One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

The Golden Age of Light Music
War and Peace, Light Music of the 1940s
See complete list of tracks and performes after the review.
Re–issues of 78rpm records recorded between 1940 and 1949 ADD
GUILD GLCD 5171 [78:50]

Experience Classicsonline

Yet another marvellous collection from Guild! Such variety and so much to enjoy. As I have said before, for me, the joy of light music is the perfectly conceived, and executed, orchestral miniature. Here we get not only a deal of those, and for that I am most grateful, but also three Piano Concertos!

It’s hard to know where to start but I give full marks for Charles Williams’s Girls In Grey, a marvellously up–tempo march written for the Women’s Junior Air Corps, and subsequently used as the title music for the BBC’s Television Newsreel. Of the three other marches included, Jack Beaver gives us Voice Of Industry, jaunty and with a slight Eric Coates feel to it. Ronald Hanmer’s Olympic Games March was written for the last Olympics held in England, and it was also the last Olympic Games where there was a prize for musical composition – I believe that this was one of the original ideas of the modern Olympics, and one which successive philistinistic Governments probably couldn’t wait to drop; Polish composer Zbigniew Turski won the last composition prize with his Sinfonia olimpica – and it is full of idealism and bags of optimistic spirits. Leighton Lucas’s Marche Fantastique is a more easy-going piece with a Vaughan Williams sound to it – why is this delightful piece not heard?

After these pieces, the music falls into three categories, works by lesser known composers, works by very well known composers and the Concertos. Of the first category, Louis Alther’s American Serenade is a piece of languid mood music, John Belton’s Down The Mall is a bright and breezy night out of a piece, which contrasts well with Allan Gray’s ominous Prelude to A Matter of Life and Death. Of this group, I found Wynford Reynold’s A Cocktail of Happiness totally irresistible – the xylophone solo and sub–Stéphane Garppelli fiddle adding to the gaiety – and Don Gillis’s Short Overture is a real winner, mixing some cowboy fiddling, with a bit of Hindemith and a wild rumba. Fabulous stuff! If you like Morton Gould’s Latin American Symphonette, then this is for you.

Of the well known composers, Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust gets a very discrete arrangement from Percy Faith (this is how these great songs should be arranged, with subtlety and great care), and you’d have to be light on your feet to dance to Eric Coates’s brisk waltz Footlights! I welcome any work by Frederic Curzon, for we hear too little of him, and his Bonaventure is a nice mix of Elgarian pageantry and Oldye England à la Korngold in Robin Hood mode. Dvorák’s innocent little Humoresque becomes a real good time girl in David Rose’s hands – splendid – and Willie the Whistler turns up like Till Eulenspiegel, thumbing his nose at all and sundry. Back to pageantry, but of a jovial kind, with Ketèlbey’s Royal Cavalcade, showing how his work, whilst slightly out of vogue during this time, had kept up with changes in taste and style. Melachrino’s justly famous, and very spritely, Starlight Roof Waltz comes from the revue Starlight Roof, which gave the stage debut to a young Julie Andrews. Sidney Torch’s On a Spring Note is a cheeky little morsel, and Edward White’s The Fairy And The Fiddlers is a charming piece of whimsy. To end this selection the music which accompanies the building of the Spitfire from Walton’s score for The First of the Few, in its concert adaptation, in a very boisterous interpretation by the composer – my only complaint is that we weren’t given the stunning Prelude as well. Finally, we come to the three Concertos, which aren’t Concertos in the classical sense. Australian Albert Arlen, after training at the New South Wales State Conservatorium and the École Normale de Musique de Paris, came to London and worked in the West End as an actor whilst continuing to compose. In 1939 he joined the RAF and saw action in Middle and Far East, which inspired him to write his El Alamein Concerto. It’s a one movement work in the manner of the Warsaw Concerto or Clive Richardson’s London Fantasia. There’s much bravura writing for the soloist, as well as a section in the middle where the Last Post is sounded on they keyboard to the accompaniment of drums, obviously as a memorial to those who fell in the North African campaign. Boogie Woogie Moonshine lacks details of composer or arranger but it contains the song You Are My Sunshine as well as part of the Moonlight Sonata which appears with a boogie bass. If only Beethoven had thought of that himself, he wouldn’t have wanted for money later in life. Finally, Edward Ward’s Lullaby Of The Bells, an original work from the film The Phantom Of The Opera where most of the music consisted of arrangements of Chopin and Tchaikovsky. As with the El Alamein Concerto this packs a lot into a small space, not least, some fine, and exciting, fast music, balanced by quiet and atmospheric interludes.

