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Golden Age Of Light Music - 1950s Vol 3

Release Date: 06/06/2006 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 5119   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Irving BerlinHarold ArlenMario NascimbeneEdward White,   ... 
Performer:  Joe "Mr. Piano" HendersonBernie Leighton
Conductor:  Stanley BlackDavid RoseCharles WilliamsDolf van der Linden,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stanley Black OrchestraDavid Rose OrchestraCharles Williams Concert Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Let’s be honest: this is the sort of music that really gets the old spine tingling. Forget the complex aleatory music by Stockhausen and the incessant minimalism of Reich and Glass and even the integral serialism of Pierre Boulez. This is the kind of music that makes you feel good. Now do not get me wrong – I may not 'groove' to Stockhausen in the same way that I ‘dig’ Zeppelin and 'The Dead' and Robert Farnon but at least I do appreciate what the three above-named masters have done for music. The bottom line is this. If you want the musical equivalent of nursery food then this CD is for you. These tunes are a kind of musical ginger sponge with hot custard.

The numbers on this CD are all from the first half of the Fifties. Tis
Read more was a time of change in music – both popular and serious. It was an era when, if you were lucky, you could hear Elvis Presley or Bill Haley on Radio Luxembourg and Stanley Black and Frank Chacksfield on the Light Programme. Younger readers please note that the Light Programme became what is now Radio 2 – and did not have Terry Wogan. On the serious side of the musical equation, listeners were hearing much serialism and the beginning of what many would term anarchy – ‘play these notes in any order you please when you want’ type of tune. So this CD represents a kind of ‘Third Way.’

Most of the music on this disc I do not know. But it is somehow in my blood. I remember sitting for hours with my elderly, bedridden grandmother listening to the radio – both the Light Programme and the Home Service. And I know that this was the kind of music heard on this ‘medium’ rather than the burgeoning rock and roll, skiffle and ‘beat’ on the ‘Pirates’. And strangely I have never lost my affection for it. Perhaps, if I am honest, I can warm to some of the melodies and rhythms much more than I do to Beethoven, Mozart and even JSB? Maybe it is the evocative titles? Possibly the memories of a ‘better world’ just before I was born? (Rationing? Hmm.) Maybe the ‘romantic’ part of my nature needs to be ‘patronised’ a little bit more than the classical or intellectual (such as there is)? Or maybe it is just that I prefer Ginger Sponge to Nouvelle Cuisine?

But let’s glance at the music. There are 27 tracks – each and every one of them designed to bring back the memories. Some of the pieces are by ‘big names’ in the world of light music such as Richard Addinsell, Robert Farnon and Frederic Curzon. There are a few ‘musical’ composers here too such as Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin. And then there are the ‘classical’ or so called ‘serious’ writers such as Benjamin Frankel and Georges Auric. Some of the pieces are arrangements of ‘standards’ and many are novelties or original works.

This is less of a themed CD than others in the Guild series – but perhaps that is really irrelevant.

We meet a number of girls on this disc – Frank Perkins’ bouncy Barbara and Arend Honhoff’s Eleanora – the girl with a touch of Spain in her blood. I am not so sure about the Song of the Barefoot Contessa but it has a nice Gypsy swing to it. And of course love is never far away – Philippe-Gerard ‘Without my Lover’ is a little less evocative than it might have been with this particular emotion. Yet this is well balanced by Robert Farnon’s arrangement of the Arthur Schwartz ‘classic’ If there is Someone Lovelier than You. Of course all good lovers will answer NO! And then again lovers can either part or perhaps get married – and if they have been good can join Edward White for a White Wedding. Or maybe we will grieve our love lost and not be happy Till the Clouds Roll By with Jerome Kern.

Then there are the travel pieces. We can join Georges Auric on the Pavements of Paris – complete with evocative accordion – as another reviewer has said, “all Gauloises and berets”. Or perhaps we fly to Manhattan with Richard Rodgers. Now I do not know where Len Stevens situated Easy Street – but I guess it was not the Big Apple – perhaps just up from Knightsbridge? Philip Green returns to the States with his novelty Wagon Trail followed a few tracks later by the absolutely lovely Holiday in Hollywood by Peter Dennis. This piece evokes less of the Silver Screen than trips to Newquay and St Ives on the Cornish Riviera Express. But that is the beauty of light music - dream as you will! From Hollywood we go En Route with Robert Farnon. Perhaps we will eventually arrive at Arden E. Clar’s Port of Spain. Let us hope the weather is not like Eddie Haywood’s composition – Rainfall.

Of course the title of the CD is Irving Berlin’s ‘Say It With Music’ and this is the opening track which is presented in a ‘big’ Friday Night is Music Night type of arrangement. Another ‘standard’ follows with Harold Arlen’s That Old Black Magic.

