Reviews

GLCD 5175 – The Golden Age of Light Music: Confetti

Various

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MusicWeb International July 2011

This mammoth series from Guild continues with Confetti, a mixed recital of all sorts of things that turns up intriguing, sometimes serendipitous things during the course of its 78 minutes.
In pole position is the elite MGM Studio Orchestra directed by Johnny (John Waldo) Green presenting the album’s title, Confetti. We then embark on a mini world tour, starting in a Champs Elysees Café courtesy of Joseph Kuhn, who also probably conducted the Paris Theatre Orchestra complete with inevitable accordion and insouciant romance. Then we fly to meet Robert Farnon’s Manhattan Playboy, a zippy chap whistling an jaunty tune on the flute, brought to us by Leslie Jones and his Orchestra of London. There’s big band Hora Staccato, played by Morton Gould and his orchestra, as we move to Eastern Europe, thence west to Germany for some Hans Georg Arlt, a real stalwart of this series.
Mitch Miller pipes away on Lina whilst Melachrino conducts the sonorously, if temporarily named Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival. The piece is Viezzoli’s Nota Per Nota, a lovely piece here undone by tom-tom percussion. This Italian excursion is cemented by the next track, Via Amalfi. By now I think I’ve sussed the geographical shenanigans of the compiler. William Hill Bowen, fine pianist and arranger, can be heard with his own orchestra on an RCA disc essaying Getting To Know You, with some especially sheeny strings.
A couple of peppy numbers follow; there’s Bluebell Polka, a spruce evergreen, and Joey’s Song, another light opus. Things get amusing in Bees-A-Buzzin’ composed by Edrich Siebert – or Stanley Smith-Masters if you want his real name – which is a straight Rimsky-Korsakov paraphrase. Frederic Curzon’s Mischief reflects this elegant composer’s craftsmanship. Then we meet Wilfred Josephs, better known perhaps as a symphonist, concerto, and orchestral composer, amongst other genres. His Market Day fits right into the Light groove. George French’s Parade of the Champions, played by Dolf van der Linden and his Metropole Orchestra, is a very Elgarian affair – a real Pomp and Circumstance march. To finish, there’s an extended seven minute selection from Dear Miss Phoebe, composed by Harry Parr-Davies, and played by Tom Jenkins and his Palm Court Orchestra. Both successive leaders of this group, Albert Sandler and Jenkins, near contemporaries, died in their mid-forties.
Let’s not end on a maudlin note. This is another ingeniously compiled selection, giving as ever great value for money.
Jonathan Woolf
Another ingeniously compiled selection, giving as ever great value for money.