The Golden Age of Light Music – The Lost Transcriptions Volume 3
Ad infinitum (Baynes) [2:46]
Dear Little Soldiers (Coward) [2:03]
Heykens’ Serenade (Heykens) [3:25]
So In Love (Porter) [1:56]
Elizabethan Serenade (Binge) [3:17]
Prima Donna (Cortese) [2:45]
The Deserted Ballroom (Gould) [3:55]
Mantovani and his Orchestra
Hallelujah (Youmans) [2:31]
Al Sack and his orchestra
Turkey in the Straw (Traditional) [3:22]
Van Phillips and his orchestra
Malaguena (Moszkowski) [4:48]
The orchestra of H.M. Royal Marines/F Vivian Dunn
Lizards in the Lounge (Yorke) [2:27]
Peter Yorke and his concert orchestra
Prunella (Bridgewater) [3:53]
Army Salon Orchestra/Eric Robinson
Stairway to the Stars (Parish) [5:41]
The Canadian Band of the A.E.F. featuring Denny Vaughan (piano)/Robert Farnon
Handley’s Seaside Holiday (North) [3:33]
BBC Variety Orchestra/Charles Shadwell
Flower of Love (Dreyer) [3:27]
Carl Chandler Orchestra
Espanita (Goldman) [2:44]
Harry Horlick and his orchestra
Just A Memory (De Sylva) [2:26]
A La Bien Aimée (Schutt) [2:15]
Green Moods (Bloch) [2:36]
Puppet Serenade (Rose) [2:32]
Trees (Kilmer) [3:02]
Won’t You Be Mine (Rose) [2:14]
There’s A Small Hotel (Rodgers; Hart) [3:29]
Rose of Bel-Air (Rose) [2:28]
You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Kahn) [3:22]
David Rose and his orchestra
rec. c.1942-52

The third volume in Guild’s Lost Transcriptions series — essentially broadcast and radio station inspired discs — concentrates on Mantovani and David Rose, happily bisecting these two monolithic Light Music figures with a smattering of other leaders in the field. Guild has even demarcated the three ‘chapters’ so you will always know where you are when looking at the running order in the booklet.

All the Mantovani cuts come courtesy of Lang-Worth Feature Programme transcription discs made in 1952. There are seven in all. Kenneth Baynes’s Ad infinitum, arranged by trusty Ronald Binge, is a skittering if rather odd piece. But soon we’re in prime Mantovani territory with a gloriously ripe So in Love in another elite Binge arrangement. The arranger’s own Elizabethan Serenade follows, one of the most charming of all his compositions, and then we have one of Mantovani’s own pieces, Prima Donna, via the pseudonym of Paolo Cortese. This combustible and dramatic piece is something of an operatic pastiche, and is very well written for the winds in particular. Connoisseurs of the Light Music genre will appreciate track seven in which Mantovani plays the work of his American ‘rival’ David Rose, The Deserted Ballroom.

Rose himself contributes nine cuts from c.1942-45.They derive from Standard Radio and World Programme service transcriptions, the latter being either American or Australian. There’s an especially luscious arrangement of A La Bien Aimée and several examples of Rose’s own compositions — notably the punningly titled Rose of Bel-Air. Fortunately all were well recorded and have been seemingly well preserved; certainly they’ve been excellently transferred. The tranche of Rose and Mantovani tracks is augmented by a selection of Anglo-American material. The highlights include a gutsy Turkey in the Straw from Van Phillips in his own arrangement in 1943 or ‘44, and a charming Prunella, composed by Leslie Bridgewater and played by the Army Salon Orchestra under Eric Robinson. Who was the fine fiddler who plays the extended solo? Farnon directs his Canadian Band of the A.E.F. with pianist Denny Vaughan in tow in a concertante take on Stairway to the Stars. Rather trickier to take is the steroid boost given to Moszkowski’s Malageuna by Vivian Dunn and the Marines Band, and possibly also the smorgasbord of oddity that is Handley’s Seaside Holiday, played by the BBC Variety Orchestra under Charles Shadwell — on a BBC Transcription disc from around 1947.

So, we have variety, panache, breadth of repertoire and rare discs. With typically excellent notes, I say roll on volume four.

Jonathan Woolf

Variety, panache, breadth of repertoire and rare discs.