Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Fred Ebb, John Kander, Herschel Bernardi|
Zorba (1968 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
Sean O'Skea | Ashland, OR | 07/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After their success challenging Broadway audiences with their 1966 smash-hit Cabaret, Kander, Ebb, and Hal Prince created this fantastic concept musical based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. Unfortunately, it was a little too challenging and only ran for 300 performances. Since then the show has sunk into near-complete obscurity. Anthony Quinn, who played the title role in the famous non-musical movie, Zorba the Greek, took on the lead in a less-than successful Broadway revival in 1994, shortly before his death. Unfortunately the show was a star-vehicale for Quinn who was not the best singer. It is this, very hard to find, original cast recording that is worth the addition to any serious Broadway album collection. Its deeply lyrical and evocative songs should be better known. After Cabaret, it is Kander and Ebb's best work. If you find a copy of the original cast, snatch it up and give the readily available revival a pass."
steve lowenthal | NYC | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ZORBA (1968) has always been one of my top-favorite cast recordings - I agree with the respondent who rates this score as Kander's best next to CABARET...his typical vamp-it-with-a-sledgehammer, repetitive approach works very nicely in this Greek setting. The arrangements and orchestrations are gorgeous, and the recording itself has that 'deep' sound, (as in, say, the SWEET CHARITY, CABARET or FIDDLER ON THE ROOF original cast recordings).
My one quibble here is that the 'wedding' of Zorba and Mme.Hortense(Bouboulina) has been turned into a crowd number ("Yassou"), unlike the achingly lovely intimacy of that moment in the 1964 film - perhaps the show's one concession to the theater-party crowd?
However, this is less important than the presence of what is perhaps Kander and Ebb's loveliest, tenderest ballad ever --
"Only Love", endearingly sung by Maria Karnilova. She's just delightful.
Beauty abounds here - "The Butterfly", "Why Can't I Speak?", "Goodbye Bouboulina"; and the ambitious musical storytelling
(with Lorraine Serabian as Chorus Leader) can be thrilling - "The Top of the Hill" (high-spirited teasing), "The Crow" (stark, bone-chilling).
Herschel Bernardi's songs ("The First Time", "I Am Free") are muscular and highly evocative of the Zorba character...and if you know the film, then enjoy the Entr'acte - into which Kander has embedded a short piece of Theodorakis' wonderful soundtrack music.
ZORBA is definitely a high point for John Kander, and kudos (Greek for 'praise' - there's no such thing as one kudo) to the late, great Fred Ebb as lyricist-dramatist!"
A Wonderful Musical
Beabea | Chicago, Illinois USA | 12/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Zorba is a wonderful musical. It is just a matter of time before it receives the proper recognition. There are two recordings available. The 1968 original cast recording, and the 1983 revival with Anthony Quinn. I prefer the original for two reasons. First, Kander and Ebb wrote this for Herschel Bernardi. Bernardi played Tevye in over 700 performances of Fiddler on the Roof. Quinn is known as Zorba, but Bernardi is better. Second, Zorba is a dark musical and the 1983 revival tried to take some of the edge off. For example, the opening line was changed from "Life is what you do, while you're waiting to die" to "Life is what you do until the moment you die". You won't go wrong with either version, but the 1968 Zorba is a gem"