The Golden Age of Light Music: Confetti
Full track listing at end of review
Stereo: tracks 2-6, 8, 10-13, 15, 16: rest in mono. ADD
Dates refer to recording, not composition.
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5175 [78:04]
The liner-notes give a very good description of what this CD is all about: it is worth quoting: ‘The word ‘confetti’ describes small pieces of paper, of various shapes and colours, often thrown by guests at weddings. In musical terms it can equally apply to an assortment of pieces in different styles, conveying a variety of moods and emotions. In other words, almost a haphazard collection of tunes with no particular theme, except perhaps that they are all a little different.’
One of the delights of the Golden Age of Light Music series is the fact that the compilers have endeavoured to ‘theme’ each successive release. Inevitably, they came across many pieces of music that did not quite ‘fit’ with the chosen topics. Yet it would have been a pity to have ignored these numbers, so Confetti, like Kaleidoscope before it, aims to ‘sweep up’ some of these ‘lost’ works. It is a job well done.
This is not music that needs to be analysed: its raison d’être is simply to be enjoyed. However there is an interesting balance between composers who are well-known to the average listener and those that are only celebrated by the light music specialist or enthusiast. One surprise is Market Day by Wilfred Josephs, a composer who is perhaps better known for his concert, film and television scores. Yet this jolly piece from the late fifties, is both enjoyable and well-wrought: it certainly succeeds in providing a good mental image of its subject.
Other big names include Robert Farnon’s imaginative Manhattan Playboy – who would not like to be associated with this glamorous character? Frederic Curzon’s Mischief is exactly that: a little piece that is slightly naughty but not wicked.
How does one listen to this CD? I guess that it is like a finger buffet: a little nibble here and there. It would be a pity to just through-play this disc with no reference to the track listing. Some of the joys of light music are the titles and the moods that they can evoke in an imaginative mind. Who will not be impressed by romantic notions such as Violins in Velvet, Musik Klingt Durch Die Nacht (Music sounds through the night) and Confetti? Or there are the topographical images of Via Amalfi, Utopia Road, Champs Elysées Café with romantic tune accordion and car horns, and the previously mentioned Market Day? Then there are the novelty numbers such as Who Killed Cock Robin? Bees a Buzzin’, Bluebell Polka and Treble Chance. And finally Joey’s Song pushes gently towards a soft Rock and Roll complete with electric guitar.
And then the musicals are not ignored on this CD: Rodgers and Hammerstein contribute Getting to Know You, Cole Porter is represented with I Concentrate on You and the music for the show Dear Miss Phoebe is by Harry Parr-Davies.
A number of delightful dance numbers include Camerata’s Pizzicato Rumba, Joseph Kuhn’s Montevideo Bolero and F. Stanley’s Bluebell Polka. There are many other pieces that make up this smorgasbord of delights
Yet it is the overall ambience of virtually all of this music that will appeal to most listeners. It is a subtle balance between well-crafted music, a feeling of lost innocence, a mood of joyfulness and happiness and an appeal to the imagination that characterises this music. On all these accounts this is a highly successful and enjoyable disc.
A subtle balance of well-crafted music, lost innocence, joyfulness and happiness and imagination.
Full track listing:
Bronislau KAPER Confetti (1958) [2:18] MGM Studio Orchestra Conducted by Johnny Green.
Joseph KUHN Champs Elysées Café (1957) [3:31] Paris Theatre Orchestra
Robert FARNON Manhattan Playboy (1959) [2:30] Leslie Jones and his Orchestra of London
Grigori DINICU; Jascha HEIFETZ, arr. Morton GOULD Hora Staccato (1958) [3:11] Morton Gould and his Orchestra
HARTEL; WOLTMANN Musik Klingt Durch Die Nacht (1959) [3:05] Hans Georg Arlt and his orchestra
Jimmy MCHUGH; Al DUBIN, arr. Robert FARNON In My Memoirs (1958) [2:21] Robert Farnon and his orchestra (LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’)
Francis LOPEZ, arr. Percy FAITH Lina (1954) [2:49] Percy Faith and his Orchestra with Mitch Miller, oboe and cor anglais
Cole PORTER arr. Conrad SALINGER I Concentrate On You (1958) [2:42] (from “Broadway Melody of 1940”), Conrad Salinger Orchestra Conducted by Buddy Bregman
Salvatore ‘Tutti’ CAMARATA Pizzicato Rhumba (1952) [3:21] Music by Camarata
Guido VIEZZOLI Nota Per Nota (1957) [2:58] George Melachrino conducting the Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival
Joseph KUHN Via Amalfi (1959) [3:04] Roberto Rossani and his Orchestra
Richard RODGERS; Oscar HAMMERSTEIN, arr. William Hill BOWEN Getting To Know You from “The King And I” (1958) [2:45] William Hill Bowen and his Orchestra
Joseph KUHN Montevideo Bolero (1959) [2:41] Dolores Ventura, Piano and the Carnival Orchestra
F. STANLEY, arr. Ron GOODWIN Bluebell Polka (1955) [2:21] Ron Goodwin and his Concert Orchestra
Joe REISMAN Joey’s Song (1957) [2:11] Joe Reisman and his Orchestra
Joseph J. LEAHY; Abe OLMAN Twice Around the Island (1957) [2:02] David Carroll and his Orchestra
Edrich SIEBERT Bees-A-Buzzin’ (1953) [2:10] Dolf Van Der Linden and his Orchestra
Frederic CURZON Mischief (1946) [2:20] New Century Orchestra conducted by Sidney Torch
Cyril WATTERS Gadabout (1954) [2:18] Dolf Van Der Linden and his Orchestra
Dolf Van Der LINDEN Utopia Road (1954) [2:25] Dolf Van Der Linden and his Orchestra (‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
Leslie BEGUELEY Violins In Velvet (1949) [3:00] Bosworth String Orchestra conducted by Louis Voss
Wilfred JOSEPHS Market Day (1958) [2:55] New Concert Orchestra Conducted by Cedric Dumont
Peter DENNIS Treble Chance (1954) [2:48] Dolf Van Der Linden and his Orchestra (‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
George FRENCH Parade Of the Champions (1954) [3:02] Dolf Van Der Linden and his Metropole Orchestra
L. E. DE FRANCESCO Florella (1959) [1:48] Grosvenor Studio Orchestrra
Trad, arr. Paul FENOULHET Who Killed Cock Robin? (1958) [3:15] Stuttgart Radio Orchestra Conducted by Kurt Rehfeld (‘Crawford Light Orchestra’ on disc label)
Harry PARR-DAVIES Dear Miss Phoebe– Selection (1951) [6:50] ‘Whisper While You Waltz’, ‘Spring Will Sing A Song For You’, ‘Living A Dream’, ‘March Of The Red Coats’, ‘I Can’t Resist The Music,’ ‘All’s Well Tonight’, ‘When Will You Marry Me’, ‘I Leave My Heart In An English Garden.’ Tom Jenkins and his Palm Court Orchestra