Keeping Track - Dateline June 2005
MUSIC OF A PEOPLE and SPIRIT OF A PEOPLE Shema; Hava Nagila; Raisins and Almonds; Yes my darling daughter; Eli Eli; Tzena Tzena Tzena; And the angels sing; A letter to my mother; Joseph!; Hebrew Melody; Hatikvah; Exodus; My Yiddishe Moma; Freilich; Sunrise, Sunset; Second Avenue Symphonette; Kinneret; Kol Nidre; Finale. London Festival Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Stanley Black Vocalion CDLK 4256. This double album brings together CD transfers from two outstanding Decca LPs. "Music of a People" was issued in 1965, and I treasure my original copy. "Spirit of a People" dates from 1974; for some reason I never invested in this sequel, so having both discs in one modern package is a long-delayed treat. Decca were using their trademark "Phase 4 Stereo" process, involving a 20-channel mixer enabling the orchestral instruments to be "precisely pinpointed along the horizontal plane, or forward and back." Small beer alongside our modern multi-track magic. But those original tapes have been nurtured by the indefatigable Mike Dutton into a glowing, digital sonic experience that belies their years. There is a lot of Jewish music around on CD. Much of it is "klezmer" – that is, modern imitations of vagrant East European village bands playing traditional Jewish folk-melodies at weddings and other celebrations (as in the famous Bottle Dance in "Fiddler on the Roof"). Stanley Black (born Solomon Schwartz in London’s Jewish East End) gave us something quite different. In his original sleeve notes he wrote: "I have tried to echo the love of traditional ceremony, both sacred and secular, the love of music, the love of dancing, the love of living." He took those traditional songs, dances and centuries-old prayers, arranging and extending sometimes trifling tunes, and scored them for a virtuoso orchestra (I suspect it’s the London Philharmonic, with "Festival" used for contractual reasons). Adding a well-drilled chorus bursting with vigour, his arrangements became little masterpieces in their own right. There’s a glittering array of percussion, punchy brass, sweeping strings, tender woodwind solos and a huge sense of sheer enjoyment at those recording sessions. The range of moods is vast: from Hollywood-style spectaculars like the opening calls on the shofar (ram’s horn) introducing "Hava Nagila" (can there be a more vibrant rendering of this warhorse anywhere on disc?), to the sensitive treatment of traditional synagogue melodies such as "Eli Eli" (Psalm 22) and "Kol Nidre", made famous in its cello-and-orchestra incarnation by Max Bruch but here in its original form for cantor and chorus (John McCarthy, founder of the Ambrosian Singers, contributing his own arranging skills for this track sung by the men of the London Festival Chorus). Sadly, with Stanley Black no longer with us – and the public performance of Jewish melodies in glossy orchestral garb confined to rare gala concerts at the Barbican or the Royal Festival Hall – these scores are in danger of fading from the memory. Black dressed up those familiar tunes in the manner of Dvorak or Brahms in their Slavonic and Hungarian Dances, and the glittering orchestral palette is worthy of Glinka or Rimsky-Korsakov, who also knew a thing or two about reinventing folk tunes for the concert hall. So all thanks to Decca and Vocalion for providing an experience you will probably never hear again "live", and will only get from putting these well-engineered discs into your player. Enjoy the skills of a superb British arranger and conductor, marshalling his forces in music that’s clearly close to his heart, or rather in his very blood.Rodney Greenberg
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES Volume 1 John Fox – Characters from the Fairy Tales, Strings in 3/4; Philip Lane – Spring in Vermont, Anaiis; Herbert Chappell – ‘The Pallisers’ theme; Adam Langston – Gentle Rains; Carlo Martelli – Jubilee March, Cock Linnett; Gavin Sutherland – Air fur Zwei; Peter Lawson – Baroque Autumn; Adam Saunders – The Magical Kingdom; Geoffrey Wright – Three Neapolitan Dances Dutton Epoch CDLX 7147, 69:02 mins. Volume 2 Philip Lane – Overture on French Carols; John Field – Concertino for flute and small orchestra; Haydn Wood – British Rhapsody; Rimsky-Korsakov – Variations on a theme of Glinka; Anthony Hedges – Festival Dances; Carlo Martelli – Romance, Greensleeves, Aubade; Richard Addinsell – Harmony for False Lovers; Georges Bizet – Pas de Deux (from Carmen) Dutton Epoch CDLX 7151, 77:00 mins. With the flow of new Light Music releases apparently diminishing from the Sanctuary White Line label, it is good to know that Mike Dutton seems to have ensured the continued availability of recordings produced by Philip Lane. From the above details readers will recognise many familiar names, as well as a few new ones: the second volume also covers arrangements by British composers, hence the appearance of the likes of Rimsky-Korsakov and Bizet. Several orchestras are featured, and it is most praiseworthy that (almost) all the music is available for the first time. It could be argued that ‘Light Classical’ might be a better description than ‘Light’ for some of the items, but it would be churlish to be pedantic about such matters. Instead we should rejoice that we have a record company that it prepared to release beautiful music such as this. David Ades All Dutton Epoch CDs are available through the RFS Record Service.
THE FILM MUSIC OF CLIFTON PARKER Suite from Treasure Island, Seascape from Western Approaches, The Sword and the Rose, March from Sea of Sand, The Blue Lagoon – Rhapsody for Orchestra, Theme from Night of the Demon, Virigin Island- A Caribbean Rhapsody, March from Sink the Bismark, Blue Pullman BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Rumon Gamba Chandos CHAN10279, 80:00 mins. The latest instalment in Chandos’ well regarded and successful series devoted to British film music features Clifton Parker and I welcome it the more warmly not least because he was responsible for creating one of my favourite film scores – of which anon. However I do have to start with something of a caveat since I have a difficulty with the first piece on this disc – the music for Treasure Island. This comes in the form of a lengthy 24 minute, seven movement suite and as a free standing concert piece is problematical because the music is essentially descriptive and desperately needs the medium of film more than any other piece on this disc to make its full and proper impact. I can well imagine many listeners’ concentration wandering at this point – like mine did – but others possibly may respond more positively. That said this disc still has ample musical compensation to offer not least the broodingly atmospheric Seascape from the wartime film ‘Western Approaches’. It conjures up a vivid mental picture of the white flecked heaving grey Atlantic Ocean across which a vital merchant convoy is making its way escorted by Royal Navy escorts and at the mercy of a U-boat attack at any moment. At just under five minutes in duration this minor masterpiece is all too short. The film itself was unusual for wartime in being made in colour, starred men from the allied navies and was hailed at the time by the Daily Mail as ‘without doubt the best sea film in existence’. Its surely high time this outstanding film graced our television screens again as a welcome change from the same old batch of British films some of distinctly dubious quality being endlessly and constantly recycled by the various television channels.The favourite piece of film music referred to at the head of this review is the March from the 1960 film ‘Sink the Bismark’ starring Kenneth More and dealing in a reasonably factual way with the sinking of the pride of the Royal Navy, the ill fated battle cruiser HMS Hood by the German super dreadnought Bismark and the subsequent hunting down and destruction of the latter by heavy units of the British fleet. Clifton Parker hits exactly the right buttons with a fast menacing sounding outer section doubtless depicting Bismark and its escort the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen on the loose in the North Atlantic contrasting with a flowing nobilmente triotune much in the style of Elgar and Walton in their marches and imbued with great dignity. The first appearance of this great theme so apposite to the films’ character is surely a moving and poignant moment. The version here though by no means eclipses the fine account of Kenneth Alwyn and the Philharmonic Orchestra on a Silva Screen double CD – FILMXCD309 of Great British Film Music 1938-1998. Other attractions on this Chandos release are a short suite from The Sword and the Rose which includes a graceful and beguiling Lute Dance and a distinctly catchy march tune for the film Sea of Sand. Transport buffs amongst us can delight in having the opportunity to catch an exhilarating musical ride on the Blue Pullman – music Parker wrote for a British transport film to launch a new prestigious express train in 1960. This is music which manages to be both overtly descriptive but also thoroughly entertaining and involving and easily sustains its near 16 minute duration. Despite my earlier reservations concerning the Treasure Island music this generously filled disc with state of the art recording made at Walthamstow Town Hall can be confidently recommended to all lovers of British film music. Roger Hyslop
BRITISH LIGHT CLASSICS Volume 1 Allegro non troppo – from ‘English Dances (Malcolm Arnold), Calling All Workers, By the Sleepy Lagoon & The Dam Busters March (Eric Coates), Barwick Green (Arthur Wood), Coronation Scot (Vivian Ellis), The Bandstand Hyde Park (Haydn Wood), Cornish Rhapsody 9Hubert Bath), Portrait of a Flirt & Westminster Waltz (Robert Farnon), March from Little Suite (Trevor Duncan), Rhythm on Rails, Heart O’ London & Devil’s Galop (Charles Williams), Jamaican Rumba (Arthur Benjamin), Puffin’ Billy (Edward White), Vanity Fair (Anthony Collims),Chanson de Nuit (Edward Elgar) Warner Classics 2564 61438-2 (total timing 59:33 mins);Volume 2 Mexican Hat Dance (arr. Peter Hope), Nights of Gladness (Charles Ancliffe), Dreaming (Archibald Joyce), Pas de Quatre (Meyer Lutz), The Grasshopper’s Dance (Ernest Bucalossi), The Boulevardier (Frederic Curzon), The Haunted Ballroom (Geoffrey Toye), Concert Jig from Silverthorn Suite (Ernest Tomlinson), The Watermill (Ronald Binge), The Old Clockmaker (Charles Williams), Bells Across the Meadow (Albert Ketelbey), Dusk (Cecil Armstrong Gibbs), Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon), Destiny (Sydney Baynes), Londonderry Air (arr. Hamilton Harty), Covent Garden from London Suite (Eric Coates) Warner Classics 2564 62020-2 (total timing 64:24 mins) – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth. If these two CDs had been released 20 years ago we would have all been over the moon! It is a measure of the healthy state of Light Music today that most of us will already have at least one version of these works in our collections. One could be negative and say that we have heard all this before, but I feel that would be highly regrettable. The glory of Light Music is that it can benefit from different interpretations: not only do conductors have their own styles and preferences (The Boulevardier is a good example!), but recording engineers can also have a profound effect on what we hear at home. How often have you noticed a ‘new’ instrument in a piece you thought you knew very well? One famous example is the Decca recording of Robert Farnon’s Poodle Parade where the counter-melody in the middle section is almost entirely lost; it came as a pleasant surprise to many of us the first time we heard the Chappell version. But to return to these two CDs … volume 1 originally appeared on the RPO’s own label, so do check that you do not already have it. This music is now reaching a wider audience through Warner Classics, and one can only wish them well. The RPO is a superb orchestra, and there can be few conductors with a breadth of experience in this genre to match Barry Wordsworth. Forget about duplications! Add these CDs to your Light Music collection, and be grateful that our kind of music is enjoying such a welcome revival! David Ades
