Ivor Novello Vol 2 – 1939-50 Recordings
The Dancing Years & King’s Rhapsody
I freely admit that Ivor Novello is known to me mostly as a name often heard on the radio in my childhood without being associated with any particular song titles or shows. I could tell you nothing about him other than certain awards are given in his name. So it has been good to read the sleeve notes with this album and learn that he was a multitalented international star – film actor, composer, playwright and producer. He wrote many well-known tunes of the first half of the 20th century including ballads and morale-boosters such as ‘Keep the Home-Fires Burning.’
The 2 works on this disc are successful operettas from their day and both were made into films, the second starring Errol Flynn. This again helps to put Novello into some sort of context for me.
I have to say that the music herein sounds terribly dated to me and has little relevance for today. I find the style rather ‘nice,’ singers concentrating on correct diction rather than imparting any sort of meaningful emotional content. The lyrics are light and inconsequential. No doubt these songs fitted the plot of their shows, but fail to stand alone as either meaningful art or entertaining diversion to a modern ear. I guess I need to explore the work of Ivor Novello a bit further to discover his place in the history of modern music. It certainly isn’t evident here.