50 Years

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Book Review - 1

CD Review

by Michael Morris

I hope that members have had an enjoyable rally season so far and that the soaring summer temperatures haven't played havoc with the pipe-work or the 'Gaviman' sweltering at the back of the organ.

I have received one CD this time and hope that more will follow. If you have had a recording or DVD made recently, I will be pleased to give it a mention in these pages, My address is: 10 Church Lane, Barnwood, Gloucester. GL4 3HZ.

'Het Kleine Juweel, (The Little Gem), Volume 4' is the latest offering of music from the 56-key Pluer Dutch street organ belonging to Ian Crisp. This most enjoyable CD can be purchased from Ian at: The Cottage, Green End, Weston, Hitchin, SG4 7AL and the cost of £8.75, includes postage. With a fine recording by Graham Spencer of Royalmusic Recording Services this CD marks the debut of two young and gifted arrangers from Holland. Jeroen van Baden is from Hoon in North Holland and started arranging when 17 years old. Marco Hage began making organ books at the age of 14 and has also made his own compositions.

The organ works on the Casio digital music system while the pipe-work follows more traditional design and includes a rank of melodic piccolos to add sparkle to the music on this 2001 built organ. The instrument uses the 56-key Limonaire scale with good effect to create a characteristic happy street organ sound.

At 63 minutes long and with 23 tracks this CD represents good value with a varied selection of musical styles. There is a bright and breezy foxtrot medley with 'A Little Love For Me' and 'On Java The Girls Are Brown'. A fine novelty piece is 'The Syncopated Clock' which as you would expect uses percussion to impersonate a ticking sound. 'The Peanut Vendor' is a Cuban song from 1931 and one of its uses was in the movie, 'A Star Is Born' with Judy Garland. From the U.S.A. we have the Everley Brothers 1958 hit 'All I Have To Do Is Dream' which is a real joy to listen to on Het Kleine Juweel.

With most Dutch street organ recordings you expect to find a number of marches and dances. There are three marches with 'The March of The 99th Regiment', 'The Korfbal March' and 'The Uncle Peter March'. There are four dance tunes; a foxtrot, galop, waltz and a polka.

One of the tracks features a new composition by Marco Hage entitled 'Tante Heintje Waltz'. which commemorates the famous organ grinder who together with her husband played on the streets of Amsterdam from around 1905 - 1940 and this tune is very characteristic of the music found on the streets of Amsterdam.

© 2006 Michael Morris

Originally published in edition 4 of The Key Frame 2006.

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