Chess in Concert [2008 London Concert Cast] [Explicit Lyrics]

( 20 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
It might be argued that lyricist/librettist Tim Rice does not so much collaborate with composers as compete with them. His early successes with Andrew Lloyd Webber, notably Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, were content-heavy efforts with often wordy songs and complicated characters, and Lloyd Webber fled to the relative simplicity of practically libretto-free shows about cats and train engines, never again granting a lyricist co-billing with him. Rice had another set of complicated ideas for Chess, on which he worked with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, late of ABBA, setting two interlocking romantic triangles against the backdrop of world chess tournaments during ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
It might be argued that lyricist/librettist Tim Rice does not so much collaborate with composers as compete with them. His early successes with Andrew Lloyd Webber, notably Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, were content-heavy efforts with often wordy songs and complicated characters, and Lloyd Webber fled to the relative simplicity of practically libretto-free shows about cats and train engines, never again granting a lyricist co-billing with him. Rice had another set of complicated ideas for Chess, on which he worked with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, late of ABBA, setting two interlocking romantic triangles against the backdrop of world chess tournaments during the Cold War. The work was represented first by a 1984 concept album, followed by a successful 1986 London stage production that did not spawn a cast album and an unsuccessful 1988 Broadway stage production that did. All during this period, Rice and several directors tinkered with the plot, and the songwriters added and deleted songs. In 1994, a third recording appeared in Sweden taken from a concert production overseen by Andersson. Not surprisingly, this album, featuring Scandinavian singers singing in accented English, tilted more toward the music over Rice's lyrics and story. And not surprisingly, this 2008 London concert version overseen by Rice tilts the other way. The recording has been mixed so that the vocals are up front, making it much easier to understand what's going on and to comprehend Rice's witty, idiomatic lyrics. The leads include two stage veterans who both got their starts in Rent, Adam Pascal (also of Rice and Elton John's Aida) as the American chess champion Frederick Trumper and Idina Menzel (also of Wicked) as Florence Vassy, who begins with Frederick and then switches allegiance to the Soviet chess champion Anatoly Sergievsky. Anatoly is portrayed by classical crossover star Josh Groban. The part is really the starring role. (If Chess has a hero, Anatoly is it; Frederick isn't exactly a villain, but more of a troubled mercenary in the mold of Rice's Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar.) Groban has the vocal chops to handle the part, but not the dramatic ability. He croons his way through the songs and speaks his bits of dialogue woodenly. Thus, in this performance, Anatoly is upstaged over and over again by Frederick and Florence, if only because Pascal and Menzel are able to use their stage experience to inhabit their characters far more effectively. The plot has been tweaked yet again, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense. (Not only is the Soviet champion the hero, but, having defected to the West, he returns to the Soviet Union at the end, the sort of action that would have earned any real defector a one-way ticket to the gulag.) Yet this recording is an improvement over both the compromised Broadway album and the hard-to-follow Swedish one, making it the best version of Chess since the 1984 original.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/16/2009
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • UPC: 093624979814
  • Catalog Number: 517635
  • Sales rank: 13,167

