am 15. April 2009
*The first thing to say about these three CDs is that the total playing time is a few seconds more than fifty-two minutes so I think it's worth searching around for the cheapest price
* The second thing is that the theremin is (fortunately, I think) not the dominant sound on any of the tracks. It's heard most on Music for Peace of Mind.
* The third thing is that Music Out of the Moon and Perfume Set to Music are lovely easy listening tracks with a delightful wordless chorus as the dominant sound.
Music out of the Moon was originally released by Capitol in 1947 on three boxed 78s. The six arrangements by Harry Revel and Les Baxter's orchestra produce a gorgeous sound thanks to the chorus of sixteen singers. I thought it was typical of the kind of thing you might hear at the end of a Hollywood movie of the forties that featured an angelic chorus over the end credits. Perfume Set to Music is, of course, no more than a marketing gimmick sponsored by Corday perfume with RCA issuing the discs in 1948. Revel and Baxter repeat the lunar style with six beautiful choral tracks. Peace of Mind was a Capitol 1950 78 release with Billy May using Revel for the arrangements (minus the chorus) and a more prominent theremin sound.
All the tracks are period easy listening that happens to use a theremin. The instrument really can't be considered much more than a novelty item, a sidebar in the history of electronic music, totally superseded these days by the humble pc. If you like strongly melodic instrumentals with a period flavor this is a set to buy.