Great collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This hard to find cd set is the best collection I have seen of classic Webber songs. Great variety from his most popular shows- Phantom, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita etc. I have had this cd set for probably a year and thoroughly enjoy it, so I decided to get it for my dad for Father's Day! Its the perfect addition to his cd collection and he can listen to hours of non-stop Andrew Lloyd Webber as he does yard work! I totally reccomend this cd set for any music theatre geek-like me-or anyone who just enjoys lloyd webber- like my Dad."
Better Anthologies Are Available ...
E. Skelly | Washington, DC | 03/07/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Someone bought this anthology for my mom for Christmas a few years ago, and so I insisted on borrowing it. I didn't even listen to the whole thing, I was so disappointed.
If you're looking for a regular anthology, pass by this one. None of the songs sound like they would on the Broadway or West End soundtracks; they are performed like opera, and bad opera at that. Webber's work is written for the musical theatre, not the opera, and singing in musical theatre is completely different than operatic singing; musical theatre involves acting, and this comes through in the vocalization. Operatic performance of songs written for musical theatre simply doesn't work.
The songs, which are written to be expressive and emotional, come across as rigid and boring on this CD. For example, "Too Much In Love To Care" (from "Sunset Boulevard") is supposed to communicate both Betty's idealism and her confusion/fear of real love. None of that comes through in this version - the words are the same, but none of the emotion is there.
It is obvious that some of the singers are not comfortable with the genre in their performances, exemplified by this CD's version of "Take That Look Off Your Face". The singer in this song doesn't seem to know what to do - it's not a musically demanding song, the range is relatively small - and so it sounds like the singer is trying to complicate and "dress up" the song, which doesn't work at all.
Also, there are several intrumental tracks on this CD, which I think were poorly chosen. Most people think of his vocals when they think of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but so much of his instrumentals are brilliant. Why they chose some of his most uninspired passages to represent his instrumental work on this CD is beyond me.
I gave it a 2 because the orchestra on the recording is good, possible the best thing about the CD. But I wouldn't buy it for the orchestra. If you're looking for a good compilation or anthology, try "The Premiere Collection: The Best Of Andrew Lloyd Webber" or "The Very Best Of Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Broadway Collection" for Webber's earlier ("Phantom" and before). Both these anthologies include either the original Broadway or London recordings - there are a few duplicate tracks, but not too many. For more post-Phantom tracks, check out "Gold: The Definitive Hits Collection", which includes tracks up through "Whistle on the Wind", newer recordings of some some songs included on the earlier anthologies, and the 1992 Olympics theme by Webber."