Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso

by Monica Mancini


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Monica Mancini has been careful in her recording projects to reflect her heritage and promote it without exploiting it. Her first album, Monica Mancini, was, naturally enough, a collection of songs written by her father, Henry Mancini. Her second, The Dreams of Johnny Mercer, was a tribute to one of her father's main collaborators. Cinema Paradiso features songs by many different songwriters, but its source is the kind of movie theme music in which her father worked successfully for his entire career. Mancini deliberately mixes things up in her choices of material, going back in time as far as the late '30s for "Over the Rainbow" and as far forward as "Senza Fine" from Ghost Ship, a film that opened 11 days before her album was released. And she mixes well-known songs like "Alfie" and "The Shadow of Your Smile" with worthy but lesser-known efforts such as Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner's "Too Late Now" from Royal Wedding and her father's "Soldier in the Rain" from the movie of the same name with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. She has also considered the arrangements carefully, using eight different arrangers to create settings for the songs. Some of the charts are lush, while three songs employ a single instrument as accompaniment. Yet they all work together well. And the material and arrangements prove to be good choices for Mancini's voice, which is fully showcased. It is a rich voice, and if her interpretations have their precious moments and are at times too deliberate, she also exudes warmth and feeling for the songs, making this another successful collection.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/05/2002
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0013431498827
catalogNumber: 4988
Rank: 8242

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Monica Mancini   Primary Artist,Vocals
Chuck Berghofer   Bass
Joel Derouin   Violin
George Doering   Guitar
Earl Dumler   Woodwind
Assa Drori   Violin,Concert Master
Ronald Folsom   Violin
Roland Kato   Viola
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello
Michael Lang   Piano
Barbara Northcutt   Woodwind
Kazi Pitelka   Viola
Tom Ranier   Keyboards
Harry Shirinian   Viola
Ramon Stagnaro   Guitar
David Stenske   Violin
Gregg Field   Percussion,Drums
Carolyn Osborn   Violin
John Krovoza   Cello
Timothy Landauer   Cello
Andrew Picken   Viola
Aaron Hill   Woodwind
Irina Voloshina   Violin
Julie Berghofer   Harp
Jennifer Walton   Violin
Michael Valerio   Bass
Jim Stärk   Violin
Liane Mautner   Violin
Karen Jones   Violin

Technical Credits

Luiz Bonfá   Composer
Patrick Williams   Orchestral Arrangements
Harold Arlen   Composer
John Burk   Executive Producer
Jorge Calandrelli   Orchestral Arrangements
Dave Grusin   Liner Notes
George Doering   Guitar Arrangements
Ray Ellis   Orchestral Arrangements
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Michael Lang   Arranger,Piano Arrangement
Johnny Mandel   Composer
Don Murray   Engineer
Carl Sigman   Composer
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Torrie Zito   Orchestral Arrangements
Gregg Field   Producer,Engineer
Bill Smith   Engineer
Abbey Anna   Art Direction
Glen Barros   Executive Producer
John Frizzell   Orchestral Arrangements
Harvey R. Cohen   String Arrangements
Dennis Purcell   Art Direction
Seth Presant   Engineer

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Cinema Paradiso 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. Everything about her delivery is perfect, and so is the orchestra accompanying her. It is so gratifying to know that there is still at least one female vocalist who sings in the classic pop style, as compared to the current generation, who distort the words and music so badly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like this style of music, then this CD is the one for you. Monica Mancini has a fantastic voice. My favorite song is the title song, Cinema Paradiso.
Guest More than 1 year ago
People who fear that classic pop singers are going the way of the VHS tape should rejoice with the release of Monica Mancini's Cinema Paradiso. It's simply a gem of an album, a dreamy affair in which the vocalist, the arrangements and the songs are all of the highest caliber. Mancini, as her name suggests, has a great musical pedigree. Her dad was the legendary composer Henry Mancini; her mom, Ginny O'Connor, was a member of Mel Torme's Mel- Tones. Monica's not coasting on the family name, though: This is her third album, and easily the finest showcase she has had to date. As the title implies, Cinema Paradiso is devoted to songs that originated in films. Mancini has come up with a beguiling mixture of tunes, gathering both familiar standards and little-known beauties. The title tune, for example, comes from the acclaimed 1988 Italian film of the same name. Producer Gregg Field (Mancini's husband) added lyrics, and the result is a sublime song that sounds like an instant classic. Mancini's dark, shimmering vocals caress the melody, blending with the string-heavy orchestration. She's not prone to vain melodrama, instead using her gorgeous voice like an instrument that is part of the ensemble. That track sets a consistent mood for the album, one of hushed, haunting beauty. In that sense, the disc recalls the classic theme albums of Frank Sinatra in creating and sustaining a tone throughout. The songs span the years. There is a shaded Over the Rainbow that replaces Judy Garland's youthful insecurity with a sense of quiet optimism. At the other end of the musical generation gap comes A Love Before Time, the theme from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The song's subject matter is one of eternal love, a topic that suits the disc perfectly. Mancini also treats her listeners to such classics as The Summer Knows, A Day in the Life of a Fool and The Shadow of Your Smile. All are superb. Baby Mine from Dumbo is sweetly rendered as a warm nighttime lullaby. Burt Bacharach's Alfie is altered from the familiar Dionne Warwick version, with Mancini taking the song at a languid pace that allows her to fully explore Hal David's wistful lyric. She approaches only one of her father's songs, the little-heard Soldier in the Rain. Judging from her lovely interpretation, it's a puzzle why the song never became a standard. The album has a connection to one film currently in theaters. Mancini's recording of the song Senza Fine, originally featured in 1965's The Flight of the Phoenix, can be heard in Ghost Ship. Sung in Italian, it easily outclasses the flick. For fans of film songs, Cinema Paradiso will be a delight. It's even better for lovers of sophisticated pop singing, who will want to present Mancini with bouquets of praise after hearing this wonderful album. Randy Cordova. Reach Cordova at Email | Bio