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Various Artists: The Golden Age of Light Music: The 1930s Revisited

Audio Samples

  1. The Golden Age of Light Music — The Merrymakers - Miniature Overture $0.99 on iTunes
  2. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fancy Dress - Suite: Hurly Burly $0.99 on iTunes
  3. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fancy Dress - Suite: Dusk $0.99 on iTunes
  4. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fancy Dress - Suite: Pageantry $0.99 on iTunes
  5. The Golden Age of Light Music — Entrance of the Little Fauns (from the Ballet "Cydalise et le chèvre-pied") $0.99 on iTunes
  6. The Golden Age of Light Music — Smoke Gets In Your Eyes $0.99 on iTunes
  7. The Golden Age of Light Music — Music In the Air - Selection $0.99 on iTunes
  8. The Golden Age of Light Music — The Liberators - March $0.99 on iTunes
  9. The Golden Age of Light Music — Hearts and Flowers $0.99 on iTunes
  10. The Golden Age of Light Music — Forest Idyll $0.99 on iTunes
  11. The Golden Age of Light Music — Windjammer Overture $0.99 on iTunes
  12. The Golden Age of Light Music — Dancing Tambourine $0.99 on iTunes
  13. The Golden Age of Light Music — Swamp Fire $0.99 on iTunes
  14. The Golden Age of Light Music — Escapada $0.99 on iTunes
  15. The Golden Age of Light Music — Knave of Diamonds $0.99 on iTunes
  16. The Golden Age of Light Music — Irving Berlin Waltz Medley $0.99 on iTunes
  17. The Golden Age of Light Music — Court Ball Dances (Hofballtanze) $0.99 on iTunes
  18. The Golden Age of Light Music — Glamorous Night - Selection $0.99 on iTunes
  19. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fata Morgana $0.99 on iTunes
  20. The Golden Age of Light Music — Finale - Foxtrot (from "Dance Suite") $0.99 on iTunes
  21. The Golden Age of Light Music — The Merrymakers - Miniature Overture $0.99 on iTunes
  22. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fancy Dress - Suite: Hurly Burly $0.99 on iTunes
  23. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fancy Dress - Suite: Dusk $0.99 on iTunes
  24. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fancy Dress - Suite: Pageantry $0.99 on iTunes
  25. The Golden Age of Light Music — Smoke Gets In Your Eyes $0.99 on iTunes
  26. The Golden Age of Light Music — The Liberators - March $0.99 on iTunes
  27. The Golden Age of Light Music — Hearts And Flowers $0.99 on iTunes
  28. The Golden Age of Light Music — Forest Idyll $0.99 on iTunes
  29. The Golden Age of Light Music — Windjammer Overture $0.99 on iTunes
  30. The Golden Age of Light Music — Dancing Tambourine $0.99 on iTunes
  31. The Golden Age of Light Music — Swamp Fire $0.99 on iTunes
  32. The Golden Age of Light Music — Escapada $0.99 on iTunes
  33. The Golden Age of Light Music — Knave Of Diamonds $0.99 on iTunes
  34. The Golden Age of Light Music — Irving Berlin Waltz Medley $0.99 on iTunes
  35. The Golden Age of Light Music — Court Ball Dances (Hofballtanze) $0.99 on iTunes
  36. The Golden Age of Light Music — Fata MClassicala $0.99 on iTunes

Track List

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Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Volume 63 in the light music series highlights the best from the 1930s.

Album Notes

Liner Note Author: David Ades.

The Guild label's sizable Golden Age of Light Music series covers the genre known as easy listening music in North America. Many of its releases have been organized thematically and have focused on the music's heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, when it evolved in tandem with sound recording technology. But this disc looks back to the origins of the genre and defines the contents by time period rather than them; the music actually goes back as far as 1927 in the case of Dancing Tambourine, by Jack Hylton and His Orchestra. Guild has already issued a couple of 1930s albums in the series, and this one is the equal of those. If you're looking for an introduction to easy listening music, you might do well to select one of the label's more general anthologies (such as the two volumes of Four Decades of Light Music). Those already immersed in the genre will find several gems in this nicely remastered set, however. Despite the later identification of easy listening with American and Canadian artists, the genre's origins were European, and most of the orchestras represented are British, with a few Continental groups. The sole American orchestra, that of André Kostelanetz, offers a small gem: Swamp Fire displays the daring arranging style of composer Hal Mooney later put at the service of singers like Sarah Vaughan. Many of the British pieces make the connections between easy listening and classical music especially clear; at this early stage, what made something "light music" was often short duration rather than musical language, and the "Entrance of the Little Fauns," a French composition rendered by Jack Payne and His BBC Dance Orchestra, offers watered-down Impressionism. Another highlight is the finale, with German composer Eduard Künneke conducting his own "Foxtrot" with no less an ensemble than the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. As David Ades points out in his notes, it was surprising that Künneke could command such an august group, doubly so considering the 1938 date, by which time American music in general and music with any hint of African-American rhythm in particular were both being strongly discouraged by the Nazi regime. But that just goes to show how pervasive this music was, even in the 1930s, and Guild deserves major credit for rescuing these pieces from the archives.~James Manheim



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