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Laugh With Classical Music
see end of review for track listing
DELOS DE 1627 [33.20]

A short but very sweet and genial programme this; and guaranteed to bring a smile to a face jaded, perhaps, by too much solemn music.

Solemnity begins Vieuxtemps’ Yankee Doodle Dandy Variations before the entry of the famous theme and amusement follows. The piece gives Khakhamov every opportunity to show off flashy virtuosity. The same applies to flautist Oleg Sergeev through the presto tempi of the Bumblebee’s flight.
Shostakovich’s naughtiness delights through his Golden Age Polka; one can imagine how this little gem deflated bureaucratic pomposity. His Galop is full of genial busyness, the Dance III is bright and merry and the Humoresque-Waltz has a toy music-box charm.
The Galop from Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite has a coy middle section surrounded by appealing scampering cheekiness. The Françaix Saxophone serenade is a saucy romp reminding one of Satie.
Margaret Ruthven Lang’s settings of Edward Lear’s limericks score highly with Lucy Mauro’s droll piano accompaniments to Donald George’s whimsical deliveries. We can laugh at: the old man in the tree stung by a beeeee bzzzz; at the old person of Cassel whose nose finished off in a tassel; at the old man of Dumbree who taught little owls to drink tea - but not mice!; at the old person of Jodd whose ways were perplexingly odd; and the old lady of France who taught little ducklings to dance; and finally the languorous sleepy young lady of Parma.
The funniest of all the songs is The Green-Eyed Dragon. Children are warned to beware of his ferocity -“… he has lived for years and years and he never grew any thinner and loves policemen pie or an MP for dinner. And he has paid no income tax!...”
A tonic.
Ian Lace  


Track listing
Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881)
Souvenire d’Amérique, Variations on Yankee Doodle* (1844) [4.53]
Dmitry Khakhamov (violin)
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Flight of the Bumble Bee * (1899-1900) [1.09]
Oleg Sergeev (flute)
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Galop * (VI) from Ballet Suite No. 1 (1949) [1.32]
Polka * from The Golden Age (1929-30) [2.14]
Dance (III) * from Ballet Suite No. 3 (1953) [2.06]
Humoresque-Waltz * from Ballet Suite No. 1 (1949) [2.52]
Sérénade Comique from Petit Quatuor pour Saxophones Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978)
Masquerade Suite - Galop (1944) [2.54]
Philharmonia of Russia/Constantine Orbelian
Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997)
(1935) [2.06]
Italian Saxophone Quartet
Margaret RUTHVEN LANG (1867-1972)
From Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures (1905-1907?):-
There Was an Old Man in a Tree [1.44]
There Was an Old Person of Cassel [1.43]
There Was an Old Man of Dumbree [1.11]
There Was an Old Person of Jodd [1.37]
There Was an Old Lady of France [1.24]
There Was a Young Lady of Parma [2.30]
Donald George (tenor); Lucy Mauro (piano)
Wolseley CHARLES (1889-1962)
The Green-Eyed Dragon (?) [3.06]
John Aler (tenor) and Grant Gershon (piano)
* Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian
Compilation comprises excerpts from six previous Delos releases