From The Vintage Vaults

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From The Vintage Vaults

1 "The Arcadians" Overture (Lionel Monckton; Howard Talbot, arr. Arthur Wood)
Columbia DX 573 1934
2 Buffoon (Zez Confrey)
HMV B 4244 1932
3 Rondel (Sir Edward Elgar, arr. Haydn Wood); Mina (Sir Edward Elgar)
HMV B8282 1935
4 Arpanetta (Ernst Fischer)
Electrola EG 6286 1938
5 A Fantasy In Blue
The Birth Of The Blues, Blue Again, Blue Room, So Blue, There"s A Blue Ridge Round My Heart Virginia, Blue Is The Night, Beyond The Blue Horizon, Blue Hills Of Pasadena, Blue Skies, Where The Blue Of The Night, My Blue Heaven, Good-bye Blues.
Decca F 5168 1934
6 Lullaby Land (Reginald King)
Bosworth BC 1180 1944
7 The Dwarf"s Patrol - Fantasy (Otto Rathke)
Columbia DB 459 1930
8 Suite Orientale (Francis Popy) Les Bayadères, Au Bord du Gange, Les Almées, Les Patrouilles.
HMV C 1845 1930
9 March Past Of The Kitchen Utensils (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
BBC Transcription Service 27692 1945
10 Gipsy Wine (Helmut Ritter)
HMV B 8434 1936
11 Springtime Serenade (Jonny Heykens)
HMV B 8199 1934
12 In Playful Mood (Montague Ewing)
Bosworth BC 1032 1937
13 "Gasparone" Potpourri (Carl Millöcker)
Parlophone R 2035 1935
14 Püppchen - Two Step Intermezzo (Little Doll) (Jean Gilbert, real name Max Winterfeld)
Regal Zonophone MR 565 1932
15 A Day In Naples - Tarantella (George W. Byng)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2040 1945
16 Mon Bijou (Robert Stolz)
Decca F 5904 1936
17 Songs Of The Fair (Easthope Martin)
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by WALTER GOEHR (as "George Walter" on record label)
Parlophone E 11268 1935
18 Summer Evening In Santa Cruz (Jose F. Payan; Fred Hartley)
Columbia FB 2367 1940
19 Niagara (Carl Robrecht)
Bosworth BC 1071 1938
20 Sousa Marches - Medley (John Philip Sousa, arr Major Williams) Washington Post, King Cotton, Stars and Stripes, Liberty Bell, El Capitan, High School Cadets, The Diplomat, Stars and Stripes.

Decca F 5216 1934

Famous composers of symphonies, marches, jazz and just about everything in-between can be found in this varied selection, mainly from the inter-war years, which surely qualifies for the adjective "eclectic". If anyone still needs convincing that the general term "Light Music" covers a wide variety of styles and performances, then surely the proof is here on this CD.

The reign of Edward VII lasted just nine years, following the death of his mother Queen Victoria in 1901, yet the Edwardian Era (as it has become known) witnessed considerable achievements in many fields, especially popular music. Lionel Monckton (1861-1924) was one of the main players, and most of his musicals reached the London stage during this period. Perhaps his most memorable was "The Arcadians" written in collaboration with Howard Talbot (1865-1928) which premiered at London"s Shaftesbury Theatre on 28 April 1909. The arranging and orchestrations of the music were usually entrusted to musicians well-known for these special skills, and the familiar Overture to "The Arcadians" is the work of Arthur Wood (1875-1953) whose lasting fame rests with his composition Barwick Green (on Guild GLCD5164), the signature tune of the long-running BBC radio serial "The Archers". Wood himself conducts his own orchestra in the 1934 recording which opens this collection.

Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey (1895-1971) from Peru, Illinois, devoted most of his composing talents to jazz, but fame visited him while still in his twenties when his piano novelty Kitten On The Keys became a big hit in 1921. This prompted many other similar works such as Dizzy Fingers (on Guild GLCD5124) and Stumbling (GLCD5166). Equally popular in the 1930s was Buffoon which receives a charmingly measured performance from the New Light Symphony Orchestra with an unnamed conductor, although it is known that Clifford Greenwood sometimes conducted this kind of repertoire. This was HMV"s "house orchestra" for light music, novelty pieces and popular light classical works, and their previous appearances on Guild include Eric Coates" London Bridge March (GLCD5101) and Westward (GLCD5106).

