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David Rose and his Orchestra – Holiday for Strings
25 original mono recordings
Recorded 1942-52



Crotchet Budget price

Holiday for Strings
Dance of the Spanish Onion
Our Waltz
The Gaucho Serenade
Holiday for Strings
One Love
Manhattan Square Dance
How High the Moon
Gay Spirits
Serenade (The Student Prince)
Why Do You Pass Me By?
Portrait of a Flirt
Surprise Serenade
American Hoe-Down
September Song
Fiddlin’ for Fun
Rose of Bel-Air
Someone to Watch Over Me
Fiesta in Seville
An American in Paris
Serenade to a Lemonades
Parade of the Clowns

Harlem nocturne – featuring Woody Herman
David Rose and his Orchestra

Times are good for Light Music. Times are even better if you follow series produced by Guild and Living Era. Transfers are uniformly good and the notes are direct and helpful; artwork, especially with this Living Era series, is evocative and saucy. That for this latest entrant is Tropical-Mediterranean-Lush but given that Rose (London-born but who left as a child) was so prominent a figure in California perhaps we can assume somewhere rather closer to North America.

If ever there was a master of the genre it was Rose. In the Guild compilations his selections invariably glow and here we have twenty-five of them, recorded over a period of a decade and starting in the deepest days of the Second World War in 1942 when Rose was 32 (and incidentally, at the time, newly married to Judy Garland). The stage is set with the opener, the tune that gives the disc its title; Holiday for Strings. All the colours and technical devices are here – effortlessly ingratiating melody, expert orchestration, novel effects (mass pizzicati) and those swaying, rich-hued Rose violins, undulating like Hula girls on a Hawaiian beach. The selection covers quite a deal of ground (minimal surface noise on these discs, by the way) and includes the mini-exotica of The Gaucho Serenade and the Americana of American Hoe-Down with its full panoply of muted brass and vital kick. Many of Rose’s most popular, rewarding and long lasting numbers are here – things like the compressed American in Paris (is 3’11 compressed or filleted to the bone?) with a blowsy trumpeter coming on like Harry James. Parade of the Clowns is an infectious piece of zaniness – not Spike Jones zany but clever and funny - and in the final track Woody Herman arrives to do a Johnny Hodges on Harlem Nocturne.

It’s inconceivable that a Light Music collection could exist without David Rose’s name – inventive, colouristic, adroit and affectionate he was the consummate professional. Hear why – and how – in this entertaining and evocative disc.

Jonathan Woolf

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