An only moderately effective recording of this score
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Kismet" is one of those scores that I love, even though I know how silly it. It is nice to have this complete recording, but the performance has some serious problems. Donald Maxwell has the voice for Hajj, but not the acting skill. Perhaps no one can ever match Alfred Drake's two recordings of this role, but Maxwell just doesn't seem to know how to phrase this music, and he's hopeless in the dialogue that has been recorded, though he tries. In supporting roles, David Rendall and Richard Van Allan give correct but not very interesting performances. Valerie Masterson as Marsinah does a bit better. Judy Kaye is a fabulous Lalume. She is especially good on one of the bonus tracks, "Bored," cut from the original production, but restored for the film and the Lincoln Center production. The conducting is good, and so are the chorus and the soloists in the bit roles. And it's nice to have some of the new music that was included in "Timbuktu," the revised revival of the show, which was set in Africa. In the end, however, this set is probably only for "Kismet" lovers who want a note-complete recording, although Judy Kaye's contributions almost make it worthwhile for others. But first choice remains the original Broadway cast, with the Lincoln Center cast offering other good performances and some interesting variants, including a completely different overture - a sort of Borodin potpourri."
Spencer | New York, NY | 11/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE THIS RECORDING!!!!!!Kismet is one of my favorite Broadway shows. It is one of those shows that has the excellent combination of music, lyrics, and story that we will love forever and boy does this recording do it justice! All of the main performers are excellent. Don Maxwell, a personal favorite of mine(Giving a very comical performance of Hajj), the beautiful Valerie Masterson is wonderful as always, David Rendall(who is also one of my favorites) is Magnificent as Caliph, and Judy Kaye is,of course, great as Lalume. The show is beautifully and lavishly orchestrated by John Owen Edwards and the fact that songs from "Timbuktu" are included on this recording also is just icing on and already delicious cake. If you can clear your mind of the Alfred Drake version and truly listen to this one, you will agree that it will be money well spent."
Lush orchestrations & wonderful singers, complete score
Spencer | 05/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a bonus, this recommended cd includes songs from "Timbuktu", Geoffrey Holder's African version of this show, and a song from the 1953 movie version called "Bored." My only quibble is brash Broadway belter Judy Kaye as Lalume, who sticks out from the more operatic voices. Still, this cd is a very good buy!"