The Composer Conducts - Volume 1
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5177
The Composer Conducts - Volume 1
1 Jet Journey (Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Parlophone R 3649 1953
2 Courses de Toros (Bull Fights) (Gérard Calvi, real name Grégoire Elie Krettly)
GÉRARD CALVI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Pye NPL 28003 1958
3 Fun In The Sun (Angela Morley, as Wally Stott)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ANGELA MORLEY (as WALLY STOTT)
Chappell C 688 1960
4 Les Parfums De Paris (Cedric Dumont)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CEDRIC DUMONT
Boosey & Hawkes O 2325 1958
5 Parisian Mode (Woolf Phillips)
WOOLF PHILLIPS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 2873 1951
6 Sagittarius (Hal Mooney)
HAL MOONEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60073 1958
7 The Phantom Regiment (Leroy Anderson)
LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick STA 3030 1960
8 City Of Veils (Les Baxter)
LES BAXTER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol ST 868 1958
9 Puppets On Parade (Rudolf Friml)
101 STRINGS Conducted by RUDOLF FRIML
Stereo Fidelity SF-6900 1959
10 Subway Polka (Harold Geller)
HARRY GELLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LPM 1032 1955
11 Bad Timing (from "Billion Dollar Baby") (Morton Gould)
MORTON GOULD, HIS PIANO AND ORCHESTRA
Columbia ML 4451 1951
12 Along The Avenue (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
Chappell C 644A 1959
13 Montana Round-Up (Kermit Leslie & Walter Leslie real surnames Levinsky)
KERMIT LESLIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Epic LN 3452 1958
14 Huckleberry Duck (Raymond Scott, real name Harry Warnow)
RAYMOND SCOTT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Coral CRL 57174 1957
15 Neiani (Axel Stordahl; Oliver)
AXEL STORDAHL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Dot DLP 25282 1960
16 Pam Pam (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM D 149 1957
17 La Bardinetta (André Popp)
ANDRÉ POPP AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia WL 130 1958
18 Fiddle Derby (Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia 4-39491 1951
19 Without Your Love (Guy Luypaerts)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as "GUY LUPAR"on LP label)
RCA Victor LP 3254 1955
20 Fandango (Frank Perkins)
FRANK PERKINS AND HIS "POPS" ORCHESTRA
Brunswick LA 8708 1955
21 Sports Arena (Wilfred Burns, real name Bernard Wilfred Harris)
HARMONIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by WILFRED BURNS
Harmonic HMP269A 1948
22 Trolley Bus (Charles Williams, real name Isaac Cozerbreit)
QUEEN"S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
Chappell C 283 1946
23 Boulevardier (Frederic Curzon)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by FREDERIC CURZON
Boosey & Hawkes OT 2089 1946
24 Jack The Dancer (Dolf van der Linden)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS METROPOLE ORCHESTRA
Paxton PR 582 1953
25 Blende Auf (Werner Müller)
RIAS DANCE ORCHESTRA Conducted by WERNER MüLLER
Polydor H 49 262 1954
26 Symphony In Jazz (First Movement) (Otto Cesana)
OTTO CESANA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 631 1955
Stereo: tracks 6-9 & 15 - rest in mono.
When composers conduct their own music one assumes that it is being performed exactly as they intended. Therefore such recordings are particularly valuable, and Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) certainly needed no encouragement to pick up the baton. From the 1950s onwards the recording scene in Britain was treated to a succession of his inventive and charming instrumentals which still sound fresh and appealing today. Internationally Ron"s fame would depend largely on his successful film scores such as "633 Squadron" (1964), "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" (1965) and Alfred Hitchcock"s "Frenzy" (1972). After several recordings for smaller labels, Ron was signed to EMI"s Parlophone in 1953 and his first recording for them was his own Jet Journey. Although he recorded it later in stereo, it is the first version which opens this CD that many regard as the best.
Gérard Calvi (real name Grégoire Elie Krettly, born 1922) first came to the attention of the public in his native France when he contributed the music in 1948 to a show called "Les Branquignols". The following year he composed the score for "La Patronne", launching a career in mainly European films that would continue for the rest of the 20th Century. By far his best known cinematic work was for the "Asterix" films, but Calvi was equally at home in the theatre and recording studio, and writing popular songs - over 300 in total. Probably his most successful composition internationally was One Of Those Songs - thanks to Will Holt adding the English lyric to a catchy orchestral piece called Le Bal de Madame de Mortemouille (on Guild GLCD5160). This time we feature his description of bull fights - Courses de Toros.
