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Czech Film Melodies I - J. Jezek - J. Werich - J. Voskovec and etc...

1. Žena má uspává doma děti (Aféra plukovníka Redla),Back Home, My Wife's Putting the Children to Bed (Colonel Redl's Affair)2:46
(Willy Engelberger / Emanuel Brozik) Vladimir Klemens - singing, Ultraphon Orchestra, J. J. Libor (1931) 
2. Anton Špelec, ostrostřelec ("Anton Špelec", ostrostřelec) , Anton Spelec, the Sharpshooter(The Sharpshooter)3:07 
(Jara Benes / Jarka Motl) V. Burian - singing, R. A. Dvorsky and his Melody Boys (1932) 
3. Kosí fox (Artur a Leontýna), Blackbird Foxtrot (Arthur and Leontine)2:30 
(Josef Stelibsky / Jarka Mottl - Karel Melisek) Oldrich Kovar - singing, R. A. Dvorsky and his orchestra (1940) 
4. Do naší ulice... (Batalion), Our Street (Battalion)2:54 
(Josef Stelibsky / Jarka Mottl) Setleri - singing, R. A. Dvorsky and his Melody Boys (1937) 
5. Láska je Fata Morgana (Bláhový sen), Love Is a Fata Morgana (Fond Dreams)3:23
(Frantisek Svojik / Jarka Mottl) Zdenka Vincikova, mixed choir, R. A. Dvorsky and his orchestra (1943) 
6. Conchita pláče (Bludná pouť), Conchita in Tears (Erratic Wandering)2:58 
(Josef Stelibsky / Jarka Mottl) Jirina Salacova and choir, Karel Vlach and his orchestra (1945) 
7. C. a K. Polní maršálek (C. a K. Polní maršálek), Imperial and Royal Field ( Imperial and Royal Field)3:24 
(Jara Benes / Emanuel Brozik) Vlasta Burian and piano (1930) 
8. Dívka v modrém (Dívka v modrém), Girl in Blue (Girl in Blue)3:02 
(Slava Eman Novacek / Karel Michael Wallo) Oldrich Novy - singing, R. A. Dvorsky and his dance orchestra (1940) 
9. Růže nad mojí mříží (Dívka v modrém), Roses over My Bars (Girl in Blue)3:17 
(Slava Emanuel Novacek / Karel Michael Wallo) Lida Baarova, R. A. Dvorsky - singing, R. A. Dvorsky and his dance orchestra (1940) 
10. Tam někde daleko (Dobrý tramp Bernášek), Far Away from Here (The Good Hiker Bernašek)3:11 
(Eman Fiala / Jarka Mottl) Setleri - singing and his Eman Fiala (1933) 
11. Poslušně hlásím (Dobrý voják Švejk), Beg to Report, Sir (The Good Soldier Švejk)3:14
(Jara Benes / Jarka Mottl) Franta Hurych - singing, Orchestra Dobbri (1932) 
12. Dokud máš maminku svoji (Dokud máš maminku), So Long as Your Mum's Around (So Long as Your Mum's Around)2:43 
(Josef Kumok / Bedrich Sulc - Bedrich Wermuth) Antonie Nedosinska, orchestra (1934) 
13. Možná, možná... (Dokud máš maminku), Maybe, Maybe (So Long as Your Mum's Around)2:43 
(Josef Kumok / Bedrich Sulc - Bedrich Wermuth) Lida Baarova - singing, FOK orchestra, Beda Kerten (1934) 
14. Bílý jasmín (Experiment), White Jasmine (Experiment)3:26 
(Josef Stelibsky / Jiri Fledr) Marie Buresova - singing, A. Vrana, J. Hromadka - piano, Vasil - violin (1943) 
15. Falešná kočička (Falešná kočička), Faithless Pussy-Cat (Faithless Pussy-Cat)2:57
(Josef Stelibsky / Karel Melisek - Vladimir Slavinsky) Setleri - singing, Jazz-orchestra Ultraphon, Antonin Drabek (1937) 
16. Kdyby tak Pán Bůh dal... (Falešná kočička), Wish to God (Faithless Pussy-Cat)3:01 
(Josef Stelibsky / Karel Melisek - Vladimir Slavinsky) Ultraphon-Duo, Jazz-orchestra Ultraphon, Antonin Drabek (1937) 
17. Ta naše kolej (Funebrák), In Our Track (The Coffin-bearer)3:11 
(Eman Fiala / Jarka Mottl) Vlasta Burian and Settler's Club - singing, Frantisek Alois Tichy and his orchestra (1932) 
18. Hej rup, chceme žít! (Hej rup), Heave-ho, We Want to Live (Heave-ho)2:41 
(Jaroslav Jezek / Jiri Voskovec, Jan Werich) Jiri Voskovec, Jan Werich - singing, Jezek's orchestra, Robert Brock (1934) 
19. Dejte si radit (Holka nebo kluk), Let Me Tell You (Girl or Boy)2:56 
(Josef Stelibsky / Karel Melisek) Adina Mandlova - singing, R. A. Dvorsky and his orchestra (1939) 
20. Slunečnice (Hotel Modrá hvězda), The Sunflower (The Blue Star Hotel)2:39
(Slava Eman Novacek - Josef Gruss) Inka Zemankova - singing, choir, Karel Vlach and his orchestra (1941) 


Here we have the first volume in a survey of Czech film music. It takes us from 1930 to 1945, from the first Czech soundies to the end of the War. Enthusiasts will like to note that four more discs were planned to complete the series.
Some tremendously famous Czech stars fill the ranks of these twenty tracks - Vlasta Burian is here, that well-known inter-war comedian, as well as the more problematic figure of Lida Baarová who is heard on a couple of items. One dates from 1934, the other from 1940 - by which time her entanglement with Goebbels had brought her lasting notoriety.
The tunes broadly fall into the dance, light comedic and military spheres. Over the last a benevolent air of Hapsburg utility reigns supreme. Tight little brassy quicksteps and the memory of imperial uniforms and braid from the not-far-gone days of the Dual Monarchy remained. Despite independence the Eagle still flew, at least on screen.
The dances are mainly foxtrots - Burian’s first number [track 2] is a canny example of the genre. Track nine is another one, this time sung by Baarová, whose vocal charms (like her morals) have always eluded me. There’s also the lilting, broadly Austro-Hungarian charm of the brass and accordion soundtrack to the Settler’s Club’s song [track 4 - I’ll spare you the Czech titles of all of these]. Of course other cross currents were pervasive, amongst which was the dance band. It’s pretty clear that Jack Hylton was a strong influence and there was also some coy Latin Americana as well - try track six where we can also the soubrettish charms of Jirina Salačová.
Track 8, Girl in Blue, in its English title, features a straight dance band arrangement with some wholesome, fine saxophones to the fore. The tune itself sounds like a first cousin of That’s My Home. On home soil of course is track eleven. Poslušne hlásím (‘Beg to Report, Sir’ - or ‘Humbly Report, Sir’ - you take your pick) is the repeated entreaty of The Good Soldier Švejk, here interpreted by the volatile, gruff characterful Franta Hurych. And this does broaden the musical and national base of the disc favourably - albeit there are more foxtrots, tangos and accordion-pub knockabout songs to follow.
There are full details of the performers, orchestras, matrix and issue numbers - excellent - and a brief somewhat unbalanced page of text as well. The copies are a bit treble starved for my own tastes but they’re clean and very listenable. An invaluable disc for the Czech archival cinéaste.
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb - International


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