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The legendary composer and orchestra leader Percy Faith, who had many best-selling recordings in his own right, as well as working with some of the top recordings artists of the Fifties and Sixties, was actually born in Toronto in April 1908 and started his professional musical career working in Canadian radio – most notably the Canadian Broadcasting Company – before moving to the United States in 1940 when he joined NBC. Faith’s earliest musical ambition had been to work as a pianist but, after seriously injuring his hands in a fire, he turned to conducting and composing.

Faith had learned to play the piano and violin as a child and his musical skills came to the fore in the early Fifties when he was appointed by Mitch Miller, the head of A&R at Columbia, to be musical director of popular music for the company. His first big recording success was with a very young up-and-coming Tony Bennett with whom he had three million-selling singles. Later Faith worked with Guy Mitchell whose successes included My Heart Cries For You and Doris Day, another Columbia signing. In his own right, Faith arguably became the pioneer of the ‘easy listening’ genre thanks to hits like Cross My Fingers, All My Love, On Top Of Old Smoky (with vocals by the legendary Burl Ives), Delicado, Where Is Your Heart (from the hit film Moulin Rouge and reached the top of the American pop charts in 1953), and Return To Paradise which was also a big hit the same year.

During the Fifties Percy Faith moved into the movies with great success, writing the music for such silver screen hits as Love Me Or Leave Me in 1955, starring Doris Day and based on the life story of the singer Ruth Etting. Later, the Sixties, he composed the soundtrack music for Tammy Tell Me True (starring Sandra Dee), I’d Rather Be Rich in 1964, The Third Day in 1965, and The Oscar the following year. His biggest recording success however was with Theme From A Summer Place, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States for nine weeks in early 1960. The music for the film, which starred Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Troy Donahue and Arthur Kennedy among others, had been composed for the 1959 film by Max Steiner. Percy Faith’s recording of the song was released in September 1959 but didn’t enter the American charts until the following January. After a six week climb, it finally reached number one and also became Billboard’s number one single of 1960.

Percy Faith died in February 1976 at the age of 67 years but the musical memories live on, and this new collection of Faith favourites includes such classics as Theme From A Summer Place, Moulin Rouge’s Where Is Your Heart, Delicado, And This Is mY Beloved, Under The Bridges Of Paris, Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love?, March Of The Siamese Children (from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King And I), Stranger In Paradise (from the film and stage musical Kismet, and a huge hit for Tony Bennett), and The Syncopated Clock. Percy Faith’s easy listening music brought great pleasure to countless millions of fans around the world, via his many recordings, and works in films, television and radio, and this CD is a more than worthy tribute to his enormous musical personality and versatility.

Chris White

CHANGING WITH THE TIMES
Being a play in two scenes, with an epilogue in which is contained the moral.
TIME: A year ago.
PLACE: Johnny's Room.
FATHER THYME: Will you please turn your radio down, Johnny? Don't you youngsters ever listen to good music nowadays? Why in my day we had music. Real melody, like . . .
JOHNNY THYME: (factually): YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS, SHOO FLY PIE AND APPLE PAN DOWDY, MAIRZY DOATS. You mean like those, Dad?
FATHER THYME: No, hang it all, we could hear the melody in those days. They didn't throw in all that bangin' and twangin'.
JOHNNY THYME: Have you heard this new Percy Faith album, THEMES FOR YOUNG LOVERS, Dad?
FATHER THYME: Percy Faith. Now you're talkin' about a real musician. Great arranger, that Faith, and a superb conductor. What has he got to do with bangin' and twangin'.
JOHNNY THYME: Nothing, Dad, but in this new album of his he does all our favorite tunes, new songs every one of them, with a big orchestra, a great beat, and melody to spare. It's really beautiful.
FATHER THYME: This I have to hear!
TIME: The present
PLACE: Father Time's den.
FATHER THYME: Oh, Johnny, on the way home from the office I happened to pick up this album I thought might interest you. Let's see now, YOU DON'T OWN ME, WIVES AND LOVERS, FORGET HIM, BLUE ON BLUE, SEE THE FUNNY LITTLE CLOWN. The album is called MORE THEMES FOR YOUNG LOVERS, by Percy Faith. Ring a bell?
JOHNNY THYME: I guess you're really not so old after all, Dad.
EPILOGUE: Bringing the musical generations together, and for the entertainment of all, Percy Faith returns to the scene of his recent hit album, and offers you this bouquet of late-blooming hits. Have a ball! Have some MORE THEMES FOR YOUNG LOVERS!
  E.L.K.

Can a 52-year-old arranger-conductor cut one of the best-selling instrumentals of the rock era? The answer for Percy Faith was a resounding yes. The man known for Theme From A Summer Place was well into middle-age when he did an easy listening version of the theme from the popular movie. He already had a long string of hit albums and singles, had provided instrumental backing for other artists on their successful recordings and was a noted radio and TV arranger.

