Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops – Up, Up and Away & Fiedler’s Choice (1968 & 1970) [Reissue 2019]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 76:03 minutes | Scans NOT included | 3,22 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Scans NOT included | 1,57 GB
2 LP on 1 SACD | Features Stereo and Quadrophonic Surround Sound | Vocalion # CDLK4623
A populist programmer, avuncular podium presence, and constant visitor to small-town concert halls and living room televisions, Arthur Fiedler personified orchestral music in America. He was less glamorous, less intellectual, and in many ways less respected than Leonard Bernstein, but those deficiencies worked to Fiedler’s advantage in the minds of ordinary Americans. He also enjoyed greater longevity on his home turf – nearly 50 years in the national limelight, as opposed to Bernstein’s one decade of unmatched glory in New York before running off to Europe to become another gray eminence. Fiedler’s success, though, was also the source of some frustration; he was forever pigeonholed as a pops conductor.
Conductor Arthur Fiedler is a revered name in New England music history and his Boston Pops run through gorgeous Richard Hayman arrangements of familiar favorites on Up, Up and Away. A dramatic rendition of 1967 ‘s “Best Song” from the pen of Jimmy Webb starts off the LP, adding sound colors as the 5th Dimension production did, only without the vocals and different instrumentation, of course. Producer Peter Dellheim gives six paragraphs of insight in his liner notes, identifying that he picked up on the Minuet from J.S. Bach’s Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook after hearing Diana Ross & the Supremes’ version of the tune “A Lover’s Concerto.” The amusing thing is that the Toys were emulating the Supremes’ sound, and the Diana Ross version the Boston Pops got its idea from was a tribute to the tribute. When Ferrante & Teicher recorded the song on their Getting Together album, they called their arrangement “A Familiar Concerto,” denying Toys producers Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell the royalties for the updated composition. Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops sprinkle their magic on Paul Mauriat’s hit “Love Is Blue,” along with “Lara’s Theme” from Dr. Zhivago – better known as Ray Conniff’s Top Ten hit from 1966, “Somewhere My Love.” André Previn’s (Theme From) Valley of the Dolls is just perfect for this ensemble, majestic movements that bring out the sadness and despair of the Dionne Warwick classic. “Cabaret” is a fun romp through the campy hit, while the Beatles’ “Yesterday” and “Michelle” melt into the beautiful fabric as easily as the theme from Georgy Girl. Up, Up and Away is the perfection one expects from the Boston Pops, capturing some of the highlights with which 1968’s easy listening community was in tune. The amusing cover photo features an airplane on a runway with Fiedler surrounded by eight beautiful women.
01. Up Up and Away
02. Valley of the Dolls
03. Georgy Girl
05. Piano Concerto No 21 Elvira Madigan
08. Love is Blue
09. A Man and a Woman
10. A Lovers Concerto
11. Lara’s Theme
12. Boston Pops March
13. Symphonic Picture of Porgy and Bess
14. Carnaval Overture Op 45
Tracks “01-11” is “Up, Up and Away” (LP ‘1968)
Tracks “12-14” is “Fiedler’s Choice” (Stereo LP ‘1970) are bonus tracks.
Remastered from the Original Master tapes by Michael J. Dutton.