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British Light Music Classics Vol. 2. Knightsbridge [Import]

New London Orchestra & Ronald Corp Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000002ZZT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. London (London Every Day), suite for orchestra: Knightbridge, march
2. Bal Masqué, valse-caprice
3. The Grasshopper's Dance, characteristic piece
4. My Native Heath, suite for orchestra: Barwick Green, A Maypole Dance
5. Rouge et Noir
6. Peanut Polka for orchestra
7. Carriage and Pair
8. London Landmarks Suite: The Horse Guards, Whitehall
9. Little Suite: March
10. Sailing by (BBC Radio 4's Shipping Forecast theme)
11. Portuguese Party
12. Beachcomber
13. In the Shadows
14. Tabarinage
15. Sanctuary of the Heart, Meditation religieuse
16. Westminster Waltz
17. Carissima, for small orchestra (or piano)
18. Girls in Grey, television newsreel march
19. Runaway Rocking-Horse
20. Robin Hood, suite for orchestra: March of the Bowmen

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second volume of a highly entertaining series. November 9, 2000
Light orchestral works are becoming something of a lost art, but the British have excelled at them -- the form is especially popular during their annual "Proms" concerts -- and this second volume of Hyperion's popular series continues in the same high-quality vein as Volume One. Twenty pieces by some of the best British light music composers on a generously-packed 78 minute CD -- no skimping here!
These aren't meant to be challenging works, but are skillfully orchstrated, excellently played, and well recorded. The variety is tremendous -- you may even recognize a few of the pieces and say to yourself, "so THAT'S where that tune came from!"
Perfect music for easy listening on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or anytime you need a break from the classical music heavyweights. Hyperion's packaging and booklet notes are, as usual for this premium classical label, uniformly excellent.
For more of this refreshing series, check out Volumes One and Three, as well as European Light Music Classics and American Light Music Classics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A most enjoyable second disc in a four disc series November 29, 2012
This disc, made in 1996, continues the series started a little while earlier and which proved to be very popular. For many listeners who listened to the radio as background music up to the mid 1950's, this selection of music will feel very familiar and will bring back many memories of time long past.pieces have also been used as theme music for radio and television broadcasts. Curiously, the generation post WW2 who may well have avoided this range of music as being hopelessly dated at the time, are now finding it pleasantly nostalgic!

Suffice it to say that here there are 20 pieces which are completely representative of the times (first half of the 20th century) and which are played in a completely authentic manner. Ronald Corp is a sympathetic conductor and the music is well played in that way by the excellent orchestra. The pieces make for a well-balanced complete program and can be played from start to finish completely enjoyable without finding the sequence of so many short items wearing in any way. What becomes apparent is the obvious compositional skills of the various composers in the idiom.

Hyperion can usually be relied upon to produce good recordings of full range and realistic balance and that is what we have here. For those interested in the program this should give plenty of satisfaction. There is now a box set of the whole series to consider as well. Enthusiasts may also be interested in the American and European light music discs in this series.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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British light music was radio and concert hall staple fare between 1920 and the 1960s, when it fell thoroughly out of fashion and was rarely heard (apart, perhaps, from Eric Coates). Mostly due to changing tastes, it is claimed, but I have to say that the revival during the last ten years shows pretty decisively that - some clear exceptions apart - most of it was never carved out for lasting value, just like most pop music or TV show ditties today aren't. Even Hyperion's celebrated series, of which this is the second issue, is far from consistently interesting, despite the clearly sympathetic advocacy of Ronald Corp and the New London Orchestra. The problem is in part that this music is tune-driven, and when the composer fails to come up with a really catchy one, there is dangerously little else to appreciate.

Among the worst failures featured here is Percy Fletcher's waltz Bal masque, a thoroughly dreary piece. The other waltz items, such as Fred Hartley's Rogue et noir and Herman Finck's In the Shadows are similar in style and lack of memorability, but at least these two composers - as opposed to Fletcher - knew how to score them with lightness and sensitivity. Yet I wouldn't want to listen to them again even if I were paid to do so. The Brit style evocations of atmosphere succeeds only slightly better. Arthur Wood's Maypole Dance from Barwick Green is forgettable if decent enough. Even Elgar's Carissima sounds grey and nondescript when presented among the works here (and it is, to be honest, a very minor work of his). Other failures include Haydn Wood's flat and dull Horse Guards and Charles Williams's utterly dreadful study in faux pomposity, Girls in Gray. I wouldn't give much to listen to Gilbert Vinter's enervating Portuguese Party again either.
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