He was born April 7, 1908, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. By the time he was 6, Faith had demonstrated musical abilities, drumming out rhythms on family chinaware. Unwilling to encourage his drumming interests, Faith’s dad responded to his son’s musical interests by buying him a violin and paying for lessons. After three years of fiddling, Faith turned to the piano, which provide to be his forte.

By the time he was 11, Faith was working professionally, providing “Cowboys and Indian” music for silent films in a Toronto theater. The youngster was so short he had to sit on a stack of sheet music to reach the piano. For his efforts, he took home $3 a night and carfare. When he was 15, Faith debuted as a concert pianist and at 18 was writing special arrangements for other musicians and touring with a small concert group.

In 1928, Faith and Joe Allabough, who would go on to manage a radio station in Chicago, formed a radio team they called “Faith and Hope.” Faith was responsible for the music and Allabough, or “Hope,” was the comedian. By 1933, Faith was a staff conductor, arranger and pianist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a position he would hold for seven years. His duties included writing music for special programming including coverage of a visit to Canada by the King and Queen of England.

Faith’s work in Canada was not unnoticed by broadcasters in the United States, and, in 1940, he left his home country to serve as musical director for NBC. By 1950, he was working for Columbia Records, charting with Cross My Fingers, featuring a vocal by Russ Emery. He went Top 10 that year with All My Love, followed by the holiday themed Christmas In Killarney, done with the Shillelagh Singers.

Besides arranging and producing hits for himself, Faith worked his musical magic as an arranger and producer for a number of artists including Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Doris Day and others. He was also an accomplished writer and his My Heart Cries For You was a hit for Guy Mitchell, Dinah Shore and Vic Damone in the ‘50s.

Although he was busy with other Columbia artists, Faith continued to have his own hits. In the spring of 1951 he went Top 10 with On Top Of Old Smoky, an old folk song that featured a Burl Ives vocal. He also did well with When The Saints Go Marching In and its flip-side, I Want To Be Near You. In the spring of 1952, he topped the charts with Delicado, featuring Stan Freeman on harpsichord.

In the spring of 1953, Faith had a hit with Swedish Rhapsody. After about a month, the B-Side, Song From ‘Moulin Rouge’ (Where Is Your Heart), with a strong vocal by Felicia Sanders, charted and went all the way to No. 1, where it stayed for 10 weeks, earning Faith his first gold record. He followed with another movie theme, Return To Paradise, and closed out the year on the charts with Many Times.

Faith continued to score popular singles with his lush instrumental sound even as rock ‘n roll took over the pop charts. In 1954 he did well with Dream, Dream, Dream and The Bandit. In ’56, he charted with Valley ValparaisoWe All Need Love and With A Little Bit Of Luck. He continued to do well with albums, especially the romantic “Passport To Romance,” issued in 1956, and a collection of songs from “My Fair Lady” that went Top 10 in 1957. His albums were also popular in the ‘60s, as he opened the decade with the Top 10 “Bouquet.” Faith also went Top 10 in 1960 with “Jealousy” and did the same in early ’61 with songs from “Camelot.”

Faith would go to #1 again with another movie theme. “A Summer Place” was a 1959 film that starred veterans Richard Egan and Dorothy McGuire as disapproving parents while teen stars Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue played misunderstood young lovers. The theme was written by Max Steiner and recorded by Faith in September 1959.

There was some radio play for Theme From “A Summer Place,” but it took almost six months for the record to finally catch on. It charted in the second week of 1960 and headed to the top of the Billboard pop charts, where it remained for nine weeks, selling more than a million copies. It also won a Grammy as record of the year and picked up nominations for best performance by an orchestra and best arrangement.

Theme From “A Summer Place” was followed by the Top 40 Theme For Young Lovers. Meanwhile, Faith’s albums continued to reflect his more adult-oriented sound, as “Mucho Gusto! More Music Of Mexico” sold well in 1961 and “Bouquet Of Love” and “The Music Of Brazil!” were hits in 1962. In 1963, Faith tried something different. That summer, the “Themes For Young Lovers” album was issued, featuring 12 current pop hits that got the warm Faith treatment, including Go Away Little GirlOur Day Will Come and I Will Follow Him. It became an immediate best-seller, was certified gold and nominated for a Grammy in the best performance by orchestra category.

After “Shangri-La” in 1963 and “Great Folk Themes” in ’64, Faith was back in the summer of that year with “More Themes For Young Lovers.” He would continue into the ‘70s with popular albums that focused on movie themes and pop hits of the day, from “Dr. Zhivago’s” “Somewhere My Love” to Santana’s Black Magic Woman. His last charting album, “Day By Day,” was issued in 1972.

