20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Mantovani & Hi

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The 2006 U.S. Mantovani entry in Universal Music's discount-priced best-of series 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection (released through the Hip-O/Decca subsidiary) contains 16 tracks and is not to be confused with a similarly titled but entirely different 12-track disc compiled for international release in 2005. Compilation producer Joseph S. Szurly (also author of the grammatically challenged boilerplate liner notes) has selected performances from 13 Mantovani LPs released between 1958 and 1977, including versions of the hits "Charmaine," "The Moulin Rouge Theme (Where Is Your Heart)," "Cara Mia," "Around the World," and "Theme from Exodus (Ari's Theme)," albeit not necessarily the hit recordings, as well as Mantovani's takes on such standards as "The Way You Look Tonight," "September Song," and "Some Enchanted Evening." At the end, Szurly tries to make a case for Mantovani's classical bona fides by including the eight-minute "Warsaw Concerto," although it is actually, as he acknowledges, a piece of film music, not a classical composition. At the modest price, the disc will give a listener a good sense of the conductor's soft, string-filled style.

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