Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Music History Monday: Henry Mancini

Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini (1924-1994)

We mark the death on June 14, 1994 – 27 years ago today – of the composer, songwriter, conductor, and arranger Enrico Nicola “Henry” Mancini in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of seventy. Known primarily for his film and television scores, Mancini received twenty Grammy Awards and four Oscars. 

Today’s Music History Monday and Tomorrow’s Dr. Bob Prescribes posts are conceived as a single large unit. Here’s how they will play out.

Henry Mancini was the most influential American film composer of his generation. He was also the outstanding composer of what is now called the “modern Hollywood film score.” Today’s post will dwell on what constitutes the “modern Hollywood film score”, how it evolved, why it evolved, and why Mancini is considered its supreme representative. Tomorrow’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post will offer up Mancini’s biography along with the recommended discs, which feature his best-known works, including his Oscar-winning songs Moon River and Days of Wine and Roses, and his scores to Peter Gunn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Pink Panther, among many others. 

My Music History Monday and Dr. Bob Prescribes posts for February 8 and 9 of this year, respectively, dealt with the life and music of the composer John Williams (born 1932). As we discussed back in February, as a film composer, Williams’ work is a throwback to what is referred to as the “Classic Hollywood film score.” As established in the 1930s and 1940s by the “great one” himself, Max Steiner (1888-1971, whose film scores include Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, King Kong, and The Caine Mutiny), the “Classic Hollywood film score” featured almost continuous orchestral music for the duration of a film and employed a musical language based on the orchestral music of late Romanticism: of Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss.…

Continue reading, only on Patreon!

Become a Patron!

Listen on Music History Monday

Robert Greenberg Courses On Sale Now