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July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
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June 2022

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CD: Crotchet

The Golden Age of Light Music - A Box of Light Musical Allsorts
rec. 1951-58
GUILD GLCD5157 [77:51]


CD: Crotchet

The Golden Age of Light Music - That's Light Musical Entertainment
rec. 1950-58
GUILD GLCD5158 [78:29] 


Experience Classicsonline

The Golden Age of Light Music - A Box of Light Musical Allsorts
Arthur SULLIVAN My Object All Sublime (from 'The Hot Mikado' arr. Robert Farnon)
Robert Farnon and his Orchestra - rec. 1958 [3:08]
Felton RAPLEY Southern Holiday
The Connaught Light Orchestra - rec. 1958 [2:54]
Werner MÜLLER Take Me To Your Heart
Werner Müller and his Orchestra (as 'Ricardo Santos') - rec. 1958 [2:54]
Norrie PARAMOR Three-Two-One-Zero
Eric Jupp and his Orchestra - rec. 1957 [2:13]
Georges KOGER/Georges ULMER Pigalle
Boris Sarbek and his Orchestra - rec. 1956 [1:51]
Clive RICHARDSON Mannequin Melody
Queen's Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon - rec. 1958 [2:49]
Alfred NEWMAN 'A Letter To Three Wives' Film music
Alfred Newman and his Orchestra - rec. 1956 [3:17]
Angela MORLEY A Canadian In Mayfair
Sidney Torch and his Orchestra - rec. 1953 [3:00]
Richard RODGERS Thou Swell
André Kostelanetz and his Orchestra - rec. 1955 [2:12]
Ken JONES/Chris ARMSTRONG Vendetta
Ray Martin and his Orchestra - rec. 1951 [2:25]
John McGREGOR Military Samba
Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra - rec. 1954 [1:53]
Charles WILLIAMS Let's Go Shopping
Danish State Radio Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon - rec. 1957 [2:37]
Donald PHILLIPS Concerto In Jazz
The Melachrino Orchestra conducted by George Melachrino Featuring Pat Dodd, piano - rec. 1958 [7:04]
Andy THURLOW Super Six
Grosvenor Studio Orchestra conducted by Dolf Van Der Linden - rec. 1958 [2:02]
Angela MORLEY Casbah
Queen's Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Angela Morley - 1958 [2:53]
Eric COOK Polka Dot
The New Concert Orchestra conducted by Cedric Dumont 1957 [2:15]
Alexander BORODIN arr. Percy FAITH Rahadlakum (from 'Kismet')
Percy Faith and his Orchestra - 1954 [3:08]
Eric WINSTONE The Happy Hippo
The Connaught Light Orchestra - rec. 1958 [2:42]
Eric COATES The Three Bears - Fantasy
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras - rec. 1956 [9:17]
Wilfred BURNS Melody In Moccasins
Philip Green and his Orchestra - rec. 1952 [2:23]
Cecil MILNER Fly Past
Danish State Radio Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon - rec. 1951 [1:21]
Horace DANN Worcester Beacon
London Promenade Orchestra conducted by Walter Collins - rec. 1946 [3:07]
Trevor DUNCAN St. Boniface Down
Stuttgart Radio Orchestra conducted by Kurt Rehfeld - rec. 1957 [6:31]
Noel COWARD London Pride (arr. Angela Morley)
Angela Morley And Her Orchestra - rec. 1958 [2:58]



