The King and me2ism: The Film’s Recordings

The King and I (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

kandisoundtrackI recently discussed the faithful and visually opulent 1956 film version of The King and I, with it’s unforgettable (and Oscar-winning) performance from Yul Brynner and equally memorable (and similarly Academy Award-winning) sets and costumes. But the film boasted two other equally lauded and awarded assets:Carlton W. Faulkner’s sound recording and Alfred Newman’s adaptation of the score. With it’s lush cinematic orchestrations, more assessable (i.e. lower) keys and smooth vocals (most of which were dubbed), the original motion picture soundtrack was always a worthy (if incomplete) alternative to those who found Gertrude Lawrence’s vocals on the OBCR an acquired taste. Continue reading

Cast Album Response: Miss Saigon (1995 Complete Recording)

The public library system here in Cleveland is fantastic, with a great many new cast recordings at my disposal between my library’s well curated stock and what I can find through inter-library loan. Every few weeks I drop off a collection of CDs and pick up a new one. The Cast Recording Response contains my thoughts on my latest returns.

Miss Saigon (1995 Complete Recording)

Miss Saigon holds a fascinating place in theater history. Despite being an international sensation and running for a decade on Broadway, it’s always been burdened with a faint whiff of disappointment. Though a ten-year run is a dream for any writer/producer/director, it falls short of the precedents set by the “British Invasion” musicals that preceded it (Cats, Les Miz, Phantom). It was the first of these imported “mega-musicals” to be a hit while losing the Tony for Best Musical. But the greatest indignity served the show is the lack of an Original Broadway Cast Recording. Continue reading