Noël Coward's Bittersweet [Selections]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
This unlicensed album presents a 1958 studio cast recording of Noël Coward's 1929 operetta Bitter Sweet that has been out of print for many years, after having been released in the U.K. by RCA Victor/EMI and, in the U.S. in 1960, on Angel. It went out of copyright in Europe as of January 1, 2009, and Sepia Records didn't waste much time getting this version out. But the new label did take the time to add a bunch of extra tracks that more than double the running time. The 1958 album tracks 1-11 was notable for being the first album-length version of the score, and it is excellent, with Vanessa Lee putting her soprano in the service of the starring role of a woman who ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
This unlicensed album presents a 1958 studio cast recording of Noël Coward's 1929 operetta Bitter Sweet that has been out of print for many years, after having been released in the U.K. by RCA Victor/EMI and, in the U.S. in 1960, on Angel. It went out of copyright in Europe as of January 1, 2009, and Sepia Records didn't waste much time getting this version out. But the new label did take the time to add a bunch of extra tracks that more than double the running time. The 1958 album tracks 1-11 was notable for being the first album-length version of the score, and it is excellent, with Vanessa Lee putting her soprano in the service of the starring role of a woman who follows her heart in 19th century Vienna and, along the way, sings such Coward standards as "I'll See You Again" and "Zigeuner." Also impressive is Julie Dawn as the nightclub singer Manon, handling another Coward evergreen, "If Love Were All." In fact, the only thing wrong with the recording is that it is incomplete, presenting only nine songs from the score plus the "Overture" and "Finale", when there were another eight sung on-stage, among them "Bonne Nuit, Merci" and "Green Carnations." The 12 extra tracks do not include any of that material, however, repeating many of the same songs in different versions. Although there was no "original cast album" of Bitter Sweet, Peggy Wood, Georges Metaxa, and Ivy St. Helier, the London stars, did cut a couple of singles of the major songs before the opening, and those tracks are here. Evelyn Laye, who starred in the show on Broadway, recorded "I'll See You Again" and "Zigeuner" a decade later, and they're here, too. Most unusual, there was a French-language production in Paris in 1930, and four songs from that cast have been included. The whole thing finishes with a 1954 Coward recording of "I'll See You Again." Thus, this is a good miscellany of Bitter Sweet, especially for those who don't mind hearing four different versions of "I'll See You Again" and three each of "Dear Little Café" and "Zigeuner." But it is not a complete recording of the score.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/12/2009
  • Label: Sepia Recordings
  • EAN: 5055122111306
  • Catalog Number: 1130
  • Sales rank: 375,564

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Overture - Michael Collins (4:06)
  2. 2 The Call of Life - Vanessa Lee (2:53)
  3. 3 If You Could Only Come With Me - Roberto Cardinali (1:30)
  4. 4 I'll See You Again - Vanessa Lee (4:17)
  5. 5 Ladies Of The Town - Jean Alister (2:04)
  6. 6 If Love Were All - Julie Dawn (4:54)
  7. 7 Dear Little Café - Vanessa Lee (3:58)
  8. 8 Today - John Hauxvell (2:54)
  9. 9 Kiss Me - Julie Dawn (3:32)
  10. 10 Zigeuner - Vanessa Lee (3:34)
  11. 11 Finale - Vanessa Lee (2:52)
  12. 12 Selection - London Palladium Orchestra (4:11)
  13. 13 I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet") - Georges Metaxa (4:03)
  14. 14 If Love Were All - Ivy St. Helier (3:36)
  15. 15 Dear Little Café - Georges Metaxa (4:00)
  16. 16 Zigeuner - Peggy Wood (2:56)
  17. 17 I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet") - Evelyn Laye (3:00)
  18. 18 Zigeuner - Evelyn Laye (2:32)
  19. 19 I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet") - René Bussy (2:57)
  20. 20 Ne Serait-Ce Pas L'Amour? (What Is Love?), song - Jane Marnac (3:06)
  21. 21 Le Petit Café (Dear Little Café) - René Bussy (3:09)
  22. 22 Tzigane (Zigeuner) - Jane Marnac (2:59)
  23. 23 I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet") - Noël Coward (3:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Noël Coward Vocals
Evelyn Laye Vocals
Angela Morley Conductor
Michael Collins Conductor
Mary Thomas Vocals
Clifford Greenwood Conductor
His Majesty's Theatre Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Julie Dawn Vocals
Norman Hackforth Piano
Fred Mêlé Conductor
Peggy Wood Vocals
Reginald Burston Conductor
Jean Allister Vocals
Roberto Cardinali Vocals
Jane Marnac Vocals
Vanessa Lee Vocals
Michael Collins Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Gordon Whelan Piano
John Hayxvell Vocals
René Bussy Vocals
Dorothy Dorow Vocals
Rita Williams Vocals
The Rita Williams Singers Choir, Chorus
George Metaxa Vocals
London Palladium Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Ivy St. Helier Vocals
Technical Credits
Noël Coward Composer
Rexton S. Bunnett Liner Notes
Saint-Granier Composer
Robin Cherry Remastering
Ray Terry Orchestration
Brian Fahey Orchestration
Ray Leaning Graphic Design
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