I approached this latest offering (Volume 2) from Warner Classics with keen expectations particularly the more so as its predecessor ‘Light Music Legends’ originally issued on the Royal Philharmonic’s own label – RPO 008 reviewed in the June 2004 Journal Into Melody (p. 67) and subsequently re-released as ‘British Light Classics’ – Cat. No. 2564 614382 on the Warner Classics label I hailed with considerable enthusiasm both on account of the sound quality and the stylish idiomatic performances. That recording was made in the Henry Wood Hall London which self evidently has decidedly superior acoustical attributes than the Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace used for this newcomer. Whilst many of the tracks on this new disc admittedly tread very heavily in the footsteps the excellent Hyperion Series ‘British Light Music Classics’ featuring Ronald Corp and the accomplished New London Orchestra – which one fervently hopes will be resumed again soon – I was looking forward again to the luxury of listening to these gems of the light music repertoire played by a large ‘Premier League’ symphony orchestra. Alas not only is the recording disappointing with rather bright sound somewhat lacking in any great sense of depth or amplitude but many of the performances here are, surprisingly in view of the conductor’s fine reputation in music of this kind, rather brusque and insensitive with in some cases eccentrically fast tempo. One almost has the feeling of a conductor racing through the recording sessions at a fair rate of knots with a view to catching a particular train! Thus Charles Ancliffe’s fine waltz Nights of Gladness is despatched in a mere 3.25 mins with little in the way of repeats and at a tempo which would have been impossibly fast to dance to. Ronald Corp with his New London Orchestra on Hyperion CDA 66868 has far more ‘oomph’ here. Revealingly no less than eleven tracks on this new disc are contained on the aforementioned Hyperion CD which in every way is to be preferred. Barry Wordsworth’s The Boulevardier instead being out for a jaunty walk about town appears to be in headlong flight, pursued by his creditors perhaps! Compare with Corp’s version which comes out at amore acceptable 3.55 with the music consequently more pointed and better characterised and Vivian Dunn’s account on Vocalion CDLK 4182 at an entirely persuasive 3.34. Again Meyer Lutz’ Pas de deux is simply played too fast with all its effect and charm needlessly dissipated. It is after a balletic piece and Corp invests the piece with a delightful and beguiling lilt which is quite irresistible. Again comparable timings are instructive here with Wordsworth reaching the ‘finishing line’ at 2.55 against the more steady and persuasive Corp at 3.39. You will gather by now that I am not greatly enthused with this disc and it is all the more disappointing since Barry Wordsworth is usually such a sympathetic and reliable interpreter of the light music repertoire. To be fair the more lively numbers such as Peter Hope’sMexican Hat Dance and Robert Farnon’s Jumping Bean survive rather better. The performance of Ronald Binge’s enchanting The Watermill is simply not in the same class as Vivian Dunn’s version on the previously mentioned Vocalion disc where he coaxes beautifully atmospheric and magical playing from the Light Music Society Orchestra. Sorry to be so negative about what promised to be a significant and desirable addition to British light music discography and others may respond more positively to this Warner Classics disc but on every count Ronald Corp and his New London Orchestra on Hyperion is to be preferred in much of this repertoire where fine, sensitive, committed and idiomatic playing makes for a completely satisfying listening experience! Roger Hyslop
The enormous upsurge of interest in Light Music over the last few years has brought success to several UK record companies, and a number of CDs have been aimed at a target audience of principally ‘classical’ purchasers. A good example is the series conducted by Ronald Corp on the Hyperion label, and more recently (2003) a volume of British light classics by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Barry Wordsworth, which has now been joined by Volume 2. Having observed the work of Barry Wordsworth at close quarters (he conducted the Charles Williams CD with which I was involved in 2003), I believe that he is a highly competent exponent of this genre. In contrast to one or two other conductors, his tempi are usually fairly brisk, but on this occasion some of them are far too much so – eg Nights of Gladness, The Grasshopper’s Dance, and especially The Boulevardier, which bizarrely sounds as if Frederic Curzon’s hero is trying to set a new record for the 100 metres, rather than taking a leisurely stroll! The RPO delivers textbook performances and the same can be said for the quality of Tony Faulkner’s recordings. Aside from the vexed question of tempi, the other problem is that the majority of collectors will already possess at least one – if not several – of every title. It is most unfortunate that no opportunity was taken to include at least a couple of less-often-recorded titles – there are still plenty of fine compositions awaiting their turn to appear on CD. This new Warner release (together with its predecessor) will be mainly of interest to those who are just starting a light music collection. Acknowledgments are given to the Library of the Light Music Society, which was of assistance in providing some of the sheet music, and the booklet also includes a ‘plug’ for the RFS website. Tony Clayden
GUILD Golden Age of Light Music CDs tracklistings earlier in this issue
GLCD5113: Mantovani – By Special Request Vol. 2
GLCD5114: Great American Light Orchestras Vol. 2
In a little over a year, the GUILD Golden Age of Light Music CDs have become firmly established, not only in the UK but farther afield; encouraged by their success, the Company’s string of new releases continues apace. Already we have had Volume 2 of Music Of The ’50s – Midnight Matinée (JIM162) and this is now joined by second volumes of Mantovani By Special Request and Great American Light Orchestras. The Mantovani compilation embraces what I regard as this conductor’s most musically interesting and satisfying period, namely 1940-1951. During these eleven years, he made a surprising number of recordings, although unfortunately many of these never became as well known as his later work. It has been suggested that this may be because Decca’s publicity machine only really moved into ‘top gear’ with the advent of the Charmaine era which was the time when the new LP format was becoming heavily promoted. As with Volume 1 (JIM161), some of the earlier tracks have a definite ’30s ring about them; Nights Of Gladness, Castiliana, Spanish Cocktail and Valse Septembre are all obvious examples. There are some classical ‘borrowings’, including the Song of Norway suite (Edvard Grieg), Tell Me You Love Me (from Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci) and Tango Bolero, which although credited to Juan Llossas seems to be decidedly under the influence ofGranada from Suite Española for guitar by Isaak Albeniz. Hejre Kati makes use of what I am certain is a traditional Hungarian melody, because the very same tune crops up in one of the Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms. A good few tracks also feature Mantovani as a composer, both under his own name and "Pedro Manilla" in this absolutely splendid collection which should appeal to all who enjoy Light Orchestral Music of the post-WWII period. Volume 2 of Great American Light Orchestrasis subtitled Travellin’ Light after the first track by Walter Scharf and his orchestra; Victor Young’s main theme has a particularly ‘English’ sound about it. Some of the orchestras featured in Volume 1 (JIM159) make a welcome return and are joined by a number of newcomers, not all of which are too familiar to British audiences. The programme is a well-chosen combination of original compositions for orchestra, together with Broadway/Hollywood standards dressed up for the occasion in lush orchestral ‘party frocks’. Highlights of the twenty-seven tracks – for me at any rate – are Leon Jessell’s Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (having become metamorphosed from the Tin variety we know and love on this side of the pond) and Fritz Kreisler’s Chinese Tambourine. Both are played like you’ve never heard them before! I would also mention New York in a Nutshell (shades of Gershwin’sAn American in Paris?), The Grasshopper by Bernard Landes and two equestrian pieces, Kentucky Trotter by Frank Perkins and David Rose’s Flying Horse – is it my imagination, or has Poncielli’sDance of the Hours crept (or more likely galloped) into the proceedings? Once again GUILD has produced a collection of the highest quality and a worthy successor to Volume 1. Here then are two more great additions to this excellent series. What rabbits will David Ades and Alan Bunting (aided and abetted by some of our members) pull out of the hat next? Tony Clayden
DAVID HUGHES Great British Song Stylist Castle PLSCD738. 20 tracks for around £2.99 from the Fifties "pop" career of this fine artiste who became a celebrated opera singer and died aged 47. Among the songs are I Talk To The Trees, Rags To Riches, With These Hands, Bridge Of Sighs, Wild Horses, and If I Had Wings. But the disc would be worth the modest price if it only featured David’s duets with Jo Stafford, Let Me Hear You Whisper and One Love Forever, one of the first "Records of the Century" [78 rpm, of course] on the then new Philips label. Peter Burt
