segunda-feira, 31 de outubro de 2011

Henry Mancini and The Mancini Pops Orchestra - As Time Goes By and other Classic Movie Love Songs

  1. As Time Goes By
  2. One For My Baby
  3. Everything I Do (I Do It For You)
  4. Stella By Starlight
  5. Windmills Of Your Mind
  6. Crazy World
  7. That Old Black Magic
  8. Unchained Melody
  9. Mona Lisa
  10. Call Me Irresponsible / The Second Time Around
  11. Two For The Road
  12. It's All There
  13. The Summer Knows (Summer Of '42)
  14. Tender Is The Night
  15. Charade
As Time Goes By

For his third album recorded directly in Dolby Surround, Henry Mancini returns to a popular musical milieu that he has helped to define: the classic movie love song. As Time Goes By is an unabashedly romantic collection of melodies in which that special Mancini touch is evident throughout.

Technically, Herman Hupfield's As Time Goes By shouldn't qualify as a movie love song because it was not written for "Casablanca". It was first heard in 1931 in a Broadway show entitled "Everybody's Welcome" which lasted 131 performances. It wasn't until 11 years later, when it was used to define the power ore song can have over the destinies of two people whose problems "don't amount to a hill of beans", that it became a classic love song. It's interesting to note that Max Steiner, the composer of the film's musical score, didn't want to incorporate the song as his main theme; he wanted to compose a new song for the film. That would have been all right with Warner Brothers were it not for the fact that once shooting was completed Ingrid Bergman got her hair cut in such a manner that it was impossible to reshoot. As Time Goes By is the quintessential movie love song - full of regret, hope and passion - the perfect recipe for a love affair.

"The Sky's The Limit" (1943) was a wartime musical that offered Fred Astaire as a soldier on leave in New York who naturally falls in love with a beautiful girl played by Joan Leslie. The movie featured some fine Astaire dancing and the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer soon-to-be-classic barroom request One For My Baby.

The tradition of great movie love songs continues today with Everything I Do (I Do It For You) from the 1991 film of "Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves". In that film the solid goodness of Kevin Costner's Robin was well matched by the shimmering beauty and intelligence of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's Maid Marian. With these two performers at the film's center, this romantic theme written by Bryan Adams, R. J. Lange and Michael Kamen hit a bull's eye with movie audiences and soared to the top of the charts.

Victor Young and Ned Washington's haunting classic Stella By Starlight is from, appropriately enough, the popular ghost story The Uninvited (1944). It starred Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey as a couple who buy a house in England and discover the previous tenants haven't left.

Norman Jewinson's 1968 film "The Thomas Crown Affair" was notable for its sexy star performances from Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, its complex caper plot, its dazzling multi-image cinematography and editing, and most of all, the swirling Academy Award-winning song The Windmills Of Your Mind with music by Michel Legrand and lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

Crazy World with music by Mancini and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse is from Blake Edward's "Victor/Victoria" (1982). the film was something all too rare, a very hip, very stylish, old fashioned musical comedy that featured Julie Andrews as a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman, James Garner as the gangster that falls for her/him/her, Robert Preston as Julie's completely outrageous mentor and Lesley Ann Warren as the gangster's moll - a woman who makes the most of every opportunity. The song perfectly conveys the film's deeper message that was at the heart of the story. For this score Messrs. Mancini and Bricusse won an Academy Award. This recording marks the frist time the instrumental version of this song is heard in its entirely.

"Star-Spangled Rhythm" (1942) was not much more than a filmed variety show that sought to boost the country's morale during the war. It featured Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Veronica Lake and Betty Grable. However, any movie that has a song as bewitching as Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's That Old Black Magic can't be ignored, and in this version Mancini returns the song to its "voodo" roots.

Alex North and Hy Zaret's Unchained Melody is from Hall Bartlett's 1955 prison film "Unchained". It was nominated for an Academy Award that year - but lost. In 1990 the song was ressurrected for the film "Ghost" and the rest is movie love song history. Listening to it, how can you not think of Demi Moore in front of a potter's wheel with the ghost of Patrick Swayze surrounding her?

Mona Lisa won an Academy Award in 1950 for its authors Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. It was made immortal by Nat King Cole and was used as the theme (as well as title) for Neil Jordan's gritty off-beat 1986 drama about an obsessive two-bit British hood played by Bob Hoskins. The movie it was originally written for was "Captain Carey, USA", starring Alan Ladd and Frances Lederer and directed by Mitchell Leisen. Few remember the film, but who can forget the song?

The 1963 Academy Award for Best Song went to Call Me Irresponsible which was written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen for the stylish period comedy "Papa's Delicate Condition". The movie starred Jackie Gleason and Glynis Johns as a husband who liked to drink and a wife who wants to reform him. Blake Edward's "High Time" (1960) starred Bing Crosby as a wealthy widower who returns to college to complete his education. Tuesday Weld and Fabian co-starred as his fellow students. For this film, Cahn and Van Heusen wrote The Second Time Around and received an Oscar nomination. By putting these songs together, Mancini gives us a medley that reflects a kind of love that isn't so much passionate as it is imperfect, reflective and comfortable.

Easily one of the most sophisticated films of the 1960's, Two for The Road (1967) starred Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. It was directed by Stanley Donen from a script by Frederic Raphael. When viewed today it is still a sly, mature, painful, and funny film done with great style and wit. Mancini's evocative score matches the film's title song stands with the best of movie love songs.

With "Switch" in 1990, Blake Edward's revisited the always-changing world of sex roles that he previously explored in "Victor/Victoria". This time the film was about a dead man reincarnated in a beautiful woman's body. The beautiful woman was played by the gifted Ellen Barkin. The song It's All There is one of Mancini's lovelier melodies of recent years. "Switch" marked the first time that Mancini worked with David Wilson, whose extraordinary electric violin is heard on this track, as well as several others on this recording.

Michel Legrand's score for "Summer Of '42" (1971) won the Oscar for Best Original Score that year. The haunting main theme, The Summer Knows, evokes the pain, confusion and memory of a young man's coming of age, and of a romance that was lost. Robert Mulligan's pastoral film set on Cape Cod during World War II was the surprise hit of the summer of '71.

With music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, Tender Is The Night (1962) from the film of the same name is typical of the kind of lush love songs prevalent in films of the 50's and 60's. The film, starring Jason Robards and Jennifer Jones, was based upon F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. Set in the Roaring 20's, it told the story of a psychiatrist who marries one of his patients and how the marriage destroys them both.

And finally, Mancini's own Charade (1963), a wonderful song that was in contention for the Academy Award that Call Me Irresponsible won. The film, a perfect mix of suspense, comedy, and of course, romance, was directed by Stanley Donen and starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. A classic movie. A classic Mancini/Mercer movie love song. A perfect coda to this album. What could be better?

(Bill Rosenfield, from the original liner notes)

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