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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 

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The Golden Age of Light Music - Great Light Orchestras Salute Cole Porter
Cole PORTER (1891-1964)

Begin The Beguine (from "Jubilee" – 1935)
Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra Capitol L 159 1950 [4:01]
Night And Day (from "The Gay Divorce" – 1932)
André Kostelanetz and his orchestra CL 775 1955 [3:07]
I Concentrate On You (from "Broadway Melody of 1940")
Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra Decca DL 8077 1954 [3:14]
Just One Of Those Things (from "Jubilee" - 1935) (arranged. Robert Farnon)
Robert Farnon and his orchestra Decca F 9530 1950 [2:02]
I Love Paris (from "Can-Can" – 1953)
Eddie Barclay and his orchestra Mercury MG 20190 1955 [1:51]
All Through The Night (from "Anything Goes" – 1934) (arr. Percy Faith)
Percy Faith and his orchestra Majestic 1163B 1947 [3:32]
Anything Goes (from "Anything Goes" – 1934);
Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra Capitol L 159 1950 [2:39]
You’re The Tops "Kiss Me Kate" (1948) selection (arranged. Angela Morley)
Sidney Torch and his orchestra Parlophone R 3375 [6:05]
C’est Magnifique (from "Can-Can" – 1953)
Mantovani and his orchestra Decca LK 4112 1955 [2:23]
Easy To Love (from "Born To Dance" - 1936)  
Stanley Black and his orchestra Decca LK 4106 1955 [2:31]
I Get A Kick Out Of You (from "Anything Goes" - 1934)
David Rose and his orchestra HMV 7EG 8155 1955 [3:10]
I Love You (from "Mexican Hayride" – 1944) (arranged. Percy Faith)
Percy Faith and his orchestra Decca 23352 1945 [3:07]
I’ve Got You Under My Skin (from "Born To Dance" – 1936)
Stanley Black and his orchestra Decca LK 4106 1955 [2:59]
In The Still Of The Night (from "Rosalie" – 1937)
Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra Decca DL 8077 1954 [3:16]
Love For Sale (from "The New Yorkers" – 1930)
The Pittsburgh Strings arranged and conducted by Richard Jones Capitol L 534 1954 [3:33]
Wunderbar (from "Kiss Me Kate" – 1948)
Mantovani and his orchestra Decca LK 4112 1955 [2:12]
What Is This Thing Called Love? (from "Wake Up And Dream" – 1930); You Do Something To Me (from "Fifty Million Frenchmen" – 1929)
Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra Capitol L 159 1950 [4:13]
Blow, Gabriel, Blow (from "Anything Goes" – 1934)
Andre Kostelanetz and his orchestra Columbia ML 4682 1953 [2:50]
You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (from "Something To Shout About" – 1942) (arranged Percy Faith)
Percy Faith and his orchestra Columbia CL 705 1955 [3:23]
Do I Love You? (from "Dubarry Was A Lady" – 1943)
Glenn Osser and his orchestra Kapp KL 1022 1955 [2:57]
Cole Porter Suite

Louis Levy and his "Music from the Movies" Decca AK 1633/34 1947 [12:26]
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5127 [76:44]


Guild’s Cole Porter compilation gets off to a very melodramatic start in the shape of Guy Luypaerts’s recording of Begin the Beguine. Still, this was School of Capitol 1950 and its garish veneer was doubtless just the thing. There’s nothing else quite so uncompromisingly brash in this selection of recordings though there are moments of succulence galore, ones to enchant the ball-gowns if not necessarily the barflies. It’s that sort of collection.

Kostelanetz’s Night and Day comes fully armed with pizzicati and the swirl of counter-melodies and this is the first of his contributions to the disc. Despite the rather brash self-confidence it promotes it surely diminishes Gordon Jenkins’s own offerings. The Jenkins band around this time seems to have succumbed to the affliction of tropical percussion which, when combined with some silken violin writing, does give the whole thing a rather queasy taste. Jenkins returns to the theme In The Still Of The Night – once again not this band’s finest hour in the recording studio.

I wasn’t expecting Farnon to experiment with an electric guitar solo on Just One Of Those Things but he does, and he’s saved by the usual articulacy of his writing and the generally superior nature of the bands he directed. It’s appropriate that the French-born Eddie Barclay flies the Tricolor in I Love Paris.

David Rose’s arrangement of I Get A Kick Out Of You was recorded in the same year, 1955, as Kostelanetz’s Night and Day. And they share a certain similarity of approach – typically vibrant and suave, with pizzicato kicks to urge the material onwards. But there were other approaches as well and other solutions to questions of balance and colour. Stanley Black’s solution was to infiltrate a solo piano into I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Easy to Love. Mantovani encourages some waltz dancing in his very Viennese Wunderbar. Percy Faith’s You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To is a warmly romantic opus and a useful rejoinder to Gordon Jenkins and the album ends with a fine extended suite from British maestro Louis Levy.

The notes are as usual with this series well researched and enjoyable. Sound quality is good though occasionally treble starved, especially with the oldest material here.

Jonathan Woolf

 


 



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