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John Mauceri

The Sound of Hollywood (16CD Box Set)

The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra breathed new life into the orchestral pops repertoire, told new stories and brought in new audiences when it was revived under the conductor John Mauceri in the 1990s. At the centrepiece of this collection are all of the original HBO albums released by Philips from 1991–96.

From Gershwin to Ligeti, The Firebird to Edward Scissorhands, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra breathed new life into the orchestral ‘pops’ repertoire, told new stories and brought in new audiences when it was revived under the conductor John Mauceri in 1990.

From the start, they played to capacity audiences at the Hollywood Bowl, where the Los Angeles Philharmonic had been giving concerts since 1922. Now reformed as a separate ensemble – ‘the world’s greatest pick-up band’, auditioned by Mauceri and his colleagues from freelancers across the West Coast – the new Hollywood Bowl Orchestra played a huge repertoire of classical, contemporary, film and Broadway, and recorded the highlights for Philips.


The mastermind behind their artistic success and uniquely diverse repertoire was Mauceri, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein, who had long worked with equal success in opera, the symphony and musical theatre. Mauceri made the connections that link Holst and Ravel to John Williams and Hans Zimmer, the Korngold and Schoenberg of Vienna to their later identities in California. He showed in sound as well as word how ‘Golden Age’ Hollywood film scores developed from the world of European late-Romanticism and modernism.

Mauceri and his colleagues dug deep into studio libraries to unearth the best, the most original and complete scores available for pieces such as The King and I and familiar ‘standards’ often heard in much later orchestrations. They worked with great singers from all backgrounds, including (featured in this set) Julia Andrews, Patti LuPone and Sylvia McNair. Each individual HBO album was curated by Mauceri to tell a familiar story – love scenes, nightmares, waltzes, the space age, the passing of a day – from an unexpected angle.

The box also includes Mauceri’s Decca albums of My Fair Lady, starring Kiri Te Kanawa and Jeremy Irons, and ‘Schoenberg in Hollywood’ (part of the label’s Entartete Musik series). A booklet essay by Peter Quantrill traces the genesis of the revived Hollywood Bowl Orchestra through Mauceri’s reflections. Costa Pilavachi, who masterminded many of these recordings for Philips offers his own personal insights. Whichever side of the musical tracks you’re from, The Sound of Hollywood will take you on new journeys, to unfamiliar destinations.

CD 1 The Gershwins in Hollywood Patti Austin; Gregory Hines Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 2 Rodgers & Hammerstein Complete Overtures Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 3 Rodgers & Hammerstein The King and I Julie Andrews · Ben Kingsley Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 4 Heatwave Patti LuPone sings Irving Berlin Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 5 The Hollywood Bowl on Broadway Rodgers · Weill · Arlen · Kern Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 6 Lerner & Lowe My Fair Lady Kiri Te Kanawa; Jeremy Irons Sir John Gielgud; Warren Mitchell London Symphony Orchestra CD 7 Prelude to a Kiss The Duke Ellington Album Dee Bridgewater Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 8 Songs of the Earth Twenty-five Hours on our Planet Ravel · Grieg · Nielsen · Debussy · Waxman · Wagner/Stokowski · Schoenberg Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 9 The Great Waltz J. Strauss II/Tiomkin · Bennett · R. Strauss · Herrmann · Loewe · Prokofiev · Sondheim · Bernstein · Rózsa · Waxman · Steiner · Korngold · Ravel Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 10 Journey to the Stars A Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure Blomdahl · Herrmann · Goldsmith · Barron · Waxman · Corigliano · Ligeti · North · Williams · Elfman · Bliss Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 11 Hollywood Dreams Schoenberg · Rodgers · Steiner · Stravinsky · Newman · Waxman · Bernstein · Arlen · Prokofiev · Korngold · Gore · Barry · Williams Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 12 Hollywood Nightmares Savino · Steiner · Stravinsky · Williams · Herrmann · Rózsa · Barry · Waxman · Goldsmith Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 13 Always and Forever Fain · North · Newman · Goldsmith · Waxman · Puccini · Rózsa · E. Bernstein · Morricone · Barry · Korngold · Herrmann · Bennett · Raksin · Steiner · Friedhofer Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 14 The Sound of Hollywood Newman · Steiner · Gershwin · Stothart · Arlen · Loewe · Herrmann · Korngold · Rodgers · Williams · Barry Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 15 American Classics Gershwin · Ellington · Bernstein · Adams Hollywood Bowl Orchestra CD 16 Schoenberg in Hollywood Suite in G major · Chamber Symphony No. 2 · Theme and Variations, Op. 43b Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin