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The Golden Age Of Light Music: A Return Trip To The Library

Return Trip To The Library / Various
Release Date: 01/10/2012 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 5183   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Cedric King PalmerPaul FenoulhetTom WylerLaurie Johnson,   ... 
Conductor:  Walter CollinsTom WylerRobert FarnonDolf van der Linden,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Club Quintet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The library concerned is not the reference one, or your local one, currently facing an uncertain future, but publishers’ music libraries of recorded music likely to be useful for documentary or entertainment films. The proliferation of such material in the 1940s and 1950s has been profitably exploited by Guild, and it now returns for more offerings from specialist labels set up for this purpose, labels such as KPM Music, Francis, Hunter & Day, Chappell (of course), Harmonic/Charles Brull, and the rare birds of Conroy and Impress. Alongside them, you’ll find Read more Paxton, always a happy hunting ground for the Classical cum Light Music maven.

Guild has sub divided this disc into chapters; ‘Marches’, ‘Romantic’, ‘Animals’, ‘National Character’ — you get the picture. Some chapter headings are represented only by a single track, as is the case with ‘Humorous’, whilst others have spawned a whole sub genre of adherents, as is the case with ‘Light Atmosphere’.

There are the expected big name composers and band leaders and also some much less well known personalities and bands — the conductor-less (or if there was one he’s not mentioned) Group-Forty Orchestra, for example, which has appeared on Guild before but I suspect it will still be a mystery to most.

There’s plenty to invigorate, as ever in this splendidly annotated series. King Palmer courts the Elgarian in his With Pomp and Pride — the first part of the title being a none-too-hidden allusion to the fact that he’s mining Elgar’s Fourth P & C March. The Harmonic Strings get quite sassy on Lovely Day, directed by the composer himself, Tom Wyler, whose real name was Toni Leutwiler, the Swiss born, ex fiddle player who died a couple of years ago. Farnon directs a lusty version of Looking Around with the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra whilst stalwart Dolf van der Linden, masquerading as the more Anglophone ‘Paul Franklin’, presents a zippy piece called Making Merry with witty panache.

It’s unusual to hear Farnon play some cod Dixieland for Chappell — under Guild’s rubric ‘Dance Music’— but the fellers in the band seem to have listened to all the right people; Benny Goodman, Bud Freeman and George Wettling from the sound of it. I wonder who these English musicians were in ‘The Dance Band’, back in 1948?

Clive Richardson’s teasing arrangement of ‘Knick, Knack, Paddy Whack’ comes out as This Old Man but surely Jos Cleber’s Rickshaw Ride is altogether too cosmopolitan to quality as a real ‘National Character’. Mind you, and fortunately, it’s followed by John Foulds’s Le Cabaret, one of Walter Collins’s plentiful Paxton 78s. Van der Linden gets as avant-garde as the genre could get in his own Man from Mars (filed under ‘Novelty’) where Holstian elements prevail. Lovers of Ronald Binge’s evergreen The Watermill will be amused that the performers, the very English sounding Lansdowne Light Orchestra were, in all probability, the very German Stuttgart Radio Orchestra under its equally Teutonic director, Kurt Rehfeld. It’s certainly quite a fast running stream: I’d play it quite a bit slower. There’s a touch of La Valse in Ronald Hanmer’s Blood and Sand March and some chic chicanery in Charles Williams’s A Machine Ballet, which is more ballet than machine, I think.

All these mono tracks sound good, albeit some of the earlier ones are just too dampened down for my own tastes. Otherwise, no quibbles about this one.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
With Pomp and Pride by Cedric King Palmer
Conductor:  Walter Collins
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
2.
Happidrome, for pops orchestra by Paul Fenoulhet
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Lovely Day by Tom Wyler
Conductor:  Tom Wyler
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
4.
Rue de la Paix by Laurie Johnson
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
5.
Looking Around (The Appleyards theme) by Lloyd Thomas
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
6.
Making Merry, for pops orchestra by Cyril Watters
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
7.
Wide Horizon, for pops orchestra by Cecil Milner
Conductor:  Curt Andersen
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
8.
Dog Gone, for pops orchestra by George French
Conductor:  Eric Cook
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
9.
Little Debbie by Trevor Duncan
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
10.
Secret Serenade, for pops orchestra by Reg Owen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Club Quintet
Period: Modern 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
11.
Dixielander, for pops orchestra by Robert Farnon
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Period: Modern 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
12.
Transcontinental, for pops orchestra by Anthony Mawer
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
13.
Holiday Excursion, for pops orchestra by Peter Yorke
Conductor:  Peter Yorke
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
14.
This Old Man, children's song by Traditional
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
15.
Rickshaw Ride, for pops orchestra by Jos Cleber
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
16.
Le Cabaret, Op. 72a by John Foulds
Conductor:  Walter Collins
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
17.
Sea Piece, for pops orchestra by Jack Beaver
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
18.
Ascot Parade by Jack Strachey
Conductor:  Walter Collins
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
19.
Buffoonery, for pops orchestra by Van Phillips
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
20.
Man from Mars, for pops orchestra by Dolf van der Linden
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
21.
The Watermill by Ronald Binge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
22.
Luccombe Common, for pops orchestra by Trevor Duncan
Conductor:  Curt Andersen
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
23.
The First Waltz, for pops orchestra by Robert Farnon
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
24.
Stratosphere, for pops orchestra by Eric Spear
Conductor:  Sidney Torch
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
25.
Shades of Destiny, for pops orchestra by Wilfred Burns
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
26.
Blood and Sand, march for pops orchestra by Ronald Hanmer
Conductor:  Sidney Torch
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
27.
A Machine Ballet, for pops orchestra by Charles Williams
Conductor:  Charles Williams
Period: Modern 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
28.
Quality Street, for pops orchestra by Frederic Bayco
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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