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LINER NOTES

= MANCINI'S GREATEST HITS =
ERICH KUNZEL AND THE CINCINNATI POPS

Mention the name Henry Mancini and immediately the image is conjured up to a tall, elegantly attired, debonair figure seated at a grand piano, effortlessly knocking off top tunes like Moon River and Dear Heart. "Hank" as he is affectionately known in the industry, is actually a great deal more complicated than that.

Having plied his trade as an arranger for the Tex Beneke Band in the late 1940s and before that as a promising student at Juilliard, Mancini made the transition to film scoring with no difficulty:

I had the good fortune to spend a six-year period, from 1952 to 1958, at Universal, and it was like an apprenticeship. It was six years of training in which I was required to do just about everything a film composer comes across in the course of his craft - arranging, adapting, orchestrating, using stock material, working fast, working against time and slim budgets, and generally functioning. It prepared me to face just about any assignment that would come up in the years ahead. Sad to say, that kind of training is almost impossible to get in the industry today.

Of course, since those days, Henry Mancini has been a prime force in providing music of a consistently high caliber whether it be cool jazz, mainstream pop or symphonic. Hank's attitude about scoring for films really applies to everything he has written: 

One thing I have learned is that good music can improve a fine film, but it can never make a bad film good. We composers are not magicians. We write music. We are one of the elements that go to make up a final piece of work. When it works and when we feel we've made a contribution, it's a great source of satisfaction.

And with Henry Mancini, it does work!

PETER GUNN AND MR. LUCKY (1958-1961)

Mancini's landmark jazz-colored score for director Orson Welles' film noir classic, A Touch of Evil (1958), was directly responsible for bringing the composer to the attention of his since longtime associate Blake Edwards. Director Edwards had been looking for just the right creative individual to score his new television series about a very suave, sophisticated private detective named Peter Gunn. Craig Stevens filled the title role with style while Lola Albright as Gunn's girlfriend, Edie Hart, and Herschel Bernardi as Lt. Jacoby added colorful support. The popular series aired from September 1958
through September 1961. Mancini's subtle jazz approach earned him critical acclaim as well as a long term recording contract with RCA Records.

Mr. Lucky followed in October 1959. This series was based on the famous film of the same name made by RKO Studios in 1943, starring Cary Grant and Larraine Day. The weekly series revolved around Lucky, a professional albeit honet gambler who operates a swank floating casino called The Fortuna. Ross Martin played the role of Lucky's loyal sidekick. Andamo while handsome John Vivyan took the title role. The last telecast was in September of 1960.

The successful series translated into an equally successful series of LPs comprised of music culled from the various episodes. Speedy Gonzales was originally composed for a guitar solo with orchestra and was featured on the RCA album, Mr. Lucky Goes Latin. 

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961)

Based on the Truman Capote novella, Breakfast at Tiffany's solidified the Henry Mancini / Blake Edwards partnership. Audiences were utterly charmed by Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of Holly Golightly, wayward wife and darling of the exclusive New York Cafe Society, while Moon River with lyrics by Johnny Mercer quickly entered the pantheon of pop standards, establishing Mancini as a leading composer and an important new voice.

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962)

1962 found both director Blake Edwards and Henry Mancini in peak form. Their latest project was Days of Wine and Roses based on the harrowing J. P. Miller teleplay first broadcast on Playthouse 90. The film starred Jack Lemmon (Joe) and Lee Remick (Kirsten) as an upwardly mobile couple who descend into the nightmare of alcoholism. Both were nominated for Academy Awards but unfortunately lost out to very stiff competition (Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker and Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird). The title song, however, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, did win.

HATARI (1962)

The chief attribute of director Howard Hawks' 159 - minute African adventure is a series of very well mounted big game chases over the Kenyan Veldt. John Wayne heads a group of hunters who earn their living by trapping wild animals for zoos. Mancini greatly enjoyed working with Hawks:

He's always been conscious of music's role. Hatari was a series of incidents without a rigid storyline. They were very colorful incidents, and every little piece was a story in itself. Several could have been taken out of the movie and no one would have known. Two of them, in particular, Howard had doubts about. "Let me see what I can do", I said. One was the baby elephant sequence. I wrote a piece for it and the music proved to be very effective, one of the most successful pieces in the picture.

