Cole PORTER (1891-1964)
A Tribute to Cole Porter – Cole Porter Sessions
82 Songs (1912 to 1956) including two world premiere recordings: Longing For Dear Old Broadway and When All’s Said and Done
Track-listing at end of review
Wilfried Van den Brande (bass baritone vocalist)
J. Machtel Quartet
Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra/Dirk M. Baert
rec Meistersinger Hall, Nuremberg, Germany, April 2009 and March 2010, Studio, The Location, Antwerp, Belgium April 2010
SWELLS PRODUCTIONS [5 CDs: 43:43 + 39:59 + 45:35 + 34:37 + 57:00]

What genius Cole Porter had and had in abundance. There are so many gorgeous tunes and so many exquisitely romantic and witty lyrics putting today’s music of this genre well and truly in the shade. Not surprisingly it was all based on a firm grounding in classical European styles.

This new collection, unusually, comes from a combination of today’s European talent, a German orchestra conducted by Belgian-born Baert and a Belgian vocalist. Take a look at the Cole Porter discography there are far too few modern recordings of his music. Has it really ever gone out of fashion?

Wilfried Van den Brande brings enthusiasm, dedication and scholarship to this project such that he convinced the Cole Porter Trustees in New York and sang Porter at Carnegie Hall. He sings in a convincing American vernacular with very good pronunciation.

The 5 CDs each in a slim slipcase come with minimal notes – just a list of the songs and the shows in which they were performed. Instead you are directed to the set’s associated web site Here you will find a treasure trove of information about Porter including lots of photos, plus photos and videos about the making of these discs. These include shots in New York’s Waldorf Astoria where Cole Porter lived (1934-64). You can also see his Steinway Grand Piano that still stands in the Hotel’s Cocktail Terrace.

To the music. Baert’s orchestra is spirited and romantic as they play arrangements created in the spirit of Cole Porter and his era. Van den Brande has an urbane debonair manner, delivering the songs with an engaging insouciance - one might almost imagine you are hearing Porter himself - a voice with a smile in it. The J. Machtel Quartet swing their numbers attractively and add a nice sense of intimacy where appropriate. Well-known material such as ‘Begin the Beguine’ sit side-by-side with lesser known numbers like ‘Yours’ and ‘When My Baby Goes to Town’.

For the most part this is a very satisfying collection but having grown up with so many of these songs and being so used to their presentation in such films as Kiss Me Kate and High Society, listeners might sometimes be disappointing with some of the arrangements and tempos: ‘In the Still of the Night’ taken a little too fast and frenetic? and ‘You do Something to Me’ somewhat flat?

To carp just a little it would have been nice to have heard another female voice for contrast over such a long distance as 82 songs. There are obviously still many Porter songs that Messrs Van den Brande and Baert can cover. Perhaps in a future collection they might let their hair down and include the cheekier pieces such as ‘But in the Morning No’ from Du Barry Was a Lady.

Although this collection cannot supersede classic Porter albums made by Ella Fitzgerald and other great artists of older times, nevertheless this is a welcome release and a welcome celebration of a great 20th century compositional talent by 21st century artists.

Ian Lace


CD 1
Begin the Beguine
Begin the Beguine 3.11 Jubilee, 1935
When My Baby Goes to Town 2.13 Something for the Boys, 1943
It’s De-Lovely 2.09 Red, Hot and Blue, 1936
Use Your Imagination 2.57 Out of This World, 1950
In the Still of the Night 2.35 Rosalie, 1937
Look What I Found 2.25 Around the World in Eighty Days, 1946
Only Another Boy and Girl 2:.26 Seven Lively Arts, 1944
Do I Love You 2.37 Du Barry Was a Lady, 1939
I’ve Got You Under My skin 3.06 Born to Dance, 1936
From Alpha to Omega 2.10 You Never Know, 1938
You Do Something to Me 2.35 Fifty Million Frenchmen, 1929
The Heaven Hop 2.34 Paris, 1928
So Near and Yet So Far 3.14 You’ll Never Get Rich, 1941
All of You 2.10 Silk Stockings, 1955
C’est Magnifique 2.05 Can-Can, 1953
Looking at You 2.27 Wake Up and Dream, 1929
Dream-Dancing 2.48 You’ll Never Get Rich, 1941

