Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ernest Tomlinson: Sweet & Dainty

‘Sweet & Dainty’ is one of the shortest little numbers on the first Marco Polo retrospective CD of music by the 91 year old light music composer Ernest Tomlinson (b.1924). He has written that this piece of ‘mood music’ was ‘designed for Pride and Prejudice type plays.’ The liner notes record that the music was used in an advert for Palmolive soap and featured as a signature tune for a TV series about fishing. I have been unable to find out what the TV programme was but would be grateful to hear from readers. In conclusion the composer suggested that the work satisfied ‘requirements of Jane Austen, personal hygiene and angling at one and the same time.’
‘Sweet and Dainty’ is exactly like the title suggests. It is really the same theme repeated over and again with a little variation. What makes the piece so attractive is the neat orchestration that delicately changes as it re-presents the melody. Oboe and strings come to the fore with twittering flutes and pizzicato cellos and basses. I guess that it would be deemed a little tame for Jane Austen these days, but I think that the listener well get the idea.
Alas, there is no indication when this delightful little piece was composed, though it is likely to have been in the 1950s. It is clearly ‘library music’ that would have been used as and when the radio, film or TV producer required this particular ‘refined’ mood.
‘Sweet and Dainty’ is available on Marco Polo 8.223413. Other works on this CD include his attractive Silverthorn Suite, the English Serenade and 2nd Suite of English Folk dances.  A large proportion of this piece can be heard on the Amazon download site.

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