A NORWEGIAN BANDSTAND: Borg: Den norske Armé og Marines Revelje, Den norske Armé og Marines Tappenstreg, Svendsen: Carnival in Paris, Okkenhaug: Lyric Dance, Thingn Æs: The Clown,Hansson: Valdres March, Grieg: Norwegian Dances, Gudim: Eg ser deg utfor gluggen, Johansson:Holmenkollen March, Halvorsen: Norwegian Rhapsody No. 1, Grøndahl: New Circus. Royal Norwegian Navy Band, Principal conductor: Leif Arne Tangen Pedersen. Specialist Recording Company SRC 122, 67:00 mins. For the latest in their highly imaginative ‘Bandstand’ series the Specialist Recording Company have ventured intrepidly across the expanse of the North Sea to produce a Norwegian version engaging the services of the excellent Royal Norwegian Navy Band established in 1820 and currently comprising some 29 musicians. Grieg’s endearing Norwegian Dances will probably be the most familiar item in this concert for most collectors and is sensitively and idiomatically treated here in a highly effective transcription for wind band. Johann Svendsen is represented by probably his most popular work namely the ebullient Carnival in Paris, the arrangement being made by the ubiquitous Dan Godfrey, whilst Johan Halvorsen chiefly remembered today by his very popular march ‘Entry of the Boyars’ and like Svendsen a composer of symphonies makes his appearance with the first of two Norwegian Rhapsodies. Also here is a somewhat jauntyLyric Dance by Paul Okkenhaug and a short 3 movement suite by Frode Thingn Æs The Clown which features a prominent solo cornet. Hanssen’s Valdres March described by fellow composer Ole Olsen as the finest march he had ever heard was included in an orchestral version as part of a collection of Norwegian Classical Favourites by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bjarte Engeset on NAXOS 8.557017 apart from which the two discs are entirely complementary as to their respective contents. In sum there is much attractive and interesting music here in nicely contrasting styles from orthodox military music to a ‘big band’ effect in the Gudim piece which is based on an old Norwegian Folk song and all rounded off neatly by a particularly engaging march by Oscar Borg Den norske Armé og Marines Tappenstreg which apparently translates as ‘The Reveille and Taps of the Norwegian Army and Navy!’ An unusual but inherently tuneful and thoroughly absorbing release, vividly recorded and anyone looking for something a little ‘off the beaten track’ will be well rewarded by purchasing this CD. Roger Hyslop
MANTOVANI ‘Cascading Strings’ 99 tracks including Charmaine, Diane, Under The Roofs of Paris, La Cumparsita, Lovely Lady, Treasure Waltz, etc… 4-CD Box Set from Jasmine Records, JASBOX 15-4. This compilation by Geoff Milne covers the years 1951-1954, when Mantovani was quickly becoming one of the world’s biggest selling orchestras on LP. Thanks to the clever scoring by Ronald Binge, Monty’s string sound was unique, and adored by millions, and this collection fully embraces those exciting years. The compiler has been responsible for many fine Decca releases over the years, and the sound quality here (presumably taken from the original LPs) is perfectly acceptable. If I have a minor criticism, it is that I would have liked to have seen the original catalogue numbers and recording dates given; also there is no reference to the fact that some of the tracks feature compositions by Mantovani himself under a pseudonym. Because so many Mantovani CDs have been released recently, it is inevitable that there will be some duplication with collections already available. However this set is very reasonably priced, and is great value for the money. If you cannot find it in your local record store, you can order it direct from: Jazmail, Unit 8, Forest Hill Trading Estate, Perry Vale, London, SE23 2LX, England (major credit cards accepted). The set costs £17.99 and UK postage is £1.00; Europe £1.50; rest of the world £2.80. David Ades
Wow! What does one write about an historic issue such as this? Here at bargain-price on four well-filled CDs [the shortest is a tad under 70 minutes] is the music that made the great man’s name throughout the world. This is "tingle factor" music supreme. One can only sit back and luxuriate in these simply glorious string-led arrangements – not overlooking the fine woodwind, brass, percussion and occasional accordion or guitar – with their distinctive sound and alluring lilt, originally conceived by Ronald Binge. There is so much to enjoy, I hardly know where to begin. Some of the choices have already appeared on various other CDs, so especially welcome are the four 7-track segments [split in the same way as on the original LPs] from both the ‘Sigmund Romberg’ and the ‘Victor Herbert’suites, appearing in this format for the first time. There are four numbers, Etude No.3 in E Major[Chopin], Cradle Song [Brahms], Romance [Rubenstein] and On Wings Of Song [Mendelssohn], taken from ‘Mantovani Plays The Immortal Classics’. And Treasure Waltz, Village Swallows [a particular favourite of mine], The Emperor Waltz and Voices Of Spring come from his acclaimed ‘Strauss Waltzes’ album. All the legendary tunes, like Charmaine, Wyoming, The Moulin Rouge Theme,Swedish Rhapsody and Greensleeves, are here. Add to them such gems – some half forgotten – asLovely Lady, Lehar’s Gypsy Love Waltz, Royal Blue Waltz, Tango Delle Rosa, So Madly In Love,Kisses In The Dark, At Dawning, Faith and Friml’s Dear Love, My Love, and you have a definitive mono set that must feature on any Mantovani aficionado’s most wanted list. The compilation and transfers are by Geoff Milne, who was associated with Monty’s recording company, Decca, in the ‘60s; and the digital processing is by Tall Order. The production standards are high throughout with, presumably, all the tracks having been re-mastered from records. The liner notes are also by Mr Milne and, barring a few minor grumbles over these on the Mantovani website – recording dates would have been nice, agreed – he and the people at Jasmine Records are to be saluted for producing a truly treasurable collection. Peter Burt
LEROY ANDERSON The Waltzing Cat The Typewriter, The Waltzing Cat, Fiddle Faddle, A Trumpeters Lullaby, Horse & Buggy, Plink Plank Plunk!, Belle of the Ball, The Irish Washerwoman, The Last Rose of Summer, The Phantom Regiment, Pyramid Dance, Blue Tango, Bugler’s Holiday, Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock, Chicken Reel, Piano Concerto in C Major. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann, with Simon Tedeschi (piano) ABC Classics 476 1589, 68:00 mins. An unexpected but very welcome release from the Australian Broadcasting Commission on their ABC Classics Label of the music of Leroy Anderson made so more so by the inclusion of the rarely performed or recorded three-movement Piano Concerto in C Major – the composer’s only extended orchestral work, playing for about 20 minutes. The music is inimitably and recognisable in his own idiom and style but with occasional hints of Rachmaninov. The concerto was written in 1953 and the composer conducted the first performance with Eugene List as soloist but according to James Koehne in his informative notes was withdrawn immediately afterwards for revision which in the event Anderson never got round to. It only surfaced again in 1989 when his executors allowed the concerto to be finally published in its original unrevised form. There is a rival recording on a difficult to obtain Telarc CD-CD-80112 with Stewart Goodyear as pianist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel and coupled with music by fellow Americans George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Morton Gould etc. On the present disc you get more music by Leroy Anderson including many old favourites but one or two novelties such as Chicken Reel and Pyramid Dance which currently lack modern recordings. Good committed playing from the Melbourne Orchestra and exemplary well detailed recording. Perhaps one or two individual items are played with a little more restrain than we are used to from American recordings but this is still a very worthwhile addition to the Anderson discography and I imagine the inclusion of the rare Piano Concerto will enhance the disc’s attractiveness to potential buyers. Well worth seeking out! Roger Hyslop
"TILL THE END OF TIME" 5-CD Box Set from Reader’s Digest featuring a collection of melodies performed by some of the world's finest beautiful music/light music/classical orchestras eg Franck Pourcel, Henry Mancini, Johnny Pearson, The Romantic Strings and Orchestra, Robert Farnon Orchestra, Robert Mandell and the London 'Pops' Orchestra, London Promenade Orchestra conducted by Eric Hammerstein, Malcolm Lockyer Orchestra, Douglas Gamley and his Orchestra, Charles Gerhardt conducting the RPO and also the NPO, Wally Stott Orchestra, Nick Ingman Orchestra and many, many others. Reader’s Digest (UK) RDCD3731-5. This is basically a superb all orchestral collection of light classical music from the extensive Reader’s Digest archives. There is some duplication with Reader's Digest 'Classical Reflections' 3-CD box set that came out a few years ago in the excellent ‘The Wonderful World of Music' series of 3-CD box sets which, sadly, are now all deleted. However the new ‘Till The End of Time’ CD box set has some Pourcel tracks that were not on the previous 3-CD box set and all seven of the Mancini tracks are appearing for the first time on the new box set. There are also many, many other differences in content between the two box sets. I have to say that this is a superb collection with beautifully clear remastered sound. It will appeal to all who like light classical beautiful melodic music done in an easy relaxing orchestral style 'with plenty of strings'. There is the usual one hours’ worth of music on each CD. Reader's Digest say that all the instrumental music in this collection is exclusive to them - you will not find these particular recordings in the shops. ‘Till The End of Time’ also comes complete with Reader's Digest usual excellent full colour 42-page booklet featuring photos and background information on the music. Some of the titles include Stranger in Paradise; Nessun Dorma, My Funny Valentine, Air on the G String, Moonlight Sonata, The Blue Danube Waltz, Summertime, ‘The Onedin Line’ Theme, Fur Elise, One Fine Day, Clair De Lune, Baubles, Bangles and Beads, Could It Be Magic, Greensleeves, Danny Boy (Londonderry Air), Plaisir D'Amour....etc. Disc 1 is titled "The World's Most Beautiful Melodies"; Disc 2 is titled "Candlelight Moods"; Disc 3 is titled "Romantic Melodies That Will Live Forever"; Disc 4 is titled "Classics by Starlight"; Disc 5 is titled "Timeless Favourites". The Franck Pourcel tracks are:Acceleration Waltz, Blue Danube Waltz, None But The Lonely Heart, Song of India, Tales from The Vienna Woods, Waltz of the Flowers. The Robert Farnon Orchestra track is One Night of Love. The Henry Mancini tracks are: A Lover's Concerto, A Time For Us (Love Theme From 'Romeo and Juliet'), I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, 'Moonlight' Sonata, No Other Love, Rhapsody In Blue. The Johnny Pearson track is Friendly Persuasion. The Wally Stott track is The Legend of Glass Mountain. This 5-CD box set collection will cost you £39.99 + £2.99 for packing and delivery within the British Isles. The catalogue number is RDCD3731-5 and can be purchased by telephoning Reader's Digest Customer Services on 08705 113366 (8am to 6pm GMT Monday to Friday and Saturday from 8am to 1pm). If interested, I recommend not delaying in getting this music collection as it may well sell out fast as happened with the 15 (3-CD box sets) in Reader's Digest excellent 'The Wonderful World of Music' series. Chris Landor