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Act 1. Prologue - City of London Philharmonic (2:05)
  2. 2 Act 1. The story of chess - Tiffany Graves (3:48)
  3. 3 Act 1. Merano / What a scene! What a joy! - Adam Pascal (6:43)
  4. 4 Act 1. Commie newspapers - Adam Pascal (1:51)
  5. 5 Act 1. Press conference - Adam Pascal (2:48)
  6. 6 Act 1. Molokov and Anatoly - David Bedella (2:40)
  7. 7 Act 1. Where I want to be - Tiffany Graves (3:30)
  8. 8 Act 1. Difficult and dangerous times - David Bedella (3:03)
  9. 9 Act 1. The arbiter - Tiffany Graves (2:34)
  10. 10 Act 1. Hymn to chess (1:03)
  11. 11 Act 1. The merchandisers - Tiffany Graves (2:17)
  12. 12 Act 1. Global TV fanfare (0:31)
  13. 13 Act 1. Chess game No. 1 - City of London Philharmonic (3:12)
  14. 14 Act 1. The arbiter (reprise) - Tiffany Graves (0:39)
  15. 15 Act 1. Quartet (A model of decorum and tranquillity) - David Bedella (3:17)
  16. 16 Act 1. Florence and Molokov - David Bedella (0:36)
  17. 17 Act 1. 1956 - Budapest is rising - Adam Pascal (1:06)
  18. 18 Act 1. Nobody's side - Tiffany Graves (3:46)
  19. 19 Act 1. Mountain duet - Josh Groban (5:41)
  20. 20 Act 1. Chess game No. 2 - City of London Philharmonic (2:50)
  21. 21 Act 1. Florence quits - Adam Pascal (1:46)
  22. 22 Act 1. Pity the child No. 1 - Adam Pascal (0:48)
  23. 23 Act 1. Embassy lament (2:09)
  24. 24 Act 1. Heaven help my heart (3:35)
  25. 25 Act 1. Anatoly and the press - Tiffany Graves (0:33)
  26. 26 Act 1. Anthem - Josh Groban (4:05)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Act 2. Golden Bangkok - City of London Philharmonic (1:56)
  2. 2 Act 2. One night in Bangkok - Adam Pascal (3:15)
  3. 3 Act 2. One more opponent - Josh Groban (1:47)
  4. 4 Act 2. You and I - Josh Groban (2:57)
  5. 5 Act 2. The Soviet machine - David Bedella (5:41)
  6. 6 Act 2. The interview - Josh Groban (4:12)
  7. 7 Act 2. Someone else's story - Kerry Ellis (3:39)
  8. 8 Act 2. The deal (No deal) - Marti Pellow (10:12)
  9. 9 Act 2. Pity the child No. 2 - Adam Pascal (4:55)
  10. 10 Act 2. I know him so well - Kerry Ellis (4:22)
  11. 11 Act 2. Talking chess - Josh Groban (1:58)
  12. 12 Act 2. Endgame No. 1 (3:10)
  13. 13 Act 2. Endgame No. 2 (1:59)
  14. 14 Act 2. Endgame No. 3 / Chess game No. 3 (6:43)
  15. 15 Act 2. You and I (reprise) - Josh Groban (4:29)
  16. 16 Act 2. Walter and Florence (1:16)
  17. 17 Act 2. Anthem (reprise) (1:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Josh Groban Primary Artist, Baritone (Vocal), cast
Idina Menzel Primary Artist, Vocals, cast
Dave Bishop Clarinet, Flute, Baritone Saxophone
Mitch Dalton Guitar
Andy Findon Flute, Piccolo, Alto Saxophone
John Goodenough Dancer, cast
Nick Holland Cello
Chris Jenkins Choir, Chorus, Tenor (Vocal)
London Philharmonic Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Dominic O'Dell Cello
David Theodore Oboe, Cor anglais
Steve McManus Bass Guitar, Double Bass
David Miles Bassoon, Contrabassoon
Julian Tear Violin
Marti Pellow Vocals, cast
Rolf Wilson Violin, Leader
David Firman Conductor
Mark Warman Musical Direction
Julian Leaper Violin
Julian Trafford Violin
Andy Vinter Keyboards
Clarke Peters Vocals, cast
Adrian Hallowell Tuba, Bass Trombone
Andy McGlasson Drums
Adam Pascal Vocals, cast
Nigel Black Horn
David Bucknall Cello
Andy Wood Trombone
Susie Dumbreck Soprano, Choir, Chorus
Joel Llufrio Bass (Vocal), Choir, Chorus
West End Chorus Choir, Chorus
Chad Horton Bass (Vocal), Choir, Chorus
Christian Lund Vocals, cast
Fiona McDonald Dancer, cast
Mark Fleming cast
Donald Rice Baritone, Choir, Chorus
Kerry Ellis Vocals, cast
Andrew Playfoot Vocals, cast
Lucy Wakeford Harp
Judith Herbert Cello
Daniel Byrne Bass (Vocal), Choir, Chorus
Michael Steffan cast
Penny Bradshaw Cello
Ben Stevens Cello
Charles Brunton Baritone, Choir, Chorus
Thomas Lloyd Baritone, Choir, Chorus
David Bedella Vocals, cast
Kerenza Peacock Violin
Christopher Colley Vocals
Alex Marshall Baritone, Choir, Chorus
Mark Evans Dancer, cast
Jim Lynch Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Amelia Hemingsley Vocals
Lindsay Shaw Dancer
Bryony Thompson Dancer
Lucie Waugh Dancer
Leila Benn Harris Vocals
Zoe Rice Vocals
Sarah Kirkham Dancer
Tabitha Webb Vocals
Jon Robyns Vocals
Steve Serlin Vocals
Cantabile - The London Quartet Vocal Ensemble
Jo Goodenough Dancer
Aoife Mulholland Vocals
Barnaby Ingram Dancer
Debbie Kurup Vocals
Chelsea De Carvalho Dancer
Grant Anthony Vocals
Vanessa Campbell Dancer
Tara Young Dancer
David Michael Johnson Vocals
Henry Webster Accordion, Baritone, Choir, Chorus, cast
Stuart Morley Choir Director
Anabel Kutay Dancer
Richard Peakman Dancer
Nicole Bondzie Dancer
Luella Briggs Dancer
Jasmine Kerr Dancer
Thomas Bay Pedersen Vocals
Lee Ormsby Vocals
Bonnie Parker Dancer
Melanie Hyde Dancer
Keith Anthony Higham Vocals
Ben Dixon Dancer
Brian Wright Violin
Tiffany Graves Vocals
Mark Evans Dancer
Caroline Jones Dancer
Justin Pearson Cello
Steven Brooks cast
Technical Credits
Sally Darling Scriptwriter
Benny Andersson Contributor
John Cohen Legal Advisor
Anders Eljas Arranger, Orchestration
Robin Sellars Engineer
Björn Ulvaeus Contributor
Nigel Wright Producer
Tim Rice Lyricist, Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer, Adaptation
David Horn Executive Producer
Tom Whalley Executive Producer
Mike Cox Engineer
David May Producer
Toby Alington Engineering
Rolf Wilson Orchestra Leader
David Firman Musical Supervision
Mark Warman Musical Director
Luisi B. Estevez Transportation
Paul Lyden Audio Control
Scott Mackenzie Operation
Austin Shaw Producer
Kevan Allen Choreographer
Claire Terri Choreographer, Assistant Choreographer
Hugh Wooldridge Director, Producer, Adaptation, Direction
David Eugene Edwards Accounting
Pippa Ailion Casting
John Beug Executive Producer
Diarmuid Quinn Executive Producer
Esther Somlo Marketing, Marketing Coordinator
Elizabeth Flowers Management
Bill & Kristin Morris Management
David Elliot Executive Administrator
Martin Gray Marketing
Philip Goudal Assistant Management
Lucy Noble Programming
Lincoln Parkhouse Pyrotechnics
Ben Chamberlain Public Relations
Jodie Jenkins Marketing
Luis Estevez Transportation
Tanya Goldfarb Legal Advisor
Huw Jenkins Graphic Design
Kenny Wax Management
Neil Benson Accounting
Paul Lydon Audio Control
Caroline Place Technical Administration
Phil Wright Engineer
Rehana Rose Khan Animation, Projection
David Edwards Accounting
Manique Ratner Script Supervisor
Steve Blincoe Engineer
Dion Singer Executive Soundtrack Producer
Marilyn Lyons-Clintons Legal Advisor
Bill Morris Management
Gemma Fuller Administration
Lucy Wood Management
Jessica Silvester Marketing
Max Mills Engineer
Fiona Scott-Lockyer Management
Jasper Hope Event Coordinator
Damon Elliott Executive Administrator
Andrew Wright Choreographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2011

    IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM CLOSE TO THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK OR CAST....VERY DISSAPOINTING.

    I just recently viewed the 2008 concert version of "Chess" which originated in the 1980's. As a matter of fact,
    I not only prize the original soundtrack, but saw the live show in London twice during the late 80's.

    How dissapointed I was with the 2008 concert version for a number of reasons, but primarily three (3).

    1. The female cast simply did not compare to the original songs
    2. Some of the original songs (i.e. Pity the Child) were taken out - and why??? ("Model of Decorum...."; "Pity the Child"; "Where I Want to Be"....etc.
    3. The songs that were added were not only uninspiring, but replaced the original songs which were taken out

    Sorry, but I was anything but impressed....and with so much material to work with, was this the best that could be done? Yikes - this was a true, true letdown.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    CHESS IS MY PASSION

    Inspiring, is the first word that comes into my head as I think about this bold musical of our time. Starring Josh Groban as Anatoly, Wicked's Idina Menzel as Florence and Rent's Adam Pascal as Freddie. Soulful, breathtaking songs capture every moment and essence of this show. The soundtrack of Chess is irresisible. The DVD of Chess addicting. Never have I seen or heard anything so intense since Wicked the Musical. Chess is a musical that is climbing and claiming heart and soul of every fan in the audience. The beautiful "I Know Him So Well", is sung so well by Idina Menzel and Kerry Ellis. "Anthem" is gloriously sung and portrayed well by Josh Groban. "You and I" is one of many reoccuring themes throughout the performance of Chess. One will never loose with Chess in Concert.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulous!

    I enjoyed watching this cast so much on PBS, that I purchased the CD for my daughter; she is a new fan. This cast provides strong vocals and makes for wonderful listening!
    I was particularly impressed by Josh Groban's performance and found this genre to be an exciting change of pace from the vocals I usually hear him perform. The entire cast is outstanding!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    has turned into one of my favorite things to listen to.

    it has become an essential part of my entertainment library. josh groban is always perfect, and it is always great to see idina menzel and adam pascal perform together. the production at the royal albert hall was inspired and you can rarely ever go wrong with anything that tim rice has stamped his name on. the whole ensemble creates an extremely cohesive and streamlined show. i have fallen in love with this show and recommend it to even the most wayward of theater lover.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Josh, Idina, Adam, and Kerry were AMAZING.