During the 1950s Angela Morley (1924-2009, at the time working as "Wally Stott") composed many light pieces for Chappell & Co., the leading London publishers of background music. Fun In The Sun is typical of the bright, tuneful pieces that became her trademark. Angela Morley went on to enjoy a long and successful career in recordings and films, eventually being much in demand in Hollywood to assist leading composers on major projects - working with John Williams on "Star Wars" being a prime example. Her TV credits included "Dallas" and "Dynasty".
Cédric Dumont (1916-2007) was born in Hamburg, Germany, but during his long career he became known as "Mr. Music Man of Switzerland". Growing up in the 1930s he came into contact with Jack Hylton in England, and over in the USA he seems to have worked briefly with Teddy Wilson, Harry James and Benny Goodman. He settled in Switzerland at the outbreak of World War 2 and was soon broadcasting from the studios in Basel. His career touched the classics as well as jazz, but it was in the sphere of light music that he became known throughout Europe. British mood music libraries engaged him to conduct their works when they were unable to record in Britain due to a Musicians" Union ban, particularly during the 1950s, and his own Les Parfums de Paris is one such example.
Woolf Phillips (1919-2003) did not have the same high public profile as many of his fellow British bandleaders in the middle years of the last century, yet his talent and accomplishments were greater than many of them. However he did get noticed when conducting the orchestra at the London Palladium between 1947 and 1953, and most big band fans knew him through his association with the Skyrockets and later the Geraldo and Ted Heath bands. Before the war he learned orchestration from his famous brother Sid, who played clarinet with Ambrose and contributed some of the most notable arrangements for that band. While at the Palladium Woolf conducted for visiting American stars such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Tony Martin, and in 1966 his friend Donald O"Connor (of "Singin" In The Rain" fame) persuaded him to relocate to the United States, where he spent the rest of his life. His Parisian Mode was a rare orchestral recording, which was used for a while by BBC Television as the signature tune for the panel game "What"s My Line".
Hal (born Harold) Mooney (1911-1995) is making another Guild appearance with his composition Sagittarius, which comes from a collection spotlighting each sign of the zodiac. In 1956 Mooney became A&R Director and chief arranger at Mercury Records, where he remained until Philips phased out the label towards the end of the 1960s. Mooney then moved to Universal Studios, working as MD on many of the top TV shows of the period, before retiring in 1977.
Leroy Anderson(1908-1975) is probably the best-loved American light music composer of his generation. For many years he was the chief arranger for the Boston Pops, and its famous conductor, Arthur Fiedler, introduced many Anderson novelties to an appreciative public. He was so prolific that some of his numbers have tended to become unfairly overlooked, such as The Phantom Regiment.
Texas born Les Baxter (1922-1996) decided to abandon a career as a concert pianist, and chose to concentrate on popular music. He played the tenor sax and is reported to have been influenced by Coleman Hawkins and the Duke Ellington Band. At the age of 23 he joined Mel Tormé"s Meltones and recorded with Artie Shaw, but his heart was set on arranging. As his career progressed he worked for Capitol and RCA, and tended to be asked to record pieces with an "exotic" appeal, like his City Of Veils.
Once again we are pleased to welcome Rudolf Friml (1879-1972) to conduct one of his own compositions. Puppets On Parade seems a far cry from his famous operettas such as "Rose-Marie" and "The Vagabond King", but it surely serves to confirm his versatility.
Violinist Harold (Harry) Geller (1916-2005) was born in Sydney, Australia, but for most of his career he was based in London. He was a frequent broadcaster with his orchestra in BBC programmes such as "Morning Music" and "Music While You Work", but his commercial recordings were comparatively rare. Subway Polka comes from an album of tunes he composed about New York for the American market. Towards the end of the 1970s work in Britain had dried up, so he moved to the USA where he continued to compose and teach the violin and conducting.
Morton Gould (1913-1996) became one of the most highly respected American composers, and his distinguished career was crowned with a Pulitzer Prize (for his Stringmusic, commissioned by Mstislav Rostropovich for the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington) just a year before his death at the age of 82. His Bad Timing comes from a Broadway show that has been overshadowed by his other greater achievements as a composer.
Roger Roger (1911-1995) was a leading figure on the French music scene for many years, and his fine compositions and arrangements also won him admirers internationally. Along The Avenue is one of many works he wrote for the Chappell Recorded Music Library.
Kermit Leslie (born Kermit Levinsky in New York City) often composed with his brother Walter, and it seems a pity that he appears to have made relatively few recordings. Montana Round Up is the ninth work by the Levinsky brothers to appear on Guild.