PASSING IN A Life on the Ocean Wave (Russell), Markers Call/Divisons Call (Trad.), Sea Shanties (Trad.), Auld Lang Syne (Trad.), On the Quaterdeck (Alford), By Land and Sea (Alford), Heart of Oak (Boyce), The Thunderbirds (Gray), Rule Britannia (Arne), Scipio (Handel), Defence of the Realm (Weston), The Captain General (Dunn), Soldiers of the Sea (Dunn), Washington Greys (Grafulle), The New Colonial (Hall), Barnum and Bailey Favourite (King), On Parade (Elms), Shrewsbury Fair (Neville), Wellington (Zehle), The Invincible Eagle (Sousa). Band of H.M. Royal Marines, Plymouth. D.O.M. Major P. Weston M.Mus., A.R.C.M., L.R.S.M., R.M. Introduced and Narrated by Commodore D.W. Pond R.N. CLOVELLY CLCD13604, 61:00 mins. A fascinating and imaginatively conceived disc giving an excellent insight into the ‘Passing In’ parade at H.M.S. Raleigh, Torpoint, Cornwall in which new entrants after 8 weeks initial basic training make the formal and somewhat dramatic transition from ‘civvies’ to sailors as the ‘Pass In’ to the Royal Navy. There is an interesting, informative and succinct commentary interpolated at several points by Commodore D.W. Pond R.N. Playing through this CD with one or two occasional shouted orders setting the scene gives one the distinct feeling of being transported to the parade ground of this naval establishment hopefully perhaps as a passive observer rather than an actual participant doubtless under the gimlet eye of a seasoned C.P.O.! The programme which was recorded in the band complex rather than the parade ground includes a fine selection of marches by some of the giants of the genre – Alfrod, Dunn, Sousa and even a certain Mr. Handel! There’s also a recent piece – Defence of the Realm – by the current D.O.M. of the Plymouth Band, Major P.A. Weston. All credit to Clovelly for releasing this disc with all dispatch since the recording sessions took place in late September 2004 and the disc was in my hands by mid November 2004! Recording quality is full and brilliant and it’s difficult to imagine finer playing than we get here from the Plymouth Band. So full marks to Clovelly and the Senior Service for such an unusual, enterprising, and engrossing disc. Despite the armchair ‘square bashing’ this CD has given me great and stimulating pleasure – there is absolutely no danger of ‘nodding off’ and is cordially commended not least for the great musical experience. Roger Hyslop
THE ROYAL MARINES PLAY BRITISH MUSIC Salute to the Colours (Dunn), Cockleshell Heroes (Dunn), The Globe and Laurel (Dunn), Jupiter – The Planets (Holst), March – Suite No.2 in F Major (Holst), I Vow to Thee My Country (Holst), Country Gardens (Grainger), Drakes Drum (Stanford), The Old Superb (Stanford), The Little Admiral (Stanford), The Contemptibles (Stanley), Sea Songs (Vaughan Williams), Scherzo – Music for a Festival (Jacob), Welcome the Queen (Bliss), Call to Adventure (Bliss), The Churchill March (Grainer), Orb and Sceptre (Walton), Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D Major Op.39 (Elgar). Band and Fanfare Trumpets of H.M. Royal Marines School of Music, conducted by Lieutenant Colonal F. Vivian Dunn C.V.O., O.B.E., F.R.A.M., R.M., with Frederick Harvey (baritone), David Bell and Barry Rose (organ). EASTNEY COLLECTION RMHSEC009, 66:00 mins. The latest release from the Eastney Collection is to be the more warmly welcomed since it gives us the all too rare opportunity to hear again the fine baritone voice of Frederick Harvey whose career was abruptly terminated by and early death at the age of 59 in 1967. He was a Devon man born in Plymouth and served throughout the Second World War in the R.N.V.R. undertaking a number of recording sessions with the Royal Marines Orchestra, Portsmouth Division under a certain young Captain F. Vivian Dunn so was perhaps uniquely qualified for performing some of Stanford’s Songs of the Sea and Fleet. Never was this considerable talent more challenged than in the tongue twisting ‘Little Admiral’ which required crystal clear articulation for its full effect and in which this gifted singer negotiates through tricky waters with consummate ease. Several of the tracks originally appeared on an HMV LP ‘Music of the Sea’ released in the early 1960’s the cover of which was graced by and illustration of a painting of HMS Victory and a fine official photograph of the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. Despite the claim that the recordings range in date from 1953 to 1968 which would imply a mix of both mono and stereo tracts careful listening on headphones would appear to reveal that all have two dimensioned sound imaging. Notwithstanding there is little variation in the more than acceptable sound quality throughout this disc which is brought to a resounding conclusion by a splendid and frisson inducing Pomp and Circumstance No.1 complete with the full blooded panoply of organ joining the band in the final reprise of the famous trio tune. This latter recording made in Guildford Cathedral in 1968 is historically significant as Brian Culverhouse in his introductory notes to this release states that this was the final recording Sir. Vivian made for EMI under whom he was contracted with the Royal Marines Band Service although of course he went on to make a number of commercial recordings with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Light Music Society Orchestra. A self recommended disc, a valuable addition to the steadily expanding Eastney Collection and a superb reminder of Sir Vivian’s outstanding musicianship. Roger Hyslop
FRANKIE LAINE "I Believe" I’m Gonna Live Till I Die, Shine, That’s My Desire, We’ll Be Together Again, I May Be Wrong, The Cry of the Wild Goose, Mule Train, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Jezebel, Rose Rose I Love You, etc.. 27 tracks Memoir CDMOIR586, 75:09 mins. Many of Frankie Laine’s biggest hits are here. It’s incredible to think that all these tracks are over 50 years old!
EDMUND HOCKRIDGE with The PETER KNIGHT Orchestra and Chorale International Songs for International Lovers Games That Lovers Play, Make It Easy On Yourself, I Will Warm Your Heart, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, Yesterday, Comes Once In A Lifetime, Senza Fine, Have I The Right, Sand And Sea, Guantanamera, All Alone Am I, You Can’t Keep Me From Loving You.Western Heritage The Dreams, Westwards, Across The Divide, California Or Bust Vocalion CDLK4245, 74:54 minutes. Ted Hockridge really needs no introduction to readers of this magazine. He is on top form in this collection from two fine Decca albums.
The Ultimate MATT MONRO Portrait Of My Love, My Kind Of Girl, Walk Away, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Softly As I Leave You, Gonna Build A Mountain, And We Were Lovers, From Russia With Love, etc… 24 tracks EMI 560 9392. Matt Monro died on 7 February 1985, so EMI have brought out a 20thAnniversary selection of his greatest hits. If you are a Matt Monro fan, you’ll probably have most of this music already, although five tracks are stated to be the first time on CD. There is no doubt that he was one of the best singers in Britain during the peak of his popularity, and it was a tragedy that he died at the young age of 52. I can remember meeting him at London’s "Talk Of The Town" when Matt was a guest on one of the Tony Bennett TV shows which also featured the Robert Farnon Orchestra. He was very modest and friendly, especially when I ‘lent’ him 4p to make a telephone call! Full marks for the CD booklet, with some fine photos that will delight Matt’s fans. David Ades
HYDE PARK SHUFFLE - Australian Light Music Jamaican Rumba, Serenata Piccola, Ocean Road, Down Longford Way, Argentina, Romanze, From San Domingo, Bobsleigh, Waiata Poi, Blue Mountains, Rebecca's Dream, Legend, Lifesavers' March from Sydney Suite, Serenade for Small Orchestra, Hyde Park Shuffle, Caribbean Dance: A New Jamaican Rumba. (Australia) ABC Classics.476272-2. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Guy Noble plays a selection of light music composed by Australians and others who have called Australia home for many years. The composers include Arthur Benjamin, Henry Krips, Eric Jupp, Alfred Hill, William Lovelock, George Dreyfus, Mike Kenny, Katherine Parker, Frederick Whaite, Tommy Tycho and Jack Grimsley. This is the first recording of light music by Australians to be released in many years and provides over an hour of musical delights. It is to be hoped that more CDs of this type of music by Australian composers will be produced in time to come. Barry Freeman
Here is a real surprise – a new (2004) CD of genuine Light Music from Down Under! Curiously, there are none of Percy Grainger’s originals – although he did arrange the Katharine Parker piece – but three by Arthur Benjamin and four excellent compositions (plus an arrangement of Alfred Hill’sWaiata Poi) by Viennese émigré Henry Krips. The latter was the brother of Josef, who was well known in Britain as a conductor after WWII. London ex-pat Eric Jupp makes an appearance with the familiar Bobsleigh whilst Jack Grimsley’s Rebecca’s Dream has more than a slight hint of the Farnon sound about it. There are fine performances throughout from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under Guy Noble and a recording quality to match. It’s rather unfortunate that there is only just an hour’s worth of music, which is not particularly generous, considering the full price of this most enjoyable disc. Tony Clayden
THE BEST OF VIKKI CARR. Can't Take My Eyes Off You; It Must Be Him; With Pen In Hand; You Don't Have To Say You Love Me; He's A Rebel; For Once In My Life; Plus 14 Other Songs. EMI GOLD 7243 8 75328 2 3. 53:16 mins. Vikki Carr is the kind of singer for whom compilers must have a difficult if not impossible task of finding songs outside of her hits. The reason is simple: Carr's albums always seem to build naturally to a conclusion in a graceful, subtle way. That said, this CD succeeds where no others have: it showcases her abilities in different music forms so well as to be an album in itself. Standards such as "I Only Have Eyes For You" stand side by side with then current hits such as "For All We Know" (the only non-EMI recording) and a meltingly beautiful "Alfie" which is absolutely the most perfect rendition of this song. The CD remastering is breathtakingly alive. The booklet is everything one could ask for with an accurate biography of Carr by Ossie Dales of "In Tune" magazine. There are also adorable photos of Vikki Carr taken at the time of these great recordings. The CD label and the back tray have images of Ms. Carr's beautiful eyes. So take out your check book and, with pen in hand, buy this fabulous album by one of America's greatest natural treasures: VIKKI CARR! And remember, with Vikki Carr, the best is always yet to come! Richard Jessen
SIGMUND GROVEN, Harmonica with Norwegian Radio Orchestra conducted by Christian Eggen "Philharmonica": Sailor’s Song (Milhaud), Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra (Villa-Lobos), Modulations for Harmonica and Orchestra (Rypdal), Legends for Harmonica and Strings (Sigmund Groven), Seeking your Face (Sivertsen). (Norway) Grappa PPC 9050. This latest CD from RFS member Sigmund Groven illustrates just how far the harmonica has advanced as an instrument which deserves to be taken seriously. Sigmund worked closely with the late, great Tommy Reilly who is still regarded as being the finest performer on the instrument during the last century. If you have problems in finding this CD, you can write direct to Sigmund Groven at: PO Box 5167, Majorstua, N0302, Oslo, Norway.
