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Golden Age Of Light Music - A Second A-Z Of Light Music

Second A-z Of Light Music / Various
Release Date: 04/10/2012 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 5182   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Graeme StuartToni LeutwilerJ. George JohnsonCecil Milner,   ... 
Performer:  Mitch Miller
Conductor:  Curt AndersenPercy FaithHarry DavidsonSidney Torch,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regent Classic OrchestraSymphonia OrchestraNew World Theatre Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

From A-Z there’s much fun to be had from this latest compilation.

Guild’s inventive programming embraces a wide range of options, from Transcription series, to multi-volume discs on diverse themes. This is the second in its catch-all A-Z series in which titles are presented alphabetically. In this volume we start with At the Theatre and end with Zip Along. The only cheat comes via the tricky to place ‘X’ – so we get Exotica instead, with an emphasis on the second letter.

As usual there’s a cavalcade of bands and composers, and conductors. The Regent Classic Orchestra, conductorless, gets things off to a fine, confident Eric Coates-like start. It’s soon followed by the snappy
Read more Curtain Time played, with no conductor credit once again, by the New World Theatre Orchestra in 1957. By this time arrangements could sprawl just a bit more then in the days of 2:35 or whatever – this one almost touches five minutes in length and is the longest cut in the programme. Naturally the genre is susceptible to modish batteries of percussion and rhythms, and this is fate not wholly escaped by Percy Faith on Edelma with the near-ubiquitous Mitch Miller doing his thing on oboe.

There’s a refugee from Guild’s Music While You Work series in the shape of the tune Fairy Tiptoe played by Harry Davidson and his orchestra in 1946. The war being over, productivity wasn’t quite so dependent on strict up-tempo Fairies – though the ubiquitous Fairy in the Light Music genre might make an interesting trope for the inquisitive and musical post-graduate.

Gazelle, a lovely tune by Montague Ewing, is charmingly light on its feet courtesy of the New Century Orchestra under its exacting maestro Sidney Torch(insky). This ingenious opus courts the Graingeresque. Unlike, however, the gargantuan arrangement of Ketèlbey’s In A Monastery Garden from the New Century Orchestra under the symphonically-inclined Stanford Robinson, who manages to make the thing sound positively Tchaikovskian. There’s another trope; the influence of Russian orchestral music on British Light Music composers.

If you want newsreel zip turn to Jack Beaver’s Kings of Sport in Robert Farnon’s top-notch recording for Chappell of 1947. And if you want a confluence of elite talents try the next track, Let Us Live For Tonight, wherein Adrian Bernard’s tune is arranged by Sidney Torch and the band is conducted by Reg Leopold, erstwhile maestro fiddler. One conductor of whom the notes are silent is Ernest Maxin who directs his own orchestra in No Orchids for My Lady for Top Rank LP in 1960. Surely this is the Ernest Maxin associated with Kathy Kirby, and who directed and choreographed Morecambe and Wise in some of their greatest TV shows?

There’s a mild dash of exotica courtesy of a Singapore jaunt from Monty Kelly, and a well characterised piece from Charles Williams, as ever on top form for Columbia in 1952. Charles Brull directs The Harmonic Orchestra in a Spoliansky tune. Listen out for Bill McGuffie’s memorable The Unstoppable Man, his film theme of 1960. Then we go right back to Jack Hylton’s somewhat creaky performance of Vienna City of My Dreams in 1936.

So, from A-Z there’s much fun to be had from this latest compilation.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. At the Theatre by Graeme Stuart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regent Classic Orchestra
2. Bristol Cream by Toni Leutwiler
Conductor:  Curt Andersen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphonia Orchestra
3. Curtain Time by J. George Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New World Theatre Orchestra
4. Downland by Cecil Milner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Orcheste de Concert
5. Edelma by Terig Tucci
Performer:  Mitch Miller (Oboe)
Conductor:  Percy Faith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percy Faith Orchestra
6. Fairy Tiptoe by Julian Fredericks
Conductor:  Harry Davidson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Davidson Orchestra
7. Gazelle by Montague Ewing
Conductor:  Sidney Torch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Century Orchestra
8. Huckle Buckle by Robert Farnon
Conductor:  Leslie Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leslie Jones Orchestra
9. In a Monastery Garden by Albert William Ketèlbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; England 
10. Jack O'Lantern by Roger Roger
Conductor:  Roger Roger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Champs Elysees Orchestra
11. Kings of Sport by Jack Beaver
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queen's Hall Light Orchestra
12. Let Us Live for Tonight by Adrian Bernard
Conductor:  Reg Leopold
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Concert Orchestra
13. Miss Melanie by Ronald Binge
Conductor:  Kurt Rehfeld
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1950; England 
14. No Orchids for My Lady by Jack Strachey
Conductor:  Ernest Maxin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ernest Maxin Orchestra
15. On a Little Street in Singapore by Peter Derose
Conductor:  Monty Kelly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monty Kelly Orchestra
16. Prairie Schooner by Ron Goodwin
Conductor:  Cyril Stapleton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cyril Stapleton Orchestra
17. A Quiet Stroll by Charles Williams
Conductor:  Charles Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charles Williams Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; England 
18. Romantic Illusion by Mischa Spoliansky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonic Orchestra
19. Stereophonic March by David Rose
Conductor:  David Rose
Orchestra/Ensemble:  David Rose Orchestra
20. Taxi by Bruce Campbell
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra
21. The Unstoppable Man by Bill McGuffie
Conductor:  Bill McGuffie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cine-Musica of London
22. Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume by Rudolf Sieczynski
Conductor:  Jack Hylton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jack Hylton Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
23. A Waltz for Terry by Trevor Duncan
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Concert Orchestra
24. Exotica by Philip Green
Conductor:  Philip Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Green Orchestra
25. Young Man's Fancy by Peter Barrington
Conductor:  Cedric Dumont
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Concert Orchestra
26. Zip Along by Edward White
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grosvenor Studio Orchestra

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