Here's another in Guild's far trawling selection. The company has a capacious but finely woven net and manages to surprise through inventive programming and, as here, unusual and lesser-known items from the Decca, Parlophone, HMV and Columbia catalogues. There are also a few MGMs here as well to add a more concentrated American spice.
Though not all the items were specifically composed for films they achieved some degree of fame in that format – enough, at least, to be immortalised on shellac. All date from the immediate post-War years. It's a necessarily disparate collection with a fair sprinkling of styles and idioms but all played with panache and élan by some of the best such bands in the business – as a look at the roster call of talent in the head note will show. The MGM Orchestra's big fat trumpets punch out Arthur Schwartz's Dancing in the Dark and under Hans Sommer they let rip their jazzier credentials in Adoration. Ron Goodwin and his Concert Orchestra contribute a number from Shane and then the appositely weird John Addison score for The Man Between where Dave Shand's disembodied saxophone sends shivers up the spine. Mischa Spoliansky, then a London resident, fuses a butch orchestration with vampish piano in his score for the Idol of Paris and Philip Green's band turns on the Spanishry in La Violetera.
One doesn't hear so much of Guy Warrack these days but his stirring March from Men of Arnhem is certainly tinged with gaunt nobility. It's programmed next to music from The Magic Bow, the Stewart Grainger Paganini biopic played on the soundtrack by Yehudi Menuhin (I'm not quite sure now but it was either Menuhin or Frederick Grinke who "played" Grainger's bowing arm in the film). Here we have Philip Green's version with an altogether lighter player, Palm Court maestro Reg Leopold. Andre Mathieu's Quebec Concerto has made at least one appearance over the last few years. He wrote it at fourteen, believe it or not, and obviously in love with Rachmaninov. It fits into the genre of pocket battleship piano concertos – a well nigh endless list – with particular affection and considerable cleverness. This is just part of it but Arthur Dulay sets to with vigour.
Pretty good transfers and notes – and a variety bandbox of pleasurable and entertaining listening.