25 Dec

CD Review – The Maestro Very Best Of Leonard Bernstein

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CD Review – The Maestro Very Best Of Leonard Bernstein
Deutsche Grammophon 4865491 [2:30:0]

Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) was one of the very best conductors and, arguably, the most charismatic of his generation. This well filled 2-CD set of his greatest recordings ties in with the release of 'Maestro', the acclaimed Netflix biographical movie about his life.

Read the review here...

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25 Dec

Jean Killman

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It is my very sad duty to record the death of Jean, wife of Albert Killman, at the end of November.

Many of us will remember Albert and Jean from the days of the former Robert Farnon Society. Albert was instrumental in acting as assistant to the late David Ades and was particularly concerned with matters pertaining to membership of the Society.

Unfortunately, Jean’s health had deteriorated during the last few years; she was eventually admitted to Southend Hospital in October, with severe heart and breathing difficulties, from which she was unable to recover.

Although Jean and Albert no longer made the journey from Rochford to attend our LLMMG meetings, I stayed in contact with them and they made me very welcome in their home on a couple of occasions.

On behalf of the Group, I extend our sincerest condolences to Albert.

Tony Clayden
December 2023

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10 Dec

CD Review – A Cocktail Of Happiness – The Music Of Fred Hartley

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CD Review – A Cocktail Of Happiness
The Music Of Fred Hartley
With The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra

Many people who read this will be aware of my lifetime passion for light music, to which I listened in the 1950s and 1960s on the BBC Light Programme. Sadly this organisation have now abandoned the genre and one has to turn to recorded music to remind oneself of it's qualities.

Read the review here...

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10 Dec

CD Review – Felix Klieser – A Golden Christmas

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CD Review – Felix Klieser A Golden Christmas
Wiener Concert-Verein
Berlin Classics 0303074BC [50:55]

Warm hearted music for the festive period and beyond from the golden sound of the French horn, played by the German born (1991) much-in-demand virtuoso, Felix Klieser.

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22 Nov

CD REVIEW – GAUTIER CAPUÇON – Destination PARIS

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CD REVIEW – GAUTIER CAPUÇON
Destination PARIS

Erato 54197721146 [76:02], also LP & Digital

Readers who responded to my enthusiasm for his albums 'Emotions' at the end of 2020 and 'Sensations' two years later will know that the cellist extraordinaire, Gautier Capuçon, offers both quality and quantity. Here he gives us a further 22 varied tracks of popular film melodies, French chansons and classical pieces. It seems that its release now is not unconnected with the French capital hosting the Summer Olympics in 2024.

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21 Nov

CD REVIEW – ANDRÉ RIEU – Jewels of Romance

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CD REVIEW – ANDRÉ RIEU
Jewels of Romance
CD [65:07] & DVD [approx. 65.00] 7444754886863

Hooray for André! Here is this year's injection of recorded joy to the nation's mood in these troubled times from the Dutch maestro and his wonderful 50-strong Johann Strauss Orchestra. He has chosen melodies for the CD album which touch his heart in the expectation that they will touch ours.

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14 Nov

CD Review – RODGERS & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

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CD Review – RODGERS & Hammerstein’s
Oklahoma!
Soloists/Sinfonia Of London/John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5322(2) [TT 99:43]

Composer Richard Rodgers' (1902-79) and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein ll's (1895-1960) first collaboration is described by the record company on their website as ground-breaking when the musical debuted on Broadway 80 years ago, and this is the world première complete recording with Robert Russell Bennett's orchestrations of the original score, which have been restored by the late Bruce Pomahac, who was the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization’s MD for more than 20 years.

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14 Nov

CD Review – Enoch Light / Beatles Classics & Serendipity

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CD Review – Enoch Light / Beatles Classics & Serendipity
Vocalion CDLK4646 [72:22]

This is the second album in Vocalion's new release of Easy Listening music. Enoch Light (1907-78) was an American conductor, arranger and entrepreneur. He started the Command label and, always interested in the technical side, he struck it rich with the advent of stereo. He went on to be one the first to record on 35mm movie film instead of tape, an advance at the time. With Command taken over and in trouble he started again with the Project 3 label, finally responsible for more than 30 chart LPs between 1957 and 1970. He came out of retirement in the 1980's to work with Frank Sinatra.

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14 Nov

CD Review – Henry Mancini / The Best Of Mancini – Vols 1&2

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CD Review – Henry Mancini / The Best Of Mancini – Vols 1&2
The Concert Sound Of Mancini & Salutes Sousa
Vocalion 2CDLK4636 [68:09 & 75:01]

It is good to welcome back to these pages the Vocalion label, which has just released four reissues from the golden age of Easy Listening. The lead reissue is of two 2-on-1 CDs, originally RCA, from a master light music maker, Henry "Hank" Mancini (1924-94). In a career spanning 40 years as composer, arranger and conductor he won four Oscars, one Golden Globe and twenty Grammys – also a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award – setting an all-time record for a non-classical artist.

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20 Oct

Calling All Workers

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Calling All Workers
(Eric Coates)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Eric Coates wasn’t called the first English King of light music for nothing. He was a superb craftsman, brilliant orchestrator but more importantly his personal flare for melody put him in a class of his own.

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21 Sep

An Era in Grave Danger of Disappearing

Written by

Robert Walton

A quick guide to the four main periods of classical music are Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th century. However there is one I sense is at great risk of becoming extinct like many animals and birds. Now called “The Great American Songbook” it’s the first 60 years of the 20th century containing a true Golden Era never before achieved in music. You’d think the later bilge brigade with guitar obsession monotony would have insured it from disappearing, but for some reason our kind of music is currently in a truly fragile state. It simply doesn’t deserve such a final fate as falling out of favour.

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28 Jul

Major Melodies in Minor Keys

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Major Melodies in Minor Keys
By Robert Walton

Sitting at the piano doodling away like Jimmy Durante, searching for songs in the minor, I soon learned they don’t come easily.

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10 Jul

CD Review – Piers Lane Goes To Town Again

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CD Review – Piers Lane Goes To Town Again
Hyperion CDA68163 [82:31]

The very last review in the 2013 final printed edition of the Robert Farnon Society's magazine was 'Piers Lane Goes To Town' [Hyperion CDA 67967], which I enthusiastically recommended to readers. Here, a decade later, is a follow-up of equal merit from the London-based Australian. While the earlier album focussed on the 20th century, this one ranges from the 1700s – Jean Baptiste Loeillet's Keyboard Suite in E Minor – to Robert Constable's 'A slinky foxtrot ‘Nocturne' from 2019, all with the accent on the dance.

