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The Golden Age Of Light Music: Orchestral Gems In Stereo

Orchestral Gems In Stereo / Various
Release Date: 08/10/2010 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 5165   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Tolchard EvansJerome KernJule StyneCharles Trenet,   ... 
Conductor:  Carmen DragonPaul WestonWarren BarkerXavier Cugat,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victor Silvester & His Silver Strings101 Strings (Orchestra)
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A most enjoyable disk.


There are three different types of light music on offer on this CD; original compositions, arrangements of other pieces and arrangements of songs. As the first four tracks are of the latter variety, let’s start with them.

Carmen Dragon gives a technicolour arrangement, as you’d expect from him, of Tolchard Evans’s great Lady Of Spain, and Paul Weston’s subtle arrangement of Jerome Kern’s She Didn’t Say Yes proves a good foil. A gentle waltz version of a gentle song from that most exuberant of musicals Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Just A Kiss Apart is a lovely song we should hear more of. Charles Trenet’s La Mer is here given a restrained
Read more performance which highlights many of the instruments of the orchestra – it’s almost a Guide to the Light Orchestra – but I do miss Trenet’s voice singing the tune! Our Love Affair (from the Cary Grant film An Affair To Remember) is one of Harry Warren’s most heart warming creations and this version, by Conrad Salinger, brings out all the warmth and love in the piece. Peter Yorke’s arrangement of Ivor Novello’s Glamorous Night is certainly enchanting, as is Victor Sylvester’s version of Cole Porter’s After You, perhaps not for dancing but certainly a delight for listening. When Your Lover Has Gone can boast a couple of dozen recordings , its success being guaranteed by its inclusion in the Jimmy Cagney film Blonde Crazy. A beautiful tune in a gorgeous arrangement and performance.

I’ll Follow My Secret Heart is the hit song from Noel Coward’s play Conversation Piece and Philip Green’s arrangement is a study in understatement. It is said that Ernesto Lecuona's compositions influenced the Latin American world in a similar way to Gershwin in the USA, raising Cuban music to classical music status. Damisela Encantadora is a waltz of some energy!

Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera), or, to give it its’ alternative title, Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), was featured in the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, where it was sung by Doris Day – and it subsequently became her signature tune. It won an Oscar for its writers, and who could have expected it to appear in a version for mandolin and orchestra?

I cannot over emphasise the silliness of Cecelia in this lovely arrangement by Dennis Farnon (younger brother of the more famous Robert), while La Vita E Un Paradiso Di Bugie is another love affair. The Theme From A Summer Place seems to me to be beloved of muzak compilers so it’s good to hear it properly here.

Les Baxter’s Shooting Star is a real piece of mood music, with a simple tune repeated several times in various orchestrations. Lovely. Somehow I’ve managed to miss Robert Farnon’s Mr Punch and it is my loss for here is a clever scherzo movement which cannot rest, but quite what it has to do with Mr Punch is beyond me. Leslie Jones and his Orchestra of London show us that this is the way to do it. Chelsea is the second movement (of 6) from Fats Waller’s London Suite which Waller himself recorded in London in 1939. Angela Morley’s arrangement captures the feeling of a lazy Sunday afternoon, in the summer. Misirlou is a popular Greek song which here appears as a tango, amongst other things. Lots of drums give the music its impetus, while woodwind sound an Eastern note.

Le Premier Rendezvous is a fun piece with wire brushes on the drums, muted trumpets and cool flutes. David Rose’s Majorca is an extended tone poem in popular idiom, with lots of Latin flavour. It’s a more popular version (if that is possible) of Chabrier’s España! Nelson Riddle’s Sea Of Dreams has a Summer of ’42 feel about it, perhaps unrequited love is behind the inspiration of this gorgeous miniature. Hal Mooney’s dream is of a different kind, for Dreamland USA is obviously in praise of the American way of life and Mom’s apple pie. Closer to home, Billy Mayerl’s famous Marigold sounds well, in this delicious version by Ronald Binge, as a duet for flutes. Henry Mancini’s Mostly For Lovers is cocktail lounge stuff, with tinkling solo piano and discreet accompaniment.

The disk ends with a version of Chabrier’s riot of Spanish colour España which nods in Chabrier’s direction and adds some rather good things which Chabrier obviously forgot! A terrific ending to a most enjoyable disk. As usual, the transfers are very good, the notes helpful but not exhaustive and the disk well filled.

-- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Lady of Spain (Linda española) by Tolchard Evans
Conductor:  Carmen Dragon
Period: Modern 
Written: 1931; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
2. The Cat and the Fiddle: She Didn't Say "Yes" by Jerome Kern
Conductor:  Paul Weston
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Just a Kiss Apart by Jule Styne
Conductor:  Warren Barker
Written: 1949 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4. La Mer (Beyond the Sea) by Charles Trenet
Conductor:  Xavier Cugat
Period: Modern 
Written: circa 1946 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
5. Shooting Star, for orchestra by Les Baxter
Conductor:  Les Baxter
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
6. An Affair To Remember: Our Love Affair by Harry Warren
Conductor:  Buddy Bregman,  Conrad Salinger
Period: Modern 
Written: 1957 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7. Mr. Punch, for orchestra by Robert Farnon
Conductor:  Leslie Jones
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
8. Chelsea, for jazz ensemble by Fats Waller
Conductor:  Angela Morely
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
9. Glamorous Night, for orchestra by Ivor Novello
Conductor:  Peter Yorke
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
10. Gay Divorcée: After You by Cole Porter
Conductor:  Victor Silvester
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victor Silvester & His Silver Strings
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
11. When Your Lover Has Gone by Einar Aaron Swan
Conductor:  Gordon Jenkins
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
12. Le Premier Rendezvous by R. Sylviano
Conductor:  Hans-Georg Arlt
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13. Majorca, for orchestra by David Rose
Conductor:  David Rose
Length: 7 Minutes 13 Secs. 
14. Conversation Piece: I'll Follow My Secret Heart by Noel Coward
Conductor:  Philip Green
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
15. Sea of Dreams, for orchestra by Nelson Riddle
Conductor:  Nelson Riddle
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
16. Dreamland USA, for orchestra by Hal Mooney
Conductor:  Hal Mooney
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
17. Marigold, a syncopated impression for piano by Billy Mayerl
Conductor:  Ronald Binge
Period: Modern 
Written: 1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
18. Que será, será, song by Jay Livingston
Conductor:  Frank De Vol
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
19. Mostly For Lovers, for orchestra by Henry Mancini
Conductor:  Henry Mancini
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
20. Cecelia, for orchestra by Dave Dreyer
Conductor:  Dennis Farnon
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
21. La vita e'un Paradiso di Bugie, song by Diego Calcagno
Conductor:  George Melachrino
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
22. España by Emmanuel Chabrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  101 Strings (Orchestra)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 51 Secs. 
23. A Summer Place: Theme by Max Steiner
Conductor:  Percy Faith
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
24. Damisela encantadora, song for voice & piano (or orchestra) by Ernesto Lecuona
Conductor:  Percy Faith
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
25. Misirlou by Nicholas Roubanis
Conductor:  John Scott Trotter
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 

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