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The Golden Age of Light Music - Portrait Of My Love
Track-listing at end of review
rec. 1953-60
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5179 [79:07]

Experience Classicsonline

If you’re an admirer of contemporary artist Jerzy Marek, Polish-born but who has lived in Britain since 1948, you will recognise his The Love Birds. It graces the cover of this album from Guild and Love is very definitely In The Air. David Ades’s first paragraph in his booklet note skirts the cheesy, and indulges one especially wry gag, but his biographical and musical muscles are soon put to good use as he guides us through song, composer and band in this 79 minute collection.

We’re off to a fine start courtesy of Cyril Ornadel, whose luscious romance gives the disc its title. Can you get much better than ‘Farnon conducts Coates’? Try Impression of a Princess, Coates’s portrait of Princess Margaret, though Ades reminds us that on the record label Farnon was disguised as that venerable Scandinavian ‘Ole Jensen’ – which, given as the orchestra doing the honours was the Danish State Radio is, I suppose, at least mildly explicable. Another royal connection is supplied via Dimitri Tiomkin’s The Prince and Princess Waltz – the two being Rainier and Grace, of Monaco fame.

Victor Sylvester’s Silver Strings meanwhile give a very full-bodied view of I Love You Samantha – a bit too much port wine in this interpretation, perhaps. Faux classical clarinet lines infuse Mantovani’s take on April Love and there’s genial Wedding Day by little known Douglas Brownsmith. Courtesy of the notes I can tell you that Brownsmith (1902-65) was a British composer who had hits from the late 1920s onwards but then also ran a bakery in Sussex, exchanging it for a restaurant in Bexhill-on-Sea. He loved music and cricket. Music, food, cricket: what more could you want from life?

Robert Stolz’s big-hearted waltz, Two Hearts In Three-Quarter Time, gets the big-hearted Kostelanetz treatment and there’s an anonymous concertante piano role in Like Someone in Love, played by the elite Paul Weston – his name Gentiled for mass consumption (he was born Wetstein). Mantovani throws plenty of sentiment over Can’t Help Loving That Man, but Peter Yorke gets caught in treacle when he tries to do likewise for If I Should Fall In Love Again. Jazz fans will recognise the beautiful sound of Bobby Hackett’s trumpet in You’re My Thrill whilst D.H. Lawrence would doubtless have spat at the ingratiating music to the film of Sons and Lovers. One of the very best performances here comes from Leslie Jones and his Orchestra of London as they perform Farnon’s gorgeous To A Young Lady. Percy Faith gets glitzy in Amor, and then we end with two weddings but no funeral, courtesy of The Wedding Dance and The Wedding Song; the former with pulsing vocals getting rather out of hand, the latter more clement. The last named is performed by Manuel and the Music of the Mountains. ‘Manuel’ was Geoff Love, and his mountains were located somewhere in the county of Yorkshire.

Lots of interesting music here on a variety of record labels. The discs span less than a decade. Good stuff for lovers one and all.

Jonathan Woolf

Track-listing

Portrait of My Love – (Cyril Ornadel) - Cyril Ornadel and the Starlight Symphony [2:26]
Impression Of A Princess (Eric Coates) – Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label) [3:09]
I Love You Samantha (Cole Porter) – Victor Sylvester and his Silver Strings [2:18]
April Love (from the film 'April Love') (Sammy Fain) – Mantovani and his orchestra [3:58]
The Prince and Princess Waltz (Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington) – David Carroll and his orchestra [2:13]
Wedding Day (Douglas Brownsmith) – New Concert Orchestra/R de Porten [2:34]
One Night Of Love (Victor Schertzinger, arr. Robert Farnon) – Robert Farnon and his orchestra [2:45]
You Are Too Beautiful (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, arr. Glenn Osser) – Glenn Osser and his orchestra [2:28]
Two Hearts In Three-Quarter Time (Robert Stolz) – Andre Kostelanetz and his orchestra [2:55]
Like Someone In Love (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen, arr. Paul Weston) – Paul Weston and his orchestra [3:41]
Beguine For Lovers (Joseph Kuhn) – Dolores Ventura (piano) and the Carnival Orchestra [2:39]
Can’t Help Loving That Man (from 'Show Boat') (Jerome Kern) – Mantovani and his orchestra [2:59]
Take Me In Your Arms (Alfred Markus, Fritz Rotter, Mitchell Parish) – Leroy Holmes and his orchestra [3:04]
If I Should Fall In Love Again (Jack Popplewell, arr. Peter Yorke) – Peter Yorke and his concert orchestra [2:16]
Tenderly (Walter Gross, Jack Lawrence) – David Rose and his orchestra [3:19]
Dancing in The Starlight (Trevor Duncan) – The Symphonia Orchestra/Curt Andersen [2:54]
Deep In My Heart, Dear (Sigmund Romberg, arr. William Hill Bowen) – The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino [2:20]
You’re My Thrill (Jay Gorney, Sidney Clare) – Jackie Gleason and his orchestra with Bobby Hackett (trumpet) [2:39]
Star Eyes (Don Raye, Gene De Paul) – Cyril Stapleton and his orchestra [2:23]
If She Should Come To You (La Montana) (Augusto Alguero, G. Moreu, Alec Wilde) – Frank de Vol and his Rainbow Strings [3:27]
For Those Who Love (Frank Cordell) – Frank Cordell and his orchestra [2:25]
'Sons And Lovers' - Theme From The Film (Mario Nascimbene) – The Cascading Strings/Johnny Gregory [2:18]
To A Young Lady (Robert Farnon) – Leslie Jones and his orchestra of London [3:16]
You Are Beautiful, Love Look Away (from 'Flower Drum Song') (Richard Rodgers, arr. Brian Fahey) - Cyril Ornadel and the Starlight Symphony [4:00]
Amor (from film 'Broadway Rhythm') (Gabriel Ruiz, arr. Percy Faith) – Percy Faith and his orchestra [2:44]
The Wedding Dance (Paul Lincke) – London Promenade Orchestra/Eric Rogers [4:01]
The Wedding Song (Horan - real name Geoff Love) – Manuel and the Music of the Mountains [2:58]


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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