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By Mahnuel Muñoz

On November 22, 1961, Frank completed the recording of the LP “Sinatra & Strings”, the first and, for me, the best of the many albums with Don Costa, then a young and talented arranger and producer.

This first Don Costa contribution to the Sinatra canon is unique and very different from the pop terrain they would explore together from the late 1960s until Costa’s untimely death in 1983, including the classic arrangements of “My Way” and “New York, New York.”

With “Strings,” Sinatra wasn’t simply looking for a new arranger; He intended to create an album of ballads from the American Songbook with a string arrangement that would transmit sensations completely different from anything he had done before. And from the first notes we notice that he has achieved it. Everything in “Strings” tells us that we are facing a new and very estimable string writer.


It is not a “Saloon Album”; Although the interpretations are sad and melancholic, they do not have the somber or terminal character that pervades the repertoires of “No One Cares” or “Only The Lonely.”

Don Costa shows himself in “Strings” as a worthy successor to Axel Stordahl, bridging the gap. “Strings” is a perfect follow-up to “Point Of No Return.” Costa elegantly delves into Stordahl’s legacy, that romantic sound lovingly burnished during the 1940s. Costa’s sound on “Strings” is at once ethereal and somber, luminous and underwater, and perfectly suited to the intention of Frank, whose singing here is even grander than usual, resorting to the “Grand Finale” and a rich and tasteful interpretative theatricality.

“Sinatra & Strings” is an essential album and easy to find. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy it if you haven’t already.

Access the Complete Discography of Frank Sinatra in the following link of Sinatra Radio 24h

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