DIANA KRALL: THE GIRL IN THE OTHER ROOM. Stop This World; The Girl In The Other Room; I'm Coming Through; Temptation; Plus 8 Other Tracks. Verve B0001826-12. 55:36. This is a prime example of an extraordinarily gifted artist bending differently difficult songs and molding them into their own distinct styles. Thus it is with this CD containing songs by such diverse creators as Elvis Costello, Mose Allison, Tom Wait and Joni Mitchell. The set opens with Mose Allison's "Stop This World," an appropriately angry song about the underside of the music and celebrity business. Of the five songs by the husband and wife team of Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, the final four are among the very best, especially "Narrow Daylight" with its prayerful thoughts for personal strength in times of anxiety. The gloves come off again for a rousing blues number "Love Me Like A Man" with Krall's hard swinging vocal urging onward Anthony Wilson's blazing guitar solo. This is an extremely moody departure for Diana Krall but it should be mentioned that this is a very rewarding experience of hearing this still fresh voice in new material worth her enormous talents. Richard Jessen
JOHN WILSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: DANCE DATE Medley: Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Best Things In Life Are Free, Shall We Dance, A Fine Romance, You’re The Cream In My Coffee (Arr: Pete Moore) - Medley: Just In Time, Get Out Of Town, I Thought About You (Arr: Andrew Cottee) - Invitation (Arr: Andrew Cottee) - Medley: Easy To Love, S’Wonderful, Our Love Affair, In The MiddleOf A Kiss, Chicago (Arr: Colin Skinner) - The Boy Next Door (Arr: Andrew Cottee) - Lady In Red (Arr: Alan Roper) - Medley: The Shadow Of Your Smile, You Must Believe In Spring, I’ll Close My Eyes (Arr: Mark Nightingale) - Medley: Who’s Sorry Now, Whispering, Three Little Words (Arr: Roland Shaw) -One Night Of Love (Arr: Andrew Cottee) - Blue Tango (Arr: Alan Roper) - Medley: The Carioca, Cherry Blossom Pink & Apple White, April In Portugal, My Heart Belongs to Daddy (Arr: Pete Moore) - I Only Have Eyes For You (Arr: Roland Shaw) - Medley: How About You, I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, Thou Swell (Arr: Andrew Cottee) - Mambo No.5 (Arr: Roland Shaw) - Medley: Hello Young Lovers, I Whistle A Happy Tune, Shall We Dance? (Arr: Pete Moore.) Vocalion CDSA 6812. Mike Dutton at Vocalion kindly supplied a ‘test’ CD so that we could hear some of this new collection at our April RFS meeting, but the CD itself was not due to be released until the end of May. The versatility of John Wilson seems to know no bounds! He appears willing to tackle all kinds of music, from the classics to jazz, and this latest CD contains some very fine playing indeed (hopefully the booklet will identify the musicians). The arrangers are some of the very best in the business, and if you fancy adding some high quality dance music to your music library you need look no further. David Ades
ELGAR/WALKER – PIANO CONCERTO, etc. David Owen Norris – Piano, BBC Concert Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones Dutton Epoch CDLX 7148. Some years ago, the British composer Anthony Payne realised the sketches for Elgar’s third symphony, which had remained unfinished at the composer’s death. Concurrently, Sir Edward had also been working on a piano concerto which he had started 21 years earlier, and which was in a similarly incomplete state. Now, another British composer – Robert Walker – (no doubt influenced and encouraged by the universal acclaim received by the Payne work), has pieced together the composer’s pile of sketches and realised a performing version of the concerto. The World Premiere recording of the completed work is a joint enterprise between BBC Radio 3, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Elgar Society. Lack of space precludes more than the briefest of comment. The work is certainly impressive, although hearing Elgarian themes performed on a keyboard will take more than a little getting-used-to; (the slow movement only has appeared on a previous recording in a performing version by Dr Percy Young, although Walker’s musical treatment is quite different). Only time will tell whether this work will become universally accepted and take its place as a standard item in the orchestral repertoire, as has the Elgar/Payne Third Symphony. The opportunity has been taken to include a number of other previously unrecorded works and amongst these, of particular interest to JIM readers, is a suite based on four of Elgar’s songs, orchestrated by none other than Haydn Wood, together with a further song in an orchestration by Henry Geehl. Mike Dutton is to be congratulated on this initiative, which deserves every success. Tony Clayden
FRANK SINATRA: SINATRA AND SWINGIN' BRASS. Goody, Goody; They Can't Take That away From Me; I Get A Kick Out Of You; Pick Yourself Up; Plus 8 Other Songs. FRANK SINATRA WITH NEAL HEFTI AND HIS ORCHESTRA. Reprise 9 46971-1. 30:32. This brightly swinging recording is one of Frank Sinatra's best from the early 1960's, pairing Sinatra for the first time with the great Neal Hefti. Recorded and released in 1962, the songs are selected from the great American songbook. Gleefully we start off with an exuberant take on "Goody, Goody" leading up to a slyly witty "I'm Beginning To See The Light" and a naughty "Don'cha Go 'Way Mad" with its over population of "babies." "I Get A Kick Out Of You" is the standout track, so propulsively fast that it leaves the listener panting from exhaustion. Even ballads such as "Serenade in Blue" swing lightly. The charts by Neal Hefti are masterpieces of the arranger's art, dovetailing the rhythmic verve of Sinatra's always superb vocals. The band is overwhelmingly great, playing Hefti's charts with heartfelt enthusiasm. The remastering onto CD is very lifelike which makes this short CD well worth owning just for the arrangements, singing and performances. Richard Jessen
FILM MUSIC OF STANLEY BLACK Battle of the Sexes, Sands of the Desert, Stormy Crossing, Blood of the Vampire, Jack the Ripper, Three Steps to the Gallows, The Young Ones BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth Chandos CHAN 10306, 70:20 mins. Late arrival - review to follow in our next issue.
Vocalion has issued an impressive list of new CDs for April and May. Details of some are given below, but we had to close for press before review copies were received for them.
FRANK CHACKSFIELD EVENING IN LONDON: A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square (Sherwin; Maschwitz), Hometown (Carr; Kennedy), The touch of your lips (Noble), There’s a lovely lake in London (Evans; Damerell; Butler), Drink to me only with thine eyes (trad; arr. Young), You’re blasé (Hamilton), The bells of St. Mary’s (Adams), I’ll close my eyes (Reid), Lambeth Walk (Gay), The very thought of you (Noble), Cruising down the river (Beadell; Tallerton), The London I love (Purcell; Posford) Oranges and lemons (trad; arr. Young), Goodnight, sweetheart (Noble; Campbell; Connelly). LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND: April love (Fain; Webster), Fascination (Manning; Marchetti)Please (Rainger; Robin), Your love is my love (Edwards), The banks of the Seine (Richards; Hirsch)They didn’t believe me (Kern), So rare (Sharpe; Herst), Love letters in the sand (Coots; Kenny; Kenny), East of the sun (Brooks; Bowman), Catalan sunshine (Patacano; Martino), You are too beautiful (Rodgers), The breeze and I (Lecuona; Camarata; Stillman). Vocalion CDLK 4279.
