Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard Rodgers, Anita Darian, Daniel Ferro|
The King And I (1964 Studio Cast)
Genres: Folk, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The orchestrations on this CD are more lilting than the movie's orchestrations, and Barabra Cook delivers on of the grandest Anna's of all time. FOR ANY 'THE KING AND I' FAN!"
Cook?s singing makes this a CD to remember
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The arrangements are rather bland, and Theodore Bikel is an OK "King", but Barbara Cook gives ample evidence that she may have been the finest of all "Anna"'s to grace the stage. This is a studio recording, not an original cast album, but Cook's versions of the classics are undoubtedly similar to the way she sang those when she played Anna in the City Center revival. There are no better recorded versions of "I Whistle A Happy Tune", "Getting to Know You", "Shall We Dance" or (especially) "Hello Young Lovers" anywhere, and even her "Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You" is completely delightful. Cook inhabits the role - it isn't just her gorgeous voice that makes the singing so convincing, it the power she brings to the lyrics. Just listen to her singing, "Don't cry young lovers..."Of course, you want to cry..."
Alan | New York, NY | 12/12/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Barbara Cook played Anna in a 1960 City Center production of "The King and I." She received wonderful reviews, and she has said that Anna was her favorite role.
Unfortunately, when Cook got her chance to record Anna in 1964, it was on this misconceived recording.
What's wrong? For some reason, as on several other of their studio recordings of classic musicals that were made around this time, Columbia decided to commmission new orchestrations from the Philip J. Lang. I don't know why; perhaps they couldn't get the rights to use the original orchestrations. Lang was a skilled theatre orchestrator, but on this recording he seems to have been asked orchestrate the score as if for a 101 Strings recording. The orchestrations here are almost always overblown and sometime downright ludicrous. These orchestrations don't support the singers, but compete with them. A new overture was written, and it's no match for the original.
Cook somehow doesn't come across all that well here. She is at her best in "Getting to Know You" and "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" Indeed, her performance of the last number is perhaps the best to be heard on any recording of the score, though the orchestrations are no better than they are elsewhere.
The rest of her performance mostly sounds surprisingly perfunctory. Here and there are moments in which you can hear a hint of how good she must have been in the role onstage, but for whatever reason most of her performance here is not on the level that you would expect of Cook. Perhaps she needed more coaching from the record producer or maybe her best takes weren't used. Whatever the reason, she is mostly disappointing.
Theodore Bikel is the King on this recording. Bikel has been wonderful in many things, but he is not good here, playing with his phrasing in ways that seem amateurish. His attempts to sound Asian are a bit embarrassing.
The other three principals are considerably better than Bikel, though the Lun Tha's voice is rather too heavy. But just for an example of what's wrong with this recording, when Jeanette Scovotti sings her section of "I Have Dreamed," she does very well, but the orchestration is so busy that you find your attention continually being drawn away from her.
I would recommend this recording only to fans of Barbara Cook who must have every one of her recordings and to fans of this score who must have every recording of it. Otherwise, you can do much better elsewhere.
If you're looking for a recording of this score, the recording of the 1977 revival, with Yul Brynner and Constance Towers, is a good first choice. It has almost all of the important music, lacking only some of the underscoring, a couple of reprises, and "The Small House of Uncle Thomas."
If you want something truly complete, including "The Small House of Uncle Thomas," the two-CD JAY recording is mostly good. The original cast with Gertrude Lawrence and Brynner is very interesting because of them, but is disfigured by too many cuts to be your only recording of the score.
To be avoided are the Broadway revival with Donna Murphy and the studio recording with Julie Andrews (which uses the scoring from the movie and thus incorporates the cuts to which the movie subjected the score)."