The Golden Age of Light Music - That's Light Musical Entertainment
Arthur SCHWARTZ/Howard DIETZ That's Entertainment (from 'The Band Wagon') (Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz - arr. Conrad Salinger)
Conrad Salinger Orchestra conducted by Buddy Bregman - rec. 1958 [2:09]
Robert FARNON Westminster Waltz
Angela Morley And Her Orchestra (as 'Wally Stott') - rec. 1958 [3:06]
Mitchell PARISH/Heinz ROEMHELD Ruby (from the film 'Ruby Gentry') arr. Percy Faith
Percy Faith and his Orchestra - rec. 1954 [6:29]
Franz LEHÁR Waltzes from 'Count Of Luxembourg'
Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra - 1955 [3:01]
George MELACHRINO All My Life (Theme from film 'Eight O'Clock Walk') (George Melachrino)
Geraldo And His New Concert Orchestra - rec. 1954 [3:29]
Richard RODGERS This Can't Be Love (from the musical 'The Boys From Syracuse')
Richard Hayman and his Orchestra - rec. 1956 [1:41]
Gus KAHN/Isham JONES I'll See You In My Dreams (featured in the film 'I'll See You in My Dreams') arr. Ronald Binge
Ronald Binge and his Orchestra - rec. 1957 [2:47]
Johnny BURKE/James VAN HEUSEN - But Beautiful (from the film 'The Road To Rio')
Glenn Osser and his Orchestra - rec. 1955 [3:08]
Alfred NEWMAN 'All About Eve' Film Music
Alfred Newman and his Orchestra - rec. 1956 [3:28]
Robert FARNON Blue Theme (featured in the film 'True Lies')
The All-Stars - rec. 1957 [3:13]
Hugh MARTIN/Ralph BLANE Love (from the film 'Ziegfeld Follies')
André Kostelanetz and his Orchestra - rec. 1954 [1:42]
Sigmund ROMBERG 'The Girl In Pink Tights' - Overture arr. Robert Farnon
Orchestra conducted by Sylvan Levin - rec. 1954 [3:29]
Harry WARREN This Heart Of Mine (from the film 'Ziegfeld Follies')
The Melachrino Orchestra conducted by George Melachrino - rec. 1953 [2:41]
M. PRADO/B. SANCRISTOBAL Time Was (original title Duerme) arr. Mario Ruiz Armengol
Mario Ruiz Armengol and his Orchestra - rec. 1956 [3:29]
Richard RODGERS Here In My Arms (from the musical 'Dearest Enemy') arr. Richard Jones
The Pittsburgh Strings conducted by Richard Jones - rec. 1957 [2:20]
Hugh MARTIN/Ralph BLANE Buckle Down, Winsocki (from the musical 'Best Foot Forward')
Hill Bowen and his Orchestra - rec. 1958 [2:20]
Johnny GREEN Body and Soul (from the revue 'Three's A Crowd')
Morton Gould and his Orchestra - rec. 1950 [2:46]
Jerome KERN Make Believe (from the musical 'Show Boat')
Geoff Love and his Orchestra - rec. 1957 [2:16]
Sergei RACHMANINOFF arr. William HILL-BOWEN Theme from Piano Concerto No. 2 (featured in the film 'Brief Encounter')
The Melachrino Orchestra conducted by George Melachrino featuring Arthur Sandford, piano - rec. 1958 [2:56]
Frank PERKINS Waltz For My Lady
Frank Perkins and his Orchestra - rec. 1954 [2:26]
Frank DE VOL Inspiration Point
Frank De Vol and his Orchestra - rec. 1950 [2:47]
Leroy HOLMES Enchanted Night
Leroy Holmes and his Orchestra - rec. 1955 [3:08]
Harold ARLEN Come Rain Or Come Shine (from the musical 'St Louis Woman')
David Rose and his Orchestra - rec. 1954 [3:17]
Max STEINER 'Since You Went Away' Incidental Music from the film
Max Steiner and his Orchestra - rec. 1954 [9:23]


I’ve reviewed a shelf-load of Guild’s voluminous Light Music series, and there are always good things to discover. There is so much music around that it’s a question of collating it in enterprising and programmatically and thematically interesting ways – and that Guild invariably does.

There are two discs to consider here. A Box of Light Musical Allsorts is the first. My object all sublime is played and arranged by Robert Farnon with his Orchestra, a sort of Farnon does G&S spectacular, a big showy affair with tap dancing too. If Farnon could have a managed a kitchen sink I think he would have tried. Southern Holiday is perhaps more the expected fare, played by the Connaught Light Orchestra on the Conroy label – though it’s a tad on the pleasantly innocuous side of things. Werner Müller unveils a solo violin against skittering strings – a really luscious, exotic feel – in Take Me To Your Heart though he’s followed by Eric Jupp whose band has a rather ants-in-their-pants feel in Three-Two-One-Zero – a sassy effects laden number with fade ending.