From this Moment On [39:59]
From This Moment On 2’05” Out of This World, 1950
Anything Goes 2’09” Anything Goes, 1934
Yours 1’30” Jubilee, 1935
I Love Paris 2’23” Can-Can, 1953
The Kling-Kling Bird on the Divi-Divi Tree 3’46” Jubilee, 1935
The Tale of the Oyster 2’42” Fifty Million Frenchmen, 1929
High-Flyin’ Wings on My Shoes 2’27” Les Girls,1957
Blow, Gabriel, Blow 2’29” Anything Goes, 1934
So in Love 3’06” Kiss Me, Kate, 1948
I Worship You 2’27” Fifty Million Frenchmen, 1929
All Through the Night 3’31” Anything Goes, 1934
I Concentrate on You 2’18” Broadway Melody of 1940, 1939
Easy to Love 2’14” Born to Dance, 1936
Where Is the Life That Late I Led3’58” Kiss Me, Kate, 1948
The Scampi 2’53” Miscellaneous, 1920s

Night and Day [45:35]
How Could We Be Wrong? 3.30 Nymph Errant, 1933
Close 3.22 Rosalie, 1937
At Long Last Love 2.55 You Never Know, 1938
Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye 3.16 You’ll Never Get Rich, 1941
Night and Day 2.47 Gay Divorce, 1932
When I Found You 2.02 Paris, 1928
You Can Do No Wrong 2.36 The Pirate, 1948
Trust Your Destiny to Your Star 2.35 Aladdin, 1958
You’ve Got Something 3.03 Red, Hot and Blue, 1936
I Am Loved 3.38 Out of This World, 1950
After You, Who? 2.32 Gay Divorce, 1932
Little One 2.38 High Society, 1956
Mind If I Make Love to You 3.02 High Society, 1956
Get Out of Town 3.25 Leave It To Me, 1938
A Little Skipper From Heaven Above 2.20 Red, Hot and Blue, 1936
I Happen to Like New York 2.01 The New Yorkers, 1930

Let’s Misbehave [34:37]
Let’s Misbehave 2.41 Paris, 1928
Dizzy Baby 2.10 Paris, 1928
Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye 3.27 Born to Dance, 1936
Longing For Dear Old Broadway 2.19 The Pot of Gold, 1912
I’m a Gigolo 2.27 Wake Up and Dream, 1929
Why Don’t We Try Staying Home? 4.02 Fifty Million Frenchmen, 1929
Love For Sale 4.56 The New Yorkers, 1930
Why Shouldn’t I? 2.28 Jubilee, 1935
I’ve Got Somebody Waiting 2.20 Hitchy-Koo of 1919
You’ve Got That Thing 3.52 Fifty Million Frenchmen, 1929
Between You and Me 3.50 Broadway Melody of 1940, 1939
Ev’rything I Love 3.01 Let’s Face It, 1941
Where Have You Been 3.33 The New Yorkers, 1930
Why Am I So Gone (About That Gal)? 3.36 Les Girls, 1957
You’re Sensational 2.50 High Society, 1956
You Can Do No Wrong 2.38 The Pirate, 1948
Were Thine That Special Face 2.34 Kiss Me, Kate, 1948

Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye [57:00]
Weren’t We Fools 5.24 Miscellaneous, 1927
For No Rhyme Or Reason 2.57 You Never Know, 1938
Just Another Page In Your Diary 3.41 Leave It To Me, 1938
Pilot Me 2.53 La Revue des Ambassadeurs, 1928
It All Belongs To You 3.42 Miscellaneous, 1937
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye 3.07 Red, Hot and Blue, 1936
I’m Getting Myself Ready For You 3.54 The New Yorkers, 1930
It’s Bad For Me 4.01 Nymph Errant, 1933
I’ve Got My Eyes on You/I’m So in Love With You 3.36 Broadway Melody of 1940, 1939
I know It’s Not Meant For Me 5.04 Rosalie, 1937
I’ve a Strange New Rhythm In My Heart 2.44 Rosalie, 1937
Don’t Fence Me In 4.49 Adios, Argentina, 1934-1935
When Love Beckoned 4.04 Du Barry Was a Lady, 1939
I’ve Got You on My Mind 4.31 Gay Divorce, 1932
Swingin’ the Jinx Away 2.21 Born to dance, 1936
When All’s Said and Done 3.19 Leave It To Me, 1938

A welcome celebration of a great 20th century compositional talent by 21st century artists.