The Golden Age of Light Music
: Cinema & Theatre Orchestras Volume II
KNOWN, November 2006
OrchestrasVol. 2. 19 tracks of light numbers by various orchestras and
conductors.. TT: 76:33. (Albany).
And still they come.
It's just amazing how many 78's still survive of this period light music mostly
in the collections of producer David Ades and audio restorer Alan Bunting. The
present recordings date from the 20's and 30's, and the mastering certainly
brings out more than was ever heard an the 78's and with no surface noise
Some tracks feature the
cinema organ along with the orchestra, and these Wurlitzers seem to have a much
smoother sound than our theatre organs. Tremulants aren't as wide giving the
effect almost of a Hammond or a roller skating rink instrument. Such is the case
in Ethelbert Nevin's Narcissus with the Paramount Theatre Orchestra
conducted by Anton and with Al Bollington at the console.
One extended selection
is the March Review Medley (arr. Carl Woitschach) played by the famed
London Palladium Orchestra under Richard Crean. Fortunately, the notes name all
the marches included; some have very brief quotations. There is a big
arrangement of Delius's buddy Sinding's Rustle Of Spring played by the
Commodore Grand Orchestra under the Russian Joseph Muscant.
Eric Coates is
represented by a 1928 performance of The Three Bears -A Fantasy with
sound not quite as good as some of the later tracks but more than passable.
There is a very curious 1939 performance of Elgar's Salut
(arr. Artok) by the
Para-mount/Anton/Bollington team again. More roller renk organ.
Vivian Ellis's show
"Follow A Star" had Sophie Tucker for its first six weeks until her departure
had to close for a bit until a new star was brought in, but it never really
recovered and closed alter 118 performances. Here we get the Overture by the
Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra conducted by Sydney Baynes of "Destiny Waltz"
The closing medley is from the film "Aunt Sally" (1934) with Louis Levy
recording for the first time with The Gaummont British Studio Orchestra. Not
bad. Bet you never heard of that Cicely Courtneidge comedy which came out a year
before the release of the recording. Once again, if all this is your bag, go for
Klassikcom Friday July 07 2006
Als im Kino noch
Erik Daumann, 06.07.2006
Schon die erste Filmvorführung der Brüder Lumière 1895 wurde mit Musik untermalt.
Das war gewissermaßen die Geburtsstunde der Filmmusik. Zunächst war es der
einsame Pianist, der geflissentlich die bewegten Bilder auf der großen Leinwand
mit allerlei klassischem Repertoire begleitete. Dann leisteten sich größere
Filmtheater einen Kinoorganisten. Schließlich erwuchsen daraus regelrechte
Kinoorchester, die selbst beim Anbruch der Tonfilmära noch rührig waren und nun
dem Kinopublikum mit Live-Musik die Zeit verschönerte. Goldene Zeiten waren das.
‚Guild’ erinnert daran mit der inzwischen zweiten Folge britischer Kino- und
Theaterorchester in ihrer äußerst erfolgreichen Edition ‚The Golden Age of Light
Music’. Es ist also nicht in erster Linie Musik aus Filmen, wenngleich ein paar
Nummern durchaus aus Kinoproduktionen stammen, sondern ein breit gefächertes
Repertoire an Arrangements bekannter und beliebter Stücke jener Zeit.
Die Aufnahmen stammen aus den Jahren 1927 bis 1939, einer Zeit des Umbruchs,
denn man ging nach und nach dazu über, die Orchester wieder durch einen
Kinoorganisten zu ersetzen. Diese Folge mit Interpretationen durch britische
Kino- und Theaterorchester ist insofern interessant, als es einige Nummern
enthält, in denen Kinoorgel und Orchester eine Synthese eingehen. Für unsere
heutigen Ohren mag das manchmal durchaus eigentümlich klingen, wenn der
elektrisch wabernde Kinoorgel-Sound mit dem Streicherschmelz duettiert.
Zumindest sind dies Dokumente für die Geschichte der Klangästhetik, so kurios
sie beim ersten Hören auch erscheinen mögen. Es hat schon Seltenheitswert,
Edward Elgars ‚Salut d’Amour’ einmal in einer Fassung für Theaterorchester und
Theaterorgel zu hören. Höhepunkte dieser CD sind sicherlich das ‚March Review
Medley’ mit dem London Palladium Orchestra unter der Leitung von Richard Crean,
bei dem auf sieben Minute Länge so viel Marschmelodien wie man sich nur denken
kann untergebracht sind, oder Ausschnitte aus der Musik zu ‚Aunt Sally’ mit dem
Gaumont British Studio Orchestra unter Louis Levy in einer Aufnahme von 1934.
Die Einspielungen sind allesamt bestens remastered und selbst die Aufnahmen aus
den 1920er Jahren lassen keinerlei Tiefe vermissen. Wie immer steuerte David
Ades ein profundes Booklet bei.
