Fennell Conducts the Music of LEROY ANDERSON – with the Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra & “Orchestra cond. by Frederick Fennell” – Mercury

by | Nov 6, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Fennell Conducts the Music of LEROY ANDERSON – with the
Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra & “Orchestra cond. by Frederick
Fennell” – Mercury Multichannel (3) SACD 475 6942, 68:59 ****:

Once the king of American light music, Leroy Anderson turned out one
after another hit during the 50s and 60s and received much radio play.
Fennell, Fiedler, and others popularized such catchy numbers as The
Typewriter, The Syncopated Clock, Fiddle-Faddle and Sleigh Ride. All of
his tunes were thoroughly good-natured and good-humored, plus they had
great melodies and were crafted with great skill within their pops
concert musical style. Among his contributions were an individual way
with the percussion section and his love of playing around with musical
sound effects such as the typewriter sound, the clock-ticking and the
horse neigh at the end of Sleigh Ride. (Esquivel went on to plow these
fields more deeply and with less good taste.) I’m old enough to have
worked at radio stations in my youth which used some of these very
recordings of Anderson’s music as program themes without any
tongue-in-cheek intent.

Here in the latest series of Mercury 3-channel reissue SACDs are 23 of
his attractive tunes, playing with the greatest gusto by Fennell’s
forces. I thought I would be bored to death hearing all of these over
again at one sitting, but found them actually delightful. I had
forgotten what expert interpretations they received at Fennell’s hand,
and the added depth and impact of the third center channel made the
listening experience even more of an audiophile pleasure than I had
every expected. (Although running the two-channel SACD mix – as
originally made by Wilma Cozart –  thru Pro Logic II made for a
more enveloping experience at the cost of a less present frontal sonic
image.)

Tracks: Belle of the Ball, Horse & Buggy, The Waltzing Cat, Blue
Tango, Summer Skies, Song of the Bells, The Typewriter, The Syncopated
Clock, The Girl in Satin, China Doll, Saraband, Fiddle-Faddle, Sleight
Ride, Serenata, Promenade, Chicken Reel, Rhantom Regiment, Jazz Legato,
Jazz Pizzicato, Plink Plank Plunk, The Bluebells of Scotland, The First
Day of Spring, Song of Jupiter.

– John Sunier

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