    I had never watched Chess all the way through. I had only heard snippets of songs from being a fan of Josh's, so I had heard his version of "Anthem". This was shown on my local PBS station, so I recorded it and watched it. The WHOLE 2 1/2 hour show is definitely worth getting. The whole cast was incredible; Josh as Anatoly, Idina as Florence, Adam as Freddie, Kerry as Svetlana and everyone else gave very stirring and commendable performances. If you haven't picked up the DVD and CD versions yet, you're missing OUT. I especially loved: "Anthem", "Nobody's Side", "I Know Him So Well", "Someone Else's Story", "Heaven Help My Heart", "You and I", and "One Night in Bangkok", just to name a few. The whole thing is worth every penny.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The DEFINITIVE review of Chess.

    Gnord's review was way off base on a few things.

    MERANO, is incredible!
    Is a NEEDED piece to the musical.

    Before this---I've only heard the CD, from the 80's and have been
    waiting for the world to catch up with the greatness of Chess.
    There is soooo much going on and so much to take in that it is almost
    no wonder, the previous attempts to bring it to Broadway and the West End, couldn't make this a boffo hit.

    THAT'S going to change, after this concert!

    It was spectacular from beginning to end.
    Those that don't appreciate Merano---(which actually is the opening song in the original), just do NOT get it! Merano is a festive song about the great chess match that is about to unfold in their city. Gosh----I can not believe someone can want that song out of the play. What a spectacle it was, with 100's in the colorful chorus and Freddie doing his braggadocio.
    Was sooo pertinent the play. And an absolute joy to hear.

    Ok

    On with the review.
    There's a line in Chess, by Groban that says, (paraphrased), "This, so called crazy American has revitalized Chess all on his own".
    Mr Groban...
    YOU have revitilized Chess, all on your own.
    I read how all this came about to have Groban do this.
    I'm a fan of his NOW!

    I love the new production...and as Tim Rice said.."Now---it is done right". It IS. The new songs are great and the ending is wayyyyyyyyyyy better than the original. In fact----the ending was one reason the play failed before. I was praying, they adjusted it--and thankfully they did.
    I'm telling ya...I'm telling EVERYBODY----this is going to sweep Broadway and the West End after this particular version gets going.

    A few more notes...
    Idina was fantastic....and anyone who thought elsewise, just doesn't understand---she has her OWN voice. It wasn't in a soundbooth, it was live and beautiful.
    PLEASE, don't expect Elaine Page when you hear her.
    Expect Idina.
    AND...
    This friggin guy Adam Pascal, is unbelievable!
    I've never heard him before...and I was totally blown away.
    I'll agree with people that say, Murray Head, was better for the,"One night in Bangkok", song. Head was fantastic. In fact, he was fantastic on the whole CD of Chess...but Pascal, has now claimed fame and the right to being the measuring stick, for all other Freddie's for," "Pity the Child". That was jaw dropping. His entire persona and voice was just fantastic thoughout. I'm a fan.

    I heard the sound wasn't the greatest when it was seen live...but the DVD, brings out what was really the way the voices were meant to be heard.

    Nothing but good will come from this fantastic concert/play.

    People that have something to critisize...are just nit-picking.
    This will be the NEXT, great wonder of theaterland.

    Ren

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Josh Groban,Indina Menzel and Kerry Ellis' version of "Chess"

    Groban as the Russian, Menzel as Florence, and Kerry Ellis as the Russian's wife Svetlana, were simply great. Menzel and Ellis give the best performance of "I know him so well" that I have heard, and I have heard a great many. I loved Groban's version of "Anthem", though the supporting singers almost drown him out at the climatic end of the song.
    Overall, I enjoyed the performance very much, and look forward to watching it again and again (though I will fast forward through the Merano song, it is too long, is not that great, and frankly, the plot would not really miss that song. I would omit it to shorten the overall length of the play).
    A few minor criticisms to this performance. The voice of the Arbiter was not nearly strong enough, the plot seemed a little rushed near the end. Additionally, the ending is different from the version I first saw many years ago. I preferred the ending wherein the Russian throws the match to Freddie (the American) to help Florence reunite with her Father. This ending also has Freddie (the American player) committing an action near the end that is completely inconsistent with his character.
    That said, the plusses greatly outweight the minuses. I enjoyed the performance very much, and recommend it. Gnordt

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