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Mantovani Orchestra

Biography

Active: 1937 - ; London, England
Venice-born Annunzio Paolo Mantovani became known not only for arrangements of popular tunes and for his own compositions, but for the unique sonic character of "His Orchestra," a sound often likened to the strains of "cascading strings." Detractors called the style elevator music, but Mantovani would become one of the best-known creators and conductors of light orchestral music of his time.

Mantovani began conducting in 1925, his first
Read more position being conductor of the Hotel Metropole Orchestra in Leeds, an ensemble with whom he made several recordings in 1928. Among the more successful works he composed and recorded that year were Impromptu Serenade and Venetian Boatmen's Song.

Concurrently he pursued a career as a concert violinist in England, and had achieved considerable success in that endeavor. In 1931 he made the difficult decision to abandon his soloist's career in favor of conducting. He then founded his first orchestra, the Tipica Orchestra. With this group he performed regularly in radio broadcasts and in 1932 began making recordings. Several were hits in England and the U.S., including the 1936 Serenade to the Night.

In 1937, Columbia Records billed the performers as Mantovani and His Orchestra, and the name has been used ever since. Mantovani and his ensemble grew in popularity in the 1940s, not least because the conductor dabbled in many successful theater productions on the side. In 1951, Mantovani, with the aid of arranger and former accordionist in his orchestra Ronald Binge, fashioned the aforementioned "cascading strings" sound, introducing it with one of Mantovani's most popular hits, Charmaine.

In 1954 Mantovani recorded his greatest hit, Cara Mia, wherein he employed a female choir. A string of big sellers followed: Beyond the Stars (1955), Toy Shop Ballet (1956), and It Was Love (1959). A good many of his recorded efforts -- at least 74 -- were crafted by him, though he would often write his works under a pseudonym, such as Paul Remy or Paul Lambrecht. Sometimes he would do a second version of a successful piece: his 1966 rendition of Cara Mia featured Mantovani at the piano, accompanying the orchestra, a performance released by Decca in 1975. After 1973, Mantovani's popularity declined, but he remained active for several years in composition. He died on March 30, 1980. His recordings continued to be reissued after his death, especially with a later resurgence of interest in his work. Read less
Browse 1-11 of 11 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    An Album Of Favourite Tangos & An Album Of Favourite Waltzes / Mantovani
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 1967 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Edgardo Donato,  Pedro Manilla,  Consuelo Velazquez  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 2.
    A Song For You - Mario Del Monaco, Mantovani
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 8145 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sigmund Romberg,  Stanislas Gastaldon,  Cesare Andrea Bixio,  Giovanni Furno  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Del Monaco
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 3.
    Regina Resnik - Opera Gala
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 421897 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Forrest,  Franz Lehár,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Wallace,  Regina Resnik,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Birgit Nilsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 4.
    Kismet / Mantovani, Resnik, Mckellar, Merrill, Wallace
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 433019 Release Date: 08/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Forrest
    Performer:  Robert Merrill,  Kenneth McKellar,  Regina Resnik,  Adele Leigh  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 5.
    Mantovani's Christmas Favorites
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 433199 Release Date: 08/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Francis Wade,  Henry John Gauntlett,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 6.
    Golden Age Of Light Music 1950s Vol 4 - Cornflakes
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5130 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Lockyer,  Lou Singer,  Tolchard Evans,  Heino Gaze  ... 
    Conductor:  Malcolm Lockyer,  Michael Fredericks,  Johnny Gregory,  Laurie Johnson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malcolm Lockyer and his Orchestra,  Michael Fredericks Orchestra,  Johnny Gregory and his Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 7.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Beyond The Blue Horizon
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5129 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ivan Caryll,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  George Melachrino,  Sidney Torch  ... 
    Performer:  Dave Goldberg
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  George Melachrino,  Sidney Torch,  Leroy Holmes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  Melachrino Orchestra,  Sidney Torch Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 8.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Light Music While You Work Vol 1
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5128 Release Date: 04/03/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Anonymous,  Percy (Eastman) Fletcher,  Ralph Benatzky  ... 
    Conductor:  Svend Christian Felumb,  Harry Fryer,  Richard Crean,  Reginald Pursglove  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tivoli Concert Hall Orchestra,  Harry Fryer Orchestra,  Richard Crean Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Great Light Orchestras Salute Richard Rodgers
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5123 Release Date: 09/05/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Dolf van der Linden,  George Melachrino,  Percy Faith  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Melachrino Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Great British Light Orchestras
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5104 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joyce Cochrane,  Linda / Zaldiver,  Ray Martin,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Queen's Hall Light Orchestra,  Cyril Stapleton,  Frank Cordell and His Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Farnon,  Cyril Stapleton,  Geraldo,  Frank Cordell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queen's Hall Orchestra,  Cyril Stapleton Orchestra,  Geraldo and His New Concert Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
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