Faith died of cancer on February 9, 1976, not long after overseeing an updated disco version of Theme From “A Summer Place.” He left a rich legacy of music for humself and other artists that covered 50 years and hundreds of records. This collection of two of his best albums for Columbia clearly demonstrates his talent and versatility.

–Mark Marymont

Billboard chart numbers courtesy of BPI Communications and Joel Whitburn’s Record Research

Once again, Percy Faith and his band of Mariachis arrive beneath our balcony to present another album of the music of Mexico. To all of you who so enjoyed Percy’s first album of Mexican music, Viva! (CL 1075/CS 8038), we must apologize for taking almost five years to fill requests for a sequel. But Percy has been busy. Since Viva! he has recorded: the music of Gershwin and Victor Herbert; the music of Cuba while he could still visit the island; music from motion pictures including Porgy and Bess and A Summer Place; the scores of the Broadway hits The Sound of Music and Camelot; three albums of great popular favorites in which his unique arranging talents brought new life and beauty to the music of other composers (Bouquet, Bon Voyage and Jealousy); and an album of his own compositions, Carefree. (In fact, Carefree reveals more about Percy’s musical tastes and styles than any other, for this is his own music, which describes in a composer’s personal language a world full of places and people he has remembered.)

But all the while, Percy has talked of another group of Mexican compositions. For in the music of this country seems to lie the essence of Percy’s own musical enthusiasms, the perfect reflection of his varied style. Now he has found, once again, a half dozen familiar melodies, perfectly suited to the soaring string sound of his orchestra. He has found, too, another half dozen inspirations for his famous rhythmic vigor, punctuated with the wonderful sounds of shakers, scratchers, clappers, and whip cracks. And now that Percy has moved to California, the scent of tacos, enchiladas, and beans is wafted over the mountains to his front door as a daily reminder to begin making music, Mucho Gusto!

The album begins with the title song, an original composition by Percy as his tribute to Mexico and its gifted musicians. Mucho Gusto! is a wild, galloping tune filled with whistles and whip cracks. It features brass and three guitars as a rhythmic phalanx. Besame Mucho is the famous hit by Consuelito Velasquez, who still lives in Mexico. Over the stereophonic conversation of tambourine and maracas, soft strings and woodwinds carry the melody. La Negra is typical son from Jalisco, featuring solo trumpet and the fury of a colorful Mexican dance rhythm. Lorenzo Barcelata’s famous Maria Elena has been the subject of a fine Mexican mystery for many years; while the song is obviously a beautiful serenade to a beautiful woman, Senor Barcelata’s wife was named Maria Theresa. Percy’s cascading strings, a solo guitar with cello counterpoint, and woodwinds are featured.

Moncayo is one of Mexico’s two or three most famous composers. Huapango, featured here, is an excerpt from his longer work adapted by Percy for this album. Again, the Mexican flavor of trumpet, guitar, and tambourine is highlighted. Las Mananitas is a song played most often on a Saint’s Day or birthday by the Mariachis, the strolling players who got their name form the French word for marriage. It is a moment of romance, a melody for the pretty girl who listens on the balcony.

Las Altenitas is a tune identified with the girls of the mountains around Guadalajara, full of gaiety and color. High strings and an easy dance rhythm are Percy’s choice for Perfidia, perhaps the most famous of all Mexican songs. An Cielito Lindo is almost as well known. Percy uses muted strings and woodwinds for this famous waltz. Adios Mariquita Linda is a Mexican “goodbye” song, again familiar to most of us north of the border. Cocula is a little town near Guadalajara, and this charming arrangement describes it. Finally, La Chaparrita ends the album with slow, stately rhythm, a melody for strings which seems to sum up the beauty and life of this music and Mexico.

Irving Townsend

Music for her, music about her, music that sings of romance and tenderness and the pleasures of love . . . these are the melodies that Percy Faith presents in this collection. This is the music of romance, when all’s right with the world and when the heart sings even though the lips are silent. The melodies and the ideas are those that course through the minds of lovers, and would find utterance if they were able to phrase them so neatly. Each of them is addressed to what grammarians call the second person singular, to Her, and it is for her this music is played.

Who is she, what is she, for whom this serenade is intended? She is his, certainly, and is everything he needs. She is the face he finds in the morning sun, the person he loves to spend long evenings with. She is lovely, too, and her presence is inviting. A home-maker and a personage of dreams, a pillar of strength and the sharer of all his possessions. Her spell is magical, and her breathless charm unchanging.

