GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5161
1 Voice Of London (Charles Williams)
CHARLES WILLIAMS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 2295 1946
2 Comin’ Thru’ The Rye (trad. arr. Robert Farnon); My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose (trad. arr. Robert Farnon) (from the Suite "From the Highlands")
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LK 4220 1958
3 Rhondda Rhapsody (Rhapsody of Love) (Mai Jones)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
HMV B 10138 1951
4 The Irish Have A Great Day Tonight (Victor Herbert)
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LK 4060 1953
5 Continental Galop (Clive Richardson)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (as ‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen)
Chappell C 578 1957
6 Tivoli-Melodie (Take Me Dreaming) (Heino Gaze)
WERNER MÜLLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Ricardo Santos and his Cascading Strings’)
Polydor 46091 LPHM 1958
7 Luxembourg Waltz (Geoffrey Everitt; Frederick Peter Hargreaves)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca 45-F 11052 1958
8 Fiesta In Seville (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
M-G-M MGM 644 1953
9 La Seine (The River Seine) (Guy Pierre M.L. LaFarge; Flavien Monod)
THE PARIS THEATRE ORCHESTRA
Stereo Fidelity SF 2500 1958
10 The Lights Of Lisbon (Tony Osborne)
TONY OSBORNE AND HIS DANCING STRINGS
HMV 45-POP 439 1958
11 When It’s Spring In Baden-Baden (Wenn es in Baden-Baden Frühling est) (Rolf Arland)
BADEN-BADEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by HANS ROSBAUD
Ariola 36 809 C 1958
12 Copenhagen Polka (Joseph Thobrither)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
HMV B 10738 1954
13 Roman Holiday (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
M-G-M D 149 1957
14 The Beautiful Girls Of Vienna (J. Fred Coots)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MEP 9518 1957
15 Passe Partout introducing El Gato Montes (from "Around The World In Eighty Days") (Victor Young)
THE CINEMA SOUND STAGE ORCHESTRA
Stereo Fidelity SF-2800 1958
16 Maids Of Madrid (Clyde Hamilton, real name Cyril Stapleton)
CYRIL STAPLETON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca 45-F 10793 1956
17 Swiss Holiday (Joe Leahy)
JOE LEAHY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
W & G WG-SPN 280 1957
18 Spanish Affair (Cortez)
PHILIP GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone R 3760 1953
19 Under Paris Skies (Sous Le Ciel De Paris) (Waltz of Paree) (Hubert Giraud)
MONTY KELLY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Essex ESLP 203 1955
20 Swedish Polka (Roslagsvår) (Springtime in Roslagen) (Hugo Emil Alfvén)
Orchestra Conducted by HUGO ALFVÉN
Philips PB 737 1957
21 Café Mozart Waltz (from the film "The Third Man") (Anton Karas)
ETHEL SMITH – Organ with orchestral accompaniment
Brunswick O 4517 1950
22 Sicilian Tarantella (Fischiettando) (G. Balsamo; Chester Conn; Ned Miller)
VICTOR YOUNG AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca DL 8466 1956
23 April In Portugal (Raul Ferrao)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MG 20103 1956
24 Sur Le Pave de Paris (Pavements Of Paris) (Georges Abel Louis Auric)
MICHEL LEGRAND AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 2599 1956
25 Catalan Sunshine (Frank Chacksfield)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca 45-F 10904 1957
26 East Of Malta (Ronald Hanmer)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 016 1947
27 The Spider Of Antwerp (Ernest Jean Craps; Paula Maria Vandebroek)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol T 10024 1956
Mono recordings, except for tracks 9 & 15 in stereo.
Once again it’s time for Guild’s ‘Golden Age of Light Music’ series to take another musical tour around Europe, prompted by so many appealing works created by talented composers from near and far. In the world of music you do not have to be a native to express the beauty in a favourite location: the saying "the onlooker sees more of the game" sums it all up quite well. However the first four tracks are the work of writers from close to the chosen locations. The evocative Voice Of London comes from the pen of Charles Williams (1893-1978) (real name Isaac Cozerbreit) who began his career accompanying silent films, then played violin under the batons of Beecham and Elgar. Right from the start of the ‘talkies’, he provided scores for numerous British films, and his ability to create a wide variety of moods through background music won him the contract to conduct the first recordings for the new Recorded Music Library launched by London publishers Chappell & Co in the early 1940s. World War 2 was raging, and Williams contributed many dramatic pieces which were used regularly by newsreels. Voice Of London was originally a 90-second work from 1942 that became so familiar that he was asked to extend it for commercial release on EMI’s Columbia label shortly after hostilities ceased.
