It has been many years since I enjoyed a cocktail in the Dorchester Hotel. I seem to recall that the price was hardly ‘budget.’ Today’s prices are around £16 per cocktail. But then there is the caché of the place, not to mention the possibility of seeing one of the great and good parading through the main atrium or one of the bars. Peter Yorke’s attractive miniature reminded me of this experience. I am not too sure when the piece was composed, but the currently available recording on Guild suggests that it might have been around 1960.
The music has all the attributes of a romantic prelude: sweeping strings, harp glissandi and restrained interpolations from the brass department. Peter Yorke was an arranger and well as a composer and conductor and this is certainly apparent in this piece. Not only is the tune perfectly attuned to the mood, but the orchestration is well balanced, smooth and complimentary to the picture suggested by the title. In the present recording the composer also conducts the Telecast Orchestra.
Peter Yorke’s Cocktails by Candlelight is available on The Golden Age of Light Music: Melodies for the Starlight Hours GLCD5196.