Mario Lanza Sings Songs from The Student Prince and The Desert Song

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Mario Lanza Sings Songs from The Student Prince and The Desert Song
Compilation album by Mario Lanza
Released 1989
Recorded 1954, 1989
Genre Opera, Soundtrack
Label RCA Victor

Mario Lanza Sings Songs from The Student Prince and The Desert Song is a 1989 compilation album by Mario Lanza.

This RCA Victor CD features most of the songs recorded by Mario Lanza for the 1954 MGM film The Student Prince. These include several that would become closely identified with the tenor: "Serenade," "Drink! Drink! Drink!," "Beloved," and "I'll Walk With God." The last two selections are not by Sigmund Romberg, the original composer of The Student Prince, but were written especially for the film version by Nicholas Brodszky and Paul Francis Webster. Generally regarded as being among Lanza's finest renditions of English-language songs, The Student Prince was recorded in 1952, with one remake ("Beloved") in May 1953. For contractual reasons, the singing of soprano Ann Blyth (who originally sang with Lanza on two of the numbers) has been replaced by that of Elizabeth Doubleday on this disc. Constantine Callinicos was appointed Mario Lanza's musical director for the film, and most of the soundtrack recordings were made with Constantine Callinocos conducting the MGM Orchestra.

The second half of the CD consists of highlights from another Romberg operetta, The Desert Song. Recorded in Rome in August and September of 1959 at a time when Lanza was recovering from a bout of double pneumonia, these are the tenor's final recordings. He died on October 7, 1959, shortly after the recordings were made. Lanza is accompanied here on several selections by soprano Judith Raskin, who recorded her contributions in New York a year after the tenor's death. Constantine Callinicos conducted these 1959 selections.

References[edit]

Cesari, Armando. Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Fort Worth: Baskerville 2004).