GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5194
1 Thunder And Lightning Polka (Johann Strauss, arr. Sidney Torch)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone R 3488 1952
2 Stormy Weather (Harold Arlen, arr. Morton Gould)
MORTON GOULD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA Victor LSC-2552 1961
3 Misty Valley (Peter Yorke)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca F 10315 1954
4 Tango In The Rain (Lotar Leonard Olias)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia 45-DB 3895 1957
5 Over The Hills And Far Away (Frederic Curzon)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN (as ‘Nat Nyll’ on disc label)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2290 1957
6 Whistle Down The Wind (Theme music from the film) (Malcolm Arnold)
Decca 45-F 11370 1961
7 Meadow Mist (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Charles Trebilco)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN (as ‘Nat Nyll’)
Boosey & Hawkes OT2340 1959
8 The Whirlpool Theme (from the film "Whirlpool") (Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Parlophone 45-R 4537 1959
9 Saga Of The Seven Seas (Clive Richardson)
THE SYMPHONIA ORCHESTRA Conducted by CURT ANDERSEN
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL 438 1959
10 Summer Skies (Leroy Anderson)
EASTMAN-ROCHESTER "POPS" ORCHESTRA Conducted by FREDERICK FENNELL
Mercury AMS16037 1960
11 Wandering The King’s Highway (Leslie Coward)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (as ‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 509 1955
12 Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (from "The New Moon") (Sigmund Romberg, arr.
William Hill Bowen)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
RCA SF 5063 1960
13 Fireflies (Peter Yorke)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Chappell C 338 1948
14 September In The Rain (Al Dubin; Harry Warren, arr. Ronald Binge)
RONALD BINGE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca F 10410 1954
15 Blue Is The Night (Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8360 1961
16 Whirlwind (Eric Spear)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
Chappell C 286 1946
17 Countrywide (Anthony Mawer)
HILVERSUM RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by HUGH GRANVILLE
De Wolfe DW 2678 1961
18 Tonnerre Sur La Louisiane (Thunder In Louisiana) (Gérard Calvi, real name
Grégoire Elie Krettly)
GÉRARD CALVI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Pye NPL 28003 1958
19 Twilight On Las Pampas (Dominico Savino)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR60103 1959
20 Headland Country (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 652 1959
21 Trotting Class (Bruce Campbell)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Paul Franklin’)
Paxton PR 679 1957
22 Landscape (Paysages) (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
Chappell C 517 1955
23 The Mad Mountain Ride (George Trevare)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Chappell C 377 1950
24 Spring Idyll (Cyril Watters)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CEDRIC DUMONT
Boosey & Hawkes O 2306 1957
25 Sunrise (from "Grand Canyon" Suite) (Ferde Grofé)
HOLLYWOOD BOWL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by FELIX SLATKIN
Capitol SP 8347 1956
Stereo tracks 2, 10, 12, 15, 19 & 25; rest in mono
Initially this collection of Light Music was intended to reflect the scenic beauty of our world, but it soon became apparent that composers often took a different view – the opening track is a good example. Sometimes the word ‘nature’ means anything about our planet which is non-human, so this automatically encompasses the animal world, in all its myriad of forms. In total this offers many opportunities for composers to give their creative juices full rein, which explains why "Nature’s Realm" is certainly much more varied, and hopefully exciting, than the sequence of serene melodies which the album’s title originally suggested.
Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) conditioned his nineteenth-century audiences to expect charming waltzes, so it must have come as quite a shock to them when they saw Unter Donner und Blitz on the programme for the first time in 1868. Somehow the familiar English title Thunder and Lightning sounds less dramatic, but arrangers and orchestras ever since that first performance over 140 years ago have managed to create a big impact with Strauss’s Opus 324. The arrangement by Sidney Torch, MBE (born Sidney Torchinsky 1908-1990) avoids the percussive excesses of some versions, while still retaining the excitement of one of the most famous works of the ‘Waltz King’.
From thunder and lightning it is a natural progression to the accompanying storm, and probably the most famous piece of music that conjures up the sultry conditions that often lead to a storm’s climax was composed by Harold Arlen (born Hyman Arluck, 1905-1986). Stormy Weather is said to have been co-written with Ted Koehler at a party in 1933. Whether or not this is strictly true, there is no doubt that the weather exerted a benign influence on Arlen, who composed Over The Rainbow for "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939, even though the song almost ended up on the proverbial cutting-room floor. Our version of Stormy Weather, arranged and conducted by Morton Gould (1913-1996), bears all the hallmarks of quality to be expected from one of America’s most honoured musicians.
