André Kostelanetz

Andre Kostelanetz: The Ultimate Collection

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It's difficult to believe Sony Australia could assemble a three-disc box set of Andre Kostelanetz recordings and miss as much as it did. The Russian conductor led one of America's favorite radio programs from the '30s to the '50s, and though he rarely reached the charts, his recordings were very popular with the burgeoning album-buying audience of the '50s. (He sold over 50 million records over the course of his career.) The Ultimate Collection is anything but what the title promises, including a bare few of his well-known renditions ("My Favorite Things," "Theme from Romeo and Juliet," "Till There Was You"), but missing out on a lot: "Theme from Love Story," "The Way We Were," "All the Things You Are," and "Love Theme from The Godfather," among others. Instead, the compilers concentrated overwhelmingly on his Columbia LPs of the '50s and '60s, from lounge-oriented work like "Sweet Leilani" and "Song of the Islands" to later crossover material like "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and "The Sounds of Silence." Not only is it a difficult collection to get through, it neglects his most popular material.

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