Wednesday, November 24, 2010


André Kostelanetz is one of my favourite orchestral composer and conductor.

André Kostelanetz
Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Kostelanetz escaped in 1922 after the Russian Revolution. He arrived in the United States that year, and in the 1920s, conducted concerts for radio. In the 1930s, he began his own weekly show on CBS, André Kostelanetz Presents.

Kostelanetz was known for arranging and recording light classical music pieces for mass audiences, as well as orchestral versions of songs and Broadway show tunes. He made numerous recordings over the course of his career, which had sales of over 50 million and became staples of beautiful music radio stations. For many years, Kostelanetz also conducted the New York Philharmonic in pops concerts and recordings, in which they were billed as Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra.

André Kostelanetz may be best-known to modern audiences for a series of easy listening instrumental albums on Columbia Records from the 1940s until 1980. Kostelanetz actually started making this music before there was a genre called "easy listening". He continued until after some of his contemporaries, including Mantovani, had stopped recording. His music sold over 50 million copies!

Outside the United States, one of his best known works was an orchestral arrangement of the tune "With a Song in my Heart", which was the signature tune of a long-running BBC radio program, at first called Forces Favourites, then Family Favourites, and finally Two Way Family Favourites.

Kostelanetz's last concert was A Night in Old Vienna with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at that city's War Memorial Opera House on December 31, 1979.

He died in Haiti on January 13, 1980, aged 78.

If you like Spanish and flamenco style music, you will love “Fire and Jealousy”. I give this album 4.5 stars and my favourites include Jalousie, Malaguena, Ritual Dance of Fire and Bolero.

Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra - Fire and Jealousy (1961)

Side One

1. Jalousie (Jealousy)

2. Cielito Lindo

3. Malaguena

4. Cordoba (From Cantos De Espana)

5. Adios

6. Spanish Dance No 1 (From La Vida Breve)

Side Two

1. Ritual Dance Of Fire (From El Amor Brujo)

2. Caminito

3. Bolero



lugworm said...

G'day Veen, another beauty, Ravel's Bolero is one of my all time favourites, this is an abbreviated version but first rate never the less. Again you have come up with a winner! Thanks

Veen said...

My pleasure LW. If you have the longer version of Bolero, I would love it...that is if you are willing to share it with me. My e-mail address is:

lugworm said...

Veen, I do have it and will have to dig it out. I will then send it to you.

Veen said...

Thank you sir...looking forward to it, but take your time.