WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Golden Age Of Light Music - Light Music While You Work Vol 1


Release Date: 04/03/2007 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 5128   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Eric CoatesAnonymousPercy (Eastman) FletcherRalph Benatzky,   ... 
Conductor:  Svend Christian FelumbHarry FryerRichard CreanReginald Pursglove,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tivoli Concert Hall OrchestraHarry Fryer OrchestraRichard Crean Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $18.98
CD:  $15.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is perhaps some of the most interesting material transferred to CD by Guild for it all comes from a source little known outside the broadcasting and recording industries. The tunes will be very familiar to those who enjoyed their radios during daytime in the 1950s.

When in 1940 the war raged, the BBC decided that the British public needed a spiritual lift, and many morale-boosting radio programmes were put together. Cheerful music could help motivate factory workers and thus enhance output from the production line. The first broadcast took place at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 23 June 1940. It grew into something of an institution in British broadcasting, where the programmes were transmitted for an unbroken run of 27 years. When
Read more the BBC celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1982, "Music While You Work" was one of several popular programmes brought back for a few editions, and the positive public reaction resulted in additional broadcasts before they ended in 1995.

David Ades' interesting booklet notes tell us that the man credited with the original idea, and its successful implementation, was Wynford Reynolds (1899-1958). 'Live' musicians were usually engaged for the programmes, ranging from solo performers, such as organists, to small groups, dance bands, light orchestras and military bands. After some early experiments with light classics the feedback from the factories soon indicated that workers preferred tunes they knew and which they could sing along to. Since continuous studio playing was both impracticable and expensive, gramophone records would provide the answer. These could be purchased by factories and played internally via a public address system. Decca realized that a dedicated series of 78s would fit the concept and their own "Music While You Work" label was born. Sensibly they sought Wynford Reynolds' advice from the outset. These were not intended to be an accurate carbon copy of the BBC broadcasts, and the orchestras on the Decca records - mostly their contract artists - did not necessarily perform on the radio.

The first records were released in 1942, on Decca's usual blue and gold label 'F' series of popular 78s. By September 1943, 27 discs were pressed and by January 1947 nearly 400 more had been released. Some of the later 78s were recorded using Decca's revolutionary 'ffrr' process. This had been originally developed to technically assist the Ministry of Defence. This improved sound quality can be detected on several of the tracks of the CD though it should be said that Bunting's mastering for the rest is first class. To hear 78s nicely equalized, without their clicks and bumps, would have delighted the original engineers.

It is amusing to me to find that a number of composers here are German/Austrian, the very people the British did not wish to be reminded of whilst they were being bombed — Benatzky, Stolz, Aletter, Kreisler, Strauss, Lincke could have been Hitler’s henchmen!

Of the bands, both the Harry Fryer and Harry Davidson orchestras are lightweight and somewhat thin in strings, particularly the Fryer orchestra. The earlier Davidson issue (track 7) provides fuller, more mellow, strings and on this track his forces are larger. He became a permanent BBC fixture following his successful ‘Those were the Days’ broadcasts and these recordings hail from this period. Richard Crean comes from a more classical baseline than the other conductors, having worked with Boult and Covent Garden. His orchestra had its foundation in the London Palladium and its bigger sound is noticeable.

Amongst the tracks are familiar favourites you may not know by name such as Rendevous and Valse Septembre. Melodies such as these are catchy and fulfil their purpose in being generally uplifting. Familiar show selections included are, White Horse Inn with Your Eyes, My Song of Love, and the star hit, Leopold's Goodbye. The Lisbon Story selection contains Pedro The Fisherman, Never Say Goodbye, Someday We shall meet Again while the Something in the Air selection includes, You've done Something and You happen once in an Lifetime.

The booklet gives a full background to the ‘Music While You Work’ phenomenon and provides good information on the conductors and their bands. It would have been helpful to have the dates of composition of the lesser-known pieces. It is likely that there was a pipeline industry of churning them out and so their dates could well be the same year in which they were recorded/broadcast.

Once again we have a memorable library of nostalgic reminiscences thanks to Guild, and the careful selection and transfers provided by David Ades and Alan Bunting respectively.

-- Raymond J Walker, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Calling All Workers by Eric Coates
Conductor:  Svend Christian Felumb
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tivoli Concert Hall Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
2. (The) Band Plays by Anonymous
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: c1944 
3. (3) Light Pieces: Folie Bergere by Percy (Eastman) Fletcher
Written: before 1944 
4. Im weissen Rössl: Im weissen Rössl am Wolfgangsee by Ralph Benatzky
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Germany 
5. The Haunted Ballroom by Geoffrey Toye
Conductor:  Richard Crean
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Richard Crean Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; England 
6. In an Eighteenth Century Drawing Room by Raymond Scott
Conductor:  Reginald Pursglove
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Reginald Pursglove Orchestra
Written: before 1944 
7. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 3 in E major, B 74 "Tristesse" by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
8. Rendezvous by Wilhelm Aletter
Conductor:  Harry Davidson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Davidson Orchestra
Written: before 1945 
9. Adios, Conchita by Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra
Written: before 1945 
10. Lisbon Story by Harry Parr Davies
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: before 1943 
11. Gaily Through the World by Allan Macbeth
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
12. Bravada by (Ernest) Frederic Curzon
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: 1938 
13. Fascinatin' Manikin by William Wirges
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: before 1951 
14. (The) Call by Egbert Van Alstyne
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: before 1945 
15. (El) Punado de Rosas by Ruperto Chapí (y Lorente)
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: 1902 
16. Be Honest With Me by Fred Rose
Conductor:  Philip Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio orchestra Orchestra
Written: 1941 
17. Valse Septembre by Felix Godin
Conductor:  Harry Davidson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Davidson Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
18. Memories of Spain by Clive Richardson
Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra
19. Kwang Hsu - Japanese Intermezzo by Paul Lincke
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
20. Schön Rosmarin by Fritz Kreisler
Conductor:  Harry Davidson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Davidson Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
21. Ciribiribin by Alberto Pestalozza
Conductor:  Richard Crean
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Richard Crean Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
22. Tango by Fritz Kreisler
Conductor:  Harry Davidson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Davidson Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; London, England 
23. Indigo und die vierzig Räuber: Tausend und eine Nacht, Op. 346 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Variety Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Vienna, Austria 
24. Petite Suite de Concert, Op. 77: Demande et reponse by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; England 
25. Something in the Air by Manning Sherwin
Conductor:  Harry Fryer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harry Fryer Orchestra
Written: 1943 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook