European Light Music Classics
Those who have enjoyed Hyperion’s two British Light Music collections, with their reminders of BBC Radio signature tunes, may get much the same sensation from this new collection, since it opens with Leon Jessel’s Parade der Zinnsoldaten, which will be familiar to those of a certain age as the signature tune of BBC Radio Children’s Hour’s “Toytown” series. By no means all the pieces in the collection will have such specific associations, and indeed some, such as Becucci’s Tesoro mio! and Hellmesberger’s Ballszene, may be unfamiliar even to enthusiasts of light music. The latter is an especially engaging piece from the family whose music has featured in both the 1997 and 1998 New Year Concerts from Vienna (the former conducted by Muti, EMI – 3/97). Most of the items will surely rouse fairly wide recognition, whether lighter pieces by more accomplished composers or such standards of between-the-wars light orchestras as Jonny Heykens’s Serenade No. 1, Jose Padilla’s very Spanish El relicario or Paul Lincke’s “Gluhwurmchen-Idyll”. All these are excellent and unassuming compositions that are far too seldom heard nowadays.
Ronald Corp’s generally rather relaxed style perhaps doesn’t reveal the glitter and sparkle of Lehar’s Gold und Silber but is otherwise well suited to bringing out the essential charm of the music. The Waldteufel and waltzes Fetras waltzes both come off splendidly, as do the other pieces in their varied styles. Hyperion deserve to have another success on their hands.'