So ends this survey of light music and I found it one of the most satisfying and enjoyable of all Guild’s issues so far in this series. Here are a set of records of impeccable standard, and indeed, it’s amazing to hear these records sounding so fresh and lifelike. The transfers are superb, and there has been no compromising of the upper sound range by removing the 78 crackle. Good notes and great presentation. What more could you want?

Bob Briggs

See also review by Jonathan Woolf

John BELTON (pseudonym for Tony LOWRY and Douglas BROWNSMITH (1902 – 1965)) Down The Mall [2:29]
Hoagy CARMICHAEL (1899 – 1981) Stardust (arranged by Percy FAITH (1908 – 1976)) [3:12]
Eric COATES (1886 – 1957) Footlights [4:11]
William WALTON (1902 – 1983) Spitfire Fugue (from the film The First Of The Few) (1942) [4:07]
Wynford REYNOLDS: A Cocktail Of Happiness [2:56]
Charles WILLIAMS (1893 – 1978) Girls In Grey [2:35]
Antonin DVORÁK (1841 – 1904) Humoresque [2:34]
Albert ARLEN (1905 – 1993) El Alamein – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1944) [7:45]
Sidney TORCH (pseudonym for Sidney TORCHINSKY (1908 – 1990)) On a Spring Note [2:51]
UNKNOWN: Boogie Woogie Moonshine from the film Piccadilly Incident (1946) [3:41]
Jack BEAVER: Voice Of Industry – March [2:45]
Robert FARNON (1917 – 2005) Willie the Whistler [2:14]
George MELACHRINO (1909 – 1965) Starlight Roof Waltz (1947) [2:56]
Allan GRAY (pseudonym for Josef ZMIGROD (1902 – 1973)) Prelude from the film A Matter of Life and Death (1946) [4:01]
Ronald HANMER (1917 – 1974) Olympic Games March (1948) [2:57]
Edward WHITE (1910 – 1984) The Fairy And The Fiddlers [3:26]
Frederic CURZON (1899 – 1973) Bonaventure [2:55]
Louis ALTER (1902 – 1980) American Serenade [4:09]
Leighton LUCAS (1903 – 1982) Marche Fantastique [3:10]
Don GILLIS (1912-1978) Short Overture To An Unwritten Opera [4:07]
Albert William KETÈLBEY (1875 – 1959) Royal Cavalcade [2:42]
Edward WARD (1900 – 1971) Lullaby of the Bells – Piano Concerto from the film The Phantom Of The Opera (1943) [5:55]

Percy Faith (Stardust), Leighton Lucas (Marche Fantastique), Wynford Reynolds (A Cocktail of Happiness), David Rose (Humoresque), Charles Shadwell (Down The Mall), Meredith Willson (American Serenade) all conducting “his” Orchestra”; Henry Bronkhurst (piano), Louis Levy and his Music from the Movies (Boogie Woogie Moonshine); Peggy Cochrane (piano), Jack Payne and his Orchestra (El Alamein); Guy Fletcher (piano), Mantovani and his Concert Orchestra (Lullaby Of The Bells);
Hallé Orchestra/William Walton (Spitfire Fugue); Light Symphony Orchestra/Eric Coates (Footlights); The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino (Starlight Roof Waltz); The New Century Orchestra/Sidney Torch (Olympic Games March and Voice of Industry); The New Concert Orchestra/Frederic Curzon (Bonaventure); The New Concert Orchestra/Rae Jenkins (Short Overture); The New Concert Orchestra/Jay Wilbur (The Fairy and the Fiddlers); Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Sidney Torch (On A Spring Note); Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams (Girls In Grey. A Matter Of Life And Death and Willie The Whistler); The Louis Voss Grand Orchestra (Royal Cavalcade)











































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.