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This well­-known standard by Henry Mancini was written for a 1962 film of the same name, chronicling the experiences of a married couple whose lives are destroyed by alcoholism. I was surprised when I discovered this, as I’ve always found the tune to be rather cheerful —a typical jazz love ballad. In order to capture the full impact of the story this song is trying to tell, I’ve rearranged it much more darkly. The melody is first treated as a standard ballad, recalling the joys of life before love was lost, but quickly turns cold and brooding as the pain of loss comes back in full force. That pain remains as an insistent ostinato figure, even as better memories return wistfully at the end.

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