If it’s an accordion we’re in Paris and Boris Sarbek sees to that in Pigalle. Farnon returns for a lovely character study, pizzicato-fed, called Mannequin Melody, played by the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra and composed by that versatile maestro, Clive Richardson. Talking of Farnon there’s a peppy tribute to him by Wally Stott called A Canadian in Mayfair played with suitable brio by Sidney Torch and his orchestra. Even better perhaps is the languorous warmth and unhurried sophistication of the Hollywood elite, in the shape of Alfred Newman and his orchestra, playing the film music to A Letter To Three Wives. It oozes class from every pore.

You can let your hair down – or let anything else you care to – with Edmundo Ros doing the Military Samba. Or if you prefer you can partake of the Gershwin pastiche that is Concerto in Jazz played by Pat Dodd (fine dance band and jazz player) and Melachrino. Dodd boogies on down adeptly. Perhaps I should be more censorious of the cod-exotica enshrined in Casbah by Wally Stott (aka Angela Morley) and played by the same. Only I can’t – it’s great fun. Borodin gets the Percy Faith treatment in Rahadlakum (from Kismet) and then we’re back on the path again for Eric Coates, courtesy of Charles Mackerras’s famous old recording of The Three Bears, a work that shows Coates’s very real admiration for contemporary American music. But if you tire of that there’s always the ‘pizzicato and smile, dear!’ charms of Melody In Moccasins (great title) essayed by Philip Green’s orchestra.

Bigger things are enshrined however in Horace Dann’s Worcester Beacon, a volubly Elgarian opus, a sort of mini-Cockaigne cum P and C march that hits the spot very nicely indeed. This is followed, in an imaginatively programmed diptych of classically-inspired pieces, by Trevor Duncan’s St. Boniface Down. Duncan’s real name was Leonard Trebilco by the way. This is a compound of Holst and VW, a lovely set piece lasting over six minutes – romantic, allusive and intriguing. Did he try his hand at larger scale tone poem writing?  

That's Light Musical Entertainment is the second disc – they’re available singly by the way. The curtain comes up in fine, brash style courtesy of That's Entertainment (from The Band Wagon) and we lead onto the evergreen lyricism courtesy of Farnon’s Westminster Waltz. Rachmaninoff stalks the piano writing of Ruby from Ruby Gentry – Percy Faith and his orchestra are the bringers of rich wind lines and strongly evocative string solos. Since the disc explores show tunes and the like there are plenty of popular items here, from the dappled melancholia of All My Life – the theme from the film Eight O'Clock Walk - to the lightly tripping This Can't Be Love.

Instrumentation and arrangement are at their most sumptuous in the All About Eve film music, played by Alfred Newman and his orchestra – and as in the previous volume this is a Rolls Royce performance. One wonders at the identity of the unnamed saxophone soloist in the band known simply as The All Stars. He plays on Blue Theme, a Farnon theme for the film True Lies in 1957; excellent playing indeed. Here In My Arms (from the musical Dearest Enemy) is arranged by Richard Jones who conducts The Pittsburgh Strings for Capitol, and it proves vibrant and enticing, whereas there’s the ultra-plus romance of Morton Gould’s take on Body and Soul to warm one. For more explicit tear-jerking there is always the Melachrino Orchestra reprising the Brief Encounter moment (Rach 2) – this time Arthur Sandford is the pianist. The most extensive track is the last, Since You Went Away composed by Max Steiner and played by him and his orchestra for Capitol in 1954, and there is plenty of rich incident and caprice along the way.

It ends a pleasing selection, indeed two pleasing selections. With the usual fine and extensive liner-notes it’s really a question of what takes one’s fancy, repertoire-wise.


Jonathan Woolf

  See also review by Nick Barnard



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