EDMUNDO ROS & HIS ORCHESTRA DANCE AGAIN Patricia – mambo (Prado; Marcus; Delanoe; Salvet), Tropical merengue (Munoz; Elow; Marsh), Tea for two – cha cha (Caesar; Youmans), Miami Beach rumba (Fields; Gamse; Camacho), Cocktails for two (Johnston; Coslow), I came, I saw, I conga’d – conga (Cavanaugh; Redmond; Weldon), Cherry pink and apple blossom white (Louiguy; David; Larue), The wedding samba (Ellestein; Small; Liebowitz), Mambo number fi ve (Prado), Blue tango (Anderson; Parish), When the moon comes over the mountain (Woods; Johnson; Smith), Colonel Bogey – marengue (Alford) PERFECT FOR DANCING The nearness of you – cha cha (Carmichael; Washington) La vie en rose – baião (Louiguy) The rose in her hair – waltz (Dublin; Warren) Orchids in the moonlight – tango (Youmans; Kahn; Eliscu) Dolores – quick-step (Loesser; Alter) April in Portugal – cha cha (Ferrao; Kennedy) National emblem – samba (arr. Ros) Under the bridges of Paris – mambo (Scotto; Roda) Ramona – waltz (Wayne; Gilbert) Jealousy – quick-step (Gade) La rosita – tango (Dupont; Stuart) Estrellita – cha cha (Ponce). Vocalion CDLK 4280.
RONNIE ALDRICH TOGETHERNESS Airport Love theme, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,Arizona, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Sugar, Sugar, Daydream, Venus, Because, United We Stand, Girl On The Via Veneto, Let It Be, My Mind Reminds Me (Autumn Concerto), Something, Don’t Play That Song (You Lied), The Long And Winding Road, Paper Mache, Make It With You, Snowbird, Cecilia, They Long To Be Closer To You, Riders On The Rain, My Baby Loves Lovin’, The Sound Of Silence, Sun-Dance. Vocalion CDLK 4283.
STANLEY BLACK SPAIN - VOLUME 2: Spanish Gypsy Dance (Marquina), La Paloma (Yradier; arr.Black), El Gato Montez (Penella), Andalucia (Lecuona), Rumba (Trad; arr. El Sali; Pena; de Cordoba), March from ‘The Captain from Castille’ (Newman), Prelude to Act IV from ‘Carmen’ (Bizet) Solamente una vez (You belong to my heart) (Lara; Gilbert), Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo; Vidre), España (Chabrier) Stanley Black conducting The London Festival Orchestra. MORE TOP TANGOS: The Pearl Fishers (Bizet; arr. Black; Cormon; Carre), Poema (Melfi ; Bianco), Violetta (Richter; Mohr), Blaue Himmel (Nightfall) (Rixna), Tango delle rose (Schrier; Bottero), Tango notturno (Beckman; Borgmann), Dark eyes (Trad; arr. Black), Serenade in the night (Bixio; Cherubini; Kennedy), El Amanecer (Firpo) Caminito (Filiberto), Yira! Yira! (Discepolo), La Cumparsita (Rodriguez; arr. Black) Stanley Black and his Orchestra Vocalion CDLK 4286.
MANTOVANI ALL TIME ROMANTIC HITS: Together (DeSylva; Brown; Henderson), Deep purple (DeRose; Parish), The very thought of you (Noble), Tribute to Maurice Chevalier: Gigi (Lerner; Loewe) – Louise (Robin; Whiting) – Thank heaven for little girls (Lerner; Loewe), Valentine (Christine; Willemetz; Valentine), Isn’t it romantic (Rodgers; Hart), Dearly beloved (Kern; Mercer), You were meant for me (Brown; Freed) Tribute to Noel Coward: London Pride – Someday I’ll fi nd you – Zigeuner – Mad dogs and Englishmen – I’ll see you again (Coward). MANTOVANI BY MANTOVANI: Cara mia (Trapani; Lange), Manhattan lullaby (A. P. Mantovani), Piccolo Bolero (A. P. Mantovani), Serenata d’amore (A. P. Mantovani), Italia mia (A. P. Mantovani), Midnight waltz (Lambrecht), Last summer (A. P. Mantovani), Deserted shore (A. P. Mantovani), Our last affair (A. P. Mantovani), Theme for a Western (A. P. Mantovani). Vocalion CDLK 4287.
RONNIE ALDRICH his Two Pianos & Orchestra with The Ladybirds REFLECTIONS: Summer’s end (Aldrich), Never gonna fall in love again (Carmen), Times of your life (Nichols; Lane), Spanish eyes (Snyder; Kaempfert; Singleton), Save your kisses for me (Hiller; Sheriden; Lee), How insensitive (Jobim; Gimbel; De Moraes), Adagio (Trad; arr. Aldrich), On days like these (Black; Jones), Scarlet ribbons (Danzig; Segal), Love is a many splendoured thing (Webster; Fain), All by myself (Carmen). WITH LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING: A little love and understanding, Evergreen from ‘A Star is Born’, For ever and ever (and ever), Feelings, Dancing Queen, When a child is born, When forever has gone, Nadia’s theme, Theme from ‘King Kong’, Summer of my life, Aria, Gabriella.Vocalion CDLK 4288.
MANTOVANI HOLLYWOOD: ‘Born Free’ (Barry; Black), Lara’s Theme from ‘Doctor Zhivago’ (Jarre), ‘Goldfinger’ (Barry; Bricusse; Newley), ‘Ben Hur’ (Rozsa) ‘A Taste of Honey’ (Scott; Marlow), This is My Song from ‘The Countess from Hong Kong’ (Chaplin), ‘You Only Live Twice’ (Barry; Bricusse), ‘The Magnifi cent Seven’ (Bernstein), Tara’s Theme from ‘Gone with the Wind’ (Steiner), ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (Jarre), ‘Zorba the Greek’ (Theodorakis), ‘The Bible’ (Mayuzumi). THE WORLD OF MANTOVANI: Where is love (Bart), The Windmills of your mind (Legrand; Bergman; Bergman), My way (Francois; Revaux; Anka), Theme from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Rota), My Cherie amour (Cosby; Wonder; Moy), Theme from ‘The Virginian’ (Faith) Where did our summers go (Lai; Black), Theme from ‘Elvira Madigan’ (Mozart; arr. Milner), I’m a better man (Bacharach; David), Aquarius (Rado; Ragni; MacDermot), Quentin’s Theme (Cobert), Love me tonight (Pilat; Panzeri; Pace; Mason).Vocalion CDLK 4289.
THE TED HEATH ORCHESTRA A SALUTE TO GLENN MILLER & TED HEATH SALUTES THE DUKEVocalion CDLK 4290.
ERIC JUPP & HIS ORCHESTRA THE ROCKIN’ STRINGS Try A Little Tenderness, Tree In The Meadow, The Very Thought Of You,The Two Of Us, If You Change Your Mind, We’ll Meet Again, I’m In A Dancing Mood, Georgia On My Mind, Garden In The Rain, The Touch Of Your Lips, If I Had You, Goodnight Sweetheart. MUSIC FOR SWEETHEARTS: Let Me Call You Sweetheart, How Deep Is The Ocean, The Very Thought Of You, 'Deed I Do, The Kiss In Your Eyes, If You Were The Only Girl In The World, Moonglow, It’s Magic, Love Walked In, If I Had A Talking Picture Of You, You Are My Heart’s Delight, I Love You Truly. Vocalion CDLK 4294.
GUY LOMBARDO & HIS ROYAL CANADIANS DRIFTING AND DREAMING & DANCING ROOM ONLYVocalion CDLK 4295.
RAY MARTIN MILLION DOLLAR MELODIES: Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, True Love, High Noon, The High And The Mighty, Colonel Bogey and The River Kwai March, Three Coins In The Fountain, The Man That Got Away, Around The World, Ballad Of Davy Crockett, Unchained Melody, (Love Is) The Tender Trap. VIBRATIONS: To Elizabeth, To Grace, To Rita, To Jean, To Zsa Zsa, To Gina, To Marilyn, To Cyd, To Kim, To Diana, To Audrey, To Debra.Vocalion CDLK 4296.
VICTOR SILVESTER & HIS SILVER STRINGS BEWITCHED • THE MUSIC OF RICHARD RODGERS Shall We Dance?, Mountain Greenery, Some Enchanted Evening, If I Loved You, The Lady Is A Tramp, People Will Say We’re In Love, No Other Love, Manhattan, Bewitched, Isn’t It Romantic?, This Can’t Be Love, Dancing On The Ceiling, Blue Moon, I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, I Could Write A Book, My Heart Stood Still. YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME • THE MUSIC OF COLE PORTER You Do Something To Me, Just One Of Those Things, Love For Sale, In The Still Of The Night, Rosalie, Begin The Beguine, I’ve Got My Eyes On You, Allez-vous en, Go Away, Easy To Love, So In Love, I Love You Samantha, It’s Alright With Me, I Get A Kick Out Of You, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, After You, True Love. Vocalion CDLK 4297.
MORTON GOULD SHOWCASE, INTERPLAY & OTHER WORKS INTERPLAY The original set MX 289 (1948) ROBIN HOOD DELL ORCHESTRA OF PHILADELPHIA Interplay for Piano and Orchestra (American Concertette) Morton Gould (piano) MORTON GOULD SHOWCASE The original set MM 706 (1947) MORTON GOULD & HIS ORCHESTRA Two Guitars (Russian folksong), Through Your Eyes to Your Heart, The Birth of the Blues, The Peanut Vendor, Georgia on My Mind, Begin the Beguine, Blues in the Night Limehouse Blues, Time on my Hands, Masquerade MORTON GOULD IN CONCERT The original set C 96 MORTON GOULD & HIS ORCHESTRA The Donkey Serenade, Pavanne, Ay, Ay, Ay, Dark Eyes MORTON GOULD & HIS SYMPHONIC BAND The original set MM 743 (1948) Fourth of July, Home for Christmas, Yankee Doodle Vocalion CDUS 3030, total timing 76:02 mins.