Most of his major choral and symphonic works were written by Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) during a relatively short period from 1898 to 1914, but he composed what can be accurately described as "light music" throughout his life. Notable works in this genre include his Bavarian Dances, Chanson de Matin and Salut d"Amour (on Guild GLCD5122). Less familiar is Elgar"s Rondel, originally a song, which was arranged for the 1935 recording in this collection by its conductor, Haydn Wood (1882-1959). It is followed by what is probably Elgar"s last completed work, a musical portrait of his pet dog Mina.

Arpanetta is a charming piece of light salon music by the celebrated German composer Ernst Fischer (1900-1975), whose most famous work is his orchestral suite Südlich der Alpen (South of the Alps). It is performed by Robert Gaden (1893-1985), a sophisticated violinist born in Bordeaux, France, who led dance orchestras in Germany that were noted for their elegant style. It seems that Arpanetta was unpublished, and the manuscript has been lost, so it is fortunate that Robert Gaden took his orchestra (known as his Tanzsinfonie Orchester) into the Elektrola studios on 18 March 1938 and committed this lovely melody to wax.

Fred Hartley (1905-1980) was a familiar name in British broadcasting for many years, having made his first appearance on the BBC as a solo pianist as early as 1925. He was then employed as an accompanist, and founded his famous Novelty Quintet in 1931. In 1946 he was appointed the BBC"s Head of Light Music.

Reginald Claude McMahon King (1904-1991) was an accomplished pianist, who performed under the baton of Sir Henry Wood at the Proms soon after he completed his studies at London"s Royal Academy of Music. In 1927 he took an orchestra into Swan & Edgar"s restaurant at their Piccadilly Circus store, where they remained until 1939. He also started broadcasting regularly (during his career his number of broadcasts exceeded 1,400), and he made numerous recordings, often featuring his own attractive compositions. He made his last broadcast in 1964, but throughout a long retirement he continued composing until shortly before his death. One of his major works, the concert overture The Immortals, was featured on Guild GLCD5106 spotlighting music of the 1930s, and in a lighter vein his tuneful orchestra can be heard playing popular melodies on several Guild CDs such as Lullaby Of The Leaves (GLCD 5134) and Roses At Dawning (GLCD 5139). Once again we feature him as a contributor to one of London"s production music libraries with his wistful Lullaby Land.

The Dwarfs' Patrol was composed by Otto Rathke, who wrote a number of similar novelty pieces which were popular in central Europe in pre-war years. Unfortunately the name 'The Little Salon Orchestra' offers no clues as to the real identity of the talented musicians on this recording.

But no doubts can exist regarding the two 78s on this CD by Marek Weber (1888-1964), who was a major recording artist in the 1930s. He was born in the Ukraine, developed his career mainly in Germany, then moved to London to escape the Nazis, before living briefly in Switzerland then emigrating in 1937 to the USA. His orchestra tended to specialise in show selections and novelty pieces. The clarity on his 1930 German recording of Francis Popy"s Suite Orientale is quite amazing, demonstrating the high standards being achieved by sound engineers in Berlin during the early years of electrical recording. Popy (1874-1928) was a French composer whose work epitomised the "Belle Époque" and there is a park named after him in his home city of Lyon. Jonny Heykens (1884-1945) was a Dutch composer who was particularly popular in Germany. His most performed work became known as Heyken"s Serenade (Ständchen)(the Marek Weber version is on Guild GLCD5120), and Springtime Serenade is one of several similar pieces - no doubt written in response to public demand.

The English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) has secured his musical legacy with some memorable symphonies, but this prolific composer also excelled in film scores, opera, choral music and in the adaptation of folk songs. March Past Of The Kitchen Utensils originated as incidental music for a Cambridge production of Aristophane"s comedy "The Wasps" (1909). Clarence Raybould (1886-1972) conducts the BBC Theatre Orchestra in this 1945 BBC Transcription recording. He joined the BBC in 1936 as Assistant Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1945.

Barnabas Von Géczy [1897-1971] was born in Hungary although his family originally came from Venice. After the First World War his father was appointed concert master at Budapest Opera but Barnabas decided to try his luck in Berlin where in 1924 he obtained his first resident engagement at the Weinhaus Traube. From 1925 to 1937 he led the Hotel Esplanade house orchestra, and during this period he made numerous broadcasts and recordings and undertook frequent tours. He became one of the best-known hotel ensembles in Germany and gained an international reputation. After the Second World War he decided to relocate to the Munich area, and in 1952 he formed a new orchestra.

