South Pacific (Music from the ABC Premiere Event)

South Pacific (Music from the ABC Premiere Event)

by Glenn Close
     
 

South Pacific, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II's fourth musical, was their second most successful in terms of the run achieved by the 1949 original production on Broadway, behind only their first show, Oklahoma!, which at the time meant it was also the second-longest running musical inSee more details below

Overview

South Pacific, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II's fourth musical, was their second most successful in terms of the run achieved by the 1949 original production on Broadway, behind only their first show, Oklahoma!, which at the time meant it was also the second-longest running musical in Broadway history. But South Pacific did even better in secondary media. Its original cast album still holds the record for the longest stay at number one in the history of the Billboard magazine album chart, 69 weeks; the movie version, released in 1958, was the highest grossing film of the year; and the original soundtrack album, though it topped the Billboard chart for a mere 31 weeks(!), was probably the best-selling LP of the second half of the 1950s. The success of the film and soundtrack notwithstanding, the movie version did not show off the work to its greatest advantage, what with the peculiar color filters that marred the cinematography and the extensive dubbing of the lead performers. So, a new television production is more than welcome. Unfortunately, casting choices and musical revisions prevent this new soundtrack from excelling. A raft of new arrangers has been brought in to replace Robert Russell Bennett's original orchestrations, a decision that only makes sense when you consider that the cast has been filled with a group of modest vocal talents who couldn't possibly have hit the notes Bennett set for the original cast. Of particular note is Rade Sherbedgia in the male lead, Emile de Becque, a part written for opera bass-baritone Ezio Pinza that features such songs as "Some Enchanted Evening" and "This Nearly Was Mine." Sherbedgia is a conversational tenor, and the songs have been re-orchestrated for his limited abilities. This throws out the main musical structure of the show, the dichotomy between de Becque's opera-like arias and female lead Nellie Forbush's more pop-sounding songs, which echoes the differences in their backgrounds. That dichotomy is, of course, the major theme of South Pacific, and by homogenizing the score the arrangers have missed this point. Harry Connick, Jr., as second male lead Lt. Joseph Cable, turns in his usual Frank Sinatra Jr. imitation. By far the best of the lot is Glenn Close, although, at 53, she's a bit long in the tooth to be playing Nellie Forbush. You can always see the wheels turning in a Close performance, and she is as actorly here as ever, but much of the time she seems to be channeling Mary Martin, the original Nellie, and that's not a bad thing. In the end, South Pacific survives its 2001 television treatment, but anyone wanting to hear what the score should sound like still must be directed back to the original Broadway cast album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/20/2001
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998568426
catalogNumber:
85684
Rank:
277419

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Glenn Close   Primary Artist,Vocals
Harry Connick   Vocals
Craig Ball   Vocals
Phillip Hartl   Concert Master
Paul Bogaev   Conductor
Mike Griffiths   Vocals
Peter Lamb   Vocals
Ilene Graff   Vocals
Justin Smith   Vocals
Simon Pryce   Vocals
Yvette Robinson   Vocals
Caroline Brazier   Vocals
Canadian Film Orchestra   Accompaniment
Lori Tan Chinn   Vocals
Dinah Culbert   Vocals
Matthew Dale   Vocals
Helen Dallimore   Vocals
Marguerite De Ferranti   Vocals
Jenelle Favazzo   Vocals
Sara Gleeson   Vocals
Pippa Grandison   Vocals
Brendan Hanson   Vocals
Damon Herriman   Vocals
Simon Hyland   Vocals
Craig Ilott   Vocals
Stephen LeMarquand   Vocals
Tony LePage   Vocals
Ashley Lyons   Vocals
Madison McKoy   Vocals
Liam McLachlan   Vocals
Angeline Neville   Vocals
Natalie O'Donnell   Vocals
Leonie Page   Vocals
Robert Pastorelli   Vocals
Jacqui Rae   Vocals
Rade Sherbedgia   Vocals
Annie Starke   Vocals
Jonathan Stuart   Vocals
Troy Sussman   Vocals
Armondo Hurley   Vocals
Mark Dickinson   Vocals

Technical Credits

Mary Rodgers   Liner Notes
Douglas Besterman   Orchestration
Michael Gore   Producer
Oscar Hammerstein   Lyricist
Sonny Kompanek   Orchestration
Joel Moss   Producer,Engineer
Michael Small   Arranger,Adaptation
Michael Starobin   Orchestration
Paul Bogaev   Producer
Robert Elhai   Orchestration
Lawrence D. Cohen   Liner Notes
Daniel Troob   Orchestration

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