"Some of Stephen Schwartz's most beautiful music. Whereas PIPPIN, for example, is stylistically very much of its day, THE BAKER'S WIFE transcends any particular era. The simple mélodie (CHANSON) that opens the show and defines the entire musical is really bewitching.Each character gets a beautiful extended piece with which to communicate his or her character. How sympathetic is Genevieve after we hear GIFTS OF LOVE. In the original story by Giono she is portrayed as a misbehaving wife. Schwartz adds wonderful humanity to her character.If only the book could have achieved half of what Schwartz achieved musically this musical would have had a decent run on Broadway. Listen to the coda at the end of MEADOWLARK where Genevieve decides to leave. The same music is effectively used at the end of WHERE IS THE WARMTH, but sung by a very different Genevieve than the one we saw in the beginning.The reprise of GIFTS OF LOVE still moves me even after listening to this score for more than 10 years. How these characters have evolved after the events of just a few days.Patti LuPone -- what can you say? She's phenomenal in this. What a truly beautiful voice.To co-opt a phrase from the show, this recording provides endless delights."
Brace yourselves...this may be coming back!
Valerie A. Lord | Malta, NY United States | 12/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is without a doubt Schwartz's most exquisite score, and although the London cast version is the more complete of the original versions, both are worth owning. I recently had the pleasure of seeing the newly reworked version of it (by Schwartz himself) at the Goodspeed Opera House's black box theatre in Conn. All of the magic of the original (and particularly the London cast cd) has been retained, but most of the fat has been trimmed. While there are still a few kinks to work out,(primarily, the ensemble being far more well-defined and back-storied than the leads) this show is obviously destined for a return to NYC, perhaps in a Lincoln Center/ Roundabout type production. The ensemble alone makes the experience worthwhile. By all means purchase this beautiful recording and be the first in line to view this mystical, dreamy production if and when it finally gets its due on b-way."
So what if it's not Les Miz??!!!!
Valerie A. Lord | 09/16/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Granted, the show has problems. There is hardly any sub-plot, the minute Genevieve leaves Aimable you know she's going to come back to him, and the antagonist is somewhat cartoon-like, but the music is great!! For those who believe that there are "only three good songs," listen closely! And if you have listened closely, listen closer! All of the music is rich and full and lovely, crafted masterfully and filled with levels that make us sympathetic to the characters!I love this show and this CD. It is a chance to have a piece of Broadway obscurity, (since the original production closed on the road),that refuses to remain obscure. This is a highly recommendable purchase! One star is missing because it is not the full, beautiful score."
Gifts of love...from a talented heart.
lilbuffguy | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show is a glorious gift of love for hopeless romantics. Any cynicism should be shut off when listening. Just let your heart soak in this sweet story which you can completely understand from the songs on this recording.The talented Schwartz knows how to write melodies. And in this recording of "The Baker's Wife", he adds lyrics that express the simple truths and complex quandries that we all face in life and love. It begins with the theme "Chanson" which reminds us that perspective and focus are the cornerstones of knowing what's important in life. "Gifts of Love" tells how decisions often have elements of both joy and regret. "Meadowlark" deliberates the choice between responsibility to loved ones and the responsibility to your dreams. And "Where is the Warmth" is the most beautiful and insightful deliniation between love and lust that I've ever heard in song.And yes, this CD is edited. But if you let your heart fill in the blanks, I promise you'll feel swept away by the beauty of the score, the lesson learned, and the true lovers united. Would that someone would produce this show with just the characters we hear here. I can't imagine a dry eye in the house! Until that day, we can enjoy this sweet slice of this much loved and much under appreciated valentine ."