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10 Jul

CD Review – Signature – Debbie Wiseman

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CD Review – Signature
Debbie Wiseman
Live In Concert
SILVA SCREEN RECORDS SILCD1725 [59:32]

'London-born Debbie Wiseman OBE has written more than 200 pieces of music over the last three decades and has become one of our best loved living composers. I became a fan after meeting her some years ago, and welcome this release of light music in celebration of her 60th birthday.

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10 Jul

CD Review – Chineke! Orchestra – Florence Price

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CD Review – Chineke! Orchestra
Florence Price
Featuring Janeba Kanneh-Mason
DECCA 4853996 [61.09]

This is a fascinating release that I think readers might like to investigate. The African American composer, pianist, organist and music teacher, Florence B. Price (1887-1953), was much admired in her day, completing more than 300 works including orchestral music, chamber pieces and songs. Evidently many of these were only discovered in 2009, rotting in boxes at her former Illinois summer house. She seemed to go right off the radar after she died but seven decades later, much to our advantage, has been rediscovered.

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12 Jun

CD Review – ISATA Kanneh-Mason – Childhood Tales

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CD Review – ISATA Kanneh-Mason
Childhood Tales
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Domingo Hindoyan
<>Decca 485 4180 [67:56]

'This is the fifth album from the brilliant 27-year-old pianist: a member of the famed Nottingham musical family. There have been reviews of 'Summertime' and 'Carnival' (involving all the Kanneh-Mason's) on this website. Another, 'Muse'(not reviewed here), is with her celebrated cello-playing brother, Sheku.

Red the review here...

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21 May

A Minor Improvement

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By Robert Walton

When it became the norm to add conjoining chords (especially minor ones) to the notation of a song, which contained the very basic tune, quality popular music had really arrived.

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21 May

CD Review – Eric Coates: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3

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CD Review – Eric Coates: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3
BBC Philharmonic / John Wilson
CHANDOS CHAN 20164 [TT 66:50]

'Reviewing Vol. 2in this survey of Coates' works at the height of the pandemic in 2020, I wrote that I was eagerly anticipating further releases (due to Covid-19 likely to be a long time coming).

Read the review here...

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11 May

CD Reviews – Two Albert Ketèlbey CDs

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CD Reviews – Two Albert Ketèlbey CDs

Born in Birmingham in 1875 and a graduate of Trinity College of Music, London, Albert W. Ketèlbey remained a prominent figure in the field of British Light Music, from before the start of WWl almost until his passing in 1959.

Read the reviews here...

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28 Apr

CD Review – Bert Kaempfert – Wonderland By Night Greatest Hits 1958-1962

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CD Review – Bert Kaempfert
Wonderland By Night
Greatest Hits 1958-1962
Jasmine JASMCD2655 [78:54]

Releases like this are almost akin to hens' teeth these days. Ten years ago, in the last published issue of the Robert Farnon Society magazine Journal Into Melody, at least a dozen easy listening orchestral albums were reviewed. So well done to the label for resurrecting this selection of no less than 28 Kaempfert 45rpm singles.

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15 Mar

CD Review – Philip Lane – Orchestral Music

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CD Review – Philip Lane
Orchestral Music
Verity Butler, Clarinet
Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland
Naxos 8.555880 [73:39]

It was appropriate that Philip Lane (b. 1950) should have a CD to himself as he had been a moving spirit in creating the original Marco Polo series.

There are eight of his delightfully tuneful compositions on this release beginning with a short 'London Salute', written to mark the 60th anniversary of the BBC.

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15 Mar

CD Review – Music For Strings

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CD Review – Music For Strings
Sinfonia Of London / John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5291 [66.00]

Another humdinger of a disc from John Wilson and his magnificent orchestra, this time with the accent on the strings. The programme opens with one of the most popular of all classical compositions: Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. JW takes just over a minute off the timing of Sir John Barbirolli's famous 1962 version with the Sinfonia in its first manifestation. Another well-loved piece here is Sir Edward Elgar's superb Introduction and Allegro, also included on that earlier EMI recording.

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15 Mar

CD Review – Archibald Joyce – Orchestral Works

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CD Review – Archibald Joyce – Orchestral Works
RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Dublin
Andrew Penny
Naxos 8555218 [66’57]

Archibald Joyce was born in Pimlico in 1873 and lived for 89 years. He was a composer – the first Brit to have his works published on the Continent – and conductor, leading his own orchestra for many years sometimes involving 100 musicians. He was generally known as "The English Waltz King".

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15 Mar

CD Review – 'Classical Changes'

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CD Review – 'Classical Changes'
Art Deco Trio
SOMM CD0663 [73’03]

We discovered the Art Deco Trio with their impressive debut album Gershwinicity a couple of years ago, and here they are again in a release that is largely fun from beginning to end.

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09 Mar

Pelosi

Written by

Pelosi
By Robert Walton

If you’re interested in American politics, you will know Nancy Pelosi was the 52nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. It was big news when the break-in of her San Francisco residence occurred in which her businessman husband Paul suffered serious injuries from an intruder.

Every time she appears on television, I’m reminded of another Pelosi who was in the music business - songwriter Don Pelosi.

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14 Feb

Music For Romance

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Music For Romance
(Sherwin, Maschwitz)
Analysed by Robert Walton

The American practice of using surnames as first names has always appealed to me, firstly because they’re different and secondly they sound more engaging and impressive. One that comes immediately to mind is Manning Sherwin (1902-1974). (a name not a million miles from Gershwin).

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29 Jan

Prokofiev - Suites from Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet

Written by

Prokofiev
Suites from Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet
Ian Scott clarinet Jonathan Higgins piano
divine art dda 25232 [50:09]

Born in Ukraine, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is probably best-known by light music enthusiasts for Peter and the Wolf but these ballet suites are not far behind in popularity.

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29 Jan

Blue Tango -- Very Best of Leroy Anderson Light Classics -- Iain Sutherland Concert Orchestra

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 "Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was arguably the most successful 20th century American composer of light orchestral music, at a time when the genre was known internationally.

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(reposted 29 Januari 2023)

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27 Jan

Bright Lights

Written by

(Victor Young)
by Robert Walton

When David Rose wrote Holiday for Strings he probably had no idea how much it would influence a whole generation of light orchestral composers...

