Monday, July 14, 2008

Christmas In July 2008-Day 14

G'day, mates! Welcome to day 14 of my little Christmas in July shindig! What better way to celebrate the 14th day of this share-a-thon than with a collection of 8 different tracks from Tchaikovsky's immortal Nutcracker Suite. Some of these are just various bits from the score, and some of these are the whole thing crammed into a single track. There's some really good stuff here, so let's get down to it.

Track one is Waltz Of The Flowers and track two is Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy. Both of these are by Hal Mooney And His Orchestra from the LP Ballet With A Beat (Mercury Perfect Presence Sound Series PPS 6017, 1961). I found this LP just this past weekend. I pulled it out of a huge pile of stuff, stared at it for a minute and saw that it had some stuff on there I could share. But the more I looked at it, the more I knew I'd seen it somewhere before. Turns out that the King of Jing-A-Ling over at FaLaLaLaLa had shared a track off of this with us on last year's ADVENTure In Carols. I think he had a mono copy (actually, it looks like he got a copy from BasicHip some years ago...), so this is going to sound great to you in stereo. These may well be my favorite tracks in today's sharity. No, these may be my favorite tracks in all of July! They are both really out there, and unlike anything else you've heard from me this year.

Track three is just plain Nutcracker Suite by those boys with the harmonicas, Jerry Murad's Harmonicats. This is from their LP Harmonica Rhapsody (CBS (UK) SS 62837). I wish these guys had put out a decent Christmas LP at the peak of their career.

Track four is another just-plain Nutcracker Suite, this time by two unknown pianists Bill Jordan and Gina Valente from an unknown album Pianorama-Bill Jordan And His Twin Pianos (Bar Of Music BOM-14). I just love when they try to cram so much into so short a space. It just cracks me up.

Track five, where art thou? Oh, there it is. Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy by Al Bollington from the LP Presenting Al Bollington At The Conn Organ (Decca DL 74223). It just wouldn't be a Christmas share without some nice organ music.

Track six, Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies, narrated by David Teig from the LP Children's Introduction To A World Of Good Music (Valiant V-4903). This is one of those records that introduces children to all the instruments of the orchestra, then uses music like this to illustrate the different moods that the orchestra can create with those instruments. Pretty good stuff, and we'll hear more from this record later on in the month.

Track seven is another of my favorite finds of the past year. This is The Orchestra In A Nutcracker Shell by Robert Russell Bennett Conducting Members Of The NBC Symphony Orchestra from the LP An Adventure In High Fidelity-A "New Orthophonic" High Fidelity Recording (RCA Victor Red Seal LM-1802, 1954). This is another song where each instrument is played in turn, but this one wasn't for the kiddies. This one was from the early to mid-fifties and was meant to showcase the new high-fidelity recording techniques at RCA Victor Records. It's impressive to me even in this day and age of digital music. But then I'm easy to impress. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Track eight is a ringer, another song that you can find on the Christmas Cocktails CDs. It's Les Brown And His Band Of Renown performing the Nutcracker Suite from Concert Modern (Capitol T959). This is just such a great version that I couldn't resist.

There you have it, a record-breaking eight tracks in one day, and all good music. I think this gets me up to 80 tracks so far this month, and the goodies just keep coming. Here's the download link, now slip those feet into some ballet slippers and get en pointe! Please go visit this day in 2006 and 2007 for more Christmas cookies from the archives.

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