Mario Lanza
   
Serenade
   
   

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD

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12/09/2009
Matt Rowe


 

Famed operatic tenor, Mario Lanza, enjoyed the life of a Rock star back in the '50s before the age of Rock and Roll began.  Of course, there were others enjoying the same level of fame (Sinatra for one), but few enjoyed the intensity of fame that Lanza had.

Lanza also enjoyed a successful movie career in addition to his riotous concert appearances and his well-received weekly entertainment radio show, The Mario Lanza Show.  But everything that Lanza was is encapsulated in his RCA Victor recordings, most which sold in the millions (imagine that, millions).  In short, Mario Lanza was a superstar.  And while Lanza died in 1959 at the tragic young age of 38, his collection of songs live on to carry his name.

RCA's popular Red Seal imprint has assembled a rich collection of Lanza tracks including seven previously unreleased recordings.  Found on Serenade: A Mario Lanza Songbook are collected recordings that were originally recorded for The Mario Lanza Show radio broadcast, some of which are in the previously unreleased category.  The beginning of "Valencia" has a vocal introduction attached to it.

There are the great tunes like the immensely popular "O Sole Mio" as well as Lanza's brilliant (and different for this release- an alternate version with a different orchestral arrangement) of "Because".  There is also the lovely orchestral of "'A vucchella" accentuated by his complementary vocals.

No set, including the single-disc Serenade, can satisfy all of the fans of this extraordinary singer, warmly referred to as The American Caruso, in it's selection of Lanza greats.  Mannering, who wrote this set's notes, also compiled this collection.  It is a fair and balanced collection made collectible by its inclusion of the seven previously unreleased recordings.

Mario Lanza is further celebrated by this release with a photo-laden 12-page booklet that includes a written essay by Lanza chronicler, Derek Mannering.  The booklet also contains a complete set of credits for each song (3 pages).

I first came upon the hypnotic influence of Mario Lanza at a very early age as I perused my uncle's LP collection (before I had any vinyl of my own).  Because of this, I have enjoyed music on a much broader scale than many of my peers who haven't had the same access that I had.  Mario Lanza still maintains an accessibilty in my musical explorations.  I hope that you'll take the chance to enjoy the rich voice that Lanza possessed, musically elevated by the big bands of his day.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



 
     
     
     

 

 

   
 
     

 

Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
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212 Frech
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"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
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"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)