Cole Porter classics to get a fresh airing

Cole Porter

Cole Porter

First published in Music news and reviews by

THE John Wilson Orchestra will mark the 50th anniversary of composer Cole Porter’s death with a new album of his Hollywood classics next month and an accompanying autumn tour.

Cole Porter In Hollywood will be released on October 6 on Warner Classics, while the 13-date itinerary will take in Leeds Town Hall on November 19 and finish with a flourish at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on November 25.

Following this year’s BBC Proms performance of Kiss Me, Kate, Cole Porter’s musical twist on Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew, Wilson has turned his attention to showcasing his Abbey Road Studios recordings of hit numbers from Porter’s musicals in their original film orchestrations.

“Cole Porter’s songs lit up Hollywood over three decades right up to the end of his career in the early 1960s,” says Wilson. “I chose the repertoire to be a mixture of hits that everyone knows, such as Begin The Beguine, My Heart Belongs To Daddy, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Night & Day and Let’s Do It, and also numbers that shine out from lesser-known films.”

The 15 songs feature world premieres of newly reconstructed orchestrations from the original movie soundtracks, nearly all of which had been lost, resulting in an album that returns to the resplendent sound that cushioned Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby in films such as Can-Can, The Pirate and High Society.

Wilson’s hand-picked ensemble brings together virtuoso instrumentalists from European orchestras to create a combination of symphonic forces and big band jazz that embodies the golden age of Hollywood orchestras. They are joined on record and in the concert hall by guest singers Anna-Jane Casey, Kim Criswell, Matthew Ford, Sarah Fox and Richard Morrison.

Tickets for the 7.30pm concert can be booked on 0113 224 3801.

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