Reviews

GLCD 5176 – The Golden Age of Light Music: From The Vintage Vaults

Various

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The Delian Society – July 2012

Lots of English and European with composers on this one. There is the Overture to “The Arcadians” by Moncton & Talbot, Elgar’s Rondel (arr. Haydn Wood) and Mina with Wood conducting, Reginald King’s Lullaby Land, some of Easthope Martin’s Songs of the Fair with his best known Come to the Fair opening and closing the medley, and even Vaughan Williams’s March Past of the Kitchen Utensils from the “The Wasps” played by the BBC Theatre Orchestra under Clarence Raybould. A very entertaining CD which will please collectors of these things.

MusicWeb International, April 2011

Bright, breezy and wittily orchestrated, Arthur Wood gets this disc off the blocks in fine style with his work on behalf of The Arcadians. It begins a programme that, as Guild’s David Ades himself admits in his booklet notes, is ‘eclectic’. There is a rationale of sorts but it’s admittedly sketchy and we’re better off enjoying a slab of a decade and a half’s recorded music from a variety of sources, British and continental. No American bands this time.
Clifford Greenwood is possibly the conductor in the Zez Confrey number – and I’m not sure who these sessions musicians were but there’s a nice guitarist and pianist in amongst them. The year after Elgar’s death Haydn Wood arranged and conducted two amongst the former’s less well known pieces, and they make for a warm and delicate salute from a man whom Elgar greatly admired as a composer. Fred Hartley always had a versatile quintet and he, and they, unleash a Fantasy in Blue, a medley in which every song sports the word ‘blue’.
By contrast there’s a delightfully smoochy Lullaby Land courtesy of Reginald King, a Boswell ‘mood music’ recording, and an amusing Dwarf’s Patrol fantasy from The Little Salon Orchestra without a named conductor. Marek Weber, a master of the light genre, is heard twice, once purveying Gallic charm and then offering Springtime Serenade – both in excellent sound for the time. I was very glad to see Clarence Raybould conducting Vaughan Williams’s March Past Of The Kitchen Utensils – it’s from The Wasps – not least because it’s from a 1945 BBC Transcription disc.
Barnabas von Geczy is on hand for some spicy Magyarisms, whilst that other fine violinist-leader Edith Lorand, also a noted classical player, spins a warm waltz; this was recorded as she was on the cusp of leaving Germany for her native Hungary. Two great British fiddle-leaders can also be heard; Campoli and Sandler, both effortlessly fine. There’s also a most enjoyable double sided 1935 Parlophone of Easthope Martin’s Songs of the Fair, possibly arranged by Henry Geehl, and conducted by Walter Goehr under his light music alias of George Walter. We end with a Sousa march medley from Jack Hylton and his orchestra in 1934. From the inverted commas I sense the David Ades is unsure who the arranger ‘Major Williams’ is. Me too, but I assume it was one of the famous Williams family bandmasters – possibly Arthur.
Well then. Eclectic, certainly; good, yes.
Jonathan Woolf