Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Robert Wright, George Forrest|
Kismet (1953 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: World Music, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Using themes by 19th-century Russian composer Alexander Borodin to musicalize a play set in ancient Baghdad seems the kind of harebrained idea only a crazed producer would have. And we should thank him for it. For Kismet i... more »
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Using themes by 19th-century Russian composer Alexander Borodin to musicalize a play set in ancient Baghdad seems the kind of harebrained idea only a crazed producer would have. And we should thank him for it. For Kismet is Broadway at its most demented--just the way we like it. Robert Wright and George Forrest reworked Borodin's music so that it would function as the basis for show songs. And what songs: "Stranger in Paradise" and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" have become classics, and the rest of the score is delightfully kitsch. Alfred Drake equals his performance in Kiss Me, Kate in a bombastic tour-de-force, and to top it all off, Borodin got a posthumous Tony. Fans (you know who you are) will enjoy the bonus interviews with the leads. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Mono sound but still the BEST performance/recording.
A. Andersen | Bellows Falls, VT USA | 08/30/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"KISMET began life as a 1911 play, filmed as a silent that year and again as a talkie in Vitascope widescreen (65 mm.) in 1930. It got the MGM Technicolor treatment in 1942 and then was adapted into this sumptuous operetta in 1953, followed by a leaden and boring fourth film version -this time of the musical - in 1955. Here is the extraordinary original cast - Alfred Drake Doretta Morrow, Richard Kiley, Joan Diener and Henry Calvin. Sound is excellent, performances both dramatically and musically are superb and the orchestrations are lush, dramatic, sumptuous and breathtakingly beautiful. Too bad the book is humorous fluff - but the score is one of the glories of the musical theatre. This was the first LP designed solely for that format (times weren't trimmed to fit on one side of a 78 or 45 rpm alternate disk) and the first to be recorded in microgroove, allowing for far more recorded sound per LP side than before. Exceptional clarity, the excitement of a live Broadway performance and deserved winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score and Best Actor. It ran for 583 performances on Broadway and was revived in 1978 in an African version, TIMBUKTU. Exceptional conducting. Here are the 18 original musical numbers. Dance music is not included but in any case this is a gem in the recorded annals of musical history. Very worth owning. (Note: This was Kiley's first show and Diener's next to last. Years later he was to star as Don Quixote in MAN OF LA MANCHA with Diener costarring in her last role as Aldonza). Note the "theatrical" approach of Alfred Drake from the rear of the recording studio in RYMES HAVE I - another "touch" of Goddard Lieberson, recording producer for Columbia."
A BYGONE AGE OF MAGICAL MUSIC
vanyar | SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA USA | 09/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every song in this disc has exciting and glorious music ( and why not?; They're' by Borodin). The lyrics, too, remarkably adapted not only to fit the music as though they belonged, but also showing wit, melodic sensitivity and, what's more,intelligence. They also assume that the listener has some intelligence. The voices?; Beautiful and appropriate to the part. (Did you know that Joan Diener graduated from Shaker Heights High in Ohio and that her first (?) role was in HMS Pinafore at the Clevelad Playhouse?) Well, she only gets better! I never tire of listening to the score."
What a cast!
vanyar | 08/25/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know if any other Broadway musical has ever sported such a sterling cast of stage names. There is Alfred Drake from OKLAHOMA! and KISS ME, KATE; Doretta Morrow from THE KING AND I; Richard Kiley, who later starred in MAN OF LA MANCHA; and Joan Diener, who also went on to star in MAN OF LA MANCHA. Despite the talented cast, the only major song from this musical is STRANGER IN PARADISE (the only song to have been covered by other artists) , sung by Richard Kiley and Doretta Morrow. There are other known songs however, so this album is worth the buy!"