Search - Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Bock, Jerry Herman :: Great Musicals

Great Musicals
Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Bock, Jerry Herman
Great Musicals
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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The Title Is Accurate.
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'll be honest - I mainly bought this CD for one song - the new recording of William Finn's "Unlikely Lovers" from Falsettos.In fact, there is a sticker on the front of the Great Musicals CD which states the following - "Unlikely Lovers from Falsettos is new to CD."This isn't really correct. This particular recording of that wonderful second act song is new, but the song itself was previously recorded and released on the original cast recording of Falsettoland many years ago. I have also read a review of another (unauthorised?) CD recording made in Michigan of Falsettoland.Anyway, this new recording is so powerful and emotional, I'm glad I bought the CD.Readers might be interested to know that the 2001 recording of U. Lovers was made at Joe's Pub in January - the same place where Finn's Infinite Joy was recorded.To the best of my knowledge, U.L. wasn't performed in the live show. I believe this as in an interview, Finn stated that the only song from Falsettos they were to perform in Infinite Joy was The Baseball Game (wonderfully conveyed by Stephen DeRosa on the CD). Also, in this new recording of U.L., unlike the recordings on Infinite Joy, there isn't any audience reaction. I suspect that the cast made this recording before or after audience arrived.Loved this new version. It's accompanied by a solo piano. Lewis Cleale has a more traditional male voice (light baritone?) than Michael Rupert's higher, head, some might say "character" sound. Both are more than pleasant on the ear.Also, on this recording, there's an a cappella section towards the end of the song; on the lyrics "...let's pretend..." Quite affecting.As for the rest of the album, well all the tracks are gems in one way or another. Particular favourites of mine include -"Lady's Maid" from Titanic. With it's "up down up" three note/syllable melody structure (millionaire, constable, engineer) it is immediately catchy, and is a great example of an "I'm about to start a journey, so wish me luck as I go" type of show song."All The Wasted Time" from Parade. Loved the almost folk influenced sound and the soaring voices; including Carolee Carmello who is heard on Infinite Joy."New Music" from Ragtime. It 'builds' beautifully and is a great example of the work of a contemporary song writing team - the highly talented Flaherty and Ahrens.I suppose the thing is, that many musical theatre buffs will already have many of these songs on CD. However, you many not have THESE recordings - e.g. - the "If You Could See Her" from Cabaret is from the 1998 version, the "Do-Re-Mi" from (what else?) The S.O.M. is the 1998 recording.If one was being picky, the following points might be made -For a CD celebrating RCA's 100th anniversary, this collection is somewhat 'top heavy' - 9 of the 14 tracks - almost 65% were recorded in 1992 or later.Also -With a number of the American based performers, even when they are portraying non-Americans, their native accent is still recognisable. This is particularly noticeable on track 14 - "Do-Re-Mi" ("...Here, I'll make it easier for you...") and, to a lesser extent; track 2 - "Prologue - Tradition" from Fiddler ("...trying to scratch out a pleasant simple tune...")But when one is dealing with material and performances of this level, such points are minor quibbles.All in all, a very fine CD which has made a welcome addition to my collection."