Raymond Scott was an American bandleader and pianist who composed a melody that is instantly recognisable to the older generation - Toy Trumpet (the version by Reginald Pursglove and his Orchestra is on GLCD5137). This was just one of a number of quirky novelties with similarly quirky titles, such as Twilight In Turkey, Reckless Night On Board An Ocean Liner and Huckleberry Duck, the choice for this collection. Scott"s real name was Harry Warnow (1908-1994) but he used a pseudonym to avoid being accused of nepotism, since his older brother Mark conducted a CBS house orchestra which used to play his tunes.
The name Axel Stordahl (1913-1963) will be familiar to many collectors of American popular music, mainly through his backing for Frank Sinatra during a period known as the singer"s "Columbia years". In 1936 he joined Tommy Dorsey as a trumpet player, and was encouraged to develop his arranging talents. He realised that his style was more suited to slow, sentimental ballads, which became his trademark, and this is evident in his composition Neiani.
London-born David Rose (1910-1990) became one of the truly great light orchestra leaders in the USA, and his compositions such as Holiday For Strings (on Guild GLCD5120) and The Stripper sold millions. The choice of Pam Pam for this collection has been dictated by the fact that it is one of his lesser known works, yet his mastery of the light orchestra shines through in every bar.
André Charles Jean Popp (b. 1924) is a Frenchcomposer, arranger and screenwriter whose main claim to fame rests with his composition Love Is Blue which was a big hit for Paul Mauriat in 1968, reaching number one in the US charts. But Popp"s long career has embraced many styles, often leading to eccentric arrangements, much of it for his broadcasts on French radio. In contrast with some of his works, La Bardinetta is relatively sedate!
Percy Faith (1908-1976) hardly needs any introduction to Guild "regulars". Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1940 he moved permanently to the USA where he quickly established himself through radio and recordings. From the 1950s onwards his fame spread internationally, due to the great success of his numerous long playing albums. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his compositions such as Fiddle Derby confirm his mastery of the light orchestra.
Guy Luypaerts (b. 1917) was born in Paris to Belgian parents during the First World War and he became well-known in French musical circles through conducting an orchestra called the Nouvelle Association Symphonique de Paris. Guild has previously included his imaginative sounds in the Cole Porter tribute (GLCD5127) and conducting inventive cameos such as The Sleepwalker of Amsterdam (GLCD5131), Masquerade In Madrid (GLCD5132), Jose Fontaine"s catchy Whimsy, and his own composition Chatter Box (both on GLCD5160). This time it is the turn of his more conventional Without Your Love.
Bernard Wilfred Harris, better known as "Wilfred Burns" (1917-1990) was a prolific composer of mood music who has over 200 titles to his credit. After service during the Second World War he worked at Elstree studios before eventually becoming a freelance film composer and musical director. His first of over twenty films was around 1949, with his final score in the 1970s. His best-known was probably the large screen version of the popular BBC television series "Dad"s Army" in 1971. Sports Arena is one of his many pieces accepted by various London publishers.
Charles Williams(real name Isaac Cozerbreit, 1893-1978) is yet another composer/conductor whose work is now familiar once again through his many Guild recordings. Trolley Bus is one of numerous pieces published by Chappells at a time when he was the main contributor to their Recorded Music Library.
Frederic Curzon (1899-1973) spent most of his early career working in the theatre and like so many of his contemporaries he gradually became involved in providing music for silent films. Later he was appointed Head of Light Music at London publishers Boosey and Hawkes, for whom he composed many highly praised pieces. Several appear in a special concert selection in the second volume of this series, but on this CD we hear his famous Boulevardier in the original full-length version.
Dolf van der Linden (real name David Gysbert van der Linden, 1915-1999) was the leading figure on the light music scene in the Netherlands from the 1940s until the 1980s. As well as broadcasting frequently with his Metropole Orchestra, he made numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers and his own Jack The Dancer remains one of his most popular works.
Werner Müller (1920-1998) was a bassoonist who became the conductor of the RIAS (Radio In American Sector) Dance Band based in Berlin, which gave its first concert on 24 April 1949. The band soon built up a strong following through its Polydor recordings, with exciting performances such as his own Blende Auf.
Italian born Otto Cesana (1899-1980) spent much of his early career in California where he lived from 1908 to 1930. His piano studies commenced at the age of ten, and he became an accomplished organist; he also learned about orchestration and harmony which he put to good use working in radio and Hollywood film studios. Most critics regarded Cesana"s work as being "easy listening", although the distinguished jazz critic Leonard Feather considered him worthy of an entry in the 1960 Encyclopaedia of Jazz through his acclaimed composition Symphony In Jazz. The first impressive movement makes a fitting finale to this collection. David Ades