Most people in Singapore have heard of Mantovani but some think that he only plays classical music. He does but he also plays pops. In fact he recreates his music to suit both classical music lovers and popular music enthusiasts.
"Put your feeling into your music, my boy," Mantovani's father used to tell him, "Music without feeling is little more than a noise." Mantovani has followed this sound advice throughout his remarkably successful career.
Using his conductor's baton, he orchestrates his musicians through beautiful, enchanting melodies; violins soar, cascading and creating fountains of exciting sounds as familiar themes become transformed into thrilling jewelled patterns. Yet, however rich, colourful or sensuous the harmonies, his music is always warm and filled with emotion.
If there are stars in the eyes of 10,000 persons, it is Mantovani who gives that magic touch with his slender baton. In classical music jargon, he uses 28 strings (6 first violins, 6 second violins, 6 third violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, and 2 double-basses), balanced against 13 brass, woodwind and percussion. It explains how he creates his sparkling, luminous orchestration. Like his father, he says, "Musicians must feel the music." Edited/Decca Record Company, 1959.
In this particular 33rpm vinyl, he plays Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Frederick Loewe, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, George Gerswin, Victor Young, Hoagy Carmichael and lots more. These are composers of international renown and the best of the 50s and 60s or even earlier.
If baby boomers have been influenced by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, then there are those who have been enchanted earlier by Mantovani and his Orchestra.
Articles on his life and works are everywhere on the Net.
Information: Sleeve Cover.
Image/Edited article: Andy Lim Collection.