Does such a paragon exist? In lovers’ dreams, yes, and in these glowing songs, as presented by Percy Faith and his Orchestra. Songs of romance seem invariably to draw forth the loveliest melodies composers can offer, and some of the most sensitive verses of lyricists. There is a gentleness in these songs that is lacking in those that deal with thwarted love, and a pleasantly affirmative feeling. These are memorable songs, all of them, and their description of romance is as evocative as ever.

Percy Faith’s arrangements of these melodies is superbly in keeping with the atmosphere. Perhaps no other arranger-conductor has been so successful in the presentation of romantic music, keeping the feeling properly rich and yet not letting the tunes get smothered in masses of sound. The Faith technique, famous from the earliest days of his radio broadcasts, has become even more famous with his splendid recordings, and the development of high-fidelity sound has enhanced the sonorous depth of his arrangements. Whether he is presenting music from a Broadway show, lively Latin tunes, the lilting music of Europe, or, as in this case, romantic music, he tastefully points up the mood of the music with a fascinating interplay of orchestral voices and countermelodies.

In this collection of music for her, the suave, flowing components of the Faith style are wonderfully displayed, and they form a perfect complement for the music. These expressive songs, all of them favorites for several years, provide a splendid medium, for orchestral magic, and the magic, in turn, enhances the songs in a way that is both intimate and expansive. Here, then, is music for her (and music for you, too) in a collection designed to mirror the many-faceted qualities of a woman of dreams.

It is not particularly likely that when Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II set about putting “Tales of the South Pacific” to music they consciously went about creating a theatrical classic. A good show, yes. One that might take its place with “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel,” too. But what they produced was one of the most fabulously successful musicals ever written, one not even challenged until the appearance of “My Fair Lady.” The original production ran in New York City from April 7, 1949 for 1,925 performances and has since been twice revived. Only statisticians could compute the total number of performances by touring companies, foreign productions and those in summer theatres. In his biography of Richard Rodgers, David Ewen has pointed out that “by January 1957, the profit was just under five billion dollars.” And this did not count the screen version, in which the parts created by Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza are portrayed by Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi. Moreover; the Lp recording of the score, with the original cast, was the first long-playing record to sell more than a million copies.

There are a few diehards around who still have not succumbed to the charm and drama of “South Pacific;” there is always someone who legitimately does not like a show. But those millions who loved it when it was new have found that its charm does not diminish, but grows with the passing years. (This is also true of “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel.”) It is possible, though, that repeated hearings of the songs made them temporarily over-familiar, but in this superb recording, Percy Faith restores the original freshness. Who can hear Some Enchanted Evening without feeling again the warmth of the initial hearing? Or Younger Than Springtime, the joyous A Wonderful Guy or any of the other songs of that miraculous score? In Mr. Faith’s new arrangements, they take on all their old, familiar glow, and prove that it does not require a decade for a song to become a standard.

“South Pacific,” like so many other classic productions, was almost perfect from its first try-out performance. All that remained to be done, really, was to cut here and there so that the running time would fit within reasonable standards. Since there were no dances, as such, in the action, only dialogue and music could be removed, and so tightly was the show constructed that some of the songs had to go. One of these was a melody sung by the young naval lieutenant, called My Girl Back Home. Another, and severer loss, was the beautiful Loneliness of Evening, hitherto recorded only by Mary Martin on a now rare 78rpm record, and by Andre Kostelanetz in his two-record album of music by Richard Rodgers. It has been restored in the film version, and Percy Faith includes it in this recording in a singularly affecting arrangement.

This collection, like Percy Faith’s other souvenirs of fine Broadway musicals, presents the music of “South Pacific” not in the order of appearance, but in the form of a suite. Contrasts in tempos and moods that are effective on the stage are not necessarily the best for records, particularly without their lyrics, and so Mr. Faith has re-arranged the sequence to form an orchestral panorama of the score, moving from one number to another with that remarkable combination of ebullience and tragedy, romance and comedy, that is so uniquely a part of the production. This is a record to enjoy again and again, a splendid addition to the show-music shelf.

Ever since the days of sound, music on the screen has occupied an important, if sometimes overlooked position. From the early times when the soundtrack overwhelmed the audience to the present, when the music has become an integral part of screen entertainment, musicians of all kinds have composed scores for the movies. Sometimes the musicians were men of the stature of Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and similar composers, at other times they were simply songwriters hired to string together some borrowings from classical composers. It is only lately that the screen has developed its own group of musicians, men who have studied the art of the film as well as the art of music, and who have brought new concepts into their writing for movies. These men have written dramatic and exciting scores, and at the same time have not neglected the melodic themes that spill over into popular music.