Peter Yorke (1902-1966) provides two compositions for this collection. It seems likely that Frank Chacksfield (1914-1995) recorded his Misty Valley in 1954 hoping that it might emulate the success of his big hit Ebb Tide a year earlier. Later we hear Fireflies, a catchy number Peter wrote for the Chappell Recorded Music Library.
Viennese Raymond Stuart Martin (1918-1988) was born Raymond Wolfgang Kohn, but after he fled from the Nazis and settled in England before the outbreak of World War 2 he chose to be known as ‘Ray Martin’. He became one of the biggest names in British popular music during the 1950s, and many of his own instrumental recordings were either waltzes or tangos. Tango In The Rain is by the prolific German composer Lotar Leonard Olias (1913-1990).
LondonerFrederic Curzon (1899-1973) devoted his early career to working in the theatre and like so many of his contemporaries he gradually became involved in providing music for silent films. As well as being a fine pianist and a conductor, he also played the organ, and his first big success as a composer was his "Robin Hood Suite" in 1937 from which comes March Of The Bowmen on Guild GLCD5106. This encouraged him to devote more of his time to writing and broadcasting, and several of his works have become light music ‘standards’, notably The Boulevardier (GLCD5177), Dance of an Ostracised Imp and the miniature overture Punchinello. He was eventually appointed Head of Light Music at London publishers Boosey and Hawkes, and for a while was also President of the Light Music Society. He wrote a large amount of ‘mood music’ himself – his setting of Over The Hills And Far Away being a typical example of his style.
Before he gained recognition for his more serious music, Sir Malcolm Arnold, CBE (1921-2006) was much in demand as a film composer. His most famous work was on "The Bridge On The River Kwai" (1957) but he seemed equally at home on small budget British movies, such as "Whistle Down The Wind". Mystery surrounds the performers of the title music, The Wayfarers, with some writers suggesting that the similarity to the film soundtrack could point to Arnold himself conducting a small group of musicians for the Decca recording.
Regular collectors of this Guild series of CDs will already be familiar with the music of Trevor Duncan (real name Leonard Charles Trebilco, 1924-2005). His beautifully crafted compositions continue to appear on new CDs, and this time it is his dreamy pastoral tone poem Meadow Mist that enhances this collection. He was working as a BBC sound engineer in the late 1940s when one of his first compositions, High Heels (on Guild GLCD 5124) made the light music world sit up and take notice. Eventually his successful and prolific output mushroomed to such an extent that he had to give up his ‘day job’ at the BBC, and also find several different publishers simply because he was writing too much for just one to handle.
Ronald (Ron) Alfred Goodwin(1925-2003) was a brilliant British composer, arranger and conductor, whose tuneful music reached the furthest corners of the world. As he gained recognition for his original compositions he became in demand for film scores, and one of his earliest major commissions was "Whirlpool" in 1959, from which we hear the main theme.
Clive Richardson (1909-1998) was best-known as a pianist during his early career, but working on many pre-war British films (usually without any credit on-screen) honed his talents as an arranger and composer. His London Fantasia (on Guild GLCD5120) was widely praised, and thereafter his work was regularly commissioned by many leading publishers – Saga Of The Seven Seas being a good example of his penchant for melodies with a nautical theme.
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 world. He was so prolific that some of his numbers have tended to become overlooked, such as the tender Summer Skies.
Wandering The King’s Highway, which appears to have beencomposed in the 1930s by Leslie Coward, owed much of its popularity to the recording by the famous Australian bass-baritone, Peter Dawson (1882-1961).
Sigmund Romberg (born Siegmund Rosenberg, 1887-1951) excelled at writing operettas – that once popular mainstay of the music scene that is now almost forgotten. "The New Moon" in 1928 contained two numbers which have become standards, partly through their unlikely attraction to jazz musicians – Lover Come Back To Me and Softly As In A Morning Sunrise. The latter receives a mystical arrangement by William Hill Bowen (1918-1964) for the famous British orchestra conducted by George Melachrino (1909-1965).