From England we move north to Scotland, with an excerpt from a 1958 Decca album "From The Highlands". Canadian Robert Farnon (1917-2005) arranged and conducted a beautiful selection of Scottish melodies that brought tears to the eyes of ex-pats around the world.
Rhondda Rhapsody was just a few bars heard in a popular BBC radio programme to introduce a regular feature in a show called "Welsh Rarebit". Again public demand prompted the show’s producer, Mai Jones (1899-1960), to extend her work which attracted commercial recordings by orchestras such as Charles Williams and George Melachrino.
Our opening quartet of four selections associated with the British Isles is completed with a popular number – The Irish Have A Great Day Tonight - by Dublin-born Victor August Herbert (1859-1924). During his twenties he settled in the USA, where he became one of the leading songwriters of his generation.
Clive Richardson (1909-1998) has already been featured on several previous Guild Light Music CDs (his Melody on the Move from Guild GLCD 5102 is one of the finest pieces of light music ever written) and he provides the transition from Britain into Continental Europe with one of his many works for the Chappell library, Continental Galop.
Tivoli Melodi was written in 1958 by German Heino Gaze (1908-1967) to provide a musical picture of the famous Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. This catchy tune has since been known by several titles – "Take Me Dreaming", "Nicolette", "Madeleine" and, most famously, "Calcutta". This recording of it has had almost as many identities – Werner Müller originally recorded it as a single using the title "Kalkutta Liegt am Ganges." It then became part of an album as "Tivoli Melody" but by then "Werner Müller und sein Orchester" had become "Ricardo Santos and his Cascading Strings". In Britain, the same track appeared on the Oriole label as a single, still called "Tivoli Melodi" but now performed by "Enrico Leandros and his Orchestra". Werner Müller (1920-1998) was a bassoonist who became the first conductor of the RIAS (Radio In American Sector) Dance Band based in Berlin, which gave its first concert on 24 April 1949. It was not long before Müller began to realise that the public’s love affair with the swing era was gradually starting to wane, and sixteen strings were added to the line up. The band had built up a strong following through its Polydor recordings, and by the mid-1950s the label dropped the ‘RIAS’ tag and simply credited ‘Werner Müller and his Orchestra’. In 1966 Werner moved to Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Cologne, where he continued to make LPs – both purely orchestral and also accompanying popular singers such as Caterina Valente.
Frank Chacksfield (1914-1995) conducted one of the finest light orchestras in the world, and during his long recording career with Decca alone, it is estimated that his albums sold more than 20 million copies. One of the composers of Luxembourg Waltz, Geoffrey Everitt, was a broadcaster on Radio Luxembourg’s English service in the 1950s. We also hear one of Chacksfield’s own attractive pieces Catalan Sunshine.
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 GLCD 5120) and The Stripper sold millions around the world. In this collection he is represented by two more of his many creations from the 1950s – Fiesta In Seville and Roman Holiday.
There have been many evocative melodies extolling the beauty of Paris, and the three on this CD are among the very best. ‘The Paris Theatre Orchestra’ (playing La Seine) was one of several names conjured up by Stereo Fidelity for its early stereo releases. Monty Kelly (1910-1971) heard on Under Paris Skies was a trumpeter, arranger and bandleader who played with the Paul Whiteman and Skinnay Ennis bands before landing a job with NBC in New York. For a while he was a regular in the recording studios, and managed to secure some success with Cash Box magazine naming him ‘most promising orchestra’ in 1953. Sur Le Pave De Paris presents a young Michel Legrand (b. 1932) arranging and conducting in a style which quickly catapulted him to international fame.
Tony Osborne (Edward Benjamin Osborne, 1922-2009) became a familiar name in post-war Britain due to his broadcasts and recordings. He had played piano with many top orchestras before embarking on his own career, and composed many catchy tunes such as The Lights Of Lisbon.
Once upon a time it was common for all self-respecting resorts (both seaside and inland) to support municipal orchestras, and some – such as at Baden-Baden – survived well into the 1950s. The Baden-Baden orchestra still thrives today as the South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, which has a fine reputation for attracting the cream of visiting guest conductors.
George Miltiades Melachrino (1909-1965) was certainly among the masters of lush light orchestral music. His numerous recordings (especially LPs) sold in large numbers around the world, and in the post-war years he built up a thriving entertainment organisation also involved in films, theatre and broadcasting. Composer Joseph Thobrither became known briefly outside Scandinavia for his Copenhagen Polka, and when the sheet music was published George Melachrino was featured on the cover.
David Carroll(b. 1913) was musical director of Mercury Records from 1951 to the early 1960s, during which time he accompanied many of the label’s contract singers as well as making instrumental recordings of his own. Several of his LPs had a ‘dance’ theme, often including his own compositions, and he employed the cream of Chicago’s session musicians.
