terça-feira, 4 de maio de 2010

Hugo Winterhalter - The Eyes of Love - Volume 1

  1. Vanessa
  2. I Only Have Eyes for You
  3. Around the World (from "Around the World in 80 Days")
  4. The Eyes of Love
  5. Canadian Sunset
  6. Anna (from the Film "Anna")
  7. Frenesi
  8. Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Brahms)
  9. Dream of Olwen (theme from "Hall of Fame")
  10. Gigi (from the MGM Film "Gigi")
  11. Cheerful Little Earful
  12. Land of Dreams (with Eddie Heywood, piano)
  13. Blue Tango
  14. Green Eyes
  15. Mademoiselle de Paris
  16. Delicado
  17. Never on Sunday
  18. Moonlight in Vermont
  19. Shadow Waltz
  20. Song of the Barefoot Contessa
The Eyes of Love 1

An orchestra of extraordinary versatilitiy, a modern sound; sparkling arrangements featuring strings, sometimes with a bluesy touch - this was the music brought to us by Hugo Winterhalter. We concentrate on Hugo's orchestral work in this collection, recorded at New York's Webster Hall during the period of 1954 through 1964.

Mr. Winterhalter was born August 15, 1909, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania where he studied violin and reed instruments in high school. He first studied the violin at age six! Hugo became an orchestra leader while attending Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In 1925 his professional career began as a dance band sideman, earning six dollars for each performance. During the dozen years playing in dance bands, reed instruments were his tools of the trade, however, he finally did some arranging for strings in the mid 40's for Tommy Dorsey. He has arranging credits with Vaughn Monroe, count Basie, Will Bradley, Claude Thornhill, Billy Eckstine and Jimmy Dorsey.

After joining the company in 1950, Mr. Winterhalter soon held the title of head musical director for RCA, recording his own arrangements for orchestra, along with backings for balladeers such as Eddie Fisher, Jay P. Morgan and Kay Starr.

Two selections in this collection are splendid examples of his composing skills, proving that he was one of the very gifted "hyphenated" musicians of the era - composer-conductor-arranger. His was a big sound; strings scored along with plenty of French horns, tympani and solo brass with generous use of a "modern" sound - that of an electric guitar. This presentation includes some far-reaching examples of the color and diversity that were part of the Winterhalter sound; we have "Sleigh Ride" that sounds not a bit wintry, but is unabashedly ornate. In "The Coca-Cola Song" we have nostalgia - this was the theme for the Eddie Fisher Show. "Music Box in Blue" is a clever melodic and rhythmic piece that features the normally quiet celeste and plucked strings. Several selections pay tribute to his many travelogue albums, such as 'Hugo Winterhalter Goes...Continental...Gypsy...South of the Border...Latin...', and Hugo recorded a beautiful album-tribute to composer Harry Warren; from that 1964 album we hear "I Only Have Eyes for You", "September in the Rain", and "Shadow Waltz".

While some of the selections date back over forty years, they sound quite fresh, as the fifties and sixties were very much the "hi-fi" and "stereo" era. Hugo Winterhalter's RCA albums demonstrated well the advgantages of both innovations. Now we can hear these great recordings in their purest form, without clicks, rumble, pops, all the annoyances inherent with the Long Playing record!

Hugo Winterhalter died September 17, 1974 at the age of 64. It's been a long time since any substantial amount of his recorded legacy has been available until now, with (The Eyes of Love) - music to tresure and enjoy.

(Bill Halvorsen, from the original liner notes)

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