Friday, August 11, 2006

Arthur Fiedler/Leroy Anderson - The Waltzing Cat

"The Waltzing Cat" Is my four-year-old son's favorite song--by a long shot. No car trip of longer than five minutes goes by without a request for "The Waltzing Cat." This version is taken from an LP of the Boston Pops playing some of the best-known compositions by Leroy Anderson. This is the kind of thing that many classical music enthusiasts today turn their noses up at, but I'm willing to bet that many of them got their first introduction to classical music through Arthur Fiedler. Under Fiedler the Boston Pops made more recordings than any orchestra in the world and sold in excess of 50 million records.

For people of my generation Fiedler's legacy may be slightly tainted by late-career embarrassments like Saturday Night Fielder, but the he deserves better than to be remembered for projects like those. In addition to being the greatest ambassador classical music ever had, he was a terrific conductor as well, especially with lighter music like that of Leroy Anderson.

"Living Stereo" LPs by Fiedler and the Pops are cheap and plentiful (I got this one for free). They are well worth picking up both for the excellent music and sound quality.

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