CD Review - Guild GLCD 5212 - Bright Lights

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If you're a regular purchaser of "The Golden Age of Light Music" CDs, you may already have GLCD 5212 in your collection. However, if not get yourself down to the nearest music shop* and place an order immediately – it’s a good’un!

It begins in fine style with the title track, Bright Lights by Den Berry and Stuart Crombie – writing under the pseudonym Frank Sterling – a  typical showtime number, played by the Brussels New concert Orchestra conducted by F.G.Terby.

Next comes an old favourite by Clive Richardson, Beachcomber from the Boosey & Hawkes Library played by The New Concert Orchestra conducted by Jack Leon.

Other mood music composers on the disc include Len Stevens with Hurly Burly, Cecil Milner's Trysting Place and a cracking piece by Hubert Clifford - writing as Michael Sarsfield -  Main Event, played by the Danish State Radio Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon. Ronald Hanmer makes an appearance with Pastorale, which became a firm favourite in Australia, as the the theme music to a long running radio serial "Blue Hills", whilst the composer who began my interest in mood music and light music in general – Charles Williams – takes centre stage with his majestic opening of Hydro Project, a mixture of industrial, mechanical orchestration and scenic grandeur.

Another favourite composer, but a mystery man to me, is Walter Collins conducting The London Promenade Orchestra in his own composition March Heroique, from the Paxton Library. I know he was the Musical Director of the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea and he wrote a lot of light music and mood music for Paxtons, but that's about as much as I can find out. Ernest Tomlinson, Cyril Watters, Roger Roger, Vivian Ellis, Jack Beaver all make guest appearances as does Frederic Curzon with his Prelude to a Play and King Palmer & Richard Mullan – writing as Peter Kane – with an extremely catchy number Rhythm Of The Clock played by The London Promenade Orchestra, conducted by the aforementioned Walter Collins, with the added attraction of what I call the ‘Levy Sound’. To me Levy’s Sound Studios had a unique sound and it seemed to come out particularly well on the majority of Paxton 78's and to a slightly lesser extent on Chappell and Boosey & Hawkes discs.

Anyway that's my story – sit back and enjoy Bright Lights !!

Ken Wilkins

*All Guild CDs may be purchased direct from Priory Records, Guild UK distributors.

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