The Golden Age of Light Music: Light and Lively

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Guild label's extensive series of CDs devoted to what North Americans call easy listening and Europeans call light music has employed various organizational principles for individual discs. They have been devoted to musical themes or moods, to chronological periods, to specific musicians, composers, national styles, or musical forms. This release, titled Light and Lively, is something of a grab bag, with most but not all of the music being upbeat in rhythm. With one exception, Percy Faith's "Caribbean Nights" recorded in 1947 but unissued until 1954 when it was used in a B movie called Starlift, the music all dates from the 1950s, and mostly from the high-water mark ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Guild label's extensive series of CDs devoted to what North Americans call easy listening and Europeans call light music has employed various organizational principles for individual discs. They have been devoted to musical themes or moods, to chronological periods, to specific musicians, composers, national styles, or musical forms. This release, titled Light and Lively, is something of a grab bag, with most but not all of the music being upbeat in rhythm. With one exception, Percy Faith's "Caribbean Nights" recorded in 1947 but unissued until 1954 when it was used in a B movie called Starlift, the music all dates from the 1950s, and mostly from the high-water mark of easy listening between about 1954 and 1957. A few major figures -- Faith, Robert Farnon, and Frank Chacksfield -- are represented, but actually what ties this album together more than lightness or liveliness is the diverse collection of bandleaders and orchestras, several of whom made only a few recordings. The curiously named violinist and conductor Florian ZaBach, for example, may be remembered by fans of Ed Sullivan and other early TV hosts, but his presence on reissues is sparse indeed. French composer and bandleader Gérard Calvi contributes "Le bal de Madame Mortemouille," better known in a texted version called "One of Those Songs." But this original, with a little melody stated first by a baritone saxophone and developed in a dizzying variety of orchestral textures over its two minutes and 42 seconds, is far superior. If you were raised to hate easy listening music, which was one of the few things classical and rock fans could agree on, sample this arresting piece of work for a good example of why it is loved. Another orchestration highlight is "Proud as a Peacock," composed and conducted by Britain's Eric Spear, with its unusual piano-plus-harpsichord timbre. The selection of pieces from outside the music's Anglo-American-Canadian axis is an attraction, as is the presence of the Telecast Orchestra, which is not explained in the rather brief notes, but apparently an ensemble that specialized in transcription discs, whose function in the easy listening genre awaits investigation. Not necessarily the best disc to start with in Guild's series Mantovani: By Special Request or The 1950s, Vol. 1, would be better choices, this release will nevertheless be eagerly welcomed by collectors and libraries.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/9/2010
  • Label: Guild
  • UPC: 795754516029
  • Catalog Number: 5160
  • Sales rank: 373,365

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Percy Faith Conductor
Sidney Torch Conductor
Richard Hayman Conductor
Tony Osborne Conductor
Frank Chacksfield Conductor
Florian Zabach Violin, Conductor
Ray Martin Conductor
Robert Farnon Conductor
David Rose Conductor
Helmut Zacharias Conductor
Joe Leahy Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Percy Faith & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Tony Osborne Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Gérard Calvi Conductor
Lou Busch Conductor
Guy Luypaerts Conductor
Eric Spear Conductor
Lou Busch & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Richard Hayman & His Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Curt Andersen Conductor
Frank Cordell Conductor
Danish State Radio Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Nick Acquaviva Conductor
Sidney Torch & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Orchestre Guy Luypaerts Performing Ensemble
New Century Orchestra Performing Ensemble
The Connaught Light Orchestra Performing Ensemble
The Symphonia Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Cyril Ornadel Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Elliott Mayes Conductor
Gérard Calvi Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Helmut Zacharias and His Magic Violins Performing Ensemble
Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Dolf van der Linden Conductor
Florian ZaBach Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Erich Börschel Conductor
Boris Sarbek Conductor
Boris Sarbek Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Michel Piastro Conductor
Telecast Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Grosvenor Studio Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Crawford Light Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Cyril Ornadel Conductor
Frank Cordell Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Joe Leahy Conductor
David Rose Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Tom Van Elst Conductor
Ray Martin Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Nick Acquaviva Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Mishel Piastro Concert Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Eric Spear Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Nino Rota Composer
Robert Stolz Composer
Percy Faith Composer
Billy Mayerl Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Tony Osborne Arranger
David Curry Composer
George Elliott Composer
Robert Farnon Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Helmut Zacharias Composer
Angela Morley Composer
Todd Duncan Composer
Gérard Calvi Composer
Peter Yorke Composer
Guy Luypaerts Composer
Ted Koehler Songwriter
Eric Spear Composer
Michael Carr Composer
Len Stevens Composer
David Ades Liner Notes
Ken Mackintosh Composer
Frank Cordell Composer
Léon Pober Composer
José Fontaine Composer
Joe Leahy Composer
Al Golding Composer
Jacobson Composer
Francois Lamarque Composer
Francois J.M. Charpin Composer
Eugene Cines Composer
Davis Composer
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