GLCD 5160 – The Golden Age of Light Music: Light & Lively
MusicWeb International Thursday December 17th 2009
Let’s start with my favourites. Robert Farnon’s Derby Day and Peanut Polka make very good bookends in this delightful concoction. Derby Day is a marvellous tongue-in-cheek march of the kind heard in 1950s newsreel films. Peanut Polka is a really tangy piece – obviously they’re salted peanuts! Percy Faith’s Caribbean Night is sultry and hot blooded, very nice indeed. Angela Morley’s Miss Universe, written before political correctness deemed this kind of thing as sexist, is one of those pretty girl is like a melody walk down the catwalk in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini looking great kind of things – I can visualise it now as I write. This is a lovely piece with some racy writing for muted trumpet and high winds. Michael Carr’s Falling Star is full of lovers’ music – dreamy and sensuous – and a nice touch of trombone using the plunger mute. You couldn’t get further from Tannochbrae than Trevor Duncan’s bongo-filled Smile Of A Latin – great fiddle tune and snappy brass punctuations. Billy Mayerl’s Reno Runaway – what is this about? Escape to a quickie divorce? It’s a brief and breezy miniature. Proud As A Peacock is a silly symphony in itself and it’s good to have it here, especially for the funky harpsichord. Eric Spear seems only to be remembered for one composition – the title music to TV’s Coronation Street. You’ll know David Curry’s Leprechauns’ Dance but, probably like me, you’ll be shocked because I always thought that this piece had something to do with cowboys and the wild west! Peter Yorke’s Monica is a character portrait with lots of strings and little else. Al Golding’s On The Fiddle is one of those American scherzos, all movement and flattened thirds and fifths, reminiscent of the first movement of Don Gillis’s Symphony No 5½.
As usual, each track is full of interest and packed with good things – these Guild Golden Age releases (see review index) are just like a box of favourite chocolates, there’s always another with a satisfying centre to make you come back for more. I’m addicted to this series and you should be too!