Albert Ketèlbey

British Light Music

Albert William Ketèlbey’s music is pure kitsch and weird fun. You can find Ketèlbey’s once enormously popular salon music in new performances, but these recordings from 1924 to 1932, with the composer conducting, are the best. Though they’re technically “light classical,” don’t hold your breath for these eccentric impressions to be heard on local KXPR, where they’re banned. You’ll have to seek Ketèlbey’s crazy cornucopia of tuneful heart-string pullers elsewhere. “In a Monastery Garden” is included here, as are “Sanctuary of the Heart” and “By the Blue Hawaiian Waters,” which opens with a hula guitar solo. It’s an Edwardian Englishman’s sentimental view of paradise. “In a Chinese Temple Garden” surely found its way into silent-movie houses. This is the musical equivalent of Maxfield Parrish on CD.