlt and his Orchestra
Long Ago And Far Away [3:39]
The Conrad Salinger Orchestra/Buddy Bregman
I've Got My Eyes On You [2:02]
Victor Silvester and his Silver Strings
Mam'selle [3:37]
John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra
Lullaby Of Broadway [2:41]
Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra
I'm Thru With Love [3:19]
Paul Weston and his Orchestra
Lovely Lady [2:36]
The Melachrino Strings/George
While We're Young [3:07]
Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra
If I Loved You [3:49]
Geoff Love and his Orchestra
Return To Paradise (film theme) [6:39]
Percy Faith and his Orchestra
Underneath Tahitian Skies [3:30]
Dolf van der Linden and his Orchestra
Too Soon [2:33]
Bruce Campbell and his Orchestra
Mine At Last [2:50]
Otto Cesana and his Orchestra
Scalinatella (Stay After School) [2:13]
Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra
Spring In Montmartre [2:26]
Mantovani and his Orchestra
Tonight [2:57]
David Carroll and his Orchestra
I'll Take Romance [2:58]
David Rose and his Orchestra
Eva Waltz [2:43]
Harry Horlick and his Orchestra (as 'Rene Savard' on disc label)
On The Isle Of May (based on the Andante Cantabile from Tchaikovsky's Quartet in D Major) [2:49]
Frank de Vol and his Orchestra
Without A Song [3:02]
Robert Farnon and his Orchestra
Midnight In Paris (from the film 'Here's To Romance') 2:48
Lewis Williams and his Orchestra
rec. 1942-11959
It must be getting increasingly tricky to think up new titles for Guild’s Light Music marque. This one is ‘Magical Melodies’ and whilst I can’t quite agree on the magical quality of all the selected tracks I will happily concede that a good number are magical enough to pass muster.
As always the compilers and programmers ensure that there is a selection of orchestras and conductors, composers and arrangers. But the astute will also note that the big name boys are here; Farnon, Mantovani, Rose, Kostelanetz, Melachrino, Chacksfield, Trotter, Weston et al.
Let me first extol the virtues of Rudolf Friml. The 79 year old was coaxed into the studios to record some of his pieces and we hear one example, a slow, gorgeously phrased Loveliest Of The Lovely with the orchestra known as the 101 Strings. The Dvorák pupil lavishes great affection on his engulfing opus and the rich cantilena – with so much time to breathe – is a real example of how to phrase with breadth but not to lose an underling pulse. By contrast one could also note the glutinous sax in the bluesy opus that is Autumn Nocturne.
I’ve never really associated Hans Georg Arlt with anything overly snazzy – in fact his performances often annoy the bejasus out of me – but Warum Nur, Warum? is, for him, quite sassy. Jolly is the word I’d employ to characterise I've Got My Eyes On You as performed by Victor Silvester and his Silver Strings – Light Music does encourage these sibilant names. By contrast Frank Chacksfield, a master of his craft, ensures that we have a retro drum-kit on hand in the period touches of Lullaby Of Broadway – here it’s 1959 going on 1927. There’s a fine arrangement of I'm Thru With Love in which Paul Weston does the honours and Kostelanetz sports some virtuosic wind players in his outing. There’s a whimsical piece of geographical programming – Return to Paradise is immediately followed by Underneath Tahitian Skies. I wish Bruce Campbell might have dispensed with insistent percussion in Too Soon, because it’s otherwise a sensitive arrangement. David Rose is typically elegant, Harry Horlick’s Eva Waltz is a bit too spick and span, but Farnon’s Without A Song is simply terrific.
It’s worth adding that the booklet notes are as good as ever and that the transfers are glitch-free.
Jonathan Woolf
The big name boys are here ... see Full Review