Many scores for the movies these days forge far into the advanced guard of music, without the public ever quite knowing it. The uses of dissonance and thoroughly modern concepts in film music is far greater than is generally recognized, but these ideas go to point up dramatic concepts rather than demonstrate a musical philosophy. Along with these techniques, however, Hollywood composers have not abandoned the memorable themes that have consistently spread through their work. Not too long ago almost every dramatic film had a theme song that wound its way through the reels, changing in its mood and orchestration as the story progressed. Many of these themes gained popularity in their own right, and it is today’s counterpart of those themes that Percy Faith presents so winningly in this collection.

From the film “Return to Paradise” comes the theme music by Dimitri Tiomkin, one of Hollywood’s foremost composers. This music is colorful and exotic, as befits the score of a film about the south seas, based on James A. Michener’s book of the same name. Mr. Tiomkin, with a thorough training in classical music in Europe and America, has contributed the scores to a large number of notable movies, including “Duel in the Sun,” “Quo Vadis,” and the more recent “High Noon,” for which he won an Academy Award. His remarkable assimilation of the music of the west is brilliantly demonstrated in the title song of “High Noon,” which threaded its way throughout the film with fine dramatic effect, and in “Return to Paradise” he conjures up a provocative picture of island paradises without ever directly quoting native music; he works here by suggestion toward a more powerful result. And the result is one of the most enchanting themes to come from Hollywood in a long time: rich, vibrant and tuneful.

Like Mr. Tiomkin, Heinz Roemheld has a solid classical background. After initial training in the United States, he studied with masters in Berlin and made his debut as a pianist with the Berlin Philharmonic. From there he moved to supervision of music for German films, finally coming back to the United States to direct the scoring for such memorable films as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (an Academy Award work), “Down to Earth” and “Valentino.” His most recent work is the music for “Ruby Gentry,” translated into popular music as Ruby. This theme is deep and warm, with a minor cast that gives it a hint of the blues, altogether in keeping with the setting and motivation of the film. Taken out of its context, the theme retains its quality as an individual idea, and contributes much to the current return to the ballad in popular music. In Percy Faith’s fine setting, Ruby is another shining example of the beautiful themes currently in use in Hollywood.

One of the most charming melodies from recent movies has been The Song from Moulin Rouge, a remarkably lovely French waltz used to introduce Jane Avril in the picture. This song was not only the first from a film score to attain wide popularity in recent years, it was one of the few waltz ballads to become a popular success in many months. The score for the film was written by Georges Auric, one of France’s most gifted composers, and a member of the celebrated Les Six, composed of six famous French composers. M. Auric, a pupil of Vincent D’Indy, has written many ballets and a large number of works for piano and for orchestra, as well as an opera-comique. His music is heard frequently in English and French films, and his score for “Moulin Rouge” is an excellent example of his sparing use of music in a film, music that makes its point swiftly and immediately and then subsides for the actual drama itself. It was Percy Faith’s recording of The Song from Moulin Rouge that began the song’s climb on the best-seller lists; a new, extended version of the arrangement was prepared for this collection.

David Raksin, who wrote the music for “The Bad and the Beautiful,” a theme known as Love Is for the Very Young, is one of Hollywood’s most talented composers. A student of such diverse composers as Arnold Schonberg and Harl McDonald, Mr. Raksin began his Hollywood career arranging the score for the first Chaplin sound film, “Modern Times.” Remaining there ever since, he has written many notable scores, for a wide variety of movies, including “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Forever Amber,” “The Magnificent Yankee,” “Whirlpool,” and “The Next Voice You Hear.” Perhaps his best-known work was the music for “Laura,” which in turn became on of the most popular songs of 1945. In addition to his film work, Mr. Raksin has written music for the ballet, for stage plays, chamber groups and for musical comedies. In the theme presented here, he expertly reflects the polished sophistication of the film, overlaid with a wistful, haunting minor quality. Percy Faith’s arrangement underlines the poignant note in the music in a splendid concert setting.

Ever since the days of sound, music on the screen has occupied an important, if sometimes overlooked position. From the early times when the soundtrack overwhelmed the audience to the present, when the music has become an integral part of screen entertainment, musicians of all kinds have composed scores for the movies. Sometimes the musicians were men of the stature of Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and similar composers, at other times they were simply songwriters hired to string together some borrowings from classical composers. It is only lately that the screen has developed its own group of musicians, men who have studied the art of the film as well as the art of music, and who have brought new concepts into their writing for movies. These men have written dramatic and exciting scores, and at the same time have not neglected the melodic themes that spill over into popular music.
Many scores for the movies these days forge far into the advanced guard of music, without the public ever quite knowing it. The uses of dissonance and thoroughly modern concepts in film music is far greater than is generally recognized, but these ideas go to point up dramatic concepts rather than demonstrate a musical philosophy. Along with these techniques, however, Hollywood composers have not abandoned the memorable themes that have consistently spread through their work. Not too long ago almost every dramatic film had a theme song that wound its way through the reels, changing in its mood and orchestration as the story progressed. Many of these themes gained popularity in their own right, and it is today’s counterpart of those themes that Percy Faith presents so winningly in this collection.

