Notes and Editorial Reviews
Another great selection from Guild, full of the most delicious things. George French’s title piece, Highly Strung, is a wild scherzo in the manner of David Rose’s Holiday for Strings, with lots of swirling string movement and great support from the brass and winds. Jack Mason’s Pops Polka is a typical Boston rush and Steve Race’s Ring Ding has a touch of Latin about it. Very nice.
I am a big fan of Roger Roger, and it’s good to have his racy Paris Pullman here, perhaps not exactly highly strung but it does have a great string tune. David Rose’s compositions really do grow on you, and Gay Spirits is a delightful concoction which has some splendid pizzicato writing, not to mention a lovely violin solo. Bob Farnon’s Little Miss
Molly has a Ravelian fairytale quality about it. It’s a delightful miniature with a prominent part for flute. Lovely. Zez Confrey, sans both kitten and keys, but armed with a xylophone delivers a good tune, with great orchestration - especially in the middle section for piano with a guitar or banjo in the background! Alex North is a much underrated composer and I welcome this excerpt from his music for The Wonderful Country - Americana at its very best. Charles Williams’s Toy Violin is a perfect pizzicato study. Fred Hartley’s Jack In The Box is a lovely piece of chamber music swing - of the kind sometimes offered by Alec Wilder.
Song of Lisbon is the kind of music you’d hear in a Mexican-set western of yesteryear, “we go to de cantina and drink wiz dee greengos”, and the cool sax of the late Johnny Dankworth graces Philip Green’s theme from Sapphire - a fine composition. Gaste’s Le Soir is a sleepy cor anglais and strings duet which is followed by a sterling Ronald Binge arrangement of Harry Warren’s (known, quite rightly, as ‘Mr Hollywood Musical’) Afraid To Dream, a beautiful song very well served by its arranger. The illustrious Clive Richardson, under a pseudonym, gives us a lovely string melody with the additional of a trumpet with felt mute. This is a lovely relaxed desert island thing.
OK, so I’ve gone to my favourites first, but can you blame me? If I didn’t it would be impossible to know where to start. For the rest there are pleasures aplenty. Schick’s Sheerline is made of the finest denier. Cry Of The Wild Goose is a bongo-driven flight, a fabulous Philip Green arrangement here. Cesana’s Whirlwind is a depiction of the wind, with romantic music in the middle, how strange this is; perhaps he had a film scene in mind. It was Cole Porter who introduced the world to the beguine and here Frank Chacksfield offers a rather lovely one, with a haunting theme, not to be forgotten in a hurry. Debussy wrote a Marche écossaise and to match it, another Frenchman crosses Hadrian’s Wall and gives us a Gigue Ecossaise, which is great fun. Ron Goodwin’s All Strung Up has the feel of the coffee bar to it, but no Teds are in evidence. Perpetual Notion, a nice title, is reminiscent of Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On The Town.
For the rest, the most important is probably Adolph Deutsch’s underscore from Some Like It Hot, a real slice of Hollywood, but with a most unsatisfactory, inconclusive ending. But that’s the trouble with underscore. It comes and suddenly it’s gone!
Guild has done it again, compiling a fascinating collection of pieces in excellent sound, and with helpful, but not exhaustive, notes. I have a list of pieces I’d love them to do and my mouth waters at what delights they will come up with next. As ever, I am all anticipation. This is an invaluable series.
-- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Pops Polka, for orchestra by Jack Mason
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs.
Ring Ding, for orchestra by Steve Race
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs.
Highly Strung, for orchestra by George French
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs.
Song Of Lisbon (Sempre Que Lisboa Canta), for orchestra by Carlos Rocha
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs.
Paris Pullman, for orchestra by Roger Roger
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs.
Sapphire Theme, for orchestra by Philip Green
Johnny Dankworth (Saxophone)
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs.
Le Soir (I'd Love To Fall Asleep), for orchestra by Louis Gasté
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs.
Afraid To Dream by Harry Revel
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs.
Jack In The Box, for orchestra by Fred Hartley
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs.
Gay Spirits, for orchestra by David Rose
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs.
Sheerline, for orchestra by Kurt Schick
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs.
Little Miss Molly by Robert Farnon
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1950s; England
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs.
Cry of the Wild Goose by Terry Gilkyson
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs.
Whirlwind, for orchestra by Otto Cesana
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs.
Life In New York, for orchestra by Bernie Wayne
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs.
Sunshine Beguine, for orchestra by Frank Chacksfield
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs.
Gigue Ecossaise (Scottish Jig), for orchestra by Gérard Calvi
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs.
Sentimental Magic, for orchestra by Paul Dubois
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs.
All Strung Up, for orchestra by Ron Goodwin
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs.
The Honeymoon Song, for orchestra by Mikis Theodorakis
Music of the Mountains
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs.
Limelight Waltz, for orchestra by Albert Marland
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs.
Toy Violin, for orchestra by Charles Williams
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs.
Blue Serenade by Frank Signorelli
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs.
Perpetual Notion by Percy Faith
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1919: A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody by Irving Berlin
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs.
Park Avenue Fantasy, for orchestra by Adolph Deutsch
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs.
Stumbling (Paraphrase), for piano by Zez Confrey
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs.
Ma Belle, for orchestra by Rudolf Friml
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs.
The Wonderful Country: Theme by Alex North
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs.
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