25 Dec

CD Review – The Maestro Very Best Of Leonard Bernstein

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CD Review – The Maestro Very Best Of Leonard Bernstein
Deutsche Grammophon 4865491 [2:30:0]

Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) was one of the very best conductors and, arguably, the most charismatic of his generation. This well filled 2-CD set of his greatest recordings ties in with the release of 'Maestro', the acclaimed Netflix biographical movie about his life.

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25 Dec

Jean Killman

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It is my very sad duty to record the death of Jean, wife of Albert Killman, at the end of November.

Many of us will remember Albert and Jean from the days of the former Robert Farnon Society. Albert was instrumental in acting as assistant to the late David Ades and was particularly concerned with matters pertaining to membership of the Society.

Unfortunately, Jean’s health had deteriorated during the last few years; she was eventually admitted to Southend Hospital in October, with severe heart and breathing difficulties, from which she was unable to recover.

Although Jean and Albert no longer made the journey from Rochford to attend our LLMMG meetings, I stayed in contact with them and they made me very welcome in their home on a couple of occasions.

On behalf of the Group, I extend our sincerest condolences to Albert.

Tony Clayden
December 2023

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10 Dec

CD Review – A Cocktail Of Happiness – The Music Of Fred Hartley

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CD Review – A Cocktail Of Happiness
The Music Of Fred Hartley
With The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra

Many people who read this will be aware of my lifetime passion for light music, to which I listened in the 1950s and 1960s on the BBC Light Programme. Sadly this organisation have now abandoned the genre and one has to turn to recorded music to remind oneself of it's qualities.

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10 Dec

CD Review – Felix Klieser – A Golden Christmas

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CD Review – Felix Klieser A Golden Christmas
Wiener Concert-Verein
Berlin Classics 0303074BC [50:55]

Warm hearted music for the festive period and beyond from the golden sound of the French horn, played by the German born (1991) much-in-demand virtuoso, Felix Klieser.

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22 Nov

CD REVIEW – GAUTIER CAPUÇON – Destination PARIS

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CD REVIEW – GAUTIER CAPUÇON
Destination PARIS

Erato 54197721146 [76:02], also LP & Digital

Readers who responded to my enthusiasm for his albums 'Emotions' at the end of 2020 and 'Sensations' two years later will know that the cellist extraordinaire, Gautier Capuçon, offers both quality and quantity. Here he gives us a further 22 varied tracks of popular film melodies, French chansons and classical pieces. It seems that its release now is not unconnected with the French capital hosting the Summer Olympics in 2024.

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21 Nov

CD REVIEW – ANDRÉ RIEU – Jewels of Romance

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CD REVIEW – ANDRÉ RIEU
Jewels of Romance
CD [65:07] & DVD [approx. 65.00] 7444754886863

Hooray for André! Here is this year's injection of recorded joy to the nation's mood in these troubled times from the Dutch maestro and his wonderful 50-strong Johann Strauss Orchestra. He has chosen melodies for the CD album which touch his heart in the expectation that they will touch ours.

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CD REVIEW – ORCHESTRAL MUSIC OF HOWARD BLAKE
Philharmonia Orchestra
SOMM SOMMCD 0678 [61.31]

I have to admit that this is a first for me, but those nice people at SOMM – rightly celebrating their first 25 years of excellence – thought it would be appreciated by our readers. While Howard David Blake OBE, FRAM (b 1938) wrote over 700 works, including concertos, oratorios, ballets, opera and instrumentals alongside his TV and film output, he is most famous for his soundtrack on Channel 4's 1982 animated film 'The Snowman', which includes the song Walking in the Air. He also wrote the words.

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14 Nov

CD Review – RODGERS & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

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CD Review – RODGERS & Hammerstein’s
Oklahoma!
Soloists/Sinfonia Of London/John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5322(2) [TT 99:43]

Composer Richard Rodgers' (1902-79) and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein ll's (1895-1960) first collaboration is described by the record company on their website as ground-breaking when the musical debuted on Broadway 80 years ago, and this is the world première complete recording with Robert Russell Bennett's orchestrations of the original score, which have been restored by the late Bruce Pomahac, who was the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization’s MD for more than 20 years.

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14 Nov

CD Review – Enoch Light / Beatles Classics & Serendipity

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CD Review – Enoch Light / Beatles Classics & Serendipity
Vocalion CDLK4646 [72:22]

This is the second album in Vocalion's new release of Easy Listening music. Enoch Light (1907-78) was an American conductor, arranger and entrepreneur. He started the Command label and, always interested in the technical side, he struck it rich with the advent of stereo. He went on to be one the first to record on 35mm movie film instead of tape, an advance at the time. With Command taken over and in trouble he started again with the Project 3 label, finally responsible for more than 30 chart LPs between 1957 and 1970. He came out of retirement in the 1980's to work with Frank Sinatra.

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14 Nov

CD Review – Henry Mancini / The Best Of Mancini – Vols 1&2

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CD Review – Henry Mancini / The Best Of Mancini – Vols 1&2
The Concert Sound Of Mancini & Salutes Sousa
Vocalion 2CDLK4636 [68:09 & 75:01]

It is good to welcome back to these pages the Vocalion label, which has just released four reissues from the golden age of Easy Listening. The lead reissue is of two 2-on-1 CDs, originally RCA, from a master light music maker, Henry "Hank" Mancini (1924-94). In a career spanning 40 years as composer, arranger and conductor he won four Oscars, one Golden Globe and twenty Grammys – also a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award – setting an all-time record for a non-classical artist.

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.

John Barry Plays 007 - new book

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The stories and artwork behind the music of every James Bond film scored by John Barry alongside 300+ colour images, Oct 27, 2022, English
    By Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker || Cover design and artwork by: Ruud Rozemeijer.