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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A Leroy Anderson "Pops" Concert


Summer Skies

A Leroy Anderson "Pops" Concert
Leroy Anderson and His "Pops" Concert Orchestra
Decca Gold Label Series DL 9749

From the back cover: Biographers as well as historians of American music will have a hard time with Leroy Anderson. He refuses to fit in any of the well-known categories. He is a serious composer who has an unusually large popular following. A teacher of music, an organist who also plays the piano and the double bass, he has produced one "hit" melody after another. His "Syncopated Clock" was a novelty which captivated the entire country; his "Sleigh Ride" was heard in many arrangements, including vocal versions, and was widely (although unsuccessfully) imitated; his "Blue Tango" sold well over a million records and is still one of the finest dance tunes ever composed. Great orchestras have performed his larger works. His "Irish Suite," a brilliant combination of folkstuff and orchestra fantasy, was commissioned by the Erie Society of Boston and Arthur Fiedler conducted its first performance at Symphony Hall.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1908, Leroy Anderson was graduated from Harvard (Music Department), became music director and arranger for the Harvard Band, taught at Radcliffe, entered the Army as a private in 1942, served with the American forces in Iceland, and was discharged as a captain about four years later.

As indicated, his compositions range from whimsical portraits (such as the early "Freshman In Harvard Square," a happy-go-lucky theme played on a clarinet slightly out of tune) to the sonorous "Irish Suite," a splendid example of virtuosity. The scope of Anderson's musical ideas is well illustrated by the present selection. Here are several of his latest creations, including "The Typewriter," in which one of the "instruments" is an actual machine, the suavely sensuous "The Girl In Satin," the vibrating "Song Of The Bells," two segments of the "Irish Suite," and a couple of excerpts form its successor, the forthcoming "Scottish Suite."

At present Anderson makes his home in western Connecticut, alerting himself for new concepts and fresh effects for his countless admires.

The Girl In Satin
Song Of The Bells
The Last Rose Of Summer
The Typewriter
Turn Ye To Me
The Minstrel Boy
Bugler's Holiday
The First Day Of Spring
The Bluebells Of Scotland
Forgotten Dreams
Sandpaper Ballet
Summer Skies

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