Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras|
South Pacific (1986 London Studio Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
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Good studio recording of the R&H classic
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 10/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1986 studio cast album of SOUTH PACIFIC is quite lovely. Jonathan Tunick leads the brilliant London Symphony, giving the score the full, lush treatment it deserves. Only a few middling shortcomings prevent this recording from hitting the heights of greatness.As much as I love her (and believe me I LOVE HER), Kiri Te Kanawa's performance as Ensign Nellie Forbush is a perfect example of how opera singers aren't the best at adapting their voices to the style of musical theatre. She has the same problem on the studio album of MY FAIR LADY produced 2 years later. Jose Carreras fares better with the character of French plantation owner Emile de Becque (remember, opera star Ezio Pinza played the role in the 1949 original).Legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan is a delightful Bloody Mary, offering up her own unique renditions of "Bali Ha'i" and "Happy Talk". Mandy Patinkin (SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, THE SECRET GARDEN), the only true musical theatre star featured in the cast, does well by the character of Lt. Joe Cable, singing a lovely rendition of "Younger Than Springtime".Although I listen to the 1949 recording more often, this studio cast album has it's charms, and is well worth your time and money."
SOUTH PACIFIC in a hit-and-miss curate's egg
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 01/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 1986 digital recording of South Pacific was made on the wave of the success of the crossover recording of West Side Story. Although it includes a little more music than the original Broadway cast recording, it should perhaps be regarded as a curate's egg because it hit some sour notes in places. The cast is generally decent enough to be top-notch, but is yet let down by a miscast role and the lack of sparkle and polish. But perhaps the sumptuous playing of the London Symphony Orchestra and the atmospheric, clear digital recording are able to make up for any shortcoming.This South Pacific recording reunites Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras, fresh from Bernstein's DG recording of his own West Side Story. Dame Kiri may not be as sassy and spunky a Nellie as Mary Martin of the original Broadway cast, and her version of "I'm Gonna Wash That Man..." does seem a little staid. But at least she gives us winning renditions of "A Cockeyed Optimist" and "A Wonderful Guy", and an especially campy version of the wholesome comic mumber "Honey Bun," complete with the first recording of the choral refrain. Jose Carreras, on the other hand, is an exceptionally superb Emile, singing his solos with character, feeling and an operatic fervour. After all, the role was created for a full-throated opera singer, Ezio Pinza, and Carreras admirably copes with the demands of the role. His versions of "Some Enchanted Evening" and "This Nearly was Mine" are appropriately ravishing and romantic. The only miscast role is that of Bloody Mary, because of the jazz stylings that Sarah Vaughan brings to her two songs, but at least she understands the mood of the songs when she translates them into her performance. But Mandy Patkin, the only true Broadway singer in this recording, delivers an insightful and confident portrayal of Lietunant Cable, perhaps even more condescending than William Tabbert. Patkin fleshes out the two sides of Cable's character, with a hard-hitting version of "Carefully Taught" and a tender, heartfelt and ravishing "Younger than Springtime" that I consider the best and definitive rendition of the song ever on disc. The other roles are decently and competently played, but somehow the sailors lack humour and come off too straight-laced. This is especially true of their stiff rendition of "There is Nothing like a Dame."But enough of the characters of the cast, and on to the way this recording is presented. As I have said before, the digital recording is atmospheric, sumptuous and clear. This recording is also more comprehensive than the original Broadway cast version. The Overture is heard complete, save for a minor cut, and you also get to hear a complete version of "This Nearly Was Mine", and a gorgeous version of the rarely-heard Entr'acte. I am fond of the fact that this recording adopts the "Some Enchanted Evening" finale, as it gives a more musically-satisfying end to the story as told by the score. The only quibbles I have revolve around the two cut songs, Loneliness of Evening, and My Girl Back Home. They could have possibly been recorded as appendixes for this recording, and made it feel more comprehensive.On the whole, while this recording is not necessarily a good recording of SOUTH PACIFIC, at least it gives some credible performances from Kiri and Carreras, and presents the score in well-recorded digital sound. I myself wouldn't want to part with the Mary Martin recording, but at least this recording is not as abominable as some people think it is."