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(reposted 27 Januari 2023)

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22 Jan

Metropolis (Jack Brown)

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Metropolis (Jack Brown)
New Century Orchestra/Sidney Torch

Analysed by Robert WaltonThere was a time when the name ‘Jackie’ Brown flashed regularly across our television screens as a highly rated electronic organist. But he was much more than that. He used his actual first name as a mood music composer and later changed to the more informal ‘Jackie’ when he became Billy Cotton’s TV Band Show’s personal assistant and conductor. Talk about multi-talented!

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13 Jan

CD Review – Vienna Philharmonic – New Year’s Day Concert 2023

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CD Review – Vienna Philharmonic
Franz Welser-Most
New Year’s Day Concert 2023
Sony 19658717392

For the first time since 2019, it was back to normal with a packed non-masked audience in Vienna's beautiful Golden Hall of the Musikverein, and Franz Welser-Most (b.1960) – MD of the Cleveland Orchestra since 2002 – on the podium for the third time.

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16 Dec

In Search Of The World’s Most Beautiful Tune

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In Search Of The World’s Most Beautiful Tune
By Robert Walton

It might sound like an impossible task to find the world’s most beautiful tune but with so much current research going on in other walks of life, we may as well add “music” to the list and see what we come up with. The question is where do you begin such a mammoth undertaking? And what are your judgments based on?

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10 Dec

CD Review – Sensations – Gautier Capuçon

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sensations gautier capuconCD Review – Sensations
Gautier Capuçon
Erato 9029615713 [83:46]

High in the list of the world's top cellists, Gautier Capuçon's album 'Emotions' – reviewed here as one of my CDs of the year for 2021 – reached gold status in France, remaining at No.1 in the charts for over 30 weeks. Evidently the Frenchman is a household name in his native country. (Somehow, I can’t imagine that happening to Steven Isserlis in the UK).

Read the review here...

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10 Dec

CD Review – Saint-Saëns – Dances And Ballet Music

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CD Review – Saint-Saëns
Dances And Ballet Music
Residentie Orkest The Hague / Jun Märkl
Naxos 8.574463 [78:24]

Born in 1835, Camille Saint-Saëns was an immensely gifted child, blessed with perfect pitch, who made his concert debut at the age of ten and studied at the Paris Conservatoire...

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30 Nov

CD Review – André Rieu and His Johann Strauss Orchestra Silver Bells

Written by

CD Review – André Rieu
and His Johann Strauss Orchestra
Silver Bells

Universal 7444754887822 [CD 61’.56”, DVD 121’]

As is his wont at this time of year, the remarkable André Rieu is back again with his fine band of players and choir on a new studio recording in a selection of Christmastide pieces: popular songs and more serious stuff – naturally all tuneful and some unfamiliar.

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24 Oct

CD Review – Very Best of British Brass

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CD Review – Very Best of British Brass
alto Take:2 ALN 1984 [79:36]

Back in the day the name of Harry Mortimer OBE CBE (1902-92) was synonymous with British brass band music. He was given his first cornet at seven and his great playing ability led to putting him at the top of his profession – the Louis Armstrong of the brass band world.

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24 Oct

CD Review – Sarah Willis – Mozart y Mambo Cuban Dances

Written by

CD Review – Sarah Willis
Mozart y Mambo Cuban Dances
ALPHA 878 [61:03]

Like its predecessor reviewed here in 2020, 'Mozart y Mambo', this release has all the right ingredients for a similar stunning sales success: a French horn played by a star hornist, the masterly Mozart and the exciting music of Cuba. As well as the mambo, other major ballroom dances of Cuban origin include the rhumba, conga, guaracha, samba and cha-cha.

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04 Oct

CD Review – Out of This World!

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CD Review – Out of This World!
The Spotnicks/Ron Goodwin/Russ Garcia
él ACMEM294CD (TT 79:35)

Regular readers will know that normally we only review new releases but this from 2015 is at such a bargain price that, brand new for £3.64 from eBay, it is an absolute steal.

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02 Oct

Cecilia

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CECILIA (Does Your Mother Know You’re 0ut?)
(Music Dave Dreyer, words Herman Ruby)
Analysed by Robert Walton

For some reason this 1925 song is sometimes wrongly misspelt as “Cecelia” with an incorrect second “e”. In fact it should be an “i”. Just by adding the letters “ia” to Cecil, it becomes female. At the start of bar 3 and bar 7 the tune produces a four beat semibreve in which a soft shoe shuffle leads to a sudden stop in the form of a cheeky accented “lia!”

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02 Oct

London Souvenir

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Another classic light music album released in 2015 very worth getting, if it is not already in your collection, at an extremely attractive price.

Wally Stott (1924-2009), who later became Angela Morley and a favourite of RFS members, was a big name in British light orchestral music...

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05 Sep

CD Review – Ron Goodwin Drake 400 Suite 633 Squadron: Theme / New Zealand Suite

Written by

ron goodwin drake 400 suiteCD Review – Ron Goodwin Drake 400 Suite 633 Squadron: Theme / New Zealand Suite
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra / Ron Goodwin
Naxos 8555193 [69:57]

This is No. 11 in the Naxos British Light Music series formerly on the Marco Polo label and the first where the composer conducts his own music. Ronald Alfred Goodwin (1925-2003) was one of my heroes of our kind of music. We exchanged letters, referred to him as "Uncle Ron" at home and soon after I became a RFS member was thrilled to meet such a true gentleman.

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18 Aug

CD Review – Hollywood Soundstage

Written by

`hollywood sound stage john wilsonCD Review – Hollywood Soundstage
Sinfonia of London
John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5294 [TT 60:49]

For long-listening John Wilson admirers, who a few months ago were delighted by the album of John Ireland's music with the conductor's re-formed – and award amassing – Sinfonia of London, (also nominated for the Gramophone magazine's 2022 Orchestra of the Year), this will be equally, if not even more, welcome.

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17 Aug

CD REVIEW – Robert Farnon – The Westminster Waltz

Written by

westminster waltzCD REVIEW – Robert Farnon
The Westminster Waltz
Colditz March / State Occasion / A Star is Born
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra / Adrian Leaper
Naxos 8574323 [69:58]

I imagine that a majority of readers will already own this album, which was originally issued by Marco Polo in 1992. But if you are new to the wonderful world of light music or did not get the CD first time around, it should not be missed...

Read the review here...

