On The Town: Subway Ride And Imaginary Coney Island
On The Town: The Great Love Displays Himself
On The Town: Pas de deux
On The Town: Some Other Time
On The Town: The Real Coney Island
On The Town: Finale
Appendix: The Intermission's Great
Three sailors on shore leave chasing after women in the Big City--that's the premise for On the Town, the brilliant, innovative, and electrically vibrant 1944 show by Leonard Bernstein (and Jerome Robbins, Adolph Green, an... more »d Betty Comden) that literally overflows with great songs and dance music. This version features a strong cast and three numbers cut from the New York premiere. It's well worth a visit. --David Vernier« less
Three sailors on shore leave chasing after women in the Big City--that's the premise for On the Town, the brilliant, innovative, and electrically vibrant 1944 show by Leonard Bernstein (and Jerome Robbins, Adolph Green, and Betty Comden) that literally overflows with great songs and dance music. This version features a strong cast and three numbers cut from the New York premiere. It's well worth a visit. --David Vernier
Highly competent studio cast recording of the show
A. Andersen | Bellows Falls, VT USA | 06/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While the vocal performances here do not match the re-assembled original cast recording of 1960 in terms of dramatic and comedic interpretations, Tilson Thomas' reading of the score is every bit as good as Bernstein's himself in the 1960 recording. In terms of tempi, rhythmns, dynamics and sound this orchestral reading is the twin of Bernstein's. So one asks oneself, why assemble a studio cast to do it over again when the original is so exceptional??? We may never know the answer but the reading which was simulcast on PBS was amusing at moments, thanks to Comeden and Green's narration and filling in synopses of the dialogue lines skipped over, and the performance was well received by the audience. Here it is re-recorded without the audience.The only thing I can point to is the inclusion of three numbers dropped out of town before the show's opening - Gabey's Comin/Pickup Song, Ain't Got No Tears Left, and The Intermission's Great. These make up for 7:54 minutes rightfully deemed unworthy of inclusion in the frozen show (especially the latter which is stupid beyond belief - although R&H stole the concept for their Intermission Talk in ME AND JULIET). The nightclub numbers So Long, Baby and I'm Blue are extended 31 seconds and 19 seconds respectively (they were shortened by these 50 seconds to fit onto the 1960 LP release.So what do you have here that you don't have on the 1960 cast album? 50 seconds of the original show and 7:54 minutes of songs never used and of less than stellar quality.Very little reason to prefer this over the original, especially with the vocal performances not up to par. Small wonder it went out of print rather quickly. Stick to the 1960 recording.(For purists, that original LP release was unable to fit two numbers recorded for it onto the two sides of vinyl - DO RE DO and I UNDERSTAND. The former was added when the LP was re-released (to accompany the 1971 revival) and when it made its debut on CD, I UNDERSTAND joined it for a complete recording.)"
Yes, this is the great recording of "On the Town"!!!!!!!!!!!
R. Albin | 10/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this recording because there are many songs composed by Comden/Green/Bernstein. I think this musical is lovely, and far better than the movie version starring Gene Kelly. But compared with the musicals in these days, it seems to be old and it's not good to stage again. But you want to hear this musical, it's a must buy.Frederica von Stade, who have sung Maria in "The Sound of Music" and Magnolia in "Show Boat," sings well the role of Claire. I like her singing very much. She and the rest of cast sings beautiful songs like "Carried Away" "Some other time." I can't understand why the former reviewer hate the singers. They are great, aren't they? Marie McLaughlin (why do they make recording CD by her?) and Samuel Raimy, Thomas Hampson are very special singer!And, Leonard Bernstein is the very special person for all the people lives in Sapporo, Japan. Because he established "Pacific Music Festival" in Sapporo, 1989. Thanks to him, we can hear the soloists of Wiener Philharmoniker at the live or Michael Tilson Thomas' conducting. So, this album means special things to me. You did a great job, Mr. Bernstein!"
Opera voices don't work for musical theater
M. Costantino | Fairfield, CT | 09/15/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had to force myself to listen beyond Sam Ramey's first "I feel like I'm not outta bed yet"... why?... it comes down to two things:
1) When listening to opera singers performing musical theater I always have difficulty understanding "what" they're singing about. Sure, I can hear the words, but the purified sound sands down everything that was gritty and emotional. It's almost like a Musak treatment, taking the raw energy and vitality of the original and softening it for easier listening. This is usually never a problem with original cast recordings which may have less-than-perfect vocal production, but are 100% locked in with singing-saying what the music and words mean TOGETHER.
2) I find these type of recordings patronizing to the great number of extremely talented musical theater artists who would each bring better interpretations to the studio because they'd have actually performed the parts, on-stage, dancing and acting, for many shows in a row. From an interpretation POV, this recording sounds like it was banged out after a few coachings, a few rehearsals, and a lot of engineering time. That approach seems to belittle the dedicated contributions of music theater artists.
========== This is supposed to be American Musical Theater, a little rough around the edges, packed with physical/musical/emotional vitality, intelligence, wit, etc. This recording does not convey those attributes at all. It is physically revolting for me to listen to this homogenized, purified, sanitized, corrected, over-engineered, and nonexpressive recording. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library."
Buy this CD for the Orchestra not the Singers
M. Costantino | 12/02/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The London Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas play so well, the ballet interludes are worth the price alone. Unfortunately, I thoutght the vocalists left a great deal to be desired. I found their interpretations stuffy like they were afraid to let their hair down and sing. I'll say it again though, the LSO plays great!"