Joseph Calleja Announces New Album ‘The Magic Of Mantovani’

Joseph Calleja will release his new album ‘The Magic Of Mantovani’, featuring Mantovani’s original orchestral recordings, in September.

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Joseph Calleja photo
Tenor Joseph Calleja. Photo: Decca/Esme Mai

Joseph Calleja, one of today’s most acclaimed tenors, the family of Mantovani, and his longtime record label Decca, have announced a brand new album, The Magic Of Mantovani, will be released on 25 September 2020. Mantovani’s original orchestral 1950s and ’60s recordings have been remastered and reimagined with new vocals for the first time. Recorded this year, true to style on Decca original 1950s microphones, Joseph Calleja’s “outstanding” (Guardian) and “timelessly beautiful voice” (The i) breathes new life into what became known as the famous ‘Mantovani sound’ on abiding favourites including ‘Strangers In The Night’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Moon River’ and ‘Que Sera’.

Joseph Calleja - Strangers In The Night

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Mantovani’s strings accompany Joseph Calleja

Conductor, composer and arranger Mantovani was ‘Britain’s most successful album act before the Beatles’ and the first ever recording artist to sell over 1 million stereo albums. In a year which marks 40 years since Mantovani’s untimely death in March 1980, and 80 years since he signed to Decca, his trademark “cascading” strings sound accompanies one of today’s most acclaimed and sought-after tenors, Joseph Calleja. The new release follows Joseph Calleja’s biggest success to date, Be My Love – A Tribute To Mario Lanza, another dreamy nostalgia trip through the orchestral hits of the 1950s.

Mantovani’s career was defined by No. 1 records

Mantovani’s career was defined by No. 1 records: ‘Charmaine’, his signature track was his first single to sell 1 million copies and his hits included ‘Cara Mia’ which spent 10 weeks at No.1 in the UK Singles Chart. But it is the catalogue of over 80 albums made across four decades and coinciding with the birth of the long-playing record which propelled Mantovani to global superstar status and over 100 million record sales.

The magical, “shimmering” effect was achieved with a full-size orchestra, warmed by the resonance of Decca’s new ‘Full Frequency Range Recording’. Huge international record sales and a weekly radio programme installed the hallmark Mantovani orchestral sound into millions of homes. To mark his 25th anniversary with Decca in 1966, as well as his 60th birthday, the company presented him with a solid gold baton.

“We don’t doubt that Mantovani himself would have been so pleased and proud that his music continues to live on”

“On the 40th anniversary of Mantovani’s death our family is thrilled and delighted that Decca will be releasing an album using the original Mantovani mastertapes with Joseph Calleja,” explained Mantovani’s daughter-in-law Patricia Mantovani. “His superb voice brings a new interpretation of these arrangements and we could not have wished for a better collaboration. We don’t doubt that Mantovani himself would have been so pleased and proud that his music continues to live on.”

Mantovani’s grandson Simon Mott added, “Joseph Calleja has done the impossible – brought my grandfather’s beautiful music back to life. Now a whole new audience can appreciate its wonder!”

This new release features a special guest appearance by Grammy award-winning American soprano Renée Fleming on ’Somewhere’ from West Side Story.

Mantovani, more than any other musician in history, took the genre of light orchestral music to unprecedented heights. Now, the magic of Mantovani is back with one of the most celebrated tenors of the 21st century giving the iconic orchestral arrangements a fresh, new sound.

The Magic Of Mantovani will be released on 25 September 2020 and can be pre-ordered here.

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