Baker's Wife (S.Schwartz)

Baker's Wife (S.Schwartz)


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Baker's Wife (S.Schwartz)

In 1976, 28-year-old Stephen Schwartz seemed to be the most successful Broadway songwriter of his generation, with three musicals playing in New York simultaneously: Godspell (which transferred to Broadway following a lengthy off-Broadway run during the year), Pippin, and The Magic Show. Schwartz's next musical was thus highly anticipated. It was The Baker's Wife, based on the French novel La Femme du Boulanger by Marcel Pagnol and Jean Giono, and the classic 1938 film directed by Pagnol, about a romantic triangle involving a baker, his wife, and a shepherd. Originally, the production starred Topol (known for the London and film versions of Fiddler on the Roof), but he was eventually replaced, surprisingly, by the character actor Paul Sorvino, a newcomer to musical theater. Opposite him was up-and-coming Juilliard-trained actress/singer Patti LuPone, while Kurt Peterson ably played the shepherd. The show opened its pre-Broadway tour in Los Angeles on May 11, 1976, but something went wrong on the way to New York, and The Baker's Wife never got there, closing in Washington, D.C. A year later, Schwartz was able to find backers to record this studio cast album of the score, featuring the principal performers from the lost production. The music has the warm, melodic pop sound familiar from Schwartz's previous musicals. The first revelation is Sorvino, who actually trained for 18 years to be an opera singer before making his career in straight plays and films. He is a wonderful singer, easily able to handle the rangy songs Schwartz has given him. The second revelation is LuPone, making her recording debut, who turns out to be another wonderful singer. The standout song is her explanation of why she's running away from her husband, "Meadowlark," but the score is as good as it is well sung, and this is one of those cases in which an album based on a failed show poses the question of what could have gone wrong, since it obviously wasn't the music.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/01/1995
Label: Original Cast Record
UPC: 0741117181922
catalogNumber: 891

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Eddie Gomez   Bass
Jack Wilkins   Guitar
David Taylor   Trombone
Paul Sorvino   Vocals,Track Performer,cast
Frederick Waits   Drums
Patti LuPone   Vocals,Track Performer,cast
Ray Alonge   French Horn
Dennis Anderson   Clarinet
Kenny Berger   Bassoon
James Buffington   French Horn
Gerald Tarack   Violin
Harry Glickman   Violin
Gordon Gottlieb   Percussion
Harry Lookofsky   Violin
Susan Jolles   Harp
Leo Kahn   Violin
Jesse Levy   Cello,Celli
Joseph Malin   Violin
Richard Maximoff   Viola
Charles McCracken   Cello,Celli
Kermit Moore   Cello,Celli
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Emanuel Vardi   Viola
Barry Maur   Trombone
Robert Billig   Conductor,Keyboards
Tony Price   Tuba
Larry Hochman   Keyboards
Stephen Schwartz   Piano
Teri Ralston   Vocals,Track Performer,cast
Don Walker   Performing Ensemble
Dave Taylor   Trombone
Seymour Benstock   Cello,Celli
Donald Hahn   Trumpet
Jeffrey Lyons   English Horn,Oboe
Kurt Peterson   Vocals,cast
Susan Palma-Nidel   Flute
Daniel Troob   Background Music
Baker's Wife Orchestra   Performing Ensemble

Technical Credits

Paul Sorvino   Liner Notes
Fred Miller   Engineer
Tom Pierson   Orchestration
Bruce Yeko   Producer
Doris Chu   Producer
Paul Chu   Producer
Rose Chu   Producer
Robert Billig   Arranger
Joseph Stein   Book
Stephen Schwartz   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Don Walker   Orchestration,Original Orchestrations
Daniel Troob   Contributor

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