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Golden Age Of Light Music - Lightly Classical

Lightly Classical / Various
Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 5172   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovClaude DebussyGustav HolstSir William Walton,   ... 
Conductor:  Pierre ChalletAngela MorleySir William WaltonFrank De Vol,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Three well deserved cheers for this fantastic collection – it’s one of the most entertaining from this source.

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Three well deserved cheers for this fantastic collection – it’s one of the most entertaining from this source. And what a variety of music we are offered!
 
Rimsky’s Bumble Bee is a real mover in this performance, the poor thing’s wings must have hurt when he landed – and it must be a male bee for no female bee would rush quite like this. Clair De Lune is exactly what it should be, were it written for Hollywood, but it never goes over the top as it so easily could.
 
The finale from Holst’s St Paul’s
Read more Suite is given a very breezy performance by Angela Morley, and, although it claims to be an arrangement I fail to hear it, and my score proved it – I wonder what this could mean? Walton’s Popular Song is as delightful as ever – and deserving of a place in such a collection – and the first revelation for me was the popular song based on Ravel’s stately Pavane for a Dead Infanta. I was intrigued as to how Ravel’s beautiful little dance could be so transformed into a different medium with such ease. I’d like to hear it with lyrics to see how it works in its “original” format.
 
The classics are plundered, as you’d expect in such a collection as this. Schumann’s Devotion sounds as English as anything to come out of Elstree and Mendelssohn could never have imagined his On Wings Of Song receiving such rich handling. Tchaikovsky receives “the treatment” twice. Barcarolle becomes a piece of mood music and the “theme” from Swan Lake, the famous Swan theme, here has a chorus and off-beat guitar chords. Meditation from Thais is a lovely interlude for violin and orchestra but here it’s a piano solo, then a swooping string arrangement, culminating with the fiddle. Irreverent these arrangements may be, but they are great fun.
 
I was particularly taken with Sidney Torch’s arrangement of Franz Lehár’s Gipsy Love, marvellously infused with Magyar sounds and spirit before letting go in a modern-sounding waltz. The Finale from Luigini’s Ballet Egyptien is great fun, memories of Wilson, Keppel and Betty – there were many Bettys over the years – abound. The Waltz from Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite is very fleet of foot, surely too fast for dancing, and his Sabre Dance seems quite small-scale by comparison with the composer’s own version. But we mustn’t forget that this has been made for a more commercial market than the Russian’s ballet. Kabalevsky’s Galop from his Comedians Suite includes a super part for xylophone – perhaps this was issued because, in the days of spa concerts, a xylophone solo would have been regular fare.
 
More seriously, Grieg’s Last Spring is a touching interlude, Robert Farnon’s Lake Of The Woods is an intermezzo in the Delius mould, Haydn Wood’s Brown Bird Singing appears in a beautiful sub-Delian orchestral hue. One of the best of the original works is Stanley Black’s very Schubertian Overture To A Costume Comedy. This is a perfect piece of light music which marries a good tune to a good idea and carries it out with aplomb and total affection for the style it celebrates.
 
The biggest surprise is kept for the end. I have no problem with the fact that the great Igor Stravinsky should appear in the Golden Age of Light Music series, for he did write a few things which would seem to be real contenders for inclusion – the Scherzo à la Russe or the Circus Polka, for instance, but four excerpts from The Firebird might seem a ballet step too far. But here’s the clever part – the dances are performed in arrangements by David Rose! Dance Of The Princesses (the Princesses Round Dance) starts, more or less, as you’d expect but when the saxophones enter we’re in another world. Here Stravinsky meets swing. Likewise the version of Dance of Kastchei ( Infernal Dance of the Subjects of King Kaschei), there’s certainly nothing really infernal about this dance; I wondered if Kaschei had become a bobby–soxer! Rose’s editing of this piece is fascinating. The Berceuse has a nice lazy swing to it – I especially like the walking bass, not to mention the Laura–style brass refrain. The Finale has a jaunty air to it – everybody here lives happily ever after! It’s known that Igor liked his cash – I wonder how well he was paid for allowing this arrangement? This is so enjoyable as to be worth the price of the disk alone.
 
Fantastic stuff. Great programming, good variety and every track a winner. What more can you want?
 
-- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Pierre Challet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Pierre Challet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
St Paul's Suite for Strings, Op. 29 no 2/H 118: Finale, The Dargason by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Angela Morley
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4.
Façade: Suite no 2 - Popular Song by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir William Walton
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1938; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
5.
The Lamp Is Low, song (a.k.a. "Pavanne") (after Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte) by Peter De Rose
Conductor:  Frank De Vol
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
6.
Zigeunerliebe: Waltz by Franz Lehár
Conductor:  Sidney Torch
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
7.
Overture to a Costume Comedy by Stanley Black
Conductor:  Pierino Gamba
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
8.
Portrait of Clare, for pops orchestra (transcribed and arranged from Schumann's "Devotion") by Felton Rapley
Conductor:  Charles Williams
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
9.
Ballet Egyptien: Finale by Alexandre Luigini
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Period: Romantic 
Written: Egypt 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Les saisons, Op. 37b: no 6, Juin "Barcarolle" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Philip Green
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
11.
Lake of the woods by Robert Farnon
Conductor:  Leslie Jones
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940s; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 54 Secs. 
12.
Masquerade: Waltz by Aram Khachaturian
Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USSR 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
13.
Beyond the Moonlight, song for orchestra (based on Mendelssohn's "On Wings of Song") by David Carroll
Conductor:  David Carroll
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
14.
He's in Love, song (from "Kismet") by George Forrest
Conductor:  Percy Faith
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
15.
Elegiac Melodies (2) for Strings, Op. 34: no 2, Last spring by Edvard Grieg
Conductor:  George Melachrino
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Norway 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
16.
Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a: no 1, Moderato "Swan Theme" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Ray Conniff
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
17.
Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Conductor:  Herman Clebanoff
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
18.
Gayaneh: Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian
Conductor:  John Scott Trotter
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942/1957; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
19.
Firebird: Dance of the Princesses by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  David Rose
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
20.
Firebird: Dance of Kastchei by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  David Rose
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
21.
Firebird: Berceuse by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  David Rose
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
22.
Comedians Suite, Op. 26 by Dmitri Kabalevsky
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
23.
A Brown Bird Singing for voice & piano by Haydn Wood
Conductor:  Eric Jupp
Period: Modern 
Written: 1922; United Kingdom 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great introduction to beautiful melodies. April 7, 2014 By George C N. (Brooklyn, NY) See All My Reviews "All the pieces on this guild title are done with great taste and bring several famous classical melodies to a wider audience. All of them are excellent. Great remastering once again. Really super!" Report Abuse
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