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18 Jul

"Music by John Barry" now online available from lulu.com

Written by

Music by John Barry cover   Lulu 2022

 Our Redcliffe published book "Music by John Barry" sold out in four months, and there are currently no plans for a re-print. However, we have made available a print-on-demand version, which has identical internal content. The only difference between the two being the absence  of a dust-jacket for the print-on-demand version.

Details: The five-hundred page book, fully-illustrated (often with rarely seen images), consists of a chronological exploration of key landmarks underpinning John Barry's illustrious career. Written in the form of extensively researched essays concentrating on one specific score, over forty  are represented, from the first, Beat Girl, to the last, Enigma. Whether highly acclaimed or lower key films, each chapter sets out, clearly and accurately, the circumstances surrounding the inception and completion of the score under scrutiny and in doing so, provides  fresh insights into John Barry's remarkable legacy. Ordering information: The book can be ordered from the Lulu.com shop:

"Music by John Barry"

or search on the Lulu.com website for "Music by John Barry"

The cost of the book will vary depending on your location, but for guidance it is £35 for UK customers, € 37 for those in the EU, and $39 for US customers. Postage will be charged at a rate local for the country concerned.


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16 Jul

A Door Will Open

Written by

A Door Will Open
(John Benson Brooks - Don George)
Analysed by Robert Walton

It constantly concerns me that one of the greatest periods in musical history could eventually be totally forgotten (it is “now” in some circles), in spite of the fact that millions of people were so devoted to it. Because of records, radio, stage and screen, it really was the soundtrack of their lives. One thing that’s often forgotten was the sale of sheet music which was an industry in itself.

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22 Jun

CD Review – Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra Café Bonheur – 'In Memory of Ana Arnold'

Written by

CD Review – Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra
Café Bonheur – 'In Memory of Ana Arnold'

This is the latest in a series of six CDs which date back to 1998. It had been planned to produce it a couple of years ago, however the recording session had to be postponed three times, due to the pandemic.

In February this year, however, the orchestra finally convened at Chateau Charly Studios in Cherbourg, North-Western France.

Tragically, Anastasia Arnold, the ensemble's flautist, met with a fatal road accident whilst travelling to the studio.

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11 Jun

CD Review – John Ireland Sinfonia Of London John Wilson

Written by

CD Review – John Ireland
Sinfonia Of London John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5293 [67:16]

These days John Wilson and his superlative Sinfonia of London orchestra seem they can play no wrong, with critical plaudits and awards being gathered by each new release. They have all been reviewed on these pages, but I realise that the heavier fare on some albums may not always appeal to those readers who admire John for his earlier work as a conductor of light music. This latest should not be among them.

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03 Jun

CD Review – Trevor Duncan – 20th Century Express / Little Suite / Children in the Park

Written by

CD Review – Trevor Duncan
20th Century Express / Little Suite / Children in the Park
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Penny
Naxos 8.555192 [68:27]

Trevor Duncan – real name Leonard Charles Trebilcock – was a Londoner born in 1924 and lost to us in 2005. He will be best known, especially to oldies like me, for the March from his Little Suite – the signature tune for the 1962-71 TV series of A J Cronin's 'Dr Finlay’s Casebook' – also The Girl from Corsica and Enchanted April, the title tune of another TV programme.

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25 May

Ol’ Man River

Written by

Ol’ Man River
(Words Oscar Hammerstein II, music Jerome Kern)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Why does the song Ol’ Man River sound so ancient? It’s much more than just Hammerstein’s brilliant lyrics, although they obviously help.

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22 May

CD Review – Musa Italiana – Riccardo Chailly – Filarmonica Della Scala

Written by

musa italiano chaillyCD Review – Musa Italiana
Riccardo Chailly
Filarmonica Della Scala
Decca 485 2944 [64:00]

Regular readers will be aware of my enthusiasm for the top Italian conductor and his first-rate pit band, as four of their discs have already been reviewed here. The latest recording, from 2021 – socially distanced with a new floor created over the seats of the Teatro alla Scala's Golden Auditorium stalls to accommodate the opera house orchestra – features Felix Mendelssohn's (1809-47) deservedly popular 'Italian' Symphony (No.4 in A).

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22 May

CD Review – Musa Italiana – Riccardo Chailly – Filarmonica Della Scala

Written by

CD Review – Musa Italiana
Riccardo Chailly
Filarmonica Della Scala
Decca 485 2944 [64:00]

Regular readers will be aware of my enthusiasm for the top Italian conductor and his first-rate pit band, as four of their discs have already been reviewed here. The latest recording, from 2021 – socially distanced with a new floor created over the seats of the Teatro alla Scala's Golden Auditorium stalls to accommodate the opera house orchestra – features Felix Mendelssohn's (1809-47) deservedly popular 'Italian' Symphony (No.4 in A).

Read the review here...

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31 Mar

CD Review – Strauss/Korngold/Schreker Orchestral Works Sinfonia of London | John Wilson

Written by

CD Review – Strauss/Korngold/Schreker Orchestral Works Sinfonia of London | John WilsonCD Review – Strauss/Korngold/Schreker
Orchestral Works
Sinfonia of London | John Wilson
CHANDOS CHSA 5292 [64:22]

If strings are your thing, then this release will appeal to you. Supposedly it is a follow-up to the highly praised 'English Music for Strings', reviewed in 2021.

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30 Mar

Luna Park

Written by

Luna Park
(Eric Siday)
Analysed by Robert Walton

When I first visited Sydney, Australia, the most memorable thing I saw was Luna Park across the harbour behind the famous bridge. In fact it was the first amusement park I’d ever seen. You couldn’t miss its flashing lights and vertically predominant position like Paris’s Eiffel Tower filling the sky and giving the city its character, years before the opera house. Composer Eric Siday had moved to New York in 1939 so it would have been the famous one at Coney Island which inspired his composition.

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25 Mar

CD Review – Ruth Slenczynska – My Life In Music

Written by

CD REVIEW   My Life in MusicCD Review – Ruth Slenczynska
My Life In Music
Decca 4852255 [67:41]

This is a remarkable release made in 2021 by a pianist – who has been playing since she was aged four – in her 97th year. Born in Sacramento, California, to Polish immigrants, she performed on television at age five, and at six made her European concert debut in Berlin.

Read the review here...

