December 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Curio Corner

Compilation:
Music from the Movies  
  Louis Levy and his Gaumont British Symphony
  LIVING ERA CD AJA 5445   [76:40]

music from the movies

Including the Gaumont British News March and music from Goldwyn Follies, Hollywood Hotel; The Wizard of Oz; The Great Ziegfeld; Gold Diggers of 1937; On the Avenue; and Babes in Arms.

This album will be sure to bring back memories for those who, like me, are old enough to remember visits to the cinema when they were a real occasion - in the 1940s and 50s. The first thing you hear is the grand march Music for the Movies part of which was the fanfare for the old Gaumont British News. (Theatre newsreels were the only way you actually saw the news in those pre-TV days). The picture of the imposing Gaumont State Empire, Kilburn, London one of the world's biggest, most prestigious cinemas, on the booklet cover, as above, will reinforce those fond memories.

I will assure readers that I was too young to attend the 1930s films celebrated here on their first showing anyway!! But hits played here with such verve and relish, reminiscent of the style of the good old-fashioned Busby Berkeley musicals, are quite irresistible. Included are: 'Hooray for Hollywood'; 'Over My Shoulder' (goes one care); 'Over the Rainbow'; 'A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody'; 'I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm'; 'Love walked in'; 'Change Partners'and 'Donkey serenade'. The vocalists Janet Lind, Edward Molloy, Eve Becke, Gerry Fitzgerald etc. croon in the style of the period (most obviously patterning Judy Garland and Alan Jones).

I should add that if you look carefully at the opening credits of countless movies made in the 1930s and 1940s you would see the name Louis Levy as Musical Director (on even more films than his rival Muir Matheson). Levy was the head of the music department servicing both Gaumont British and Gainsborough films. He was a regular broadcaster and held major recording contracts with HMV and Columbia.

A wonderful nostalgic wallow. Big band music played in wonderfully atmospheric period style

Ian Lace

*****

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