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The Golden Age of Light Music – Holidays for Strings
Track-listing below
rec. 1952-61


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If one or two of the most recent editions in this series have, so far as I’m concerned, lacked a certain frisson, this one makes ample amends. The theme is orchestral strings and the tone is set immediately by Leroy Anderson whose Belle of the Ball exudes charm and glamour. There is a novice entrant in this series in the shape of Jack Shaindlin, Ukraine-born but a long time American resident. He and his band produce a fine version of Beyond the Blue Horizon. Variety is maintained by another noviciate, Frederick Fennell, whose pizzicatos animate Love Is Sweeping the Country (from Of Thee I Sing) with both fun and verve. One company that consistently produced the goods was Mercury, which was fortunate to have David Carroll on its books. Evidence arrives in the shape of the 1961 Dance of the Slave Maidens, the Borodinsed popular hit better known as Stranger in Paradise.
George Martin, now Sir George, penned Serenade to Double Scotch. Maybe those pop bands that later drove him round the bend in the Parlophone studios — even the Beatles perhaps — drove him back to the solace of the bottle. It’s a spruce and welcoming opus. Why doesn’t someone revive it? Given the album theme it’s no surprise to encounter the elite gents from The Melachrino Strings nor the chic Clebanoff Strings in Cumana — chic is, on reflection, a sine qua non for this catchy item. I’d often wondered what happened to Monia Liter and here is something of an answer. This pianist, who so graced British Dance Bands in the 1920s, playing with Nat Gonella and Al Bowlly and so many others, later ran the Recorded Music Library at Boosey and Hawkes. Thanks to David Adès for providing that nugget in his ever-reliable and biographically important sleeve-notes. Liter’s conducting of Cyril Watters’ The Willow Waltz is genuinely luscious.
There are gems sprinkled throughout. There’s Percy Faith’s elegant sophistication, a confident Paxton of van der Linden playing Spending Spree, and some music from the Tony Hancock film The Rebel. It was written by Frank Cordell, whose band plays it with due spice. We also renew acquaintance with the eminent veteran of the genre, Charles Williams, whose 1952 recording of Vanessa is richly succulent and successful. Guild doesn’t settle into a single groove, and thus doesn’t neglect the pick-me-up humour of Periwinkle, directed by King Palmer.
These titles were all recorded within about a decade, between 1952 and 1961. He booklet cover art will give you some idea of the bracing and evocative fun it enshrines.
Jonathan Woolf
Bracing and evocative fun.
Leroy Anderson - Belle of the Ball 2:35
Leroy Anderson and his orchestra
Richard Whiting / W. Franke Harling - Beyond the Blue Horizon 2:51
Jack Shaindlin and his orchestra
George Gershwin - Love Is Sweeping the Country (from Of Thee I Sing, musical) 2:33
Frederick Fennell and his orchestra
Alexander Borodin - Prince Igor, opera (completed by Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov) : Dance Of The Slave Maidens 3:49
David Carroll and his orchestra
Ralph Rainger - Thanks for the Memories 2:21
Geoff Love and his Concert orchestra
George Martin - Serenade to Double Scotch 2:41
Ron Goodwin and his orchestra
Frederick Loewe - Gigi (from "Gigi ") 2:55
The Melachrino Strings/George Melachrino
Allen Barclay – Cumana 3:17
The Clebanoff Strings and percussion
Cyril Watters - Willow Waltz 3:06
New Concert Orchestra/Monia Liter
Alberto Dominguez – Perfidia 2:55
Xavier Cugat and his orchestra
Percy Faith – Bouquet 3:19
Percy Faith and his orchestra
Richard Rodgers - The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (from "Jumbo") 2:56
The Living Strings/Hill Bowen
Enric Madriguera - Adios 2:55
Manuel and the Music of the Mountains
Frederick Loewe - Then You May Take Me to the Fair (from "Camelot") 2:46
Cyril Ornadel and The Starlight Symphony
Cliff Friend - Time Waits for Me 2:50
Reg Owen and his orchestra
Alan Thurlow - Spending Spree 2:07
Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra
Angela Morley – Nurseryland 3:11
Telecast Orchestra/Angela Morley
Pat Beaver -On the Loose 2:40
The Westway Studio Orchestra
Frank Cordell - The Rebel, film score: Main Title Theme 2:13
Frank Cordell and his orchestra
Frank Cordell - The Rebel, film score: Oo-La-La 2:24
Frank Cordell and his orchestra
Bernie Wayne –Vanessa 3:04
Charles Williams and his Concert orchestra
Steve Race - Faraway Music 2:21
Steve Race and his orchestra
Philip Green - The Singer Not the Song, film score: Theme 2:23
The Knightsbridge Strings/Philip Green
Robert Farnon - Strolling Home 2:51
String Ensemble/Robert Farnon
Stuart Crombie – Periwinkle 2:59
The Westway Studio Orchestra/King Palmer
Anthony Mawer - Jeunesse 2:00
Hilversum Radio Orchestra/Hugo de Groot
Edward White - Romance in the Breeze 2:51
The Bosworth Orchestra
David Rose - Holiday for Strings 3:57
David Rose and his orchestra


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