Sunday, July 23, 2017

More from Morton

Cover design by Alex Steinweiss
For easy summer listening, this week I present two more albums of Morton Gould's popular song arrangements, made for Columbia after he had been promoted to green-label Masterworks status:

String Time
1. Body and Soul (Johnny Green)
2. Laura (David Raskin)
3. Holiday for Strings (David Rose)
4. Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington)
5. Solitude (Duke Ellington)
6. Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen)
7. The Surrey With the Fringe On Top (Richard Rodgers)
8. Stormy Weather (Harold Arlen)
Morton Gould and His Orchestra
Recorded July 11 and 15, 1946
Columbia Masterworks set M-663, four 10-inch 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 63.38 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 43.86 MB)

Music at Midnight
1. Caravan (Duke Ellington)
2. Moonglow (Will Hudson)
3. Song of the Bayou (Rube Bloom)
4. Deserted Ballroom (Morton Gould)
5. Mood Indigo (Duke Ellington)
6. Serenade in the Night (Cesare Andrea Bixio)
7. Deep Purple (Peter de Rose)
8. Swamp Fire (Harold Mooney)
Morton Gould and His Orchestra
Recorded November 14, 15 and 22, 1950
Columbia Masterworks set MM-992, four 10-inch 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 70.52 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 46.93 MB)

It will be seen that each collection contains two Duke Ellington tunes, and that "Music at Midnight" also has one of Gould's own compositions, originally a piano piece that he had recorded a decade earlier. To the expected string orchestra of "String Time" Gould's orchestrations add a harp and celesta, and, in the case of "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top" - played entirely pizzicato - also such appurtenances as sleigh bells, wood block, whip and even a banjo. "Music at Midnight" has the distinction of being Columbia's last Masterworks 78-rpm set to be released on a regular schedule concurrent with LP releases, in April, 1951. With the May releases 78s were dropped, although five set numbers (993 to 997) had been assigned, and after that, only selected Masterworks releases appeared as 78s, usually semi-classical in nature.

Cover design by Alex Steinweiss


  1. Alternate links:

    For some reason Mediafire is having trouble with the "String Time" MP3s - I'll keep trying.


    2. Thank you for these. I edited the liner note jpg for Music_at_Midnight.for my own use. Some here may find it useful: MM992_inside-ed

  2. Many thanks, Bryan. I love Gould's records - and was just listening to a few from the 60s yesterday. I have the LP version of Music at Midnight, but haven't encountered String Time.

  3. Thanks a million Bryan for this.
    Morton Gould was multi talented !!

  4. Gould did many things--and all of them wonderfully. Nevertheless, it's amazing to think this avatar of mood music made the first recording of Charles Ives Second Orchestral Set with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

  5. Thanks for making these available. They remind me of the 'Naxos International' series of light music CDs featuring Richard Hayman as conductor/arranger (and on at least one CD composer.) released in the 1990s

  6. The geniuses at MediaFire seem to have blocked your String mp3 upload. The FLAC version works fine. Anyway, thanks for these great transfers.

  7. Bryan, many thanks for these transfers.


  8. A bit late to the party but very grateful nonetheless. Thanks so much Bryan.