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Leroy Anderson (1908-1975), the beloved American composer of such so-called "light music" classics as The Syncopated Clock, Blue Tango, and Sleigh Ride, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anderson was a longtime collaborator with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston "Pops." An examination of the wide-ranging Pops library (as memorialized in so many "Living Stereo" CD reissues) reveals that Anderson was active not only as a composer but also as an arranger.
As few have, he exhibited that often unsung ability to take an existing tune (or tunes) and create a miniature tone poem for orchestra, preserving the flavor of the original but adding the ingredients for a hearty and invigorating instrumental stew. The materials which Anderson drew together for his celebrated Irish Suite are of the variety commonly lumped into the general category known as traditional folk tunes, but the historical research may be less important than the end result.
-- Note by Dennis Bade, Associate Director of Publications for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association