CHARADE (1963)

According to one noted critic, director Stanley Donen's Charade sports more red herrings than a fish market! Obviously influenced by Alfred Hitchcock's approach to filmmaking, the story concerns Regina Lambert (Audrey Hepburn), the murder of her husband and the ambiguous Peter Joshua (Cary Grant). The theme song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer was an enormous hit and has managed to survive nicely apart from the film.

THE PINK PANTHER (1964)

Urbane David Niven, gorgeous women (Claudia Cardinale and Capucine), handsome Robert Wagner and laughs galore were not the only benefits of this Blake Edwards vehicle (incidentally, Edwards co-authored the uproarious script with Maurice Richlin). The world was introduced to the unforgettable French sleuth, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, played to perfection by one of the legends of the cinema, Peter Sellers. The co-called Pink Panther was not the Clouseau character as many think, but in fact, a
fabulous jewel which proved to be at the source of all the plot complications. Also the Pink Panther became a popular animated character in his own right following his delightful introduction in the cartoon sequence which accompanies the film's opening credits. At least five sequels have followed including A Shot In the Dark and The Return of the Pink Panther. Meglio Stasera (It Had Better Be Tonight) featured lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Fran Misliacci.

DEAR HEART (1964)

Henry Mork (Glenn Ford) and Evie Jackson (Geraldine Page) are two middle agers who meet and fall in love at, of all places, a post office convention in New York. Delbert Mann directed the film with warmth and understanding. The song, Dear Heart featured lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

MOMENT TO MOMENT (1966)

Pretty Jean Seberg plays Kay Stanton who accidentally shoots her lover following a quarrel. The stunning French Riviera backdrop and Mancini's music (again with title song lyrics supplied by Johnny Mercer) more than compensated for the many plot inconsistencies. Meryn LeRoy directed.

TWO FOR THE ROAD (1967)

Albert Finney (Mark Wallace) and Audrey Hepburn (Joanna Wallace) shone as a couple with serious marital difficulties. Eventually they settle their differences and reassert the feelings which originally brought them together. Frederic Raphael was nominated for an Oscar on behalf of his screenplay. Director Stanley Donen capitalized on the stunning French locals of Beauallon, St. Tropez, Nice and Paris.

THE MOLLY MAGUIRES (1970)

Based on a real life incident chronicled in Lament For the Molly Maguires by Arthur H. Lewis, this film, directed by Martin Ritt, graphically depicts the horrible conditions endured by the anthracite miners of eastern Pennsylvania circa the 1870s. Jack Kehoe (Sean Connery) is the leader of a secret union brotherhood known as the Molly Maguires who are resolved to correct the inhuman treatment of the miners with violence and sabotage as standard tools. Jamec McParlan (Richard Harris), a Pinkerton agent, successfully infiltrates the group thereby maneuvering the capture of Kehoe and hopefully an end to the trouble. Although the film was a box office disaster, the superlative music score was vivid proof that Henry Mancini could compose a serious symphonic statement.

THE WHITE DAWN (1974)

For obvious practical reasons, very few films have been made on location in the Arctic Circle. For that reason alone, The White Dawn is noteworthy. Billy (Warren Oates), Daggett (Timothy Bottoms) and Portagee (Lou Gossett) are three whalers who take refuge with an Eskimo tribe in the 1890s, having been stranded. The clash of the two disparate cultures proves to be too great and culminates in violence and death. Despite some clever stylistic devices like an opening sequence filmed in black and white and the use of subtitles for the authentic Eskimo language, the film was not particularly well
received by the public. However, Mancini's effort was rightfully touted as yet another example of his consummate skill in handling a variety of genres.

THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER (1975)

"I felt incredible freedom, but then I thought-What am I doing here?" Robert Redford was somewhat ambivalent in regard to some wing-walking at 3000 feet for a film permeated with spectacular aerial stunts. World War I pilot, Waldo Pepper (Robert Redford) pursues a life of barnstorming and Hollywood stuntwork, all the while seeking the elusive German ace Ernst Kessler (Bro Brundin) for a "rematch," a quest that ends in an exciting aerial confrontation. George Roy Hill directed a screenplay by William Goldman which was in turn derived from an original idea by Hill. Supporting players
included Bo Svenson, Edward Herrmann, Susan Sarandon and Margot Kidder. The signature march is pure 1920s Americana.

