Music has always been an essential element of animated films. Indeed, the importance of musical scores and songs to the success of animated features has been recognized with a steady stream of critical praise and multiple Academy Awards. Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra have gathered together the finest examples of the film composer’s art for Magical Musicals, a new recording of songs from recent animated features.
Magical Musicals presents music from "Mulan," "Hercules," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Pocahontas," and selections from "Toy Story," "101 Dalmations," "The Return of Jafar," "Oliver and Company," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "James and the Giant Peach," and "Aladdin and the King of Thieves." Some of the most beautiful and enduring songs enjoyed today had their origin in the scores of classic Disney films—with Magical Musicals, Kunzel and the Pops touch that place within us where the wonder of childhood still lives.
Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops have scored twice with Disney albums, selling more than 500,000 copies of the Grammy-nominated A Disney Spectacular (CD-80196) and The Magical Music of Disney (CD-80381). This new disc is destined to be another hit.
Erich Kunzel is the most successful Billboard Classical Crossover recording artist in history. Billboard named him "Classical Crossover Artist of the Year" an unprecedented four consecutive times, and, of the 64 Cincinnati Pops’ Telarc releases, 49 have appeared on the Billboard charts. No orchestra in the world can match that record.
Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown Universities, Kunzel studied under French conductor Pierre Monteux, later becoming his personal assistant. Invited by music director Max Rudolph to join the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, his first conducting appearance with the CSO was a sold-out eight o’clock Pops concert at Music Hall in October 1965.
Kunzel’s affinity for "pops" repertoire was immediate. In 1970, Arthur Fiedler invited him to conduct the Boston Pops, and Kunzel has led that orchestra annually ever since, in more than one hundred performances at Boston’s Symphony Hall and on tour. When the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was officially established in 1977, Kunzel was the obvious choice for conductor. He has since led the ensemble to unprecedented success with music lovers worldwide through tour performances and best-selling Telarc recordings.