On of the most charming melodies from recent movies has been The Song from Moulin Rouge, a remarkably lovely French waltz used to introduce Jane Avril in the picture. This song was not only the first from a film score to attain wide popularity in recent years, it was one of the few waltz ballads to become a popular success in many months. The score for the film was written by Georges Auric, one of France’s most gifted composers, and a member of the celebrated Les Six, composed of six famous French composers. M. Auric, a pupil of Vincent D’ndy, has written many ballets and a large number of works for piano and for orchestra, as well as an opera-comique. His music is heard frequently in English and French films, and his score for “Moulin Rouge” is an excellent example of his sparing use of music in a film, music that makes its point swiftly and immediately and then subsides for the actual drama itself. It was Percy Faith’s recording of The Song from Moulin Rouge that began the song’s climb on the bestseller lists; a new, extended version of the arrangement was prepared for this collection.

Not strictly from Hollywood but nevertheless from one of the most amusing films of recent years is the delightful Genevieve, from the British comedy of the same title. The music, written by William Engvick and Larry Adler, provides not only a charming theme but points up the situations in the film throughout. Music as a commentary has been especially notable in British movies, where it is frequently used to give special significance to story movement. Here, however, Percy Faith presents only the theme, a melody of immediate and lasting appeal.

David Raksin, who wrote the music for “The Bad and the Beautiful,” a theme known as Love Is for the Very Young, is one of Hollywood’s most talented composers as Arnold Schonberg and Harl McDonald, Mr. Raksin began his Hollywood career arranging the score for the first Chaplin sound film, “Modern Times.” Remaining there ever since, he has written many notable scores, for a wide variety of movies, including “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Forever Amber,” “The Magnificent Yankee,” “Whirlpool,” and “The Next Voice You Hear.” Perhaps his best-known work was the music for “Laura,” which in turn became one of the most popular songs of 1945. In addition to his film work, Mr. Raksin has written music for the ballet, for stage plays, chamber groups and for musical comedies. In the theme presented here, he expertly reflects the polished sophistication of the film, overlaid with a wistful, haunting minor quality. Percy Faith’s arrangement underlines the poignant note in the music in a splendid concert setting.

Next, Percy Faith presents on of his own compositions, written for the movie “Starlift.” Long interested in Latin American rhythms, he has here created a sinuous theme that brilliantly conjures up all the excitement and magic of a Caribbean Night.

From the film “Return to Paradise” comes the theme music by Dimitri Tiomkin, one of Hollywood’s foremost composers. This music is colorful and exotic, as befits the score of a film about the south seas, based on James A. Michener’s book of the same name. Mr. Tiomkin, with a thorough training in classical music in Europe and America, has contributed the scores to a large number of notable movies, including “Duel in the Sun,” “Quo Vadis,” and the more recent “High Noon,” for which he won an Academy Award. His remarkable assimilation of the music of the west is brilliantly demonstrated in the title song of “High Noon,” which threaded its way throughout the film with fine dramatic effect, and in “Return to Paradise” he conjures up a provocative picture of island paradises without ever directly quoting native music; he works here by suggestion toward a more powerful result. And the result is one of the most enchanting themes to come from Hollywood in a long time; rich, vibrant and tuneful. Another lovely sample of theme music is the melody written for “Invitation” by Bronislaw Kaper. One of the busiest of Hollywood composers, Mr. Kaper’s scorings are most frequently heard in M-G-M films, adding much to their dramatic and romantic impact.

Like Mr. Tiomkin, Heinz Roemheld has a solid classical background. After initial training in the United States, he studied with masters in Berlin and made his debut as a pianist with the Berlin Philharmonic. From there he moved to supervision of music for German films, finally coming back to the United States to direct the scoring for such memorable films as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (an Academy Award work), “Down to Earth” and “Valentino.” His most recent work is the music from “Ruby Gentry,” translated into popular music as Ruby. This theme is deep and warm, with a minor cast that gives it a hint of the blues, altogether in keeping with the setting and motivation of the film. Taken out of its context, the theme retains its quality as an individual idea, and contributes much to the current return to the ballad in popular music. In Percy Faith’s fine setting, Ruby is another shining example of the beautiful themes currently in use in Hollywood.

As a finale, Percy Faith presents The Loveliest Night of the Year from “The Great Caruso,” an especially interesting example of the use made of classic themes. The basic material here is an old Viennese waltz called Over the Waves, by Waldteufel, adapted by Irving Aaronson with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, and the resulting re-creation enjoyed a spectacular success not only as a theme melody, but as an independent popular song. The music presented here by Percy Faith not only gives a cross-section of Hollywood’s striking use of music, but provides rewarding listening for anyone interested in lovely themes in brilliant orchestrations. This is music from Hollywood, arranged and played for your pleasure by Percy Faith and his Orchestra in a stimulating and provocative collection.

