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Carousel - 1993 London Cast Recording
Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Michael Hayden
Carousel - 1993 London Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

This marvelous 1993 London revival breathes new life into an old warhorse, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Carousel. The voices of Joanna Riding as Julie Jordan and Michael Hayden as Billy Bigelow (a role he rep...  more »


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All Artists: Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Michael Hayden, Joanna Riding
Title: Carousel - 1993 London Cast Recording
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA Victor Broadway
Original Release Date: 3/15/1994
Release Date: 3/15/1994
Album Type: Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Style: Musicals
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090266250622

Synopsis essential recording
This marvelous 1993 London revival breathes new life into an old warhorse, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Carousel. The voices of Joanna Riding as Julie Jordan and Michael Hayden as Billy Bigelow (a role he reprised in the 1994 Broadway production) might not have the sheer beauty of Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae on the movie soundtrack, but they sound younger, thereby making this story of doomed romance more poignant and believable. This is especially true in "If I Loved You," which unfolds over a mesmerizing 11 and a half minutes as the pair tries in vain to convince themselves that they are not in love. This generous 79-minute recording includes all the other gems of the score, including the fabulous prologue ("The Carousel Waltz"), Billy's ode to his impending parenthood ("Soliloquy"), the inspiring anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone," and even the second-act ballet music and bits of connecting dialogue. In fact, listening to this CD is like spending a night at the theater. What else could you ask from a cast recording? --David Horiuchi

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CD Reviews

I almost didn't buy this CD because of the negative reviews
Hypoxy | Bath, ME United States | 08/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"...and I'd have missed the most poignant, exuberant performance of this great musical I've ever seen or heard.

(And I've seen probably a dozen live performances of Carousel since my first one in Dallas in the late '40s. I own the orig. cast, the remastered orig. cast, the movie sound track, the Barbara Cook/Samuel Ramey, the John Raitt/Eileen Christy Lincoln Center recordings.)

I've been a voice coach and choral director for ~40 years. I know what great voices sound like. I also know when vocal virtuosity is secondary to a singer-actor's ability to draw an audience into his character and the story that's being told.

Clive Rowe isn't Eric Mattson, but he IS the love-besotted fisherman-with-big-dreams Enoch Snow. Jigger's gravelly voice is predictively sinister, Julie sounds like a sweet unsophisticated teenage girl. Meg Johnson's "You'll Never Walk Alone" is not the operatic aria it is in some hands; it's exactly what it was written to be: a tender attempt to comfort a grief-stricken youngster.

Michael Hayden's "Soliloquy" lacks the vocal grandeur of Raitt's, but it lacks nothing in its expression of the agony of a hooligan carny kid wrestling with utterly alien emotions.

Katrina Murphy is impeccable by any standard and that's as it should be. If I were a female singer with Broadway aspirations, the role of Carrie would be my ultimate dream.

The marvelous chorus is always attuned to the moment, the orchestra is exhilarating, the orchestration is simply inspired. The music is so perfectly integrated into the dialogue and action that you are unaware of any synapse.

This recording, with its wonderful generosity in including so much of the score and enough dialogue to allow even those who are unfamiliar with the musical to understand the characters and follow the drama, conveys the bittersweet story of this love affair more effectively than any performance in my experience.

Keith Allen's perceptive review nails it: this is not 1945. I think the London company pulled off a near miracle: a Carousel with the grittiness and realism today's audiences demand, yet with so-obvious loving respect for Rodgers' & Hammerstein's masterpiece."
Very Disappointing
Jazz Baby | USA | 04/19/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Compare Raitt's "Soliquoy" on the Decca "Selections" CD to Hayden's on the London cast recording. Raitt's operatic majesty, masculinity laced with self-hatred, and charismatic musicality jump out of my tinny little CD player. Michael Hayden is - and I hate to criticize any performer - downright anemic by contrast, as well as lacking utterly the pathos and complexity of Raitt's showstopping version. The use of a real opera voice, with Raitt, was a stroke of genius, as it contrasts so deliciously and painfully with Billy Bigelow's shortcomings of character.
I cannot overstate this- DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON THIS LONDON VERSION. Suffice it to say, it misses "the point" of the show.
I will continue to explore other versions, as my love of and fascination with this show is endless.
GET THE DECCA VERSION - "SELECTIONS FROM THE THEATRE GUILD MUSICAL PLAY,", instead. Whatever its deficiences (truncation mainly) its emotional and aesthetic rewards are enormous and triumphant."
Has this cast been vocally trained at all?
Grant Hugh Alexander | The Deep South, USA | 12/25/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The title to this review pretty much sums up my view of this recording. Joanna Riding is a wonderful actress, but her New England accent, like that of most of this British cast, with the exception of the American Billy, Michael Hayden, is overdone. Also, Riding's voice doesn't suite the songs well at all - she seems to be straining a lot of the time, poor thing. She sounds more like a mezzo-soprano or alto who has been forced into a legit soprano's role. Hayden's singing is alright, but is much better on the 1994 Broadway cast recording. As Nettie, Meg Johnson is absolutely terrible: her voice sounds rough and hoarse rather than warm and inviting. As Carrie, Katrina Murphy is acceptable, but Audra McDonald absolutely dominates the role with her silvery soprano in the 1994 Broadway production. Also lacking is a sense of life and vitality that pulses through the 1994 recording. However, and we get to hear more dialogue here, including the dialogue at the end of the show where Billy encourages his daughter to listen to the words of the principal and tells Julie he loved her. These nicities aren't enough for me to recommend this recording, however. Purchase the 1994 Broadway Cast Recording instead and hear Sally Murphy, a sweet-voiced legit soprano, as Julie, a luminous Audra McDonald (she won a Tony Award for her work in this production) as Carrie and Shirley Verrrett, a classically-trained opera singer, as Nettie. More worth the investment than this one."