Henry Mancini

Six Hours Past Sunset

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If you listen to very many of the easy listening albums by the myriad orchestral pop maestros who collectively sold a vast number of underappreciated albums from the '50s through the '70s, certain band leaders rise up from the supposed schmaltz to assert their artistry. Les Baxter, Ray Conniff, and Henry Mancini are a few of the directors and arrangers who have overcome at least some of the critical bias against the entire easy listening genre to command a measure of respect. Six Hours Past Sunset exhibits Mancini's flair for giving film themes and other melodies brilliant string-laden treatments, but with surprising twists -- like the slightly dissonant chimes that close "Two for the Road," or the string bass solo on "Girl Talk" -- that engage and surprise the listener. Mancini's interpretation of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" was a hit, but, commercially, Six Hours Past Sunset was far less successful than A Warm Shade of Ivory released earlier the same year.

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