Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, English National Orchestra|
Pacific Overtures (1987 English National Opera Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
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Enjoyable. a score that deserves an operatic treatment
spacedog | boston, ma United States | 12/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is a fantastic show with many standout songs. i prefer this recording to the OBC recording b/c i really believe that the lyrical score falls naturally into the operatic realm and that broadway singers don't generally have the vocal power to do it justice. i usually don't prefer opera singers in broadway shows, but i think that in this case it works extremely well, with the long, lyrical lines of songs like, "is there no other way" and "poems" really benefitting from the stronger voices."
Interesting for Sondheim Fans
LMB100 | NYC, NY | 06/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those who love the Bway show and have hoped to hear it with the voice qualities it was written for, this recording is a treat. In addition, all of the orchestral music is included, using a full opera house orchestra, while the Bway cast recording edits and uses a Bway pit orchestration. Not to mention that this recording contains a much more complete version of "Kanagawa".
However be warned, the sound engineering is abysmal - it's a full dialog rcording and the dialog can't be heard - it sounds as though they are talking at the very back of a big room. Which I guess they were. The percussion is also not balanced to the rest of the orchestra. However, the silver lining to this one is that the cast are opera-singer actors, no one is a very good actor, so the loss of the dialog is no big deal."
Has redeeming qualities.
Elizabeth | Australia | 10/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You would have a hard time trying to be convinced "Pacific Overtures" is a masterpiece from this recording; The 1976 OBC album in its perfection even struggles to convince some what I consider one of Sondheim's top three shows (along with Sweeney and Sunday).
Despite being fully orchestrated (the achilles heel of the 2004 revival recording), this production of Pacific Overtures falls flat in that at times it can be just plain boring, mostly because the operatic baritones get quite monotonous in both their singing and acting; I just can't 'suspend disbelief' and believe what Sondheim and book writer John Weidman want us to see in the characters.
That being said, in moderation, this album is an interesting listen if you feel the definitive OBC or supplementary 2004 revival performances are getting a little tired - but its relevance remains in its completeness. This recording includes almost every bit of dialogue and background music performed in the show making it a good way to get an idea of what the show is about without having to read the entire libretto (although a complete video recording of the OBC is now uploaded to YouTube so even this redeeming quality is becoming redundant).
So, if you've never experienced Pacific Overtures before stay away from this recording; buy the 1976 album and watch the OBC on YouTube; if you're looking for a supplementary album go for the 2004 Revival cast; if you want to complete your "Pacific Overtures" collection then, and only then, should you buy this album."