The "Light Music Classics" series on Hyperion, one of the highest-quality classical music labels around, has been a very pleasant surprise for me. Let's face it: some days you're just not up to the challenge of listening to Beethoven or Bruckner -- you're just looking for some light, fun, but intelligent music to enrich your day. That's where this excellent and highly popular series comes in.
Twenty compositions are featured on Vol. 3, written by various British masters of light orchestral music including Eric Coates, Ernest Tomlinson, and Haydn Wood. All of the pieces are six minutes or under; all are skillfully composed and well-played by Ronald Corp and his orchestra, who know how to give this undemanding but highly entertaining music just the right touch -- not too heavy, not too frivolous. Plus, the disc is quite generously filled at 78 minutes and change.
As usual, most of the pieces have tunes you'll be humming after you first hear them -- many have been used as signature pieces on British radio and television shows over the years. While I don't feel this volume has as many winning tunes as Vol. 1 or Vol. 2, it's still highly entertaining and an excellent value. This has turned into one of Hyperion's most popular series and it's not hard to understand why: it fills a niche for intelligent light music.
Look for Volumes 1 and 2, as well as "European Light Music Classics" and "American Light Music Classics" -- all on the same label and just as excellently played by the same conductor and orchestra.