 

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20 Mar

CD Review – Found in Dreams … Helen Habershon (clarinet)/John Linehan (piano)

Written by

CD REVIEW found in dreamsCD Review – Found in Dreams …
Helen Habershon (clarinet)/John Linehan (piano)
divine art dda 25225 [57:12]

When I read a record company referring to a performer/composer and using the words "easy listening" and "in the light music tradition", I soon have their latest CD plopping through my letterbox. So it was with clarinettist Helen Habershon, who I must admit I had not heard of before. Evidently, this is her fourth album, with one receiving 'Album of the Month' and two 'Album of the Week' accolades on Classic FM.

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20 Mar

CD Review – America Daniel Hope

Written by

CD REVIEW America DANIEL HOCD Review – America
Daniel Hope
DG 4861940 [84’]

A Daniel Hope album, 'Journey Into Mozart', was reviewed here back in 2018 and since then the South African virtuoso violinist of Irish and German Jewish descent (b.1973) has made several other imaginatively conceived discs. This latest one is very much in the territory of light music.

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02 Mar

Frank DeVol

Written by

Frank DeVol
A tribute by Robert Walton

It’s amazing the number of people in the entertainment business who have a “De” before their surname. There’s Buddy DeFranco, Gloria DeHaven, Reginald DeKoven, Eddie DeLange, Vaughn DeLeath, Milton DeLugg, Gene DePaul, Peter DeRose, Buddy DeSylva and our star arranger for this article, Frank DeVol.

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15 Feb

CD Review – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – (British Light Music Vol. 5)

Written by

CD Review   Samuel Coleridge Taylor  British Light Music vol. 5CD Review – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
RTE Concert Orchestra / Adrian Leaper
(British Light Music Vol. 5)
Naxos 8555191

The latest re-issue in the [now Naxos] British Light Music series is the collection, previously available on the Marco Polo label [8.223516, (p) 1995 ], of works by Samuel Coleridge Taylor.

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10 Feb

CD Review – Eddie Calvert – The Man With The Golden Trumpet – A Centenary Tribute - his 29 finest

Written by

CD Review – Eddie Calvert –The Man With The Golden Trumpet – A Centenary Tribute - his 29 finestCD Review – Eddie Calvert
The Man With The Golden Trumpet
A Centenary Tribute - his 29 finest
Retrospective RTR4392 [78’]

The Retrospective label, with its expert collector and compiler Ray Crick, is a rich repository of our kind of music and I feel sure this release will be of interest to many readers.

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08 Feb

CD Review – New Year’s Concert 2022 - Vienna Philharmonic - Daniel Barenboim

Written by

CD Review – New Year’s Concert 2022 - Vienna Philharmonic - Daniel BarenboimCD Review – New Year’s Concert 2022
Vienna Philharmonic
Daniel Barenboim
Sony 19439963512

Unlike this annual world-renowned concert in 2021 that due to Covid restrictions was performed to an empty Musikverein in Vienna, this year there was a reduced sized mask-wearing audience.

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07 Feb

All Through The Night (TRAD)

Written by

All Through The Night (TRAD)
Analysed by Robert Walton

If you have diligently followed Robert Farnon’s “journey into melody” career, you will know that one of his favourite composers was Hungarian Béla Bartok. Here’s a very interesting quote from him.

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04 Feb

CD Review – Syncopated Musings – Marilyn Nonken – piano

Written by

CD Review – Syncopated Musings – Marilyn Nonken – pianoCD Review – Syncopated Musings
Marilyn Nonken piano
divine art dda 25220 [67:57]

With this album made at New York University in April 2021 we very much get what it clearly says on the tin. Ragtime developed as a popular musical style at the end of the 19th Century. It has its origins in the saloon bars and dance halls of African-American communities.

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27 Jan

CD Review – John Williams And The Boston Pops Orchestra Complete Philips Recordings

Written by

CD Review – John Williams And The Boston Pops Orchestra Complete Philips RecordingsCD Review – John Williams
And The Boston Pops Orchestra
Complete Philips Recordings
Decca 485 1590 [21 CDs]

This box set is released to celebrate the 90th birthday of the conductor. It consists of the 22 albums recorded by him for Philips during the first ten years of his tenure as the orchestra's principal conductor from 1980 to 1993.

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27 Jan

A Wonderful Guy

Written by

A Wonderful Guy
(Richard Rodgers)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Every industry has its “backroom boys” who know its business inside out, but very often don’t get the credit they deserve. In music, some orchestrators and composers have remained relatively unknown, never getting their name in lights. Warren Barker (1923-2006) born in Oakland, California is good example. Like Nelson Riddle, Barker studied composition under Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco.

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21 Jan

CD Review – Ravel: Orchestral Works

Written by

CD Review – Ravel: Orchestral Works Sinfonia of London / John WilsonCD Review – Ravel: Orchestral Works
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5280 [83:45]

Due to the wretched pandemic, we have had to wait some time for a new album from our friend John Wilson and his celebrated orchestra. Now following their Dutilleux disc it is here, devoted to the music of a much better-known French composer, Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). It has been said of him that he wrote very little music that was second-rate, be it orchestral, piano, ballet, chamber, opera, or song. He also enjoyed the jazz he heard in the 1920s New Orleans and it influenced some of his later works.

Maurice Ravel placed high importance on melody, telling his pupil Ralph Vaughan Williams that there is "an implied melodic outline in all vital music". He was also a renowned orchestrator, sometimes of other composers' output, with Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition being the best example.

La Valse (the completion of which was delayed by Ravel's service as an ambulance driver during World War 1) starts quietly but builds up to a sonically brilliant finish over its 11½ minutes. The hauntingly elegiac Pavane Pour une Infante Défunte (for Small Orchestra), written in 1899, established his reputation by achieving world success. The ballet music for Ma Mère L’Oye (Mother Goose), the longest work here (27:58), began life as some pieces for piano duet written for two children. This edition is a première recording. The very Spanish Alborada del Gracioso, and the very Gallic Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, later orchestrated for a ballet, were also originally written for solo piano.

His best-known piece – kept until last – is the exciting Boléro, thanks to the ice-skaters, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who used it to accompany their gold medal winning perfect-six dance at the 1986 Olympics. We learn from Hugh Macdonald's booklet notes that it was originally entitled 'Fandango'. John has carefully reinstated details of the score which had become carelessly lost so it, too, is a première recording. The story goes that Ravel once remarked about this work that he had produced only one masterpiece and that it contained no music!

