“ During the early 1950's, I was regularly listening every morning to a program on a local radio station entitled "The Charlie Stark Music Shop." It was literally my education in regard to light music, as I eagerly drank up everything I was hearing, writing down names of selections that intrigued me, and this continued for a period of perhaps 3 years. Whenever possible, I purchased recordings of the selections that I was attracted to, in any format available - 78 or 45 RPM singles or albums or LP albums. I diverted from this for a number of years to pursue a career in the serious field, but the internet and YouTube revived old memories for me, and I loved and still love sharing them. Of course, even during the intervening years I encountered musicians in the serious field who were quite interested in the genre that we have so come to love and enjoy.
On this radio show I refer to, I first heard "Frenesi," the selection that Bob has written about here (and incidentally, he is altogether correct as to the pronunciation of the title), only that my initial experience with it was not the classic Artie Shaw reading that made the charts, but rather one by Andre Kostelanetz. Although I subsequently heard the Artie Shaw recording, that by Kostelanetz has always remained my ideal. I tend to prefer renditions for larger orchestras, and these renditions for me are large not necessarily by the weight of the ensemble (although that would play a part) but rather by the character of the setting. In the same manner, the Leroy Anderson settings of popular standards by Arthur Fiedler with the Boston Pops Orchestra have similarly remained my ideal, to the extent that I nowadays cannot fully enjoy them in any other setting, as the impression I receive is akin to that of serious music. It should be remembered that much light music really does skirt the borders of serious music, and its best practitioners were classically trained.
Getting back to the Kostelanetz setting of "Frenesi," I ultimately purchased it as part of a 10" LP entitled "Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra in Eight All-Time Hits" (it may well have existed originally in an album of 78 or 45 RPM singles), and I have come to treasure not only this selection but many of the others in this album, such as "Just One of Those Things," "You and the Night and the Music" (probably for me the best setting of this particular song), and an excellent rendition of the "Carousel Waltz," which though abridged somewhat, has become my bible as far as its presentation goes, and I for one know of none better of this selection.
Should Kostelanetz's rendition of "Frenesi" be added to the offerings of the Guild series? I certainly would think so; only that for greater ease of access for those who are genuinely interested in it, it should by all odds be combined with other Kostelanetz offerings, and not buried in some album offering a miscellany where it might easily be overlooked. ”