Novelties are represented here with pieces such as the redoubtable Leroy Anderson’s Sandpaper Ballet – it could be by no-one else and Roger Roger’s The Toy Shop Window – complete with marching toy soldiers, rocking horses and dancing dollies.

Richard Addinsell’s film music for Out of the Clouds is a deliciously romantic period piece complete with piano obbligato which is absolutely nothing like the Warsaw Concerto. Benjamin Frankel is well known for his film music – and here we have the theme from A Kid for Two Farthings. It is a pity that he is not so well appreciated for his superb ‘serious’ music.

And then there are the inevitable waltzes and ‘nocturnal’ music. We can dream to Vercolier’s Starlight Lullaby – at least until it ‘goes’ Latin. The Waltz in Water Colours by George Melachrino is a particular favourite of mine. I seem to remember hearing this played on the Wurlitzer at Blackpool Tower Ballroom when I was an impressionable young lad. Oscar Straus continues the dancing mood with his Waltz Dream before we hear Frank Cordell’s attractive Big Ben Waltz – complete with the chimes.

And last of all we can join Joyce Cochrane with her Prelude to Peace – another big ‘Friday Night’ tune.

Guild have re-mastered this CD well – all these tunes sound much better than I imagine they did when they were released more than half a century ago. For this Alan Bunting must take credit. The liner notes by David Ades are excellent.

Big name bands feature on this CD including the David Rose Orchestra, Leroy Anderson himself, the Robert Farnon Orchestra and many, many more.

If you like this kind of music it is a must for your collection.

-- John France, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Music Box Revue: Say It with Music by Irving Berlin
Conductor:  Stanley Black
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stanley Black Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 1954 
That Old Black Magic by Harold Arlen
Conductor:  David Rose
Orchestra/Ensemble:  David Rose Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 1954 
The Barefoot Contessa: My Gypsy Heart by Mario Nascimbene
Conductor:  Charles Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charles Williams Concert Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954 
Date of Recording: 1954 
White Wedding by Edward White
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Concert Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Sandpaper Ballet by Leroy Anderson
Conductor:  Leroy Anderson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leroy Anderson Pops Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; USA 
Date of Recording: 1955 
La Fête à Henriette: Sur le Pavé de Paris by Georges Auric
Conductor:  Frank Chacksfield
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frank Chacksfield Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Out of the Clouds: Theme by Richard Addinsell
Performer:  Joe "Mr. Piano" Henderson (Piano)
Conductor:  Laurie Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Laurie Johnson Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; England 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Garrick Gaities: Manhattan by Richard Rodgers
Conductor:  Les Baxter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Baxter Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; USA 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Without My Lover by Philippe Bloch
Conductor:  Geoff Love
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Geoff Love Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Rainfall by Eddie Heywood
Performer:  Bernie Leighton (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Percy Faith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percy Faith Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1955 
The Toy Shop Window by Roger Roger
Conductor:  Roger Roger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Roger Roger Champs-Élysées Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Barbara by Frank Perkins
Conductor:  Frank Perkins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frank Perkins Pops Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Eleanora by Arend Honhoff
Conductor:  Cyril Stapleton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cyril Stapleton Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Easy Street by Len Stevens
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Wagon Trail by Philip Green
Conductor:  Philip Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Green Concert Pops Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Berceuse aux étoiles by Jules Vercolier
Conductor:  William Hill-Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  William Hill-Bowen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Revenge with Music: If There is Someone Lovelier than You by Arthur Schwartz
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Farnon Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Notes: Arranger: Robert Farnon. 
A Kid for Two Farthings: Theme by Benjamin Frankel
Conductor:  Wally Stott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wally Stott Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Savoir Faire by Frederic Curzon
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Concert Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Waltz in Water Colours by George Melachrino
Conductor:  George Melachrino
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melachrino Strings & Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Port of Spain by Arden E. Clar
Conductor:  Richard Hayman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Richard Hayman Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Ein Walzertraum: Waltz of my dreams by Oscar Straus
Conductor:  Harry Hermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1953 
En Route by Robert Farnon
Conductor:  Robert Farnon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Big Ben Waltz by Frank Cordell
Conductor:  Frank Cordell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frank Cordell Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Holiday in Hollywood by Dennis Berry
Conductor:  Dolf van der Linden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dolf van der Linden Metropole Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1952 
Oh, Boy!: Till the Clouds Roll By by Jerome Kern
Conductor:  Gordon Jenkins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gordon Jenkins Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; USA 
Date of Recording: 1952 
Notes: Arranger: Gordon Jenkins. 
Prelude to Peace by Joyce Cochrane
Conductor:  Geraldo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Geraldo New Concert Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1953 

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