Reviews

GLCD 5127 – The Golden Age of Light Music: The Great Light Orchestras Salute COLE PORTER

Various

To the CD in our Shop


International Record Review, February 2007

The final Guild CD in this article is devoted to the music of Cole Porter, an almost unapproachable collection of his songs – without singers! The real advantage of such a selection of Porter’s work is that it focuses our attention on the mastery and intricacies of his composing skills (although we should not forget that he was his own lyricist), which we might expect from an American who studied in Paris after the First World War with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum. The songs are magnificent: as an example, `So In Love’ from Porter’s stage masterpiece Kiss Me, Kate begins in C sharp minor and ends in A major, the tonality rising by a semitone as the passion increases. One could point out other subtleties in virtually all of this material. Almost all of the transfers are good (but I was unsure of the pitch in Mantovani’s Wunderbar) and hearing these prompts me to wonder if EMI ever recorded Joan Hammond in Night and Day. I vividly remember seeing her sing this, with her consistently creamy tone, on BBC TV in the mid-1950s. Incidentally, this song (Kostelanetz’s full version is here) opens Louis Levy’s Cole Porter Suite which ends this delightful disc (Guild GLCD5127, 1 hour 17 minutes).
Robert Matthew-Walker

Reformer Com February 15 2007

Cole Porter — Those who have not yet enjoyed the Guild CD series called The Golden Age of Light Music will want to start with a really good entry. “Great Light Orchestras Salute Cole Porter” (GLCD 5127) boasts 21 tracks bursting with Porter’s most memorable melodies taken from recordings made from 1947 to 1955.

The orchestras featured in this anthology are those of Guy Luypaerts, Andre Kostelanetz, Gordon Jenkins, Eddie Barclay, Sidney Torch, Mantovani, David Rose, Percy Faith, Stanley Black, Glenn Osser and Louis Levy, with one entry by The Pittsburg Strings.

Anyone familiar with Porter’s songs can easily guess what is included here. Among the many selections are “Begin the Beguine,” “Night and Day,” “Just one of those things,” “I love Paris,” “Anything goes” and “In the still of the night.” Some of the tracks have medleys from shows such as “Kiss Me Kate” and “Fifty Million Frenchmen.”
Frank Behren


Memory Lane Spring 2007

This is the second CD in “The Golden Age of Light Music” series that has featured a Single composer. Porter’s melodies are so good that they are widely used in jazz and light music circles apart from the popular market for which they were originally written. Many of the orchestras included have been used an previous Guild releases but three new ones are introduced here. To my ear the most impressive is that fronted by Guy Luypaerts who gets the CD off to a great start with his arrangement of Begin The Beguine. Other highlights for me were Stanley Black with Easy To Love, David Rose’s I Get A Kick Out Of You and In The Still Of The Night from Gordon Jenkins.

Wunderbar, wunderbar …


Klassikom, 17.12.2006

The Golden Age of Light Music: Great Light Orchestras Salute Cole Porter

Jamm-ta-taa, jamm-ta-taa! Was für ein musikalischer Fröhlichmacher doch dieser herrliche Walzer aus Cole Porters ‘Kiss me Kate’ ist. Legt man sich eine der neuen Veröffentlichungen aus der Guild Light Music-Reihe in den CD-Spieler, bekommt man Nummern dieser Art in starker Frequenz zu hören. Nachdem Guild Light Music bereits eine wunderbare Kompilation mit Hits von Richard Rogers veröffentlicht hat, folgt nun ein Tribut an Cole Porter, gleichsam als Salut zum 115. Geburtstag. Glamourös war in Porters Leben lediglich die äußerst erfolgreiche Karriere als einer der besten Songschreiber Amerikas. Invalide seit einem Reitunfall 1937, musste er sich zahlreichen Operationen unterziehen. Am Ende wurde ihm das rechte Bein amputiert. Gestorben ist Cole Porter aber an den Folgen einer Nierenstein-Operation. Der Welt schenkte er einen Evergreen nach dem anderen – und sie sind alle auf dieser Kompilation vertreten, interpretiert von Andre Kostelanetz, Gordon Jenkins, Percy Faith, Guy Luypaerts, Robert Farnon, David Rose, Eddie Barclay, Sidney Torch, Mantovani, Stanley Black, Louis Levy und Glen Osser. Namen, die der, dank Guild, stetig wachsenden Light Music-Gemeinde Garant für leichthändig, aber meisterlich arrangierte und spritzig musizierte Ohrenkost ist.

Natürlich zeichnet erneut David Ades verantwortlich für die Zusammenstellung der Stücke. Alan Bunting hat die alten Bänder restauriert, remastered und in allen Höhen- und Tiefenschichtungen wunderbar ausbalanciert. Die Aufnahmen von den Mittvierziger Jahren bis zur Mitte der 50er Jahre erklingen allesamt mit dem typisch unsterilen, dafür satten Sound jener Jahre. Da trumpfen die Bläsersektionen auf und die Saiten der Geigen werden gestrichen, als wären sie Butter. Vibrato, viel, viel Vibrato, und viel, viel Portamento! So gefallen Ohrwürmer wie ‚Begin the Beguine’, ‚Night and Day’, ‚I love Paris’, Anything goes’, ‚C’est magnifique’, ‚I’ve got you under my skin’ – und eben auch ‚Wunderbar’. Eine Scheibe wie gemacht als Weihnachtsgeschenk für den Nostalgiker, aber auch für jede Jahreszeit. Erik Daumann
Music Web Wednesday December 06 2006

Guild’s Cole Porter compilation gets off to a very melodramatic start in the shape of Guy Luypaerts’s recording of Begin the Beguine. Still, this was School of Capitol 1950 and its garish veneer was doubtless just the thing. There’s nothing else quite so uncompromisingly brash in this selection of recordings though there are moments of succulence galore, ones to enchant the ball-gowns if not necessarily the barflies. It’s that sort of collection.

Kostelanetz’s Night and Day comes fully armed with pizzicati and the swirl of counter- melodies and this is the first of his contributions to the disc. Despite the rather brash self-confidence it promotes it surely diminishes Gordon Jenkins’s own offerings. The Jenkins band around this time seems to have succumbed to the affliction of tropical percussion which, when combined with some silken violin writing, does give the whole thing a rather queasy taste. Jenkins returns to the theme In The Still Of The Night – once again not this band’s finest hour in the recording studio.

I wasn’t expecting Farnon to experiment with an electric guitar solo on Just One Of Those Things but he does, and he’s saved by the usual articulacy of his writing and the generally superior nature of the bands he directed. It’s appropriate that the French- born Eddie Barclay flies the Tricolor in I Love Paris.

David Rose’s arrangement of I Get A Kick Out Of You was recorded in the same year, 1955, as Kostelanetz’s Night and Day. And they share a certain similarity of approach – typically vibrant and suave, with pizzicato kicks to urge the material onwards. But there were other approaches as well and other solutions to questions of balance and colour. Stanley Black’s solution was to infiltrate a solo piano into I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Easy to Love. Mantovani encourages some waltz dancing in his very Viennese Wunderbar. Percy Faith’s You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To is a warmly romantic opus and a useful rejoinder to Gordon Jenkins and the album ends with a fine extended suite from British maestro Louis Levy.

The notes are as usual with this series well researched and enjoyable. Sound quality is good though occasionally treble starved, especially with the oldest material here.
Jonathan Woolf