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British Light Music
Full tracklist at end of review
REGIS RRC1381 [62:04]

Experience Classicsonline

This is the kind of disc in which Guild specialises. Regis’s selection, however, wears a rather more populist look, and takes some staples of the genre in classic performances served up in a disc of two halves. The first half is devoted to some of the maestros of the form. We have Robert Farnon, Charles Williams, Ray Martin, Roy Goodwin, Sidney Torch and Wally Stott, or Angela Morley as he later became. There is also George Siravo and his saucy opus called Bumps-A-Daisy with its nice infusion of Boogie piano.
Some of the famous radio signature tunes are here, nostalgic vehicles for those of a certain age or, indeed, most any other age. If you listened to Dick Barton, In Town Tonight, Top of the Form, or if you still listen to The Archers, you’ll know what they are. Farnon performs his own Sunny Side Up as well as conducting Sidney Torch’s evocative and delightful London Transport Suite. Then there are the Frederick Fennell Eastman-Rochester ‘Pops’ Orchestra recordings of Percy Grainger — five of them, to be exact.
So far, so good then. But I am puzzled by the six Eric Coates tracks, which are claimed to be conducted by the composer in the 1930s and 1940s, making them by some way the earliest recordings here. If this is true, I shall eat my hat. Or, rather, let’s put it this way. If Regis has discovered the elixir of gramophonic youth, I should like to know what it is. I suspect there’s been a mix-up somewhere along the line. I’m not aware that Coates ever conducted the LSO or LPO, as claimed. I thought he only usually conducted the Light Symphony Orchestra, or the New Symphony, or just the generic ‘Symphony Orchestra’. I suspect these may be recordings by Charles Groves, or Charles Mackerras or Reg Kilbey. They’re undoubtedly from LPs.
Until this has been cleared up, I’m afraid I am in no man’s land as regards this disc.
Jonathan Woolf
Full tracklist
1. Charles Williams: Devil’s Galop (Dick Barton, Special Agent) [2.48]
Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra
Recorded in 1948
2. Robert Farnon: Portrait of a Flirt (In Town Tonight) [2.43]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, Sidney Torch
Recorded in 1948
3. Ray Martin: Marching Strings (Top of the Form) [2.40]
Ray Martin and his Concert Orchestra
Recorded in 1952
4. Arthur Wood: Barwick Green (The Archers) [2.47]
Sidney Torch and his Orchestra
Recorded in1951
5. Robert Farnon: Sunny Side Up (BBC Light Programme) [1.58]
Robert Farnon and his orchestra
Recorded in 1957
6. Ron Goodwin: Red Cloak [2.36
Ron Goodwin and his Orchestra
Recorded in 1957
Sidney Torch: London Transport Suite
7. The Hansom Cab [2.09]
8. Rosie The Red Omnibus [2.01]
9. 5.52 form Victorloo [2.14]
Robert Farnon and the Danish State Radio Orchestra
Recorded in 1957
10. Angela Morley: Starlight [2.52]
Robert Farnon and the Danish State Radio Orchestra
Recorded in 1956
11. George Siravo: Bumps-A-Daisy [2.38]
George Siravo and his Orchestra
Recorded in 1956
12. Eric Coates: By the Sleepy Lagoon (Desert Island Discs) [3.03]
Eric Coates and the London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1940
13. Eric Coates: Television March [3.21]
Eric Coates and the London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1946
14. Eric Coates: Knightsbridge March from ‘London Suite’ [4.17]
Eric Coates and London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded in 1933
15. Eric Coates: The Merrymakers, Miniature Overture [4.13]
Eric Coates and the London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1931
16. Eric Coates: Calling All Workers (Music While You Work) [3.05]
Eric Coates and the London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1940
17. Eric Coates: Oxford Street March from ‘London Again Suite’ [3.25]
Eric Coates and the Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1936
18. Percy Grainger: Country Gardens [2.14]
Frederick Fennell and the Eastman-Rochester ‘Pops’ Orchestra
19. Percy Grainger: Shepherd’s Hey [2.07]
Frederick Fennell and the Eastman-Rochester ‘Pops’ Orchestra
20. Percy Grainger: Molly on the Shore [4.26]
Frederick Fennell and the Eastman-Rochester ‘Pops’ Orchestra
21. Percy Grainger: Londonderry Air [3.35]
Frederick Fennell and the Eastman-Rochester ‘Pops’ Orchestra
Tracks 18-21 recording first published in 1960

See also review by John France


































































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