Alfonzo Tyson | Buffalo, NY United States | 05/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After having to make do with the unauthorized, horribly mastered Box Office Records version, I'm happy that Decca Broadway has seen fit to go into their vaults and make a crystal-clear CD of Song of Norway using the original masters. The sound quality is excellent! I can actually comprehend what the singers are saying and I can hear every intrument in the orchestra! Anybody who has a Box Office Reords version of this show needs to promptly destroy it and pick up the OFFICIAL CD!"
"Song of Norway" America's Last and Great Operetta
Paul Ciano | Avon, Ohio | 03/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally Decca has reissued a very good edition of Wright and Forrest's "Song of Norway". Originally, this huge and glorious 1944 Broadway Blockbuster was issued on a series of old shellac 78 rpm records. Later it was edited and reissued onto one 33 1/3 RPM disc. We now have, via the magic of CD and computer wizards, a brilliant recording with all the music and dialogue restored from the original edition. The sound of the orchestra may sound a little muffled and distant and not quite up to the audio standards of the twenty-first century, by the singing voices and even the choruses are brilliant. Although she stepped into the role of the Countess Luisa Giovanni for this recording, Kitty Carlise, star of theater and movies, soars through the music with great insight as the scheming opera singer and seductress who tampers with the romantic affections of the musical's hero, Edvard Grieg. Ms. Carlise artistically steals the show with a radiant voice and a seductive characterization that has become a classic and glowing interpretation. BRAVA!!! She took over the part of the Countess when there were contractual disparages with Ira Pettina, the original Countess. As Edvard Grieg, Lawrence Brooks displays a virile and rich baritone voice. Helena Bliss, who is Edvard's dearest female friend and constant supporter - Nina Haerup, has a clear and lovely soprano voice that easily resounds with a glorious high C at the end of the opening trio "Hill of Dreams" in the prologue. Of heroic stature, Robert Shafer, as Edvard's closest male friend, soars through the opening "legend" with a perfect vocal line and stentorian gusto. The chorus picks up the enthusiasm and energy radiating from the four principals and renders some excellent singing -if with a somewhat hazy reproduction as is the orchestra in the pick-up of the microphones. This final grand American Operetta is a testament to the brilliant talents of Wright and Forest whose musical adaptations of other great composers has given the American Musical Theater some of its finest and greatest moments. This musical biography is about as accurate as any Hollywood production, but the music is sublime and the singing is first rate. This is an historical finale of a lost phenomenon, and it is a definite must for your music theater CD collection. "
Error in the mastering
Joel L. Savitz | Plantation, Florida USA | 07/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The CD is wonderful to finally hear. However, there is an error in the mastering of the Decca CD. The finale appears 2 times at the end of the CD taking up 2 of the final 3 tracks instead of the last track as it should have been.
I assume that Decca will become aware and remaster the CD correctly. I guess this will become a minor collector's item because of the mistake.
What is on the CD is a joy to hear after all these years. The music is beautifully sung in spite of the age of material. The earlier CD issued years ago was impossible to listen to."
Reissued complete for first time
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 08/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"SONG OF NORWAY was originally issued as a set of 78 RPM records. In 1949 the set was transferred to Lp but because of the limited playing time of the "new" format, 8 minutes of music and dialogue were edited out. Now, Decca Broadway has done a first rate re-mastering of the complete score.
The sound quility is very good, though it is a recording dating from 1944 so do not expect "sensational." The performances are vividly theatrical, notably Kitty Carlisle who stepped in just for this recording to fill in for Irra Petina whose was under exclusive contract to Columbia records.
The booklet has excellent notes, and a detailed synopsis. The cover art reproduces what was seen on teh cover of the original 78 RPM album.
The show..well it's an old fashioned operetta based (very loosely) on the life of Edvard Grieg. The score, drawn from Grieg's works is enjoyable and respects the tunes as written by the composer. The show ended with an elaborate ballet set to Grieg's A-minor Piano Concerto. A shortened version is included on the recording.
We probably won't see any major revivals of SONG OF NORWAY, but this enjoyable Cd covers 48 minuts of highlights from its delightful score."