THE NOEL COWARD ALBUM
Record Company: Cat No:MDK47253. The Noel Coward at Las Vegas and In New York albums combined minus the New York medley.
Notes
NOEL COWARD, Composer, Lyricist, Performer. Arrangements & Piano accompaniment by Peter Matz Orchestra directed by Peter Matz (New York)
*Cart Hayes and His Orchestra (Las Vegas)
Author, composer, dandy and consummate entertainer, Sir Noel Coward was to the sleek and shining art-deco age of chrome-plated modernism and frosted glass what Oscar Wilde had been to the late nineteenth century With his slicked-back hair, his crooked smile, his well-cut clothes and breezy manner, Coward represented the elegance, the wit, the selfmocking urbanity of London's West End during the years between the two World Warswhen people troubled by political and economic woes sought escapism behind a glittering facade of tuneful upper-crust banter.
 
Blessed with a superb command of language, rhythm and rhyme, not to mention an ear for catchy melody, Coward was one of the last of a long and illustrious British line of genteel entertainers, figures like George Grossmith (creator of the role of the Lord Chancellor in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe) and the tragic Harry Fragson (shot by his own father at the peak of his career), stars of stage, music hall and private gatherings, whose comedy and songs were as tasteful as their characteristic evening attire.
 
But beneath the chaff and laughter of Coward's offerings there always glints a cutting edge of truth. Indeed so timeless are the messages in Coward's songs that they have successfully avoided becoming mere period pieces. For example, the jazzy irony of "Half Caste Wornan" only emphasizes the age-old problem of interracial prejudice, whether addressing the dying days of Britain's Indian Raj or the troubled decades after Viet Nam. The celebrated monologue 1 Went to a Marvelous Party" (sung by Beatrice Lillie in Coward's Set to Music in 1939) shoots direct barbs at the frantic, addleheaded search for amusement that still characterizes life among the jet-setting descendants of the "Train bleu" crowd. In "Why Must the Show Go On?" Coward turns his rapier toward his own profession, satirizing the theater's worn tradition of performing no matter how troubled one may be in real life or, for that matter, how bad the resultant performance. And Coward's message in "What's Going to Happen to the TotsT' still hits the target as our culture becomes increasingly youth-oriented.
 
The show numbers in this retrospective taped live at Las Vegas and New York in 1955 and 1956 are vintage Coward, both for the content and as performances leavened with the freshness of his inimitable delivery. His gifts were unique, and it's a pleasure to enjoy them always.
Tracks
Part 1:
Medley: I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN*
DANCE, LITTLE LADY'
POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL*
AROOMWITHAVIEW*
SOMEDAY I'LL FIND YOU'
I'LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART
IFLOVEWEREALL*
PLAY, ORCHESTRA, PLAY'
UNCLE HARRY*
LOCH LOMOND (Traditional)*
A BARON THE PICCOLA MARINA*
WORLDWEARY*
NINA (includes "Begin the Beguine")*
MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN
MATELOT*
ALICE IS AT IT AGAIN*
Part 2:
A ROOM WITH A VIEW*
LET'S DO IT* Cole Porter; Nod Coward
I LIKE AMERICA
LOUISA
HALF.CASTEWOMAN
I WENT TO A MARVELLOUS PARTY
TIME AND AGAIN
WHY MUST THE SHOW GO ON?
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE TOTS?
SAIL AWAY
WAIT A BIT, JOE
TWENTIETH CENTURY BLUES
THE PARTY'S OVER NOW

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Copyright - The Noel Coward Society - May 2001