STANLEY BLACK conducting The London Festival Orchestra & Chorus A TRIBUTE TO CHAPLIN: Smile from ‘Modern Times’ (Chaplin), Texas from ‘Chaplin Revue’ (Chaplin), Who’ll buy my violets (La Violetera) from ‘City Lights’ (Padilla), Morning promenade from ‘The Kid’ (Donaldson;Kahn), Medley from ‘The Great Dictator’ (Chaplin; Willson) Napoli March – Falling Star – Ze Boulevardier Theme from ‘Limelight’ (Chaplin), Titina from ‘Modern Times’(Daniderff), Mandolin Serenade from ‘A King in New York’(Chaplin), Green lantern rag from ‘Chaplin Revue’ (Chaplin) This is my song from ‘A Countess from Hong Kong’ (Chaplin.) DIMENSIONS IN SOUND: Fantasy Impromptu (Chopin; arr. Black), Take the ‘A’ train (Strayhorn), Alfie (Bacharach; David), These boots are made for walking (Hazelwood), ‘Exodus’ – main theme (Gold), La bamba (Trad. arr. Black), Michelle (Lennon; McCartney), Money to burn (Heneker), A taste of honey (Scott; Marlow), Three blind mice (arr. Black) Vocalion CDLK 4278.
ARTIE SHAW "featuring his inspired clarinet" Serenade to a savage (Garland, Battle), Softly, as in a morning sunrise (Romberg), Rosalie (Porter) with Tony Pastor (vocal), What is this thingcalled love? (Porter), Begin the beguine (Porter), Copenhagen (Melrose, Davis), Zigeuner (Coward), I surrender dear (Clifford, Barris), Hop, skip and jump (Carleton, Shaw), These foolish things (Marvell, Strachey, Link), Time on my hands (Adamson, Gordon, Yeomans), Doctor Livingstone I presume(Shaw) with Gramercy Five, Frenesi (Dominguez), Easy to love (Porter), Back bay shuffl e (McRae, Shaw), Stardust (Parish, Carmichael), Moonglow (DeLange, Mills, Hudson), Traffic jam (McRae, Shaw), Dancing in the dark (Dietz, Schwartz), Oh, lady be good (I & G Gershwin), Don’t take your love from me (Nemo) with Helen Forrest, Blues Part 1 (Shaw), Blues Part 2 (Shaw), The Grabtown grapple (Shaw, Harding) with Gramercy Five) Vocalion CDVS 1943, total time 75:08 mins.
ANTONIN DVORAK – American Suite – Prague Waltzes etc. Naxos 8.557352.
PYOTR TCHAIKOVSKY – Souvenir de Florence – Andante Cantabile - Anton Arensky – Variations of a theme of Tchaikovsky. Forum FRC9104
The young Dvorak, having served an apprenticeship, became duly qualified to practice as a pork butcher. However, it is our good fortune that the music profession had more appeal than the lure of a career in the meat trade! He rose to become a musical giant, on a par with his mentor Johannes Brahms; internationally acclaimed, he achieved great success in the USA and particularly in Britain, where his popularity has remained constant to the present day. It is absolutely true to say that he had a significant influence on a succeeding generation of British composers, notably Charles Villiers Stanford, and in turn the likes of Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Haydn Wood and Montague Phillips; with this new Naxos release it is easy to see why. Here is a collection of orchestral miniatures, although some of these were originally conceived for smaller forces. It must be stressed that this is not what would generally be classed as Light Music, although some of the material certainly has a light character. Whilst not all the items will be familiar, in common with most of Dvorak’s work, they are immediately accessible. I would especially mention the Seven Interludes for Small Orchestra, a relatively early work from the time when he was making a living as a viola player in the Prague Opera Orchestra. If, like me, you are charmed by this ever-tuneful composer, you will need little persuasion to part with just under a fiver for a generous 78 minutes of music.
The other CD, published in 2004 on the Forum label, presents Tchaikovsky in a rather different light from the ‘crash-bang-wallop’ of some of his large-scale orchestral works. Souvenir de Florence was originally written for string sextet and the Andante Cantabile is taken from the String Quartet Number 1; both pieces work very well performed by the Chamber String Ensemble here. The imaginative variations by Arensky are based on Legend, one of sixteen children’s songs which make up Tchaikovsky’s Opus 35. The London Primavera under Paul Manley gives a fine performance in the warm acoustic of Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, North London. For those who enjoy music for strings, this is well worth just under another fiver! Both these bargains are highly recommended.Tony Clayden
THE COMMODORE GRAND ORCHESTRA conducted by Joseph Muscant FBCD 134 Around the Volga; A Sailor’s Adventure; Black Eyes; Blossom Time; By the Swanee River; Cavalcade; Chu Chin Chow; The Desert Song; Gold and Silver Waltz; Gypsy Moon; Knave of Diamonds; Lazy Pete; Lilac Time; Linke Winke Pot Pourri; Maid of the Mountains; One Hour With You; Pan and the Wood Goblins.You may not have known many tracks from Volume One but you are sure to know much of Volume Two in this terrific collection of tunes by the outstanding Commodore Orchestra with Harry Davidson adding to the fun by occasionally popping up on the organ. With Frank Bristow’s knowledge and Alan Bunting’s amazing restorative powers we have another delectable light music winner to please the ear. The Commodore was a large pre-war cinema in Hammersmith which later ended up as a Mecca bingo hall but in its heyday was used for broadcasting as well as showing films. The resident orchestra was conducted in turn by Joseph Muscant and Harry Davidson and was up there among the best, as this splendid new CD will testify. Hum along to Noel Coward, Sigmund Romberg, Harold Fraser-Simon, Frederic Norton, Franz Lehar, Paul Lincke and many others. Order direct from Frank Bristow, 2 Cross Street, Brighton 3186, Victoria, Australia or e-mail Your CD will arrive together with an invoice to be paid direct to a stated British address or you can donate £13.50 to Paypal or send an international money order for 29.30 Australian dollars. No cheques accepted because of high bank charges. Edmund Whitehouse
THE FOUR FRESHMEN "In session" It's all right with me, My one and only love, Skylark, If I only had a brain, Early Autumn, Something's gotta give, How do you keep the music playing, That old feeling, September song, If I had you, You've changed TFF7248, total timing 42:15 mins. "Live in Holland" Young and foolish, Invitation, I'm gonna go fishin1, Indian summer, Every time we say good-bye, Angel eyes, You call it madness, I call it love, After you've gone, Day in day out, Poinciana, There never will be another you, Day by day, It's a blue world, Route 66 TFF7656, 45:22 mins. This Group has been making wonderful music for fifty years, during that time over twenty singers have kept their sound alive. The latest line-up is as good as any previous outing. They have a fan club of close to 3000 world-wide and keep their members happy by recording CD's such as these two. (). "In session" contains songs the group has not previously recorded. The second CD revisits songs tackled before, this time augmented with Dutch players led by Henk Meutgeert, a stalwart of the Dutch jazz scene, perhaps most notably with The Metropole Orchestra. Information on who plays what and where is not given but the musicianship could not be finer! The first named CD has been over dubbed by the Four Freshmen themselves. You may have the original Capitol and Creative world issues but you will thoroughly enjoy the input by the Dutch players on the live album and the other CD has new titles given the unique Four Freshmen vocalising and playing. When the "Freshmen" first formed they more than held their own in competition with such groups as "The Hi-Los" and The John Lasalle Quartet; with those groups no longer recording, the "Freshmen" are an oasis in a vast selection of mediocre sound alike "Rap" groups. Paul Clatworthy
TRAFALGAR 200 – Zehle: Viscount Nelson, Elms: The Battle of Trafalgar, Siebert: Three Jolly Sailormen, Haydn Wood: The Seafarer, Nestico: All Through the Night, Grainger: Molly on the Shore, Trad arr. Hines: Amazing Grace, Farnon: Rhapsody on A Minstrel Boy, Knox: Sea Songs, Dunn: The Admiral’s Regiment, arr. Henry Wood: Fantasia on British Sea Songs The Band of HM Royal Marines, Plymouth. DOM Major P A Weston MMus ARCM LRSM MinstLM RM Narration: Admiral the Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL. Clovelly CLCD13705 75:00mins. If you have ever wondered, as I have, about the significance and relevance of the extended clarinet cadenza in Sir Henry Wood’sFantasia on British Sea Songs you will find a suggested rationale contained in the notes accompanying this latest release from Clovelly – a splendid and handsome tribute to Britain’s greatest naval hero Admiral Lord Nelson. This popular feature from the Last Night of the Proms was created by Sir Henry in 1905 to mark the century of the Battle of Trafalgar. As it includes a full panoply of traditional naval bugle calls plus an additional sea song proceeding The Saucy Arethusethe playing time is 17:20 compared with Paul Daniel’s version with the English Northern Philharmonic on Naxos 8.553981 which runs to 14:34. There’s a fine sensitive oboe solo featured in Tom Bowling in Lieu of the usual cello and a deft and beautifully controlled Sailors Hornpipe. Haydn Wood’s finely wrought The Seafarer will be familiar to most light music enthusiasts but no less welcome here for that but Thomas Powell Knox’s arrangement of traditional nautical melodies will be new to many. He was for 16 years until retirement in 1985 chief composer and arranger for the US Marine Band. His treatment of these familiar tunes is in a more modern idiom and its distinctly more flamboyant and brasher style contrasts somewhat to the more restrained and less arranged treatment by his two British counterparts. Albert Elms was a former Royal Marines musician and his best known piece became the musical description The Battle of Trafalgar which was premiered at a Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children Concert held at the Royal Albert Hall in 1975 with a narration written by Richard Baker and spoken by both him and the popular film actor Kenneth More. On this recording this same simple and eloquent narration is effectively enunciated by Admiral the Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL, a former first sea Lord, Chief of Defence Staff and currently holding the appointment of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. Of the shorter pieces on this disc a particularly warm welcome to one of Robert Farnon’s many fine arrangements in the form of a Rhapsody based upon ‘The Minstrel Boy’. There’s also an exhilarating and sprightly Molly on the Shore and the whole programme is complimented by two fine marches by maestros of their craft – Wilhelm Zehle’s ‘Viscount Nelson’ and Vivian Dunn’s ‘The Admirals Regiment’. The recording, full and vivid, was made in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at HMS Raleigh Torpaint, Cornwall as recently as mid-January 2005 and its been possible to write this review barely four weeks later – a remarkable and commendably fast process from recording to release! The Royal Marines Band play to the manor born so even if you have perhaps only a hint of the sea in your blood I would urge you to consider this impressive disc particularly in the year in which we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar! Roger Hyslop
AARON COPLAND Suites from "Rodeo" and "Billy The Kid" ; GERSHWIN "Porgy & Bess" (arr. Robert Russell Bennett) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Farrer Sanctuary CD RSN 3042. If these classic American works are missing from your collection, here’s your opportunity to fill the gap. This is a welcome reissue of recordings from 1993.
