Customer Reviews for

Les Miserables [Original Broadway Cast]

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    And the winner is....

    All of the commercially available recordings of Les Miserables have something great to offer, and which recording is best for you really depends on who your favorite characters are. For Valjean there are only two choices, Gary Morris on the CSR and Colm Wilkinson of all the others (OLC, OBC, and TAC). The more I listen to Colm Wilkinson, the more I appreciate Gary Morris simply because he's different. Morris is certainly not everyone's favorite, but he really does shine as the complete charater. His &quot Valjean's Soliloquy&quot is amazing, &quot Bring Him Home&quot is more subtley sung by Wilkinson, particularly on the TAC and the weight and power of Wilkinson's mature voice is a joy to hear on the TAC. I gotta say, though, I do like Gary Morris (Except for his &quot Who Am I?,&quot not his best...). There are other Valjeans out there, try to find Randall Keith singing &quot Bring Him Home,&quot you'll never hear a more tender and heart-felt rendion. Ruthie Henshall on the TAC is my absolute favorite Fantine. Her vulnerability and frailty is palpable. She sings &quot I Dreamed a Dream&quot with such sadness and desperation, you can't help but be moved. Ruthie's the best, but Patti Lupone on the OLC is also amazing. You really can't go wrong with either one. Randy Graff (OBC) is perhaps a little too strong for Fantine, and Debbie Byrne (CSR) seems to grate on many people's nerves, though I don't find her voice offensive. For Javert there is only one real choice: Philip Quast on the TAC. He also sings on the CSR, but his rich, powerful baritone is in full bloom on the TAC. Terrence Mann was very new to singing on the OBC, and while his voice has improved admirable over time, he just is not imposing enough for Javert. Roger Allam is just awful on the OLC. My favorite Cosette is Rebecca Caine on the OLC. Her wonderfully youthful tone is refreshing and innocent--perfect for the character. Judy Khun appears on the OBC and the TAC. Earlier is better for her. When the OBC recording was made, she had not yet tackled roles which required her to belt and on the TAC, we can hear the beginnings of strain in her vibrato and upper register. Tracy Shane (CSR) is also youthful sounding, but comes off sounding canned. Lea Salonga is the most finely sung Eponine on record. There is nothing lacking in her performance. Perhaps some would want a rougher-sounding Eponine, but not me! Francis Ruffelle sings on both the OBC and the OLC. London is the one to own, it's actually hard to believe this is the same person. On the OLC Ruffelle is vulnerable and engaging with just the right amount of edge to her voice. On the OBC she is harsh and seems to resort to shouting many of her lines, singing &quot On My Own&quot completely in her nose. The only recording on which Michael Ball does not appear as Marius is the OBC where David Bryant asumes the role. While Bryant isn't horrible, the youthful Ball on the OLC and CSR is the way to go. On the TAC he goes too far and while clearly enjoying himself and the atmosphere of the live recording, he also clearly enjoys the sond of his own voice more. Enjolras is a toss-up between Michael Maguire on the OBC (for the love of all that is holy not on the TAC!!!)and Anthony Warlow on the CSR. My vote is for Warlow. His voice is powerful, his technique secure and his tone capable of being both warm and heroic. David Burt is not worth hearing on the OLC. You can't go wrong with the Thenardiers on the TAC (Alun Armstrong and Jenny Galloway also appear on the OLC). The energy the give and receive to and from the audience is amazing. The CSR has the best orchestra, the TAC has the best emsemble and the OBC has the best orchestrations, though it's cool to hear the originals on the OLC. So that's it! Something for everyone on every single recording! Hope this helps make your decisions!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wow

    This is excellent all the pieces i needed are all here for me to hear

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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