Hey There

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"HEY THERE" a New Vocalion CD featuring

Arrangements by ROBERT FARNON Click to enlarge
Conducted by JACK PARNELL

1 HEY THERE (Richard Adler, Jerry Ross)
2 LA CASITA MIA (Robert Farnon)
3 LITTLE MISS MOLLY (Robert Farnon)
4 IN A CALM (Robert Farnon)
5 MAGIC ISLAND (Robert Farnon)
7 CAN I FORGET YOU (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II)
9 PICCOLO FLIGHT (Robert Farnon)
10 THE NEARNESS OF YOU (Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington)
11 THE SPHINX - flute solo (Trad. arr Debussy, Jobert)
12 I DREAM OF JEANNIE - featuring Rolph Wilson, violin (Stephen Foster)
13 WHEN I FALL IN LOVE (Victor Young, Edward Heyman)
14 FLUTE FANTASY (Robert Farnon)
15 TÊTE-À-TÊTE (Robert Farnon)

Vocalion Digital CDSA6811

In this magazine a year ago we reported that the eagerly awaited recording sessions for this CD were scheduled to take place in London in January 2004, and we are delighted to report that the final result is now in record stores. Even more satisfying is the fact that the CD is being released by Michael Dutton, who has been responsible for restoring so many fine Farnon albums of earlier years for CD release on his prestigious Vocalion label. Readers will not need reminding that Robert Farnon is generally regarded as the greatest living composer of Light Orchestral music in the world. He is also revered as an arranger of quality popular songs, having influenced most of the top writers on both sides of the Atlantic during the second half of the 20th century. His illustrious career has filled many pages in this magazine for almost five decades, and we are so fortunate that he continues to arrange and compose at an amazingly prolific rate. Long may he continue! Robert Farnon’s music has been at the forefront of the current revival of interest in Light Music. He is particularly pleased when new projects involve him working with talented young musicians, such as the flautist Jane Pickles, for whom he has specially arranged the music in this collection. Born on 5 December 1952, Jane Pickles completed her studies at the Guildhall School of Music with Peter Lloyd and Trevor Wye, and began her career with a summer season in Scarborough with the celebrated English violinist Max Jaffa. She then went on to work with the Welsh National Opera, Scottish Ballet and the BBC Northern Ireland orchestras, before joining the BBC Radio Orchestra in London as principal flute. This brought her into contact with all the major arrangers in the capital, including top names from abroad such as Nelson Riddle. When the BBC axed the Radio Orchestra, Jane moved over to the BBC Concert Orchestra, and was frequently heard live on radio as a featured soloist in "Friday Night Is Music Night". Since leaving the Concert Orchestra Jane has appeared as guest principal with all the major London orchestras, is currently principal with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and has recently appeared on compact discs conducted by Johnny Douglas and Jack Parnell. She has long held Robert Farnon’s arranging and composing talents in the highest esteem, and hugely enjoyed making this CD. Over the years Farnon conducted many "Friday Night Is Music Night" broadcasts, and he recently said that he particularly noticed the marvellous flautist in the BBC Concert Orchestra. "I have no hesitation in saying that she is the finest orchestral flute player in Europe – she is absolutely marvellous". Whenever possible Jane has been booked for Farnon recording sessions, and her playing has made such an impression upon the maestro that he decided that she deserved to have a complete collection devoted to her talents. When it came to choosing a conductor for this recording, Robert Farnon had no hesitation in asking his old friend Jack Parnell. Their long friendship, and musical association, goes back over 50 years, during which time Jack’s distinctive drumming style has driven many Farnon sessions. Jack is certainly one of the best-known, and widely admired of British jazzmen. Born on 6th August 1923, his fans remember him as the superb drummer with the Ted Heath Band in its glory days after the war. Then his career took a different direction, and for many years he conducted numerous television programmes for Associated TeleVision – notably the famous "Sunday Night at the London Palladium", and in later years "The Muppet Show". But jazz has always been Jack’s first love, especially when sitting behind a drum kit. Yet his acknowledged accomplishments as a conductor have inevitably generated many offers of work, and commissions such as fronting Laurie Johnson’s London Big Band have been impossible to resist. The same applies to Jack’s association with Robert Farnon and the Royal Philharmonic. Their first major project together was an album called "Lovers Love London" released in 2002, where the magical flute of Jane Pickles first took centre stage. Farnon decided that she deserved to have an entire album firmly in the spotlight, and "Hey There" is the result. Writing about these latest sessions recently, Jack Parnell stated: "Once again I have been given the privilege of conducting and listening to some more of Bob’s beautiful music. The orchestra, again superb, led by the incomparable Rolph Wilson, who also contributes an emotional rendition of Stephen Foster’s I Dream of Jeannie that I understand Foster wrote just after the love of his life had left him! But the album really belongs to Jane Pickles, whose playing on all the flutes is quite beautiful throughout, and includes a very rhythmic Piccolo Flight. All very enjoyable, and my thanks to the great musicians involved in the making of this CD". In choosing the music to be performed in this collection, Robert Farnon has rescored a few of his memorable arrangements from earlier years adding some brand new settings, alongside a handful of his own compositions. Notable among the former are that classic song from "The Pajama Game" – Hey There; Chopin’s famous Fantaisie Impromptu in a Farnon tour-de-force for flute which the composer probably never imagined!; that mellifluous Hoagy Carmichael standard The Nearness Of You; and Victor Young’s When I Fall In Love – surely one of the great love songs by a master tunesmith. Robert Farnon’s own compositions range from the wistful La Casita Mia, In A Calm and Magic Island, to the perky Little Miss Molly. Another virtuoso piece Piccolo Flight, was developed by Farnon from a brief passage in his first symphony. Whether arranging the melodies of some of the greatest popular music writers, or composing his own individual cameos, Farnon’s inspired scores are brimful of the magical harmonies that have become his trademark. Musicians love playing his charts, and this respect and admiration always translates into superlative performances, such as are heard on every single track in this memorable collection.

David Ades

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