One of the happiest openings in recent memory occurred at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York on December 3, 1953 when Kismet raised its curtain on a display of rarely equaled magnificence and color. As it happened, New York’s newspapers were not publishing that week, thanks to an engraver’s strike, and the next morning there were no reviews. However, radio and television critics leapt into the breach with eagerness and goodwill, and were shortly followed by magazine critics, all of them passing along the word that Kismet was a show that delivered everything it promised, which was considerable.

The concern of this collection is not the many glories of Kismet, but its newest and brightest, the score adapted from the music of Alexander Borodin by Robert Wright and George Forrest. As classical music lovers know, Borodin was one of the greatest Russian composers, leaving behind him a comparatively small but nevertheless fascinating body of work, rich in long, spacious melodies and exciting rhythms. From this thematic treasurehouse, Wright and Forrest have constructed a brilliant score glowing with the colors of old Bagdad and the exotic atmosphere of the Arabian Nights. From its overture to the finale, Kismet tingles with the blare of brasses, the sound of cymbals and triangles, the roll of drums, all of them adding immeasurably to its excitement.

This re-construction of a score, the building of new music on the themes of old, may not perhaps please the purists, but it gratifies the huge audiences that squeeze themselves into the theater, and those who hear it on records, either in Columbia’s superlative recording by the original Broadway cast, in this orchestral presentation by Percy Faith, or in the first hits of 1954, Stranger in Paradise. Moreover, it gives a consistent texture to the fabric of the show, pointing up situations, underlining romantic exposition, creating, in fact, its own special atmosphere. As it happens, the editing has been done by a pair of experts, the same who adapted the music of Grieg for Song of Norway, with a success that is still remembered. In Kismet, the listener will find familiar themes mingled with unknown and interesting material from Borodin’s works. Not unnaturally, the larger portion of the score comes from Prince Igor, an opera immense in size and intent that is rarely produced in this country.

From the short orchestral piece “In the Steppes of Central Asia” comes Sands of Time, an evocative ballad that opens and closes the show. Stranger in Paradise, the unquestioned hit of the show, is adapted from the exciting “Polovtsian Dances” in Prince Igor. One of the loveliest melodies in the whole of music forms the base of And This is My Beloved, which has been adapted from the Third Movement of the Quartet No. 2 in D Major, while Fate comes from the Symphony No. 2 in B Minor. The lilting Rhymes Have I, and Not Since Nineveh is another adaptation from the “Polovtsian Dances,” as are Bazaar of the Caravans and He’s in Love. A little-known piano composition called “Serenade” provides Night of My Nights.

All these have been arranged by Percy Faith in a sumptuous series of settings that evokes Kismet as surely as its rich trappings and notable performances. One of the most gratifying aspects of his arrangements is that they have been conceived for records with the result that only music pertinent to the mood has been included. Again, effects are possible in the recording studio with gongs, bells and similar instruments that are impossible to obtain in a theater and might even distract from visual action. Here the action is all auditory, and a wonderful panoply of sound it makes. As he has endlessly demonstrated in his recordings of Latin American music, popular ballads and favorite standards, Percy Faith can color a melody as few can, and this instrumental presentation of Kismet makes it abundantly clear that the music of the Arabian Nights is highly congenial to him. Listen, then, to Kismet, one of the biggest hits of the 1953-54 season, and one of the most enchanting scores of any season.

The music of Christmas is a thing unto itself: so lovely, so inextricably woven with the season it celebrates, that it is impossible to assess. This collection of Christmas music, presented by Percy Faith and his orchestra, is not only a survey of some of the finest melodies, it is also one of the few programs of Christmas music that does not offer the words. So familiar are they, that they come to mind as the notes are played. In each of these presentations, Percy Faith has attempted not only to convey the surging power of the songs, but to conjure up the time and atmosphere that produced them.

Joy to the World
The music for this hymn was arranged by Lowell Mason in 1830, from Handel’s Antioch from the Messiah. One of the most exultant of Christmas hymns, it is a favorite everywhere. The words of the song were written by Isaac Watts in 1719, and were not intended to pertain to any particular part of the church calendar. They were originally included in a book called the “Psalms of David,” and were later set to a relatively plain tune. But with the Handel melody, later added, it became one of the greatest songs of Christmas.

