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

War and Peace – Light Music of the 1940s; The Golden Age of Light Music
rec. 1942-49
GUILD GLCD 5171 [78:50]

Experience Classicsonline

Down The Mall - John Belton, real names Tony Lowry and Douglas Brownsmith [2:29]
Charles Shadwell and his orchestra
Stardust - Hoagy Carmichael, arr. Percy Faith [3:12]
Percy Faith and his orchestra
Footlights - Eric Coates [4:11]
Light Symphony Orchesrtra/Eric Coates
Spitfire Fugue - from the film “The First Of The Few”- William Walton [4:07]
Halle Orchestra/ William Walton; Laurance Turner (solo violin)
A Cocktail Of Happiness - Wynford Reynolds [2:56]
Wynford Reynolds and his orchestra
Girls In Grey – Charles Williams [2:35]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams
Humoresque - Antonin Dvorák [2:34]
David Rose and his orchestra
“El Alamein” - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - Albert Arlen, born Albert Aarons [7:45]
Jack Payne and his orchestra with Peggy Cochrane (piano)
On A Spring Note - Sidney Torch, real name Sidney Torchinsky [2:51]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Sidney Torch
Boogie Woogie Moonshine from the film “Piccadilly Incident” [3:41]
Louis Levy and his ‘Music from the Movies’; Henry Bronkhurst (piano)
Voice Of Industry; March - Jack Beaver [2:45]
The New Century Orchestra/Sidney Torch
Willie The Whistler - Robert Farnon [2:14]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams
Starlight Roof Waltz - George Melachrino [2:56]
The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino
A Matter Of Life And Death; Prelude from the film - Allan Gray, real name Josef Zmigrod [4:01]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams
Olympic Games March - Ronald Hanmer [2:57]
The New Century Orchestra/Sidney Torch
The Fairy And The Fiddlers - Edward White [3:26]
New Concert Orchestra/Jay Wilbur
Bonaventure - Frederic Curzon [2:55]
New Concert Orchestra/Frederic Curzon
American Serenade - Louis Alter [4:09]
Meredith Willson and his orchestra
Marche Fantastique - Leighton Lucas [3:10]
Leighton Lucas and his orchestra
Short Overture To An Unwritten Opera - Don Gillis [4:07]
New Concert Orchestra/Rae Jenkins
Royal Cavalcade - Albert William Ketèlbey [2:42]
The Louis Voss Grand Orchestra
Lullaby Of The Bells; Piano Concerto from the film “The Phantom Of The Opera” - Edward Ward [5:55]
Mantovani and his concert orchestra featuring Guy Fletcher (piano)

Still they come, like an onslaught, like the musical equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (but in a good way). The biggest Light Music catalogue around regularly plunders the vast vaults of the genre, and invariably returns with schematically interesting and enjoyable compilations. My initial weariness – I’ve reviewed so many – proves to be transient as the maestros behind the project know how to concoct things, and occasionally, just occasionally, come up with quixotic juxtapositions to keep things alert and alive.
This disc, for instance, consists of pieces recorded between 1942 and ’49. It opens in assured and breezy fashion with Down The Mall, essayed with panache by Charles Shadwell and his fine aggregation. By way of immediate contrast Percy Faith turns lush on Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust, the rich orchestration luxuriating in nuances. Into this company strides Eric Coates, still a master, who conducts his genially unbuttoned Footlights. Another leading British composer also slips in, namely Walton whose Spitfire Fugue might seem to be an odd choice for this genre, but it has film music status, and kudos for lifting the spirits. Marginal though, in my view, whether it really fits. A good opus for upping productivity levels is A Cocktail Of Happiness recorded, appropriately, on the Decca ‘Music While You Work’ label.
Charles Williams has been an assured and reassuring presence throughout many of the discs in this long series. Once again his Imperial credentials cannot be faulted; his Girls In Grey is a self-confident march with a hint of braggadocio. Those girls knew their worth. Art Tatum jazzed Dvorák’s Humoresque, but here David Rose smooches it; plenty of pizzicati for this immortal standard. The British were very good in the 40s at pocket piano concertos predicated on Rachmaninovian lines – the so-called Denham Concerto. The list is long. However El Alamein - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, is by Albert Arlen, born Albert Aarons, and commemorative of the battle, not a piece of film music. It was premiered by pianist Phil French and conductor Hugo Rignold in 1944. Brass calls, thudding percussion (imitative of shell thuds, I assume), and the Reveille, all make their appearances in a work that may be unsophisticated but packs a deeper punch when one acknowledges the circumstances of its composition. Peggy Cochrane, erstwhile violinist and here pianist, is the soloist, and Jack Payne conducts.
Once again we have an immediate contrast via the succeeding On A Spring Note by Sidney Torch(insky) which is insouciant and jaunty. Things get even more brazen when Boogie Woogie Moonshine is unveiled, film music (by Louis Levy?) that goes in for all sorts of hi-jinks including Big Band swing, Original Dixieland Jazz Band horse whinnying, Moonlight sonata counterpoint, and You are My Sunshine quotations. Weird. Louis Armstrong once recorded a song called Willie the Weeper but Robert Farnon concocted Willie The Whistler which is a noble march tune. We also have the prelude to the film music for A Matter of Life and Death written by Allan Gray, whose real name was Josef Zmigrod. The theme of the imperial march recurs however, this time in the shape of Frederic Curzon’s very Elgarian Bonaventure, with its Pomp and Circumstance affiliations. There’s a touch of Percy Grainger in Leighton Lucas’s Marche Fantastique. Meanwhile Don Gillis’s Short Overture To An Unwritten Opera could have slotted in nicely to Guild’s Lightly Classical album, recently released – it’s typically witty. We end with another pocket piano concerto, this time by Edward Ward, whose film music for “The Phantom of the Opera” is heard in a performance by pianist Guy Fletcher with the redoubtable Mantovani on the rostrum.
This well engineered selection has the usual alpha-level notes.
Jonathan Woolf

























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.