Enrico Nicola Mancini kaldet Henry (6. april 1924 i Cleveland, OH 14. juni 1994 i Beverley Hills, CA, 14 June 1994). American arranger, composer, conductor and pianist. Raised in West Aliquippa near Pittsburgh, he learnt the flute and piano as a child. In his early teens he developed an interest in jazz, especially music of the big bands; he began to teach himself arranging, then had lessons with the theatre conductor and arranger Max Adkins in Pittsburgh. In 1942 he enrolled at the Juilliard Graduate School, but was in the Air Force after less than a year and served until 1946, mostly as a member of military bands. He then became a pianist and arranger for the Glenn Miller-Tex Beneke Orchestra, in whose employ he met the vocalist Virginia O’Connor, whom he married in 1947 after moving to Los Angeles. For the next five years Mancini worked freelance, mostly as an arranger for dance-bands and night-club acts, also composing music for radio programmes. He studied composition privately with Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Krenek and Sendrey.
In 1952 Mancini joined the staff of Universal, under Joseph Gershenson (the studio's music director), and alongside such experienced men as Hans Salter, Frank Skinner, Herman Stein and David Tamkin. He was employed as both an arranger and a composer, and worked on films of many types, including musicals (notably The Glenn Miller Story) and many routine comedies, mysteries, ‘B’ westerns, and monster pictures. Gradually he was given increased responsibility, and in 1958 he worked with Orson Welles on Touch of Evil, for which he composed an effective and innovative score. In the same year, however, Universal let most of its music staff go. Now on his own, Mancini was quickly hired by Blake Edwards (another budding talent at the studio) as the composer for a new television series, Peter Gunn. A recording of Mancini's theme music for the show became a hit, as did his music for Edwards’ next series, Mr. Lucky. Thereafter, from the early 1960s until the late 80s, Mancini composed an average of three or four film scores per year, including more than two dozen that were written, produced and/or directed by Edwards.
Simultaneously Mancini developed a successful career as a recording and concert artist, and he reworked many of his film scores into best-selling commercial albums, most of them issued by RCA. However, these albums normally contained commercial arrangements of the main themes and consequently are not reliable indicators of his gifts as a dramatic composer. Often he gave 50 or more concerts each year as a guest pianist and/or conductor of bands and ‘pops’ orchestras. Some of his later albums (including recordings with James Galway and Luciano Pavarotti) were milestones of the popular/classical ‘crossover’ approach. He received four Academy Awards (two for best score, two for best song), 20 Grammy Awards and several career achievement awards. In 1989 he co-wrote an engaging and informative memoir.
Mancini's greatest influence as a Hollywood composer was felt from 1958 to about 1965, the period when he pioneered fundamentally new styles. He made imaginative use of jazz and popular idioms, which he applied not only to detective stories and film noir (building upon convention) but also to sophisticated romantic comedy, slapstick and other genres. He became known for well-crafted and dramatically apt theme songs, notably those for Breakfast at Tiffany's (‘Moon River’), The Days of Wine and Roses, Charade and Darling Lili (‘Whistling Away the Dark’) – and for witty instrumental pieces, as for Hatari!, The Pink Panther and The Great Race. In general he favoured subtlety and restraint, and liked to score somewhat ‘against’ the scene. For example in Breakfast at Tiffany's the first kiss between the romantic leads (Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard) is underplayed, with a soft, shimmering tremolo that evaporates into silence; and the ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ in Hatari! matches an unexpected variant of a boogie-woogie to the animal's movements. Repeatedly Mancini came up with novel instrumental effects (one trademark being his fondness for alto and/or bass flutes), and he was equally skilled in writing for orchestra, jazz band and small ensembles. In 1962 he wrote and published a guide to orchestration which was widely used by arrangers for years.
After 1965, notwithstanding his celebrity as a ‘pop’ artist, Mancini continued to compose dramatic music for many serious films that either failed at the box office or enjoyed only moderate success. Some fine examples are Two for the Road, The Molly Maguires, The White Dawn, That's Life! and The Glass Menagerie (and also Hitchcock's Frenzy, for which in 1968 he drafted a score that was rejected as being too serious). His scores for two of the later Edwards films, ‘10’ and Victor/Victoria, again brought him popular acclaim. The songs for the latter film (lyrics by Leslie Bricusse) included Mancini's most familiar trademarks: a poignantly lyric waltz, ‘Crazy World’, and a lively band number, ‘Le Jazz Hot’. The film's gender-bending ambiguities (a favourite theme of Edwards throughout his career) has made it enduringly topical, and led to its adaptation as a stage musical which opened on Broadway in 1995: Mancini, suffering from cancer, died while the work was still in development; several other musicians thus had a hand in the revised score, but his songs, including several new ones, constitute the heart of the production.
WORKS Collection: Henry Mancini Songbook, ed. M. Okun (n.p., 1981) Film scores as co-composer and/or arranger (dirs. in parentheses): Lost in Alaska, 1952 (J. Yarbrough); Has Anybody Seen my Gal? (D. Sirk), 1952; Horizons West (B. Boetticher), 1952; (Willie and Joe) Back at the Front (G. Sherman), 1952; The Raiders (L. Selander), 1952; City Beneath the Sea (Boetticher), 1953; Girls in the Night (J. Arnold), 1953; Abbott and Costello go to Mars (C. Lamont), 1953; All I Desire (Sirk), 1953; It Came from Outer Space (Arnold), 1953; It Happens Every Thursday (J. Pevney), 1953; Law and Order (N. Juran), 1953 Lone Hand (Sherman), 1953; Walking my Baby Back Home (L. Bacon), 1953; Creature from the Black Lagoon (Arnold), 1954; The Far Country (A. Mann), 1954; Four Guns to the Border (R. Carlson), 1954; The Glenn Miller Story (Mann), 1954; Johnny Dark (Sherman), 1954; Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (Lamont), 1954; So This is Paris (E. Lubitsch), 1954; Tanganyika (A. de Toth), 1954; Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (Lamont), 1955; Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Lamont), 1955; Ain’t Misbehavin’ (E. Buzzell), 1955; The Benny Goodman Story (V. Davies), 1955 The Private War of Major Benson (J. Hopper), 1955; The Spoilers (J. Hibbs), 1955; Tarantula (Arnold), 1955; This Island Earth (J. Newman), 1955; To Hell and Back (Hibbs), 1955; Behind the High Wall (A. Biberman), 1956; A Day of Fury (H. Jones), 1956; Francis in the Haunted House (Lamont), 1956; The Great Man (J. Ferrer), 1956; Rock, Pretty Baby (R. Bartlett), 1956; Man Afraid (H. Keller), 1957; Mister Cory (B. Edwards), 1957; Flood Tide (Biberman), 1958; This Happy Feeling (Edwards), 1958; Operation Petticoat (Edwards), 1959; others Film scores as principal or sole composer (dirs. in parentheses): Touch of Evil (O. Welles), 1958; Voice in the Mirror (H. Keller), 1958; Never Steal Anything Small (C. Lederer), 1959; High Time (Edwards), 1960; Bachelor in Paradise (Arnold), 1961 [incl. title song; lyrics, M. David]; Breakfast at Tiffany's (Edwards), 1961 [incl. Moon River; lyrics, J. Mercer]; The Great Impostor (R. Mulligan), 1961; Days of Wine and Roses (Edwards), 1962 [incl. title song; lyrics, Mercer]; Experiment in Terror (Edwards), 1962; Hatari! (H. Hawks), 1962 [incl. Baby Elephant Walk]; Mr Hobbs Takes a Vacation (H. Koster), 1962 Charade (S. Donen), 1963 [incl. title song; lyrics, J. Livingston and R. Evans]; The Pink Panther (Edwards), 1963; Soldier in the Rain (R. Nelson), 1963; Dear Heart (D. Mann), 1964 [incl. title song; lyrics, Livingston and Evans]; Man's Favorite Sport? (Hawks), 1964; A Shot in the Dark (Edwards), 1964; The Great Race (Edwards), 1965 [incl. The Sweetheart Tree; lyrics, Mercer]; Arabesque (Donen), 1966; Moment to Moment (M. LeRoy), 1966; What Did you Do in the War, Daddy? (Edwards), 1966; Gunn (Edwards), 1967; Two for the Road (Donen), 1967; Wait Until Dark (T. Young), 1967; The Party (Edwards), 1968 Gaily, Gaily (N. Jewison), 1969; Me, Natalie (F. Coe), 1969; Sunflower (V. De Sica), 1969; Darling Lili (Edwards), 1970 [incl. Whistling Away the Dark; lyrics, Mercer]; The Hawaiians (T. Gries), 1970; The Molly Maguires (M. Ritt), 1970; The Night Visitor (L. Benedek), 1971; Sometimes a Great Notion (P. Newman), 1971 [incl. All His Children; lyrics, A. and M. Bergman]; Oklahoma Crude (S. Kramer), 1973; The Thief Who Came to Dinner (B. Yorkin), 1973; The Girl from Petrovka (R.E. Miller), 1974; The White Dawn (P. Kaufman), 1974; The Great Waldo Pepper (G.R. Hill), 1975; The Return of the Pink Panther (Edwards), 1975; Alex and the Gypsy (J. Korty), 1976 The Pink Panther Strikes Again (Edwards), 1976 [incl. Come to Me; lyrics, D. Black]; Silver Streak (A. Hiller), 1976; W.C. Fields and Me (Hiller), 1976; House Calls (H. Zieff), 1978; Revenge of the Pink Panther (Edwards), 1978; Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (T. Kotcheff); ‘10’ (Edwards), 1979 [incl. It's Easy to Say; lyrics, R. Wells]; A Change of Seasons (R. Lang), 1980; Little Miss Marker (W. Bernstein), 1980; Mommie Dearest (F. Perry), 1981; F.O.B. (Edwards), 1981; Trail of the Pink Panther (Edwards), 1982; Victor/Victoria (Edwards), 1982 [lyrics, L. Bricusse; rev. for stage, 1995] The Man Who Loved Women (Edwards), 1983; Harry and Son (Newman), 1984; Lifeforce (T. Hooper), 1985; Santa Claus (J. Szwarc), 1985; A Fine Mess (Edwards), 1986; The Great Mouse Detective (J. Musker), 1986; That's Life! (Edwards), 1986 [incl. Life in a Looking Glass; lyrics, Bricusse]; Blind Date (Edwards), 1987; The Glass Menagerie (Newman), 1987; Sunset (Edwards, 1988; Without a Clue (T. Eberhardt), 1988; Skin Deep (Edwards), 1989; Welcome Home (F.J. Schaffner), 1989; Ghost Dad (S. Poitier), 1990; Switch (Edwards), 1991; Son of the Pink Panther, 1993 TV series, mini-series and films incl. Peter Gunn, 1958; Mr. Lucky, 1959; NBC Mystery Movie, 1971; The Shadow Box, 1980; Remington Steele, 1982; The Thorn Birds, 1983; Peter Gunn, 1989; Fear, 1990; Never Forget, 1991 Film shorts for Universal: The World's Most Beautiful Girls, 1952; 4 others Orch: Beaver Valley ’37 Suite, ?1970 Some MSS, notes and sketches in US-LAuc