Magic of Mantovani 

The King of romantic strings heartthrob bandleader Anunzio Mantovani pictured at the height of his fame

Golden Hits of the Sixties -The Magic of Mantovani Orchestra: Bournemouth Pavilion

King of romantic strings, Anunzio Mantovani,1950s hearthrob and light classical pioneer, may be all but forgotten by the modern world but in Bournemouth he remains a musical hero.

Bayley Tobing2

Not only did he spend his retirement living in the town but for the past five years Mantovani mad percussionist Paul Barrett has staged packed-out concerts in Bournemouth and Poole celebrating his hero.

Last night (Sunday April 14) his astonishing handpicked 48 piece Magic of Mantovani Orchestra triumphed again as a near-capacity crowd enjoyed their take on the Italian born bandleader’s lush treatment of a raft of sixties hits. There was also a rapturously received appearance by award-winning Indonesian vocalist Joy Tobing.

 With some new arrangements by the show’s co-producer, Poole based violinist Franke Leprince, the orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland and led by Matthew Scrivener, a last minute replacement or indisposed John Bradbury, wove some real Mantovani magic, playing everything from Hello Dolly to Yesterday, Strangers in the Night to I Left My Heart in San Francisco. There were visits to Maigret and Peyton Place. 

Paul Barrett3

Paul Barrett (pictured left), as always, played percussion throughout delighting the crowd with his novelty hats and fielding banter from regular compere the former BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Ed “Stewpot’ Stewart, another Poole resident.

 There were big new Franck Leprince arrangements of the Bond and Avengers themes and he also provided 2004 Indonesian Idol winner Tobing with a stunning new version of the Dusty Springfield hit You Don’t have to Say You Love Me, the first song she had ever performed on European soil.

Tobing, who was accompanied by her musical director Matheson Bayley (they are pictured above right),  also performed her signature hit Love’s Promised Land to an audience that included the song’s authors Kevin Porée and Charlotte Gordon Cumming and the Indonesian ambassador. 

Jeremy Miles 

© Jeremy Miles 2022