Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Golden Age of Light Music
More Strings In Stereo!
(1920 – 1992) Cross Country Tour (arr.
Bruce CAMPBELL) [2:58]
(1918 – 1964) Chansonette [3:02]
Jimmy VAN HEUSEN (1913 – 1990) and
(1908 – 1964) Polka Dots And Moonbeams (1940) (arr.
(1921 – 1985)) [3:10]
Angela MORLEY (known at that time as
2009) Rotten Row [2:24]
(1905 – 1994) and
(1918 – 1971) as well as
Sammy FAIN (1902 – 1989) and
Herbert MAGIDSON (1906 – 1986) Stay With The Happy People as well as Violins From Nowhere (arr.
(1917 – 2005)) [3:41]
Manuel M PONCE (1882 – 1948) Estrellita (arr. Ralph Sterling) [3:22]
(1859 – 1924) March Of The Toys (from Babes In Toyland) (arr.
(1908 – 1976)) [2:54]
(1886 – 1957) By The Sleepy Lagoon (1930) [3:02]
(1921 – 1982) and
(1913 - 2006) Moonlight In Vermont (1944) [3:00]
(1894 – 1979) and
(1901 – 1976) High Noon (1952) [2:52]
(1913 – 1996) Windjammer Theme and Night Watch (from the film Windjammer) (1958) [6:37]
Victor YOUNG (1900 – 1956) India Countryside (from Around The World In Eighty Days) [3:39]
(1891 – 1964) Allez-Vous-En (from Can-Can) [2:55]
Joseph F KUHN Beachcomber [2:32]
Johnny W GREEN
(1908 – 1989) and
Edward HEYMAN (1907 – 1981) I Cover The Waterfront (1933) (arr.
(1901 – 1961)) [3:47]
(1888 – 1989) Let’s Face The Music And Dance; Say It Isn’t So [3:18]
Les BAXTER (1922 – 1996) Harem Silks From Bombay [2:25]
(1890 – 1967) and
(1892 – 1972) Wonderful One [2:42]
Roy J STRAIGIS Moon Over Montevideo [3:05]
(1902 – 1974) and
(1901 – 1969) A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (1940) (arr. Angela Morley) [2:55]
(1902 – 1979) Happy Talk (from South Pacific) (arr.
Percy FAITH) [2:39]
(1905 – 1986) and
(1894 – 1973) Let’s Fall In Love (arr. Conrad Salinger) [3:51]
The Ski Song – Slalom [2:01]
Charles Kassel HARRIS
(1867 – 1930) After The Ball [2:55]
Warren Barker (PORTER), Les Baxter (BAXTER), David Carroll (POBER), Pierre Challet (PONCE), Frank de Vol (BERLIN), Percy Faith (HERBERT and RODGERS), Robert Farnon (STYNE/FAIN, TAMBURELLO), Morton Gould (GOULD), Hal Mooney (SUESSDORF),
Angela Morley (SHERWIN and MORLEY), Nelson Riddle (VAN HEUSEN), Billy Vaughn (TIOMKIN) each with his or her Orchestra; The Cinema Sound Stage Orchestra (YOUNG), Clebanoff Strings (GROFE), The Conrad Salinger Orchestra/Buddy Bregman (ARLEN, GREEN), The Gaslight Orchestra (HARRIS), London Symphony Orchestra/Charles Mackerras (COATES), The Melachrino Strings/George Melachrino (HILL–BOWEN) and The Rio Carnival Orchestra (KUHN and STRAGIS)
If truth were told I am heartily sick of enjoying these re–issues from Guild, because they are so pleasurable and entertaining, not to mention packed with great tunes and fabulous orchestrations. What is a boy to do when spoiled with such riches?
Well, yet again, all I can do is tell you about my favourites and hope that if you haven’t discovered this marvellous series I will be able to whet your appetite and get you to sample the delights herein.
I’d never heard of Anthony Tamburello before but I am very happy to have made his acquaintance with his jaunty little
Cross Country Tour which contains some nice writing for trombones. Hill–Bowen’s
Chansonette is a lovely piece of string writing and a nice foil for the Tamburello.
Rotten Row is usually credited as being Angela Morley’s best known work but it sounds more like a stroll down Park Lane, But who cares, it’s magical. Percy Faith’s wonderful arrangement of Victor Herbert’s
March of the Toys seems to me to be mock-heroic, tinged with a little of Gounod’s
Funeral March of a Marionette at the start – odd but it works – and it culminates in a proper boisterous march.
By The Sleepy Lagoon needs no introduction, and this performance by Mackerras is excellent, with just the right amount of swing to the theme. The two excerpts from Morton Gould’s score for
Windjammer are full of things nautical, and have an open-air, almost English, sound to them. In fact, after giving it some thought I realise that what these pieces remind me of is the marvellous score Jenny McLeod wrote for the 1984 film
The Silent One - come on Naxos, there’s a score for film which should be heard widely for it is a winner. It’s great to hear an excerpt from Young’s score for
Around The World In Eighty Days, which isn’t the title music – which I must admit to finding the weakest part of this fascinating score.
India Countryside is the sub-continent suffused with a Hollywood glow. Fabulous stuff.
The songs are, in general, given good arrangements and performances, and Les Baxter’s
Harem Silks From Bombay is full of eastern promise as the advertisement used to have it. Whiteman and Grofé’s
Wonderful One shows us another side of these two important figures from the early part of the 20
th century and Roy Straigis’s
Moon Over Montevideo is another of those travelogue pieces which use every cliché in the book to create what we think the music of whatever area is being depicted is really like.
Strangely, there are two duds in this set – possibly the first time this has happened. Joseph Kuhn’s
Beachcomber is a rather heavy-handed sun and beach combination and it fails simply because Clive Richardson’s composition of the same name is far too enjoyable and quirkily magical, and Kuhn cannot hold a candle to that approach. Likewise the arrangement of Tiomkin’s excellent theme for the film
High Noon. The whole point about the film
High Noon is that it is one man standing against the forces of evil, and in the film the song is accompanied by guitar and drums, this arrangement is far too fussy and sumptuous. Sometimes it’s best to leave things alone and this is a case in point.
Apart from that moan yet again Guild has come up with a well packed disk which is essential for all lovers of good tunes and devotees of light music. This disk has no theme to it: it’s simply a collection of early stereo recordings and that gives it a little cachet over some of the other, themed issues. What I would now like is a disk devoted entirely to British composers. There are riches there which are still untapped – what about those John Ansell 10 inch discs for instance? But whatever Guild issues next I will be waiting for it with bated breath.
-- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Cross Country Tour by Anthony Tamburello
Robert Farnon Orchestra
Chansonette by William Hill-Bowen
Polka Dots and Moonbeams by James Van Heusen
Nelson Riddle Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Rotten Row by Angela Morley
Wally Stott Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Estrellita by Manuel Ponce
Pierre Challet Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912; Mexico
Sleepy Lagoon by Eric Coates
Sir Charles Mackerras
London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1942; England
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