VICTOR/ VICTORIA (1982)

An obscure German film of 1933, Viktor und Viktoria was the impetus for Blake Edwards' smash hit of 1982. Julie Andrews excelled as an unemployed singer who becomes an overnight sensation when she poses as a female impersonator. James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Anne Warren and Alex Karas romped through the saucy, funny plot convolutions rendered in such a harmless way as to earn the film a PG rating. The delightful score featured some witty material with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and showcased the singing talents of Julie Andrews, Robert Preston and Lesley Anne Warren.

THE THORN BIRDS (1983)

ABC's four part miniseries, a total of 10 hours, aired during March of 1983. Adapted from the best seller by Colleen McCullough, the story dealt with a priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart (Richard Chamberlain) who is torn between his vows of celibacy and the love of a beautiful woman, Meggie Clearly (Rachel Ward) amidst the scenic Australian Outback. Concurrently, the story traced the dynastic struggles associated with Droghedor, a huge Australian cheep ranch from its early days to 1962. Mancini's score was a particularly eloquent accompaniment to the searing passions of this epic.

CONCERT WORKS

Henry Mancini has always had one foot firmly planted in the concert hall, no doubt a result of the intense formal training he received as a young man. His talents as an arranger, conductor and pianist are well documented in a fantastically successful series of recordings made for RCA during the last 25 years, comprising not only film and TV material but pure "pops" compositions as well.

March With Mancini consists of four tunes: Timothy (from Peter Gunn), March of the Cue Balls (from Mr. Lucky), The Swing March (from the 1966 film, What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?) and the march from The Great Race (1965).

Drummer's' Delight, Strings On Fire and Symphonic Soul have self-explanatory titles and are perfect examples of Mancini's expertise at constructing light, entertaining concert works. Each of these pieces, as well as the other items included in Henry Mancini's extensive catalogue of compositions, should be ample proof to anyone that herein resides one of the most talented professionals in the world of music.

25 YEARS OF THE PINK PANTHER

It's been a full 25 years since that roguish little panther character bowed his pink head. This, of course, was during the opening credits of The Pink Panther (1964), the first in a long running series. This silent, diminutive rascal was devised by David DePatie and Fritz Freleng. The legendary animator, Fritz Freleng, it should be remembered, earned hic reputation for some marvelous work at Warner Brothers: Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (1944); Tweety Pie and Sylvester(1947); Captain Hareblower (1954); Rabbitson Crusoe (1956), and so forth. DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, as they officially called themselves, received special recognition for their effort. The opening credit sequence
won an Academy Award for the Best Cartoon Short Subject of 1964. A popular Pink Panther cartoon series followed on NBC Television in 1969, and to this day, the antics of the Pink Panther delight audiences throughout the world.

- Allen Cohen

Mancini quotations taken from:

Film Score: The View from the Podium. Edited and Introduced by Tony Thomas. A. S. Barnes and Company 1979.

Technical Information
Recorded in Music Hall, Cincinnati on September 13 and 16, 1988
Microphones: Schoeps MK-PS & MK-3
Digital Recording Processor: Soundstream
Console: Neotek, custom-built, wired with Monster Cable. Series III
Monitor Speakers: ADS Model 1530 wired with Monstet Cable
Power Amplifier: Threshold Model Si500 Stasis, Series II with optical bias
The entire signal path from microphones to digital processors utilized
the latect cable technology from Monster Cable, including M1000.
Series I Prolink and Series III Prolink bandwidth balanced
Control Room Acoustic Treatment: Sonex from illbruck/uca Tube Trapc by ASC
Soundex from Monster Cable RPG Diffusors
Digital Editing: Sony DAE 1100
Vocals recorded at Ocean Way Studio on October 31, 1988
Microphones: Sennheicer MKH-20
Digital Recording Processor and Mixer: Suma XDP-102
Console: Neve

During the recording of the digital masters and the subsequent transfer to disc, the entire audio chain
was transformerless. The signal was not passed through any processing device (i.e.. compression,
limiting, or equalization) at any step during production.
Mr Kunzel's tuxedo courtesy of Tuxedo Center, Hollywood California

Cover Photo: Tom Zimberotf
Cover Design: Liggett-Stashower
Pink Panther Illustration: Pele Loeianco - 1989 Unired Artists Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved

Recording Producer: Robert Woods
Recording Engineer: Jack Renner
Technical Assistance: Michael Bishop. Thomas Knab
Editors: Rosalind Ilett. Elaine Manone
Art Director: Ray Kirschensfeiner
 

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