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Gathering lilacs and many rare flowers.
on 22 August 2002
Justice is done to Welsh-born composer, pianist, actor and man of the theatre Ivor Novello in this Naxos CD. The artists who first performed them are heard in 18 items, recorded between 1917 and 1950. Ivor Novello himself is heard in two of them, providing some spoken repartee as he accompanies Edna Best at the piano. Most were recorded in the 1930s. The sound quality is good enough for the lyrics to be clearly heard. They bespeak a long-vanished era, but the music still has charm.
Film buffs can nowadays most easily see Ivor Novello in an Alfred Hitchcock film of 1926, "The Lodger". Actor Jeremy Northam portrayed him in the recent film, "Gosford Park". Ivor Novello starred in his last production, "King's Rhapsody", and died nine days before I saw it in London in March 1951.