Songs of Noel Coward

Songs of Noel Coward

by Noël Coward
     
 

Noël Coward was a monumental polymath. As an actor, theater and film director, playwright and screen writer, composer, singer, author, nightclub performer, and general international "celebrity," Coward excelled. His songwriting credits yielded a brace of genuine standards including "Mad About the Boy," "I'll Follow My Secret Heart," "Someday I'll Find You," "Mad…  See more details below

Overview

Noël Coward was a monumental polymath. As an actor, theater and film director, playwright and screen writer, composer, singer, author, nightclub performer, and general international "celebrity," Coward excelled. His songwriting credits yielded a brace of genuine standards including "Mad About the Boy," "I'll Follow My Secret Heart," "Someday I'll Find You," "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and "If Love Were All," and plenty of well-constructed ditties like "There's Always Something Fishy About the French,""There's Life In The Old Girl Yet," "Stately Homes Of England" and "Poor Little Rich Girl" -- all of which receive his typically sophisticated and oh-so-British readings on this representative collection. No one will ever confuse Coward with, say, Tony Bennett, when it comes to vocal power and range, but no one could deliver a Coward song with as much finesse as the composer himself.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Although Noël Coward's efforts as a songwriter for the theater in the 1920s and '30s came before the era of the original cast album, which didn't begin until the mid-'40s, he and other members of the casts of his plays and musicals often turned up in recording studios for HMV Records and Decca Records in the U.K. to make 78-rpm records featuring songs and bits of dialogue. This album collects songs Coward wrote for ten revues, musicals, and plays, along with a couple of independent tunes. The songwriter himself shows up on ten of the tracks, either singing by himself or exchanging words with Gertrude Lawrence (in the plays Private Lives and Tonight at 8:30) and Yvonne Printemps (in the musical Conversation Piece). A thorough sense of the talents of the leading ladies of the British musical stage in the era is provided by appearances from the likes of Alice Delysia, Maisie Gay, Ivy St. Helier, and Peggy Wood. Dating back as far as the '20s, tracks like "There's Life in the Old Girl Yet" and "Poor Little Rich Girl" were recorded prior to the introduction of the electrical microphone, and they sound primitive. Elsewhere, tracks mastered from original 78s sometimes have a muffled, crackly sound. But the mixture of witty patter songs ("There's Always Something Fishy About the French," "The Stately Homes of England") and well-realized sentimental ballads ("I'll Follow My Secret Heart," "Someday I'll Find You") gives a good sense of the range of Coward's talents as a songwriter, making this a valuable collection. (Tony Watts' overly critical, occasionally inaccurate liner notes demonstrate that he's never seen a production of Private Lives, since he misstates the use of the song "Someday I'll Find You" in it.)

Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/1996
Label:
Pearl
UPC:
0727031708025
catalogNumber:
7080

Tracks

  1. Mrs. Worthington  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra
  2. Parisian Pierrot  - Gertrude Lawrence
  3. There's Life In The Old Girl Yet  - Maisie Gay
  4. Poor Little Rich Girl  - Alice Delysia
  5. I'll See You Again  - Joe Kebschull
  6. If Love Were All  - Ivy St. Helier
  7. Zigeuner  - Lionel Salter
  8. A Room With A View  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra
  9. Dance, Little Lady  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra
  10. I'll Follow My Secret Heart
  11. Regency Rakes  - George Sanders
  12. There's Always Something Fishy About the French  - Heather Thatcher
  13. Has Anybody Seen Our Ship?
  14. You Were There
  15. Someday I'll Find You  - Gertrude Lawrence
  16. Dearest Love  - Peggy Wood
  17. The Stately Homes of England  - John Gatrell
  18. London Pride  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra
  19. Any Little Fish  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra
  20. Mad About the Boy  - Claude Ivey
  21. Mad Dogs and Englishmen  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra
  22. The Party's over Now  -  Noël Coward & Orchestra

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Noël Coward   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ray Noble   Conductor
Carroll Gibbons   Conductor
Gertrude Lawrence   Track Performer
Yvonne Printemps   Track Performer
Clifford Greenwood   Conductor
Phoenix Theatre Orchestra   Track Performer
His Majesty's Theatre Orchestra   Track Performer
Claude Ivy   Piano
Peggy Wood   Track Performer
Reginald Burston   Conductor
Philip Braham   Conductor
Benjamin Frankel   Conductor
Alice Delysia   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Noël Coward   Cover Illustration
Colin Brown   Production Concept
Tony Watts   Producer,Liner Notes,Production Concept

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