The Golden Age of Light Music – British Cinema and Theatre Orchestras – Volume 3
Palladium Memories – Selection [8:19]
Wedding Of The Rose (Leon Jessel) [3:27]
The Grenadiers - Valse Militaire (Emile Charles Waldteufel) [3:15]
Hit The Deck – Selection (Vincent Youmans) [7:15]
Moontime (Walter R. Collins) [2:55]
Perfection (J.H. White) [2:50]
Home And Beauty – Selection (Nicholas Brodszky) [8:29]
The Busy Bee - Morceau Characteristique (Theo Bendix) [2:31]
Indian Love Lyrics (Amy Woodforde-Finden) [6:32]
Les Sylphides (Oliver Cussans real name Alfred Pratt, arr. Adolf Lotter)
The Song Of The Sea – Selection (Eduard Künneke) [7:09]
A La Gavotte (Herman Finck) [2:27]
What The Forest Whispers – Waltz (C. Zimmer) [2:58]
The Valley Of The Poppies (Charles Ancliffe) [3:14]
Serenade (Frantisek Drdla) [2:55]
Chanson (In Love) (Rudolf Friml) [2:02]
Beautiful Spring – Waltz (Paul Lincke) [3:19]
Countess Maritza – Selection (Emmerich Kálmán) [6:15]
Orchestras and conductors in order:
London Palladium Orchestra/Clifford Greenwood
Commodore Grand Orchestra/Joseph Muscant
Anton and the Paramount Theatre Orchestra featuring Al Bollington, organ
London Hippodrome Orchestra/Joe Tunbridge
London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean
Commodore Grand Orchestra/Joseph Muscant, featuring Albert Coupe, trumpet
Adelphi Theatre Orchestra/Francis Collinson
Plaza Theatre Orchestra/Frank Tours
Commodore Grand Orchestra/Joseph Muscant
London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean
His Majesty’s Theatre Orchestra/Edward Künneke
Plaza Theatre Orchestra/Frank Tours
Commodore Grand Orchestra/Joseph Muscant
London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean
Anton and the Paramount Theatre Orchestra with Al Bollington, organ
Plaza Theatre Orchestra/Frank Tours
Regal Virtuosi (Regal Cinema Orchestra)/Emanuel Starkey, featuring Sidney Torch, organ
Coventry New Hippodrome Orchestra/William Pethers
rec. 1927-39

Another GAOLM disc arrives from the fecund Guild. It covers the expected variety of performances, and introduces us to orchestras and directors and conductors of note, repute and somewhat lesser renown. As ever it’s been compiled with a sure eye and ear.

There are a number of ‘selections’ here from theatrical shows, ones that take up two sides of a 78. Almost always – unless they defeat the compilers and only one does, the Countess Maritza selection – these numbers are identified in the booklet notes, so you can identify the tune to which you’re whistling, so as not to be whistling in the dark. There is some perky authority from Clifford Greenwood and the London Palladium Orchestra, a suitably top notch aggregation with whom we start the selection. Guild has reversed the two sides of their Palladium Memories selection so that we end with the jaunty Life Begins at Oxford Circus. We can also be entertained by Anton and the Paramount Theatre Orchestra ‘featuring Al Bollington’ the organist, because their confident brio cuts a right old dash, and even Al’s woozy Wurlitzer brings period charm.

If this doesn’t grab you there’s always the selection from Vincent Youman’s show Hit the Deck – it includes Sometimes I’m Happy. The eminent conductor Richard Crean conducts Water R Collins’s Moontime – a peppy opus. And we have virtuoso trumpeter Albert Coupe (I hope he didn’t change it from Cooper) who is in galloping mood on an Edison Bell. Joseph Muscant is a big presence in this disc with four appearances, not least with the Woodforde-Finden Indian love Lyrics which are breezily orchestrated and played with – to be frank – fruity confidence on another Edison-Bell. He also conducts a genial and very attractive waltz by Zimmer called What the Forest Whispers. There are some saucy classical quotations in the music from Künneke’s show The Song of the Sea; there’s also an evocative violin solo and a saxophone one too.

Drdla’s Serenade is a highly welcome piece in the line-up; it’s played by Anton once again. The Plaza Theatre fiddlers are on tremulous form for their outing in Friml’s Chanson (in love) and the short-lived Regal Virtuosi shine on Lincke’s Beautiful Waltz.

The transfers are smooth and clean, though rather more airless than I like. But the booklet is full of great gen as always.

Jonathan Woolf