The American popular and operatic singer James Melton (1904-1961) introduced September In The Rain in the 1937 movie "Melody For Two". Our version is arranged and conducted by Ronald Binge (1910-1979), destined to remain forever remembered as the gifted arranger who designed the ‘cascading strings’ effect for Mantovani, but his true achievements deserve far greater recognition.
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 Blue Is The Night confirm his mastery of the light orchestra.
The composer of Whirlwind, Eric Spear (1908-1966), will forever be associated with the theme for the TV series "Coronation Street", but this was only one of many light music works he wrote. Midnight Blue, on a Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) 78, was included on Guild GLCD 5111, and his other works reissued on Guild include Proud As A Peacock (GLCD5160) and Stratosphere (GLCD5183).
In 1955 the English composer Anthony Mawer (1930-1999) started contributing occasional mood music pieces to London publishers De Wolfe, before joining the staff in 1959, where he remained until 1965. During this period he composed almost 500 titles exclusively for them, and Countrywide is just one of many delightful melodies he has created – this is his fifth to reach a wider audience through Guild.
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", with Robert Dhéry adding witty lyrics to his quirky melodies. 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 studios, 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). Tonnerre Sur La Louisiane is his seventh composition to date included on a Guild CD.
Richard (Warren Joseph) Hayman (b. 1920) started at the age of 18 as a harmonica player in Borrah Minevitch’s Harmonica Rascals, but he wisely decided to concentrate more on arranging and conducting. He worked on the MGM musical "Meet Me In St. Louis" and was put under contract by Mercury Records in 1950, for whom he made many singles and albums, the best-seller being his version of Ruby from the film "Ruby Gentry". Over a period of more than 30 years he also arranged for the Boston Pops, serving as back-up conductor for Arthur Fiedler. An established Guild favourite (this is his 23rd appearance), on GLCD5191 he conducted Corrida by Dominico Savino (1882-1973), and this time he features the same composer’s sultry Twilight On Las Pampas.
The Canadian composer Robert Joseph Farnon (1917-2005) produced such a wealth of light music, that it is hardly surprising that some of his catchy numbers are still unknown to many people. Such a piece is Headland Country, and it would be surprising if he didn’t have his beautiful homeland in mind when he composed it.
Bruce Campbell was one of several writers who owed much to his association with Robert Farnon. He was a fellow Canadian, who actually came to Britain some years before Farnon, and played trombone with various British bands during the 1930s including Ambrose, Jack Harris, Jack Hylton, Sid Millward, Hugo Rignold and Lew Stone. Campbell assisted Farnon on his post-war BBC radio shows, and eventually became a frequent contributor to various mood music libraries. Trotting Class was written for the Paxton Mood Music Library, and it joins eight of his own works already on Guild.
The French composer/conductor Roger Roger (1911-1995) is also a prolific contributor to Guild ‘Golden Age of Light Music’ collections – 14 so far, and still counting. Paysages (Landscape) was one of his many titles that reached a world-wide audience, thanks to the Chappell Recorded Music Library.
The composer of The Mad Mountain Ride was George Trevare, who is mentioned on the internet working as a trombonist and arranger with the ABC Dance Band in Sydney from 1936. There are also references to him producing an Australian television series from 1961 to 1974 "The Magic of Music" which featured Eric Jupp (1922-2003).
Although not as well-known as most of the other composers on this CD, Henry Cyril Watters (1907-1984) was highly respected by music publishers, with his work readily accepted for its unfailing high standards. At times he was employed as a staff arranger by Boosey & Hawkes and Chappell, and he generously devoted some of his energies in running the Light Music Society for the benefit of his fellow musicians. He achieved a minor hit with his Willow Waltz (on GLCD5189)when it was used as a television theme, and his beautiful Spring Idyll is his ninth composition now receiving a fully deserved commercial release on Guild.
New Yorker Ferde, or Ferdie Grofé (born Ferdinand Rudolph von Grofé, 1892-1972) became known in his native USA during the 1920s, partly through his piano playing with the famous Paul Whiteman (1890-1967) Orchestra. He created hundreds of arrangements of popular tunes for the band, the most memorable being Rhapsody In Blue by George Gershwin (1898-1937). Possibly Grofé’s own most remembered work was his "Grand Canyon Suite", composed in 1931. The opening movement Sunrise provides a suitably dramatic conclusion to this collection.