Cinema and Theatre Orchestras – Volume 2
BUCALOSSI Grasshoppers' Dance
Regal Virtuosi, conducted by Emanuel Starkey
NEVIN ARR. MYDDLETON
Narcissus (from "Water Scenes") (1939)
HERMAN FINCK In the Shadows (1939)
ELGAR ARR. ARTOK
Salut d'Amour (1939)
Paramount Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Anton with Al Bollington, Organ
CHABRIER Espana Waltz (1935)
Charles Manning and his Granada Walthamstow Orchestra
LINDSAY Aisha (1934)
WOITSCHACH March Review Medley (1936)
London Palladium Orchestra, conducted by Richard Crean - HMV C 2745
London Coliseum Orchestra, conducted by Alfred Dove
CHAPUNI Ke-Sa-Ko (also known as
"Japanese Intermezzo") (1932)
KOHN The Fairies Gavotte (1933)
SINDING Rustle Of Spring (1934)
Commodore Grand Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Muscant
HESSE My Lady Dainty – Graceful
CHAMINADE Pierrette (1927)
COATES The Three Bears - A Fantasy
GERMAN "Gipsy Suite" Allegro (1927)
Plaza Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Frank Tours
THURBAN Yankiana — American Suite
Commodore Grand Orchestra, conducted by Harry Davidson
ARR. DOSTAL "Welcome Vienna"
Coventry Hippodrome Orchestra, conducted by Charles Shadwell
ELLIS "Follow A Star" Overture
Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Sydney Baynes
WOODS "Aunt Sally" Selection (1934)
You Ought To See Sally On Sunday, If l had Napoleon's Hat, The Wind’s in the
West, y Wild Oat, We'll All Go Riding On A Rainbow, I Want a Fair and Square
Man, Ain't She the Dainty
Gaumont British Studio Orchestra, conducted by Louis Levy
rec. 1928-39, London and Coventry, England.
Review of Volume 1
The role of cinema orchestras in
entertainment is not widely acknowledged. Silent films always had one crucial
dimension missing – that of sound. Small cinemas made do with impromptu piano
accompaniment to match the moods and actions on screen; in large cinemas an
orchestra/ensemble would be kept busy to provide the on-screen accompaniment.
When the talkies arrived, a live
orchestra would still be employed to make up presumably for the poor frequency
response of the soundtrack and as recording improved to provide general opening,
interval and closing music.
This disc pays tribute to the music
in vogue during that blossoming period of the talkies. Both Compton and
Wurlitzer organs were starting to show their faces and two tracks here feature
Al Bollington on one. Leading cinema and theatre orchestras, being London-based,
teamed up with the main recording companies to bring about the 78rpm recordings
Some of the titles are new to me,
but I particularly remember Bucalossi's catchy "Grasshopper Dance"
(coupled with a boring 'La Siesta') on an HMV 10". Surprisingly, I notice that a
version of it also appears on Guild’s first volume in this series [DLCD 5108].
The Elgar, Coates and Chabrier are well known from elsewhere in the catalogue
yet it is interesting to judge the competence from other benchmark recordings.
Here there are plenty of familiar tunes unknown by name. Richard Crean with his
Palladian Orchestra was quite industrious with his output for HMV and commands a
good presence with his style.
I enjoyed the Leslie Stuart
melodies, a reminder of how good the melodies were that came from the pen of
this self-made composer. Many will have forgotten the strengths of Vivian
Ellis’s musicals in the Thirties: before his best known, ‘Bless the Bride’ came
"Follow a Star", obviously good enough to have been recorded
before the unexpected early departure of its lead, Sophie Tucker, caused an
untimely closure. A good variety of content is found on this disc, yet I wonder
why neither of the two volumes has carried that memorable tune, ‘The Whistler
and his Dog’ (Pryor) since this catchy number was recorded twice by Crean on HMV
[B8004 and B8995]. Maybe a third volume is already being considered. The
selections are particularly welcome because they help us appreciate what some of
London’s musical shows were all about.
As David Ades’ interesting notes
make mention, the final track of selections from the Courtneidge film "Aunt
Sally" is the first recording by Louis Levy with the Gaumont British
Symphony Orchestra; pretentiously titled I suggest when its film studio players
would be freelancers. It also documents an uplifting composition by the
forgotten American, Harry M. Woods. I had hoped the background notes (English
only) would have been longer, especially when two pages of ‘fill’ are devoted to
other Guild releases. An interesting full page picture in the booklet shows a
recording session of the Gaumont British orchestra with Louis Levy standing
above them on a temporary wooden stage.
One has to admire the quality of
transfer from these original 78 discs: the frequency response achieved by Alan
Bunting is much wider that might be expected from the limitations of recording
techniques found during the late twenties, a time when electric recording
techniques were still being developed. Raymond J Walker
Thursday, May 25 KEENE, N.H
more from Guild -- Those with fond memories of the wonderful old LPs that were
filled with musical arrangements of popular songs conducted by Percy Faith,
George Melachrino, Mantovani and Andre Kostelanetz, among many others, will
appreciate the ever growing and delightful series, "The Golden Age of Light
Music" on the Guild label.
first of two of Guild's latest releases is "Great Light Orchestras Salute
Richard Rodgers" (GLCD 5123). Among the 20 selections are many of the Rodgers
and Hart classics, including "Lover," "The Blue Room," "Little Girl Blue" and
"Bewitched." From the Rodgers and Hammerstein team, there are "Some Enchanted
Evening," "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" and "It Might as Well be Spring." Add
to those some selections from Rodgers' score for "Victory at Sea" and a
marvelous 16-minute "Richard Rodgers Suite," and here is an utterly enjoyable
somewhat different level, we have many composers and arrangers represented on
2" (GLCD 5122).
of these 19 selections will be familiar to American listeners -- and I recommend
this CD all the more for that. A few titles are "Grasshoppers ' Dance," "Aisha,"
"My Lady Dainty" and "Yankiana -- American Suite." These are all transcriptions
from old 78-rpm discs that date from 1927 to 1939, which means that most of them
are electric recordings.
you yet again, Guild, for these light-karat gems!
Page revised Friday November 24 2006