In Playful Mood is one of many works by Montague Ewing (1890-1957), who also composed under the name "Sherman Myers". He had a most successful career as a composer and arranger of light music and popular songs.

Edith Lorand [1898-1960] was born in Hungary, but spent most of her early career in Germany where she became world-famous as a violinist. She made numerous recordings, mostly light classical and "salon" works, but the changing political situation forced her to return to Hungary in the mid-1930s. Even in her homeland she felt unsafe, so in 1937 she went to the USA where she spent the rest of her life. "Gasparone" is an operetta in three acts by Carl Joseph Millöcker (1842-1899) with a German libretto by Friedrich Zell and Richard Genée.

We are back in unknown territory with "The Continental Novelty Orchestra" but this is likely to be a German ensemble. The catchy number Püppchen is by a composer who adopted the name "Jean Gilbert", but he was actually Hamburg-born Max Winterfeld (1879-1942). He was responsible for over 50 operettas before and after the First World War, but left Germany in 1933 and settled in Argentina where he died in Buenos Aires.

Born in Dublin, George W. Byng (1862-1932) was a busy conductor and composer, especially in London theatres. He was a regular visitor to the recording studios, and accompanied many leading artists such as Peter Dawson and Harry Lauder. At one time he conducted the famous Queen"s Hall Light Orchestra, and was also involved with scoring around 30 ballets. His orchestral suite A Day In Naples was among his most popular works.

The Italian violinist Alfredo Campoli (1906-1991) has occupied a warm place in the affections of British music lovers, since his debut at London"s Wigmore Hall in 1923. He played in many light orchestras, and was also a prolific broadcaster and recording artist in his own name. Mon Bijou is typical of the many light pieces that demonstrated the virtuosity of the maestro and the musicians who played with him. It was composed by Robert Stolz (1880-1975), an acclaimed Austrian composer, highly regarded in his homeland who went to Hollywood to escape the Nazis. In America he enjoyed success writing music for films such as "Spring Parade" and "It Happened Tomorrow".

Frederick John Easthope Martin (1882-1925) was known mainly for his popular songs, which proved popular at ballad concerts. There were three sets of Songs Of The Fair of which the most popular was the familiar Come To The Fair which features at the beginning and end of our recording. The noted English arranger Henry Ernest Geehl (1881-1961) arranged several of Martin"s songs into suites, and it is possible that he was responsible for this familiar score. Walter Goehr (1903-1960) was one of the many talented musicians who left Germany due to the developing political situation in the 1930s. Born in Berlin, he studied conducting with Arnold Schoenberg but was forced to leave his position with German radio in 1932. The Gramophone Company (later to become EMI) invited him to London as a music director, and he made many recordings for their labels, often using the pseudonym "George Walter". His varied career included teaching composition and conducting, and one of his pupils was Wally Stott (1924-2009), later to be known as Angela Morley who was widely praised for her work in Hollywood. In 1945 Goehr was appointed conductor of the BBC Theatre Orchestra, and he also composed several film scores, notably David Lean"s "Great Expectations" in 1946.

Albert Sandler (1906-1948) is remembered by many of the older generation in Britain through his BBC broadcasts "Grand Hotel" from 1943 to 1948. The music featured was known as "Palm Court" and Sandler"s own 1940 Columbia recording of Summer Evening In Santa Cruz is typical of a style that surprisingly still survived for quite a while after the war, although it had its roots decades earlier - Sandler himself had been musical director of the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne from 1924 to 1928.

Carl Robrecht (1888-1961) is remembered for his pseudo-oriental novelty Samum, still much loved by brass bands. The Henry Hall version was included on Guild GLCD5106 and another of his pieces in similar vein, Fata Morgana, was featured on GLCD5163. That came from the Bosworth Mood Music Library, which also recorded our version of Niagara by a group of anonymous session musicians. Robrecht appears to have been prominent in hotel band circles in Berlin between the wars, and there is reference to him using the pseudonym "Robby Reight".

Although some British Dance Band purists might disagree, possibly the most famous of the pre-war bands was fronted by Jack Hylton, born John Greenhalgh Hilton (1892-1965). The band made numerous records and toured widely in Britain and overseas. At times its repertoire ventured into light music circles, such as Wedding Of The Rose (on Guild GLCD5163) and Dancing Tambourine (GLCD5106). Hylton provides a rousing finale to this collection with a selection of Sousa marches arranged by a "Major Williams". John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) was universally regarded as the American "March King" and his music is still regularly performed today. David Ades

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