REVIEW: A perfect gift for film fans, "The Classic Soundtrack Collection" of Henry Mancini’s oeuvre boasts 18 soundtracks on nine discs, along with a never-before-heard version of "Nothing to Lose" with Julie Andrews from the 1968 comedy "The Party."
By James A. Molnar
What is the Pink Panther without his theme music?
The two go hand in hand. The slick saxophone melody creates the perfect vibe for the eponymous, rose-colored cartoon character that opened the 1963 movie of the same name.
This jazzy theme music is just one of the many iconic scores written by legendary composer Henry Mancini (1924-94) and captured on the new soundtrack collection by Legacy Recordings.
|Learn more about the collection here.|
Frequenters of Friday night football games may recognize another iconic Mancini score in the collection — the television theme song from “Peter Gunn.” This high school band favorite won Mancini an Emmy Award and two Grammys. This theme was adapted for the film version of the show and is featured in the collection.
Two years after winning those Emmy and Grammy awards, Mancini earned his first two Academy Awards for his work on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which is also featured in the collection. Mancini won Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture for his work in the classic film starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. He also won for the timeless “Moon River” with lyricist Johnny Mercer.
The collection would be worth having just for those soundtracks, but it also works as an educational tool.
Playing each of the nine discs, listeners may find quite a few themes they hadn’t realized were written by Mancini.
Listeners may ask themselves, “He did this?!” after listening to another recognizable theme from Mancini — “Baby Elephant Walk” from Howard Hawks’ 1962 film “Hatari!” starring John Wayne. This catchy piece of music features a fun combination of woodwind and brass instruments, along with some supporting blasts from a tuba.
It would be almost impossible to include every piece of music by Mancini because he wrote so much. This collection, though, is a great tribute to the legacy of the late composer, born in Cleveland and raised near Pittsburgh.
Listen to some of Mancini’s greatest hits at henrymancini.com. Learn more about to the collection and find on Amazon.