VINTAGE TANGO TONIGHT 25 tracks featuring Alfred Hause,, Hans Carste, Tito Schipa, Louis Ferrari, Francisoc Canaro, Robert Renard and other legendary names mainly from the 1930s – plus Sidney Torch ("Jealousy"). Sanctuary Living Era CD AJA 5561. Ralph Harvey had a hand in the compilation, and Alan Bunting did the sound restoration, so you know that this is a quality product. If this kind of light/dance music is your cup of tea, you’ll be delighted!
KYLE EASTWOOD "Paris blues" Big noise from Winnetka, Marrakech, Muse, Le point royal, Solferino, Cosmo, Paris blue, Big noise (remix) Marrakech (remix) (USA) CANDID CCD79789, 55:32 mins. available in UK from Compact Disc Club. Probably hoping for greater sales, Kyle waters down the jazz of his previous CD and dips his toe into near "Pop"; I hope this is just an experiment, I like it but purists from either camp may be wary! His six self composed titles explore sounds that Herbie Hancock and Stanley Clarke visited during their electronic recordings. "Muse" and the title track are outstanding and the synthesised string fade on "Marrakech" total magic. It's not synthesiser dominated, brass, horn and piano also get space to improvise, Kyle's bass playing is outstanding and Clint (Kyle's Dad) does a bit of whistling! Gimmicky but tremendous fun. "Big noise" doing its best to outdo the Henry Mancini version. I doubt he needs the money but if sales sponsor more out and out jazz next time around more power to his elbow! Paul Clatworthy
Among the many new releases sent to us by EMI, the following may be of interest to readers:
THE VERY BEST OF SANDIE SHAW 26 nostalgic tracks for pop fans of the 1960s EMI 8661102.
SOHO LOUNGE HEAT 2 Loose Collar Man, Down a Dark Street, Baggage Boy, Hop Skip and Jump, Leagueliner (Ray Davies); Disco Tek, Rhythmic Action (Syd Dale); Fat Man, Time Out (Dick Walter); Lady in White (Dennis Farnon); Mad Mendoza (Trevor Duncan); plus works by Steve Gray, Bill Geldard, Tony Kinsey, Bill Loose, Vic Flick, Alan Hawkshaw, Sam Fonteyn and Dominic Sands. EMI 560 6312. You can call it ‘Test Card’ or ‘Lounge’ music, but the composers’ names will let you know what to expect! All the tracks come from either the Amophonic or Boosey & Hawkes Recorded Music Libraries of the 1970s.
THE ULTIMATE AL MARTINO 24 tracks EMI 563 8922.
THE ORIGINAL 60s LOVE ALBUM 25 tracks by The Animals, Bobby Vee, Beach Boys, Manfred Mann, The Hollies, Adam Faith and many more. EMI 873 4882.
FRANK SINATRA "Live from the Golden Nugget" This is one of a Las Vegas Centennial series (see below) recently available from EMI associated with great performances at Las Vegas by the finest vocalists of the period. They are all so well-known and admired, that further comments seem superfluous! EMI 5601 452.
DEAN MARTIN "Live from The Sands" 5602 292.
WAYNE NEWTON "Mr. Las Vegas!" 5601 442.
NANCY WILSON "Live at The Sands" 8759 382.
BOBBY DARIN "Live at The Flamingo" 8759 392.
LOUIS PRIMA & KEELY SMITH "Live at The Sahara" 8759 372.
Various Artists "High Rollers!" 8759 372.
Various Artists "Live from Las Vegas" 5601 472.
THE BEACH BOYS "The Platinum Collection" 3-CD set by the famous US group who managed to create a distinct style that made them instantly recognizable. This was largely due to the talented Brian Wilson, and it is good to see that his work is still receiving praise today. EMI 571 3452.
The Very Best of JULIE LONDON 2-CD collection containing 50 of her best-known numbers. EMI 312 1292.
"The ultimate DAKOTA STATON" The folks who live on the hill, Misty, Too close for comfort, The very thought of you, Angel eyes, God bless the child, They all laughed, Whispering grass, Anything goes, I hear music, The thrill is gone, Give me the simple life, Travelin1 light, How high the moon, My heart beats like a hammer, On green dolphin street, The late late show, September in the rain, Avalon, Round midnight, Body and soul, Love walked in, My funny valentine, Willow weep for me.EMI 860 3542, 64:23 mins. ‘Who arranged it?’ has been my main draw when collecting vocal records. Dakota Staton has worked with some of the best, Nelson Riddle, Sid Feller, Manny Alban and Benny Carter naming a few. "Billboard" said of her "She can belt, she can whisper, she can be cute and she knows what to do with a lyric. Capitol records launched her in 1954 and she made several LP's getting in to the charts with "The late late show". This fine collection only repeats three tracks contained on the "Two for one" CD previously released thanks to Ray Purslow at The Record Centre in Birmingham. No arranger credits are present on the "promo" sent to me but I know from LP's I have that at least three tracks are the work of Sid Feller who often used the muted trumpet of Jonah Jones with great effect. There is some nice string work on "Whispering grass" The printed titles are not in the same order as the CD which may be corrected when finally released. A great opportunity for Dakota's fans to replace aged LP's! Paul Clatworthy
DVD: CHARLES AZNAVOUR and LIZA MINELLI in Concert at the Palais des Congrès, Paris in 1992. EMI 544 5149, 137 mins. Music DVDs are now growing very fast in popularity, but I have to confess that this is the first one I have studied closely. A promotional copy arrived from EMI, and I must admit that I found most of it highly entertaining. The picture quality and sound are both fine, and the little extras that we expect with DVDs seem to be there, although I find that the main hurdle is to ensure that things such as unwanted subtitles are switched off, otherwise they can become tiresome! If either of these famous singers appeal to you, I think you are unlikely to be disappointed with this souvenir of a memorable ‘live’ concert. David Ades
ALICE MARY SMITH: Symphony in A minor; Symphony in C minor; Andante for Clarinet and Orchestra Angela Malsbury (clarinet) London Mozart Players conducted by Howard ShelleyChandos CHAN 10283 66.00 mins. We don’t often stray into the realms of purely symphonic music but I think this latest release from Chandos fully deserves our attention. Alice Mary Smith was a Victorian composer born in 1839 and, as Ian Graham-Jones mentions in his informative notes, she was notable in being the first British woman to have composed and performed a symphony – indeed she wrote by far the greatest number of orchestral works of any 19th century British female composer. Sadly her life was cut short by typhoid fever and she died at the early age of 45 in 1884.The two symphonies included on this disc are certainly a revelation being exceedingly well crafted and structured examples, rich in melodic invention which both beguiles and stimulates the ear. There are occasional hints of Mendelssohn as one would expect, as there are indeed in some of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s orchestral music, but these are strong confident symphonies which certainly make a positive and lasting impression. Chandos deserve our gratitude for rediscovering the music of a long lost composer who certainly never warranted such neglect, but sadly we seem very dependent on commercial recording companies to perform this vital and important role of disinterring musical treasures such as this since the BBC with five ‘in house orchestras’ in tow seem to display little interest or make any great effort in this important field. To return to this new release the recording, full and vivid, was made at St. Silas Kentish Town and the London Mozart Players under Howard Shelley play immaculately so this enterprising and rewarding disc earns a strong commendation. Alice Mary Smith could not possibly have stronger advocates than she receives here and I do urge you to give her a try! Roger Hyslop
STEVE TYRELL: THIS GUY'S IN LOVE. Isn't It Romantic; This Guy's In Love With You; The Nearness Of You; Just In Time; Plus 10 Other Songs. Columbia CK-89238. 49:16. Steve Tyrell has carved out a comfortable niche for himself as this generation's ballas singer of the classic American songbook. Things get intothe lightly swinging vein with "Isn't It Romantic" with the big band and strings backing heard throughout this CD. A lot of pros in the jazz field show up including Clark Terry, Dave Grusin, Randy Brecker and Plas Johnson. Clark Terry plays on four tracks playing both muted trumpet and flugelhorn. He brings a lifetime's experiences with Ellington's music in "Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me" and then joins Plas Johnson on "Nevertheless" where he adds to Johnson's honeyed tenor sax with some musically fluid playing on flugelhorn. Burt Bacharach is heard playing piano on two of his songs, the most effective being on the title track "This Guy's In Love With You" sung with more warmth and sensitivity by Tyrell than on any other recording of this beautiful song. Tyrell deserves applause for following the late Ray Charles' lead on "Georgia," sung with a softer and more sensitive approach. Dave Grusin wrote and plays piano on "Love Like Ours" which had to be the most difficult song to record as it was dedicated to Tyrell's wife Stephanie who had died shortly before these sessions. The fantastic arrangements are by Bob Mann, Dave Grusin and Burt Bacharach. This is definitely a rewarding evening's entertainment, to be savoured with one's favourite drink after a tough day! Richard Jessen