Silent Night, Holy Night
One of the gentlest and loveliest of carols, beloved in both the English and German versions, Silent Night, Holy Night is one of those rarities, a genuine inspiration. One Christmas Eve Franz Grüber, a church organist, and Joseph Möhr, the chirch vicar, wrote the song in only a few hours. The church organ was in disrepair, and special music was needed for the Christmas services. Möhr, therefore, wrote the verses, and Grüber set them to music; the carol was first heard as a three-part arrangement accompanied by a guitar. The happy church was that of St. Nicholas, in Oberndorf, Bavaria, and the year was 1818, and the carol is one of the world’s treasures.

Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly
The origins of this carol have been lost in time; all that is known is that it is based on an old Welsh air. It celebrates the customs of Yule, a winter festival that pre-dates Christianity in England, and was in fact incorporated into Christmas festivities later. A secular carol, it does not deal with the religious significance of the season, but explains customs that have continued into the present.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
The words, by Reverend Edmund Hamilton Sears, were published in 1850, in the “Christian Register.” After its publication, Dr. Sears sent the poem to a friend, asking that he set it to music, and this tune is still occasionally heard. The melody most favored, however, was composed in 1851 by Richard Willis, a Boston composer, who read the poem in a reprinting, and hastened to write his own music for it. One of the few widely-sung carols of American origin, it is loved the world over.

Good King Wenceslas
Another carol that has little direct relation to the religious aspects of Christmas, this is nevertheless one of the most famous and popular songs of its type. The story it tells is that of an incident in the life of King Wenceslas who was ruler of Bohemia in the tenth century. The words are credited to Dr. John Mason Neale, and the music has been adapted from a Swedish Lutheran Hymnal, Piae Cantiones, dating back to 1582.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
This spirited work began its history in 1739, when Charles Wesley, brother of the founder of the Methodist Church, wrote the ringing words. One hundred and one years later, in Leipzig, Felix Mendelssohn presented his cantata Festgesang, in which this melody was heard. And in after fifteen years, the words and music were joined by Dr. W. H. Cummings, organist of Waltham Abbey in England. Presented for the first time thus on Christmas day, it became immediately popular and replaced the original setting that had been made for Wesley’s poem.

The First Noël
Whether in the French noël, or the English nowell, this is one of the simplest and most charming of carols. It is genuinely a folksong, and its origins are obscure, although most scholars believe it began in France sometime near 1500. It was familiar in Europe during the seventh century, but did not appear in print until 1833.

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
Like The First Noël, the origins of this song are lost in history, although it is certainly of German origin. It was first published in 1600, and nine years later was harmonized by Michael Praetorius. It has been pointed out that the meaning of the carol arises from a passage in Isaiah 11, 1: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Another American carol, the poem was written by a young rector named Phillips Brooks, out of his experiences in the Holy Land one Christmas season. He wrote the words for the children of his Sunday School, who loved it so much that they prevailed upon Lewis Redner, organist of the school, to set it to music. The story is told that Redner promised to deliver the music within a week, but that on Saturday night he had still not written it. Suddenly awakening during the night, he felt rather than heard the melody, and wrote it down at once, presenting the song the next morning to the Sunday School. The year was 1868, and the church was that of the Holy Trinity, in Philadelphia.

O Holy Night
One of the most beautiful of carols, this is also known as the Cantique de Noël, and was written by Adolphe Adam, the celebrated French composer who is remembered today chiefly for his ballet Giselle and for this carol.

The Holly and the Ivy
Many old English carols are primarily concerned with nature and its symbolism, and it must be admitted that some of the finest of them have their origins in pagan rites. The mixture of Christianity with ancient memories is especially noticeable in this charming carol, which was first published in 1861, although the melody goes back into old French music of the earliest centuries. In many such carols, the holly represents young men, and the ivy young women.

Here We Go A-Caroling
Sometimes called Here We Come A-Wassailing, this is a very old English song sung when groups of Yule revelers went about offering drinks from the Wassail bowl in exchange for gifts. In present-day practice, carols are offered instead of the Wassail bowl, but the practice is still one of the most hallowed of Christmas traditions.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
This fine old English carol is marked “gioioso” in its score, and thus signals its evocative celebration of Christmas festivities. The words are attributed to anonymous poets of about 1600, and there are two melodies, although the tune known as the “usual” version is most familiar and popular. Many times the true meaning of the carol is altered somewhat because of a tendency to misplace the comma in the opening line, making a reference to “merry gentlemen,” which, however apposite, is wrong.

O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
The first known manuscript of this great melody dates from 1751, although the song is probably much older. The translation in general use in English-speaking countries was made in 1852. Sometimes known as the “Portuguese Hymn,” it has nothing to do with Portugal itself, but is believed to have earned this association from the Portuguese Chapel in London. Whatever its origins, it remains perhaps the greatest of Christmas hymns, truly joyful and triumphant, and one of the most popular ever written.

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