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The Golden Age of Light Music – Motorway: Production Music of the 1960s
rec. 1960-62
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5226 [75:30]

This is another superior product in the Guild marque, devoted once again to mood music. It follows similar discs devoted to such music made in the 1940s (GLCD 5220 - review) and the 1950s (GLCD5224 - review). The music was composed for use in documentaries, films, and on radio and television but much of this material is well worth preserving even out of context, and such is the case with these 25 tracks all dating from the early 1960s. The famous publishing houses are well represented – Chappell, prominently, but also Bosworth, De Wolfe, KPM, Paxton and Francis, Day & Hunter.

Robert Farnon gets things underway with a typically upbeat and vibrant example of the production number genre and Frenchman Roger Roger – a near-ubiquitous figure in this series - chips in with a bold, folksy Puppet Parade. Then there’s glamour – provided by Laurie Johnson’s Rhapsody couched in the popular piano concertante style. Wally Stott paints in broad travelogue brush-strokes in his China though he is shown conducting in a more reflective and subtle piece by Robert Mersey called Soft Moment. The performers for this last are the imposingly grand-sounding Telecast Orchestra.

Music was required for all sorts of scenarios, so we have fresh and droll from Cyril Watters – could Crepe Suzette be anything but? – as well as nature painting from Hugo de Groot in the Introduction and Finale from his Tales of Nature suite. Veteran Charles Williams dusts off some Dambusters-meets-Elgar for his Sports Flash, an Imperial sense of esprit never far from the surface, whilst there’s an excellent example of Peter Yorke’s flair in his Calling All Stars. The light-hearted, the brassy and the genial co-exist throughout this finely contrasted selection. Thus on no account overlook the bold, brassy confidence of Ronald Hanmer’s High Venture, exuberantly played by the Symphonia Orchestra under Curt Andersen or the jazzy counter-themes in Skyride, composed by Peter Dennis aka Dennis Berry. I’ll leave with a personal favourite, and as my loyal reader will know, that’s ‘Trevor Duncan’ – or Leonard Charles Trebilco, to give him his real name, as Guild is invariably scrupulous about doing. Citizens of the World has a Waltonian middle section and is a typically fine example of his skill at memorable compression.

With typically excellent notes from David Ades this is another – I’m becoming boring saying this – splendid release in a consistently excellent series.

Jonathan Woolf

Track listing
1. The Big Night - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon [2:31]
2. Puppet Parade - Roger Roger and his Champs Elysées Orchestra [2:11]
3. Rhapsody - Group-Fifty Orchestra/Laurie Johnson [3:00]
4. Merrily Along - Continental Theatre Orchestra/Heinz Buchhold [2:53]
5. China - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Walter Stott [3:05]
6. Soft Moment - Telecast Orchestra/Walter Stott [3:20]
7. Crepe Suzette - New Century Orchestra/Erich Börschel [2:59]
8. Sports Flash - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams [2:39]
9. Motorway - Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Kenneth Alwyn [2:56]
10. Mountain Splendour - Group-Forty Orchestra [3:05]
11. Parade of the Bottles - Dolf van der Linden and his Orchestra [3:03]
12. Tales Of Nature Suite: Introduction & Finale - Hilversum Radio Orchestra/Hugo de Groot [3:32]
13. Holiday Mood - Lansdowne Light Orchestra [2:40]
14. Calling All Stars - The Connaught Light Orchestra [3:16]
15. Pacific Highway - Mel Young and his Orchestra [2:15]
16. Pussyfoot - The Connaught Light Orchestra [2:59]
17. Winter Olympics - Group-Forty Orchestra/Laurie Johnson [2:48]
18. Crystal Clear - Malcolm Lockyer and his Orchestra [2:41]
19. House Party - The Westway Studio Orchestra [2:28]
20. Life of Luxury - Symphonia Orchestra/Curt Andersen [2:55]
21. Holiday - Bosworth Orchestra [2:50]
22. High Venture - Symphonia Orchestra/Curt Andersen [3:00]
23. Bright Tune - Crawford Light Orchestra [3:01]
24. Skyride - The Westway Studio Orchestra [3:03]
25. Citizens Of The World - New Concert Orchestra/Monia Liter

 

 



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