Seemingly good for a quotable quote, he once stated, "The only love affair I have ever had was with music". And when Gershwin asked for lessons in composition, Ravel is said to have replied: "It is I who should be asking you how to make so much money by writing music".

Given the pedigree of the conductor and orchestra, those who are familiar with the composer will need no reassurance about adding this latest issue to their collection. Others can sample it on the excellent Chandos website. I notice that Andrew Haveron, the usual SoL leader, only plays on Pavane with Charlie Lovell-Jones filling the role on all the other works.

I believe this to be the longest album I have had the pleasure of reviewing. Let us hope it will be the benchmark for more releases throughout the year.

© Peter Burt 2022

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21 Jan

CD Review – Hail Caledonia Scotland in Music

Written by

hail caledoniaCD Review – Hail Caledonia
Scotland in Music
City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra
Ian Sutherland conductor
ARIADNE 5014 [79:32]

SOMM welcomes the new year with another dip into the Iain Sutherland sporran of spirited sounds – this time from his Scottish homeland with a fresh remastering by the admirable Paul Arden-Taylor of live radio transmissions taken from 'Pops at the Philharmonic' concerts at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in 1995-96.

Read the review here...

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09 Jul

New book 'Music by John Barry' now available

Written by

2021 11 12 first a5 advert3

A near five-hundred page, fully-illustrated (often with rarely seen images), chronological exploration of key landmarks underpinning John Barry’s illustrious career. Written in the form of extensively researched essays concentrating on one specific score, over forty are represented, from the first, Beat Girl, to the last, Enigma. Whether highly acclaimed or lower key films, each chapter sets out, clearly and accurately, the circumstances surrounding the inception and completion of the score under scrutiny and in doing so, provides fresh insights into John Barry’s remarkable legacy.

We are sorry to say this edition of the book has now sold out. However, to obtain the Lulu printed version (same content but no dust-jacket)
please visit the

Lulu.com shop "Music by John Barry"

The cost of the book will vary depending on your location, but postage could well be cheaper!

 

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11 Jan

Reginald Pursglove (1902 -1982)

Written by

Reginald Pursglove (1902 -1982)
By Robert Walton

When violinists come up for discussion, we tend to think of great classical soloists like Benedetti, Bell, Chang, Heifetz, Menuhin, Oistrakh, Perlman and Vengerov. These top players in a class of their own have made their names in the glare of publicity playing the world’s most famous concertos.

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31 Dec

CD Review – Eric Coates – Springtime Suite

Written by

CD Review – Eric Coates
Springtime Suite
Four Ways Suite / Saxo-Rhapsody
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Penny
Naxos 8.555194 [60:57]

This is a reissue of a Marco Polo CD from 1998 featuring the compositions of the man described as the "Uncrowned King of Light Music".

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22 Dec

Scenic Railway

Written by

Scenic Railway
(Roger Roger)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Until I heard the name Roger Roger pronounced properly in French (Ro-jay Ro-jay) (like the soft “j” in Taj Mahal), I had always assumed it was spoken just like the English first name Roger. I was corrected on a 1950s radio series “Paris Star Time” featuring his 35-piece orchestra.

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17 Dec

CD Review – Malcolm Arnold – A Centenary Celebration

Written by

malcolm arnoldCD Review – Malcolm Arnold
A Centenary Celebration
Peter Fisher Violin / Margaret Fingerhut Piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0640 [69:03]

Malcolm Arnold was Northampton born in October 1921 and died in September 2006. His music was once described by Sunday Times critic Paul Driver as "fecund, fastidious, witty, touching, melodious, sardonic, profound". Driver also opined that Arnold was "a many-faceted composer …

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14 Dec

CD Review – Eric Coates – British Light Music vol. 3

Written by

CD Review Eric Coates British Light Music vol3CD Review – Eric Coates
British Light Music vol. 3
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Adrian Leaper
Naxos 8.555178 [71:26]'

The Merrymakers, London Suite, Cinderella, The Selfish Giant, London Again Suite, Calling All Workers, The Dambusters March.

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06 Dec

CD Review – Mozart Wind Concertos – London Symphony Orchestra / Jamie Martin

Written by

CD REVIEW   Mozart Wind ConcertosCD Review – Mozart Wind Concertos
London Symphony Orchestra / Jamie Martin
lso live lso0855 [141’18”]

Of the three classical composer giants, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, the last-named is possibly the one most appreciated by light music enthusiasts. Melody poured from his pen and none more so than in the three concertos on the first album of this 2-CD issue recorded at a live concert from the Jerwood Hall, LSO St Lukes in October 2019.

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06 Dec

CD Review – André Rieu And His Johann Strauss Orchestra – Happy Together

Written by

andre rieu happy togetherCD Review – André Rieu
And His Johann Strauss Orchestra
Happy Together
UNIVERSAL CD [72:20] & DVD [49’] 744754886801

'Clear the top of the best-selling chart: André, his orchestra and choir, are back with their first studio album since 2019. A new release from the Dutch maestro, who brings so much joy to so many people with his CDs, DVDs, live concerts and YouTube presence, will be especially welcome to readers starved nowadays of discs of their kind of music...

Read the review here...

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06 Dec

Bird Charmer

Written by

Bird Charmer
(Robert Farnon)
Analysed by Robert Walton

It’s strange how some people seem to have a natural affinity with wild life and anything that moves, especially birds. As a toddler, Robert Farnon’s son David was very much into birds...

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14 Nov

Music by John Barry - book close to publication

Written by

2021 11 12 first a5 advert3

Indicate your interest via this email link

The biggest story of the year so far is the news that 'Music by John Barry', a new book in praise of more than forty of his film scores, is close to publication! Sources close to the project tell us that this near 500-page book is the best work so far from the three scribes. OK, technically it's also the first, but you get the idea!  You can see more details on this cunningly constructed flyer by the artist, Ruuders. Now, in view of how poorly the previous book, 'Hit and Miss: The Story of The John Barry Seven' sold, it seems highly likely that copies of this new book will be in limited supply. So, do yourself a favour and indicate your interest immediately by contacting the writers via this email link. Details of price and publication date will be sent to you as soon as possible, and anybody who then orders it is *guaranteed* a copy.  In fact, if requested, at least one, maybe two of the authors will sign your copy. They might even do so even if you don't request it. :)

music by john barry book 25

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13 Nov

CD Review – Lockdown Blues Peter Dickinson, piano

Written by

Lockdown BluesCD Review – Lockdown Blues
Peter Dickinson, piano
SOMMCD 0644 [68:37]

Another attractive release from this ever-enterprising label. Probably the main interest for our readers will be a tad under a the third of the disc devoted to the first recording of Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington's 'Twelve Melodies'. These popular songs – including It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)Sophisticated Lady, Solitude, Mood Indigo and In a Sentimental Mood – have been arranged by the pianist using the original sheet music. So, they are quite different from the classic jazz versions.

