Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach, Joan Roberts|
Jerome Kern's Roberta (1952 Studio Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
An amalgam of the Broadway (1933) and Hollywood (1935) versions of Jerome Kern's Roberta, this studio cast album from 1952 is a treat for the composer's admirers but may be a harder sell to more casual fans of the American... more »
An amalgam of the Broadway (1933) and Hollywood (1935) versions of Jerome Kern's Roberta, this studio cast album from 1952 is a treat for the composer's admirers but may be a harder sell to more casual fans of the American songbook. Of course it's hard to go wrong with chestnuts such as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "Let's Begin" (from the show) or "Lovely To Look At" (from the movie), but Joan Roberts' interpretation isn't likely to quicken your pulse. Faring much better are the young Kaye Ballard and Portia Nelson, at the time earning their stripes in nightclubs. The latter offers a quivering "Yesterdays," while Ballard's brassy take on "I'll Be Hard to Handle," distinguished by excellent comic timing, is the disc's highlight--along with the divine 40-second instrumental break in "I Won't Dance." --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Pleasant verson of these famous Jerome Kern tunes
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 03/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This Cd offers a welcome reissue of the long out-of-print studio recording of selections from Jerome Kern's ROBERTA. Originally recorded by Columbia in April/May 1952, it was issued (and re-issued) many times remaining available though the end of the Lp era (with several different covers, two of which can be seen on the booklet for this CD.) A previous CD edition was briefly available in the early 90s, but this remastered version sounds much better.
Total playing time for this CD is 45 minutes vs. 32 minutes of music on Decca. This version, however, includes "I Won't Dance" which is not on the Decca set. (The song was added for the 1935 film version.) This recording, made in the early days of Lps has slightly better sound than the 1944 78 RPMs recorded by Decca.
Your choice between the two albums will depend on your preference for the theatrical performances of Alfred Drake, Kitty Carlisle and Paula Laurence on Decca or the easy-listening stylings of Jack Cassidy, Stephen Douglas, Joan Roberts and Kaye Ballard on Columbia/DRG.
A sluggish performance
David O. Roberts | New York | 01/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of any of Kern's music, so I have owned this recording in several of its versions. The problem is, the whole score is conducted without any energy at tempi so slow that it must have been very difficult for the singers. They are all Broadway professionals, but the conductor leads such lackluster arrangements that there is no aura of theatricality. The Decca version, although briefer, and with rather an unsteady contribution from Kitty Carlisle, is decidedly preferable!"
S. Orphanos | New York, NY | 08/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While it is not an "original cast recording, " this album offers much pleasure. It is a combination of songs from the Broadway show and from the movie adaptation. They are all vintage Kern, perhaps the composer of the most beautiful melodies ever written by an American composer. His songs are a combination of Viennese operetta and American pop underpinned by audacious and striking harmony that gives his songs their always distinctive sound. The only more beautiful song than " Smoke Gets in you Eyes " is " All the Things you Are," also by Kern. The cast in this album performs them beautifully. Add this CD to the LP of the songs of the show as performed by Alfred Drake and Kitty Carlisle and you have the last word that need be said about "Roberta.""