The Golden Age of Light Music – The Lost Transcriptions Volume 2
Percy Faith and his orchestra
Falling in Love with Love (from the 1938 musical play 'The Boys From Syracuse')
- Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, arr. Percy Faith [2:32]
In The Still Of The Night (from the 1937 film 'Rosalie') - Cole Porter, arr. Percy Faith [2:21]
April Showers (from the 1921 Broadway musical 'Bombo') - Louis Silvers, Buddy De Sylva, arr. Percy Faith [2:42]
The Very Thought Of You - Ray Noble, arr. Percy Faith [3:42]
Why Do I Love You (from the 1927 musical 'Show Boat') - Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, arr. Percy Faith [3:12]
Pavanne - Morton Gould, arr. Percy Faith [3:06]
Night Creature - Edward 'Duke' Ellington, featuring Duke Ellington, piano [3:48]
Deep Blues (from Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra) - Elie Siegmeister, featuring Vincent J. Abato, clarinet [3:13]
Hoedown (from 'Rodeo' Suite) - Aaron Copland [2:17]
Mantovani and his orchestra
Play Orchestra Play (from the 1935 musical revue 'Tonight at Eight-Thirty')-
Noel Coward [1:50]
Imp On Broadway
Abner C. Rosen, pseudonym for Annunzio Paolo Mantovani and Ronald Binge
Coronation Scot - Vivian Ellis, arr. Ronald Binge [2:32]
March Of The Robots - Annunzio Paolo Mantovani [2:19]
Danse Du Diable (Devil's Dance) - Wal-Berg, real name Voldemar Rosenberg
Jamaican Juggler- William Davies [2:36]
Invitation To The Waltz (from 'Pacific 1860') - Noel Coward [3:40]
Snakes And Ladders - Ronald Binge [2:37]
Rhapsody In Rhythm - Henry Croudson, arr. Ronald Binge [4:30]
Sidney Torch and his orchestra
Strike Up The Music -Sidney Torch [1:14]
The Cavalcade Orchestra/Sidney Torch
Barbecue - Sidney Torch [2:49]
Amore Mio - Sidney Torch [4:17]
RAF Concert Orchestra/Sidney Torch
Wood Nymphs - Eric Coates [2:37]
The Cavalcade Orchestra/Sidney Torch
As Long As There's Music (from the 1944 film 'Step Lively') - Jule Styne, arr. Sidney Torch [4:05]
Fandango - Sidney Torch [3:00]
Dearly Beloved (from the 1942 film 'You Were Never Lovelier') - Jerome Kern, arr. Sidney Torch [4:39]
rec. 1944-55
In this disc the focus of ‘Lost Transcriptions’ – of which this is the second volume – becomes tighter. There are three featured conductors; Percy Faith, Mantovani and Sidney Torch. And the transcriptions derive from material used by broadcasting companies, either recorded broadcasts, or ones that were specially recorded and shipped out to forces overseas, but not on a commercial basis. All of the Percy Faith sides are Voice of America transcriptions dating from 1947 to around the mid-1950s. There is more variety in the origins of the British material.
Naturally these three musicians were the cat’s pyjamas of the genre. Faith and Farnon were Canada’s two leading Light Music maestros and here we can concentrate on Faith, who unveils one classic arrangement after another - unlike Mantovani, who had Binge, Faith did all his own arranging. Things are characteristically lush and luscious in Falling in Love with Love but even this is outdone by his work on The Very Thought Of You which moves from searing to pert. I don’t happen much to like it, but I can at least stand back and admire what he wants to do with it. Despite some of the rough treatment they must have received, over inhospitable terrain too, most of these discs have survived in good nick, and have been restored well. Little, I suppose, could be done with some of the thumps on Why Do I Love You – though they pass soon enough. Listen out for an insouciant Morton Gould piece called Pavanne and also to Duke Ellington who solos on his own Night Creature, a swinging affair with nightmarish elements. This garish quality is cleverly counter-pointed by the following piece, the spooky slow movement of Elie Siegmeister’s Clarinet Concerto, played by Vincent J. Abato, which is itself rather Ellingtonian. Fortunately, Copland’s Hoedown from Rodeo banishes all this in a blaze of open air high spirits.
From Faith to Mantovani, whose selection is a little less sophisticated. Together Mantovani and Ronald Binge masqueraded as composer ‘Abner C. Rosen’ for Imp On Broadway - probably the better to convince the listening world that this very Gershwinesque opus was the genuine article. But we’re on home turf for, yes, Coronation Scot, orchestrated with élan and brilliance by Binge and recorded for Lang-Worth Feature Programmes transcription in 1952. There’s the usual cod-devilment and picture postcard piece and a delicious Binge piece called Snakes and Ladders, before we pass on to Sidney Torch who conducts his own orchestra as well as The Cavalcade Orchestra and the RAF Concert Orchestra. His own Barbecue is peppy with languid interludes, whilst Amore Mio is briskly passionate; I suspect Torch made love at a regimental march tempo. The only war-time cut is the RAF one of Eric Coates’s Wood Nymphs, who also enjoy Torch’s fast tempi.
It was a nice idea to select just these three musicians and to allow them room to breathe on disc. As ever, the notes are a class act.
Jonathan Woolf
In this disc the focus of ‘Lost Transcriptions’ becomes tighter with three featured conductors; Percy Faith, Mantovani and Sidney Torch.