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09 Nov

CD Review – Andrew Lloyd Webber – Symphonic Suites

Written by

CD REVIEW Andrew Lloyd Webber   Symphonic Suites

CD Review – Andrew Lloyd Webber – Symphonic Suites
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Orchestra/Simon Lee
Decca 3819953

Here at last is this new release of what for many of us is our kind of music performed by a full orchestra. It has been a while coming as it was announced at the end of August and the release date then put back two months. Nevertheless, well worth waiting for.

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06 Nov

Ballet Egyptien (Alexandre Clément Léon Joseph Luigini)

Written by

 Do you remember comedian Jimmy Durante at the piano, showing off his apparent familiarity with foreign names in music?

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01 Nov

Chamber Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Written by

Chamber Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Eusibius Quartet ● Alastair Beatson Piano

SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0642 [68:30]

Pre-pandemic I would have been put off reviewing this album by its title but since March 2019, with lockdown and social distancing, most of the new releases have needed to be by small groups or soloists; and with more time to listen my appreciation of these genres has been increased.

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28 Oct

Gemini

Written by

(Hal Mooney)
Analysed by Robert Walton

I first encountered Hal Mooney’s Orchestra on an MGM 78 of Helen Forrest singing I Wish I didn’t Love You So. Strings and voice dominated this 1947 Frank Loesser song, spoilt slightly by the shrillness which was sometimes a problem with early MGM discs.

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02 Oct

CD Review - Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Carte Blanche

Written by

CD REVIEW   Carte BlancheCD Review - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Carte Blanche
Decca 485 2081 [79:09']

When those nice people from Decca, with an eye to business, invited the virtuosic French-American pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet to record his own personal selection for an album celebrating his 60th birthday, they might have shown even more potential sales optimism

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02 Oct

Ronald Binge - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Written by

Ernest Tomlinson
Naxos 8.555190 [72’21”]

Our hopes fulfilled: we have not had to wait long for Vol.2 of ‘British Light Music’ and – after Addison – it looks as if the series is going to be in alphabetical order.

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23 Sep

Rose-Marie

Written by

Rose-Marie
(Friml,Harbach,Hammerstein II)
Billy May’s Orchestra
Analysed by Robert Walton

Right in the centre of a collage created by my wife of my personal and professional life, is a photograph of me holding a 10 inch 1950’s 78rpm disc of Billy May’s Rose-Marie. This was around the time the long playing disc first saw the light of day. It represented one of the first highly technical big band recordings on a 78, standing out as something really special.

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14 Sep

CD Review – Janine Jansen 12 Stradivari

Written by

CD REVIEW  12 StradivariCD Review – Janine Jansen
12 Stradivari
Antonio Pappano
Decca 4851605 [59:24]

This is one extraordinarily exciting release. Although there is only a single piece of pure light music – Jerome Kern's Yesterdays, arranged by Fritz Kreisler – it should be of fascinating interest to all lovers of the violin...

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01 Sep

Barbara Moore (1932-2021)

Written by

Barbara Moore The talented pianist, singer, arranger and composer Barbara Moore has died after a long illness, aged 89. Born in Yorkshire, Barbara was the daughter of saxophonist and arranger Arthur Birkby. She was an early member of The Ladybirds backing group.

As well as composing music for commercials and the De Wolfe Music Library, she wrote the new, up-dated arrangement for Brian Fahey's celebrated signature tune At The Sign Of The Swinging Cymbal, still used on BBC Radio 2's Pick Of The Pops. She later worked with Jimi Hendrix, Dusty Springfield, Elton John, Tom Jones and Dudley Moore, with whom she became a close friend.

At one time Barbara was married to arranger Pete Moore (1924-2013), former Head of Orchestrations at Radio 2; their daughter Lindsay sadly died in her 40s.

In her later years Barbara moved to the coastal town of Bognor Regis, where she became a well-known personality, performing locally and lecturing at the University of Chichester.

https://www.barbaramoore.co.uk/

Anthony Wills
© August 2021

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01 Sep

CD Review – From Russia Music for Clarinet and Orchestra

Written by

CD REVIEW   From Russiadivine art dda 25233 [52:56]

This year's releases get better and better. The Divine Art label – located in "God's own county" of Yorkshire – has recorded for our delight this attractive disc of melodic Russian/Slav music.

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22 Aug

Sweet And Lovely - (Gus Arnheim, Harry Tobias and Jules Lemare)

Written by

Robert Farnon’s arrangement analysed by Robert Walton

Robert Farnon had the unique ability to bring out the best in a song by always treating it with the utmost respect in terms of its original style, by adding just the right amount of modernism and freshness. In other words he was guided intuitively by his byword: “taste”.

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17 Aug

CD Review – Mosaic - A4 Brass Quartet

Written by

CD REVIEW   Mosaic  A4 Brass QuartetSomm Recordings SOMM D0638 [70:59]

'Here is another slightly left-field release of the kind that makes this label so fascinating. It will definitely be of interest to lovers of brass bands and, indeed, anyone who favours instruments being blown rather than bowed. So, we have the principals from four of the UK's top bands, including Black Dyke, Foden's, and Brighouse & Rastrick … don’t know why the fourth gets no mention.

Read the review here...

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01 Aug

CD Review – Richard Addinsell British Light Music - 1

Written by

CD REVIEW - Richard Addinsell - British Light Music

CD Review – Richard Addinsell
British Light Music - 1
Philip Martin, Roderick Elms, Piano
BBC Concert Orchestra / Kenneth Alwyn
Naxos 8.555229 [68:16]

It is good to have this album back in the catalogue. It was originally released on the Marco Polo label in 1994 and appears to be the first in a new series from Naxos of 'British Light Music', which is something to be celebrated.

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01 Aug

CD Review - Nicola Benedetti - Baroque

Written by

CD Review - Nicola Benedetti - BaroqueCD Review - Nicola Benedetti
Baroque
Decca 4851891 [52’26]

It was not my intention to review this album here but then I read what Nicola Benedetti had written in her introductory notes, that "Many find it (the Italian baroque) light fare: too populist, repetitive and predictable." So maybe, putting these descriptions aside, it will appeal to our reader.