‘The Cinema Sound Stage Orchestra’ (giving a fine performance of part of Victor Young’s score for "Around The World In Eighty Days") is another of Stereo Fidelity’s incarnations in the early days of stereo. The recordings usually employed various European symphony and radio orchestras and were linked by the name of Joseph F. Kuhn who composed, arranged, scored or conducted most of the early ones. Doubtless there would have been many more had it not been for his untimely death in March 1962 at the age of 37. He was musical director for the Miller International Co., producer of Somerset and Stereo Fidelity record albums and was well known for his recording work in Hollywood, the US east coast and Germany.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Cyril Stapleton (1914-1974) was a well-known orchestra leader in Britain and overseas, thanks to his regular BBC broadcasts and his many recordings. Maids Of Madrid also reveals his composing abilities.
American trumpeter Joseph J. Leahy honed his musical skills in the bands of Les Brown, Charlie Barnet and Artie Shaw, before becoming known in his own right as a bandleader, arranger, conductor, record producer and prolific composer and arranger. Swiss Holiday was one of his most popular compositions, alongside Theme from Studio X which has already appeared on Guild GLCD 5160.
Philip Green (1910-1982) began his professional career at the age of eighteen playing in various orchestras. Within a year he became London’s youngest West End conductor at the Prince of Wales Theatre. His long recording career began with EMI in 1933, and he is credited with at least 150 film scores, as well as countless original compositions and arrangements.
Hugo Emil Alfvén (1872-1960) is a legend in his native Sweden where he was renowned as a violinist, composer, conductor, artist and author. His composition Swedish Polka is unusual because he was a classical composer and never wrote much incidental music for film, theatre or ballet. But he decided to try his hand at writing in a more popular style during the 1950s, and probably never imagined how successful he would be. Alfvén was 84 when he wrote "Roslagsvår" (Swedish Polka) in 1956. The original Swedish title means "Springtime in Roslagen", which is the coastal area around Stockholm with many small islands. It was recorded in Hamburg (at the insistence of Philips), probably so they could maintain strict control over the session, since Alfvén was old and in poor health. Therefore the musicians are mainly German and the conductor, although it says Hugo Alfvén on the label, was actually jazz pianist, arranger and conductor Bengt Hallberg.
Ethel Smith (1910-1996) was one of the most popular organists in the USA, and The Café Mozart Waltz was a secondary theme in the famous film "The Third Man". Its composer, Viennese-born Anton Karas (1906-1985), earned considerable fame and fortune from his appealing melodies for the zither.
Victor Young (1900-1956) excelled as a violinist, arranger, film composer, songwriter, conductor and record producer. This wide experience in all forms of music, from his first hit songs in the late 1920s to his tremendous score for "Around the World in 80 Days" in 1956, was exceptional even by Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood standards, all the more so because his international reputation was achieved in such a short lifetime.
Conductor Richard 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". He also arranged for the Boston Pops, serving as back-up conductor for Arthur Fiedler.
Sidney Torch (1908-1990) was one of Britain’s finest theatre organists during the 1930s. After war service in the Royal Air Force, where he conducted the RAF Concert Orchestra, he concentrated entirely on composing, arranging and conducting light music. He worked extensively for the Chappell and Francis, Day & Hunter Recorded Music Libraries, from which comes East Of Eden. Its composer Ronald Hanmer (1917-1994) was a prolific British composer and arranger who contributed over 700 compositions to various background music libraries. In 1975 he emigrated to Australia, and in 1992 he received the Order of Australia for services to music, just before that country abolished the honours system.
To complete this collection we turn to Guy Luypaerts (b. 1917), whose orchestra first appeared on a Guild CD playing music by Cole Porter (GLCD 5127). He was born in Paris to Belgian parents during the First World War and became well-known in French musical circles through conducting an orchestra called the Nouvelle Association Symphonique de Paris. This was in the era when live music featured prominently on the radio, and his broadcasts with this orchestra resulted in invitations to conduct other radio orchestras in European cities. Luypaerts is listed as providing the music for the 1945 film "Etoile Sans Lumière". He worked with Edith Piaf (he arranged her 1946 world-wide hit "La Vie En Rose"), Georges Guetary, Yves Montand and most notably with Charles Trénet - their collaboration spanned 30 years and began when Trénet discovered him playing jazz at an officers’ mess early in World War 2. Guild has previously featured some of his more imaginative sounds conducting quirky cameos such as The Sleepwalker of Amsterdam (GLCD 5131), Masquerade In Madrid (GLCD 5132), Whimsy and his own composition Chatter Box (both on GLCD 5160), to which we now add The Spider of Antwerp. Arachnophobics need have no fear; this spider is sure to become your friend!