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Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1992 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

This is a studio recreation of the Rodgers And Hammerstein musical by The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri, with soloists Julie Andrews and Ben Kingsley. Andrews is perfect casting; she restores to the show its true nature as a star vehicle (it was written for Gertrude Lawrence), she embodies the role of the English tutor, and she sings brilliantly. Kingsley brings a contemporary, distanced cool to the role of the King of Siam, and the cast is effectively filled out by Lea Salonga and Peabo Bryson (as the lovers who sing "We Kiss In A Shadow"), and by Marilyn Horne (who sings "Something Wonderful"). Mauceri has opted to use the orchestrations developed for the movie version, which gives the score an added sweep and depth. This is the exception to the many opera-singers-doing-a-musical recreations we've been seeing over the last few years. It makes you wish Andrews and company would take it to New York. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

They may have had a few equals, but no pair ever surpassed Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II when it came to writing musical plays for both theater and motion pictures. The list of their creations reads like a what's what of great American musical theater. Not only were their productions well above the ordinary when it came to the music, but they often dared to deal with sensitive social issues. One of the subplots in South Pacific concerned itself with interracial love. The King and I may well have been one of the earliest vehicles for dealing with issues affecting women in the mid-20th century, as well as cultural conflict between East and West. But most did not go to see these productions because they were morality plays in disguise. They wanted to enjoy the magical spectacle created around the words and music of these two geniuses. In its continuing effort to keep the products of this unique American cultural institution before the public, Decca Broadway has reissued this album of overtures to 11 Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, nine written for the stage, one for the screen, and one for television (Cinderella). The album was originally issued in 1991. They are played by one of the more legendary musical aggregations in the country, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, under the direction of John Mauceri. An overture to a musical is much like a prologue to a Shakespeare play. It creates for the audience an anticipation of what's to come. The result is an excellent 60-plus minutes CD capturing some of the highest-order entertainment for the musical stage and screen wonderfully and endearingly performed. The CD is packaged with a well-written booklet on the musicals and their composers. Recommended. © Dave Nathan /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1995 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Conductor John Mauceri, who has established a mixed but generally good record with his revivals of film music in concert and on CD, gets just a little too cute on this release for his own good. Opening with Vintergatan from Aniara is a good touch, but using Alexander Courage's original Star Trek theme and Jerry Goldsmith's theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture pushes things a little too far toward the lighthearted, even with the inclusion of Goldsmith's superb "Klingon Battle Theme" from the same score -- and who was the moron of a producer who insisted on the inclusion of storm sound effects (or a brief vocal passage) on the suite comprised of the Franz Waxman music from The Bride of Frankenstein? It's also unclear what the music from The Witches of Eastwick is doing here, or why someone felt compelled to reprise the opening of Also Sprach Zarathustra from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In all, it's a mess of a CD, though a good-sounding one if you can ignore the annoying inconsistencies and too-frequent foolishness. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Film Soundtracks - Released July 21, 2012 | Star Evens Digital

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Opera - Released March 1, 2010 | Classical Masters

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Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1995 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

While this album consists of symphonic renderings of music first heard on the Broadway stage, John Mauceri has deliberately sought out versions specifically made for orchestral, not theatrical performance. Carousel: A Symphonic Portrait is Morton Gould's arrangement of music from Richard Rodgers's Carousel; Slaughter On Tenth Avenue was a Rodgers ballet used in On Your Toes; Kurt Weill Songbook For Orchestra is another Gould creation; Free And Easy: Concert Suite From Blues Opera is an abridged version of Samuel Matlowsky's orchestration of music from Harold Arlen's operatic revision of St. Louis Woman; and Show Boat: Scenario For Orchestra was a symphonic treatment of music from Show Boat created by its composer, Jerome Kern, 14 years after the show opened on Broadway, orchestrated by Chas Miller. Since all the pieces were intended for symphonic performance to begin with, they may not actually offer the exploration of "the symphonic possibilities" Mauceri says in his liner notes was his aim, but they are certainly a cut above mere overtures. Theater music fans may be offended by Mauceri's asking whether such music has "the potential for symphonic development and a kind of higher, more complex level of interpretation than it would as a simple song," the kind of question only a classical music snob would even consider. But a listen to the music suggests not only that the question may be worth thinking about, but that the composers themselves did and in these instances actually strove for it. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo