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A Little Night Music [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
Stephen Sondheim, Paul Gemignani, A Little Night Music Pit Orchestra
A Little Night Music [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1


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Essential for any Broadway musical collection
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 05/24/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a re-release by Sony of the glorious 1998 remaster which offers even better sound (and longer takes of some of the songs) than the previous issues on the Columbia label (Lp and CD.) (Note: It is the same remaster, and nothing new has been added content-wise.)

In reviewing the previous edition I commented:

"The original cast has never been bettered in any subsequent recording and the lush sound that producers Goddard Lieberson and Thomas Shepherd achieved always sounded fine on LP but here it has been polished like a fine jewel.

The original LP edition came with a booklet containing all the lyrics and, sadly, neither CD release includes a reprint. The diction of the cast, however, is so good that a libretto isn't really needed.

While Glynis John's touchingly acted take on "Send in the Clowns" remains one of the album's high points there are many others: "The Miller's Song" (with that deathless Sondheim lyric "It's a very short road from the pinch and punch to the paunch and the pouch and the pension..."); Charlotte and Anne's duet "Ev'ry Day A Little Death"; The jealous dragoon's soliloquy "In Praise of Women" and, best of all, the concerted first act finale "A Weekend in the Country."

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is a cast album you will enjoy more with each repeat listening."

Nothing has changed, and this recording is essential for any Broadway musical collection. One item I neglected to mention is the bonus track: Elaine Tomkinson's recording of a different version of "The Glamorous Life" written for the 1977 film version. The movie soundtrack album has not been re-released on CD (and good luck in finding a decent LP copy) and even though this version of the song has no place in the stage version, it is a treat to hear it. (That said, I wish they had included the movie version's "Night Waltz" featuring Sondheim's lyrics including the line "And love is a lecture on how to correct your mistakes.")

The new edition on the Masterworks Broadway label is packaged in an "eco-friendly" cardboard sleeve. Although these packages may be slightly better for the planet, they don't stand up to the handling nearly as well. The case will wear out long before the CD ever does. I'll stick with my original pressing, but I give Sony credit for keeping these titles actively available for the next generation of Broadway fans.

How does this NIGHT MUSIC compare with subsequent recordings? I have always found it preferable to the 1975 London cast with Jean Simmons A Little Night Music (1975 Original London Cast) and the well-recorded Ter/Jay studio cast version Little Night Music.

The 2009 Broadway revival has been recorded and released in a beautiful 2 CD package by PS Classics.
A Little Night Music. This is the most complete recording of the score but the orchestra has been downsized considerable and the cast is a little more variable.

The true rarity among NIGHT MUSIC cast albums is the 1996 London revival starring Judi Dench. It as issued on a small label called Tring which has long since vanished and the recording contracts prevented it from being released outside of the U.K. It is well worth a hunt, but bring plenty of cash or be prepared to settle for a CD-R copy."
Sondheim's intoxicating waltz-time musical classic
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 03/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC has never been in better hands than with the original Broadway cast headed by Glynis Johns and Len Cariou. This is the same disc and contents as the previous 1999 Broadway Masterworks edition but in a new cardboard "eco-pack" sleeve.

Sondheim's most intricate and beguiling waltz-time score is sung with passion, wit and care with this superb cast. The score, which includes such timeless Broadway standards as "The Miller's Son", "Liaisons", "The Glamorous Life" and "Every Day a Little Death" (to say nothing of "Send in the Clowns"), is simply dud-free and heavenly.

Although, I do prefer the original London cast's Petra (Diane Langton) to her Broadway counterpart (D. Jamin Bartlett). "The Miller's Son" is full of intricate wordplay, and requires a snappy, crisp delivery. Langton brings down the house in her rendition, wheras Bartlett sounds too laid-back and relaxed in what is a frenzied, frenetic display of emotion (not unlike "Getting Married Today" from COMPANY).

Glynis Johns remains the consummate Desiree, and there will never be a more alternately dashing and nervous suitor than Len Cariou as Fredrik. Hermione Gingold plays a beautifully-realized Madame Armfeldt with her humorous "Liaisons"."