Notes and Editorial Reviews
In this disc the focus of ‘Lost Transcriptions’ becomes tighter with three featured conductors; Percy Faith, Mantovani and Sidney Torch.
In this disc the focus of ‘Lost Transcriptions’ – of which this is the second volume – becomes tighter. There are three featured conductors; Percy Faith, Mantovani and Sidney Torch. And the transcriptions derive from material used by broadcasting companies, either recorded broadcasts, or ones that were specially recorded and shipped out to forces overseas, but not on a commercial basis. All of the Percy Faith sides are Voice of America transcriptions dating from 1947 to around the mid-1950s. There is more variety in the origins of the British material.
Naturally these three musicians were the cat’s pyjamas of the genre. Faith and Farnon were Canada’s two leading Light Music maestros and here we can concentrate on Faith, who unveils one classic arrangement after another - unlike Mantovani, who had Binge, Faith did all his own arranging. Things are characteristically lush and luscious in
Falling in Love with Love but even this is outdone by his work on
The Very Thought Of You which moves from searing to pert. I don’t happen much to like it, but I can at least stand back and admire what he wants to do with it. Despite some of the rough treatment they must have received, over inhospitable terrain too, most of these discs have survived in good nick, and have been restored well. Little, I suppose, could be done with some of the thumps on
Why Do I Love You – though they pass soon enough. Listen out for an insouciant Morton Gould piece called
Pavanne and also to Duke Ellington who solos on his own
Night Creature, a swinging affair with nightmarish elements. This garish quality is cleverly counter-pointed by the following piece, the spooky slow movement of Elie Siegmeister’s Clarinet Concerto, played by Vincent J. Abato, which is itself rather Ellingtonian. Fortunately, Copland’s
Rodeo banishes all this in a blaze of open air high spirits.
From Faith to Mantovani, whose selection is a little less sophisticated. Together Mantovani and Ronald Binge masqueraded as composer ‘Abner C. Rosen’ for
Imp On Broadway - probably the better to convince the listening world that this very Gershwinesque opus was the genuine article. But we’re on home turf for, yes,
Coronation Scot, orchestrated with élan and brilliance by Binge and recorded for Lang-Worth Feature Programmes transcription in 1952. There’s the usual cod-devilment and picture postcard piece and a delicious Binge piece called
Snakes and Ladders, before we pass on to Sidney Torch who conducts his own orchestra as well as The Cavalcade Orchestra and the RAF Concert Orchestra. His own
Barbecue is peppy with languid interludes, whilst
Amore Mio is briskly passionate; I suspect Torch made love at a regimental march tempo. The only war-time cut is the RAF one of Eric Coates’s
Wood Nymphs, who also enjoy Torch’s fast tempi.
It was a nice idea to select just these three musicians and to allow them room to breathe on disc. As ever, the notes are a class act.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International