Monday, December 18, 2017
Freddy Martin and His Orch.--Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite in Dance Tempo (1942)
A 1949 two-45rpm-EP RCA Victor reissue of a 1942 Freddy Martin set that's one of the coolest shellac sets ever made. We'll let the 1949 liner notes (were they transferred from the original issue?) tell the story:
"The success of his dance version of Tchaikovsky's 'Piano Concerto' made it a natural next step for Freddy Martin to make a dance arrangement of another masterpiece of the Russian composer, "The Nutcracker Suite." Since it was written by Tchaikovsky as dance music in the first place, it's especially well suited to modern dance adaptation." So there. By the way, the arranger is Ray Austin, not Martin. Anyway....
Is the music corny? To an extent, yes. Martin's music was a weird mixture of schmaltz and brilliance. It works for me, and then some. Crack musicianship, occasional swing, state of the art recording quality--what's not to like? Martin had one hell of a band. AND he gave us Merv Griffin, don't forget.
I used an inverse RIAA curve and a bass turnover of 500 HZ, which gives the sound a nice full quality, I think. (Me, trying to sound technical.)
Download without delay: Freddy Martin--Nutcracker Suite
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Dance of the Reed Flutes
Waltz of the Flowers