Johnny One-Note by Rodgers & Hart, Sung by Kim Criswell and Conducted by John McGlinn

I’m about to blog about Kitty Carlisle Hart and thought this 1993 clip from PBS might be a nice way to introduce her. Conductor is American musical theater archivist John McGlinn, who died in 2009 at too young an age (55). Also featured in this program are Judy Kaye (On the Twentieth Century) and Rebecca Luker (The Sound of Music, 1998 Broadway revival). Thanks to McGlinn, this is the original Hans Spialek orchestration from the 1937 show Babes in Arms. I’ve always preferred Rodgers & Hart to Rodgers & Hammerstein; this was one of my audition pieces. (Starts at 46:30.)

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The Trolley Song by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine, Orchestrated by Conrad Salinger

Co-composer Blaine once said that he’d been glancing at a book he’d found at the Beverly Hills Public Library, landed on a page about early streetcars captioned “Clang, Clang, Clang, Went the Trolley”, and bang was off to the races.

Orchestrator for this song—as well as the entire MGM Judy Garland musical Meet Me in St Louis—was Conrad Salinger. As producer Hugh Fordin wrote:

Salinger’s arrangement was a masterpiece. It conveyed all the colour, the motion, the excitement that was eventually going to be seen on the screen. With the remaining numbers and the background scoring for this film as well as all the work he was to do thereafter, Salinger always maintained sonority and texture in his writing, which made his a very special sound and style that has never been equalled in the American movie musical.

Orchestrator/arranger/conductor Jack Campey pointed to this clip highlighting Salinger’s orchestration, sans vocals. Thanks, Jack.

The Sage, Gateshead

The Sage houses two performance spaces—one seating 600, the other one seating 1,700—with impeccable acoustics. This magnificent concert hall serves a city with a smaller population than Eugene, Oregon (you know, the racist berg where Oxford-trained conductor Matthew Halls was just fired for cracking jokes with his black counter-tenor friend). I am pea-green with envy.

Royal Northern Sinfonia