Read the review here...

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01 Aug

CD Review - Sumertime Isata Kanneh-Mason piano

Written by

CD Review - Sumertime
Isata Kanneh-Mason piano
Decca 4851663 [62’52]

CD Review - Sumertime - Isata Kanneh-Mason pianoMy last review was of a new release from one of the world’s best-loved queens of the keyboard and now we have this album of 20th century American music from a princess of the piano. Aged 25, Isata is the eldest daughter in the remarkable Kanneh-Mason musical family.

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27 Jul

The Folks Who Live On The Hill

Written by

(Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II)
Peggy Lee
Analysed by Robert Walton

Whenever I’m asked to name one of my favourite songs in that largely neglected period, the Golden Era of Popular Music between 1920 - 1960, without hesitation my reply is always The Folks Who Live on the Hill sung by Peggy Lee.

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08 Jul

CD Review – Love Songs Angela Hewitt, piano

Written by

CD Review – Love Songs Angela Hewitt pianoCD Review – Love Songs
Angela Hewitt piano

Hyperion CDA68341 [75’57]

We are constantly being encouraged to meditate during – and beyond – these still uncertain times. Researched, put together and recorded during lockdown, this album with its musical declarations of love across the centuries would be an ideal accompaniment to any such activity.

Read the review here...

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08 Jul

CD Review – Manhattan to Montmartre

Written by

CD REVIEW   Manhatten to MontmatreCD Review – Manhattan to Montmartre
Gershwin and Bernstein
Julian Jacobson, Mariko Brown piano duo

Somm SOMMCD 0635 [72:30]

Recorded in August 2020, this is another non-orchestral release possibly brought about by the Covid lockdown – and another successful foray into our kind of music for the enterprising award-winning Somm label.

Read the review here...

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03 Jul

Vernon Anderson – (1936 – 2021)

Written by

VERNON ANDERSONIt is with profound sadness that we record the death of Vernon Anderson, who peacefully passed away on June 15th, after a period of ill health borne with great courage and dignity.

A native of Benfleet, Essex, Vernon was educated at Bearwood Royal Navy School in Berkshire and saw military service with the RAF, being stationed in the (then) British colony of Aden (now Yemen). Returning to Benfleet, he became a member of the Barking Choral Society, where he met his future wife Beryl and they married in 1971. Sadly, Beryl passed away in 2005, after having been cared for by Vernon during her terminal illness.

During the 1980s and 1990s, he worked as an Architectural Technician for the London Borough of Newham, but took early retirement. He then volunteered as a care assistant with the Alzheimer's Society and eventually became employed by that organisation.

Vernon had been a stalwart member of the Robert Farnon Society, attending almost every meeting for many years, and regularly presenting as well. He enjoyed, and had a wide knowledge of, many different musical genres, including of course Light Music, particularly that of Robert Farnon and his contemporaries. One of his great 'loves' was jazz piano and he often championed the brilliant playing of the very talented Scottish pianist Bill McGuffie.

I was always very appreciative of Vernon's assistance at RFS events, for he frequently helped me to dismantle, pack away and load the Audio-Visual equipment into my vehicle at the end of each afternoon's programme. It gave us a good opportunity to talk about music – and architecture, another of our mutual interests.

Although more recently he was no longer able to attend the London meetings at the Lancaster Hall Hotel, we kept in intermittent touch by telephone. I visited him during the summer of 2020 at his home near Ilford, just before he relocated to assisted living accommodation in Basildon. He was later hospitalised, before ultimately being moved into a nearby high-dependency nursing home, in March 2021.

Vernon was a thorough gentleman – and indeed a very gentle man. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to know him and he will be greatly missed. On behalf of all former RFS members and LLMMG attendees, our sincere condolences are extended to his daughters Lynda and Claire and his son Keith – who, back in the 90s, also supported the Robert Farnon Society meetings at the Bonnington Hotel.

© Tony Clayden June 2021

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03 Jul

Violin On Stage - Bomsori Kim (violin)

Written by

CD REVIEW   BOMSORICD Review – Bomsori
Violin On Stage
Bomsori Kim (violin)
NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic | Giancarlo Guerrero
DG 4860788 [72:56]

To those who have already come across her, Bomsori Kim is recognized as one of today's most dynamic and exciting violinists. She won prizes at ten international violin competitions during the 2010s, and is a superstar in her homeland of South Korea. She was given her distinctive first name by her grandfather – it translates literally as 'sound of spring', although she was actually born in December 1989.

Read the review here...

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19 Jun

CD Review – Tine Thing Helseth & Kåre Nordstoga

Written by


Magical Memories for Trumpet and Organ
Lawo Classics LWC1216 [67:50]

'This is the third album by a trio of female trumpet players – Alison Balsom and Lucienne Renaudin Vary being the others – I have had the pleasure of reviewing here. Tine Thing Helseth (born 1987) is a Norwegian soloist, who has been the recipient of critical praise across six continents and numerous awards for her musical work.

Read the review here...

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30 May

CD Review – Favourite Orchestral Classics

Written by

CD REVIEW   Favourite Orchestral Classics html ddf5f0d58eb1805bPhilharmonic Concert Orchestra / Iain Sutherland
SOMM ARIADNE 5012 [78’25”]

My review of the last album by these artistes* finished with "… let us hope that Iain might have some more similar tapes in his archive", and here we are: 19 tracks recorded in Munich (June 1988) and Hanover (December 1992). Few conductors are as accomplished as the veteran Scot in the lighter orchestral music on this release.

Read the review here...

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21 May

CD Review – French Duets

Written by

CD REVIEW   French DuetsPaul Lewis / Steven Osborne
Hyperion CDA68329 [68’28]

This is a critically acclaimed album of five impeccably played pieces by a pair of princes of the piano. They are long-playing duo partners: Paul Lewis (born 1972) is from Liverpool and a recipient of a CBE for services to music, and Steven Osborne (born 1971) is Scottish and a celebrated performer of Gallic music with 29 Hyperion releases in 21 years to his credit.

Read the review here.

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.

John Barry Plays 007 - new book

afbeelding.png

The stories and artwork behind the music of every James Bond film scored by John Barry alongside 300+ colour images, Oct 27, 2022, English
    By Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker || Cover design and artwork by: Ruud Rozemeijer.