ÆVEA | AE16024 | 2016

Shield, L.: Laurel & Hardy. Original Piano Music + Song Album (1930-31)
Alessandro Simonetto, Piano

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Track list

Total duration: 60:54
Original audio @ 176.4 kHz * 24 bits


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This album recreates the atmosphere and feeling of the 1930s comedies from the Hal Roach Studios, the Lot of Fun where Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang, Charley Chase, The Boy Friends and Thelma Todd created their biggest successes. These short films were usually enlivened by the catchy background tunes composed by LeRoy Shield (1893-1962). Although the titles of these tunes remained known only to insiders, the music is all too familiar to anyone who ever saw Stan and Ollie embark on one of their doomed journeys. Trained as a classical pianist, Shield eased into the new medium of film music with apparent ease and knocked off dozens of short, catchy background tunes in record time. It is not funny comedy music in itself; rather, it ranges from slow, sentimental ballads to uptempo dance numbers. Sometimes, there are echoes of Stravinsky, Satie and Casella! Tracking down original sheet music took years of detective work. For the first time in history, this cd contains renditions of original piano music and original piano transcriptions made by Shield himself written before the orchestral versions were recorded of tunes such as All Together, Little Dancing Girl, Gangway Charlie, Riding Along, and The Moon and You. It also contains piano transcriptions of Shields background tunes from 1930-31 as originally published as loose-leaf sheet music: Bells, You Are The One I Love, In My Canoe, On to the Show, Riding Along and Good Old Days. Originally published in 1931 but impossible to find today, the "LeRoy Shield Song Album" is a collection of ten popular film background tunes transcribed for piano: Prelude, Brides Song, Here We Go, Look at Him Now, Cascadia, Dash and Dot, Lets Go, Antics, Give Us a Hand and It Is to Laugh. The CD also contains in first world release the reconstruction of the piece 'Snowing', written appositely for the film Laughing Gravy; and the complete set of effects and short melodies named as 'Goofs', including some unheard and never included pieces.
The CD will be accompanied with liner notes written by the historian Piet Schreuders, well known among the Laurel & Hardy fans!
Pianist Alessandro Simonetto, praised by the composer of Charles Spencer Chaplin, Eric James, as an immense talente, has just recorded "Early and Esoteric Works", a 3 CD-set containing all the piano music by Erik Satie written before and during his mystic period (1887-1897).
The recordings of "Laurel & Hardy: The Original Piano Music" has been made originally @ 176.4kHz * 24-bits using Sennheiser & Neumann mics, pres/AD by Prism Sound, in real stereo tecnique with any mastering addition!


Leroy Shield, uncredited composer of the background music by legendary comedy Laurel & Hardy. Simonetto is a super talented pianist with a deep love for the silent films. He had a mentor in Eric James, Music Associate of Charlie Chaplin. ‐Nick Luscombe (26/06/2018) 

Italienische Pianist Alessandro Simonetto, One-Man-Show abliefert, die night nur Spass macht, sondern auch pianistisch 'alle Register' zieht, alle mglichen Stile bedient und nicht zuletzt auch klanglich sehr schn dargeboten wird. Prdikat: Kult! ‐Burkhard Schfer (01/03/2017) 

Un lavoro davvero certosino quello che ha portato Alessandro Simonetto con lo studioso Piet Schreuders a ridare vita alle musiche originali di Leroy Shield, grazie alle trascrizioni ricavate dalle pellicole originali anche mediante l'uso di spettrogrammi. ‐Valentina Lo Surdo (31/01/2017) 

Done wonderfully by Alessandro Simonetto the way the music would sound BEFORE recorded for Roach. You get the music as MUSIC without the 1930s type orchestra. This will be out of print and be a collectors item. ‐Joel L. Gandelman ***** (03/07/2017) 

This disc is clearly a labour of love by pianist Alessandro Gioele Simonetto, who studied film music with Charlie Chaplin's associate composer Eric James. Captivating and completely idiomatic performances. They are recorded, moreover, in very fine sound. ‐Rob Maynard (20/02/2017) 

Leroy Shield's mellifluous, jocular, sentimental tunes for early '30s Hal Roach comedies, re-played in their original piano forms. Includes first full recording of theme for 1931'2 laugh-riot Laughing Gravy. ‐IH ****/4 (01/03/2017) 

The final result of Alessandro Simonetto's work is truly superlative, because the music animated by varied rhythms, from ragtime to waltzes come alive in all its pleasant freshness and variety, highlighting the melodic imagination of the composer. ‐Gilberto Mion (01/03/2017) 

Simonetto, en vritable amoureux, a donc, pour plusieurs pices, rcout les films et reconstruit la musique entendue travers les effets sonores et les dialogues. ‐Frdric Cardin (19/01/2017) 

The delightful result gives indications of what it might have been like to be in the company of Leroy Shield as he gave a piano rendering of his own compositions. Simonetto is tough his own musician; he brings something new and valuable to the music. ‐Glenn Mitchell The Laurel & Hardy Magazine (01/04/2017) 

There is something of the spirit of musicology here. Simonetto's performances carry astonishing power at times; at others, there is pure tomfoolery afoot. Specialist repertoire, certainly, but give it a go! ‐Colin Clarke ***** (01/06/2017) 

Laurel & Hardy. Original Piano Music + Song Album (1930-31)
Alessandro Simonetto, Piano

Prod. No.: 177 / 2016
Cat. No: AE16024
UPC: 634065037192
No. Album(s): 1

Recorded @ Saletta acustica 'Eric James', Pove del Grappa, 2016

Sound engineer: Alessandro Simonetto
Photo/paint on cover: Maurice Seymour
Artwork: OnClassical

Equipment used: Sennheiser mics.
Instrument(s) used: Steinway & Sohns D-274 piano, 'Ferrari-O'

An OnClassical prod., © 2016

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