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Bitter Sweet (World Premiere Complete Recording) Cast Recording


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Audio CD, Cast Recording, March 9, 1999
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Jay Records
  • ASIN: B00000IH30
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,251 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Act One: That Wonderful melody - Tom Griffin
2. Act One: The Call Of Life - Valerie Masterson/Company
3. Act One: If You Could Only Come With Me - Martin Smith
4. Act One: I'll See You Again - Valerie Masterson/Martin Smith
5. Act One: Polka - New Sadler's Wells Opera
6. Act One: What Is Love? - Valerie Masterson/Company
7. Act One: The Last Dance - Michael Fitchew/Robert Jon/Ian Platt/David Dyer/Donald Jones/Tom Griffin/Sally-Anne Middleton...
8. Act One: Finale Act One - Valerie Masterson/Martin Smith/Carol Lesley-Freen/Fiona Lamont/Susan Stubbs/Anne O'Neill...
9. Act Two: Opening Chor (Life In The Morning) - Tom Riffin, David Kinder/Clive Walton/Sally-Anne Middleton/Susan Stubbs/Clare Welch/Lorraine Vaughan
10. Act Two: Ladies Of The Town - Sara Weymouth/Lucy Fenwick/Claire Hayes/Rachel Izen
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Act Two: Bitter Sweet Waltz - New Sadler's Wells Opera
2. Act Two: Officer's Chor (We Wish To Order Wine) - Company
3. Act Two: Tokay - Donald Maxwell/Company
4. Act Two: Bonne Nuit, Merci - Rosemary Ashe
5. Act Two: Kiss Me - Rosemary Ashe/New Sadler's Wells Opera
6. Act Three: Tara-Ra--Boom-De-Ay - Donald Jones/David Dyer/Ian Platt/Robert Jon/Sally-Anne Middleton/Fiona Lamont/Claire Hayes...
7. Act Three: Alas! The Time Is Past - Sally-Anne Middleton/Fiona Lamont/Carol Lesley-Green/Claire Hayes/Anne O' Neill/Susan Stubbs
8. Act Three: We All Wear A Green Carnation - Michael Chance/David Kinder/Tom Griffin/Clive Walton
9. Act Three: Zigeuner - Valerie Masterson
10. Act Three: Finale Act Three - Valerie Masterson/Martin Smith

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. T Waldmann on July 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
NBC Radio. February 23, 1953. Marvin Miller, announcer:

"Ladies and gentlemen, The Railroad Hour. (train whistles) And here comes the star-studded show train. (Theme music: orchestra & chorus) Tonight the American Association of Railroads presents Noel Coward`s operetta, BITTER SWEET, starring Gordon MacRae and his guest, Dorothy Warenskjold. Our choir is under the direction of Norman Luboff and the music is arranged and conducted by Carmen Dragon. Yes, tonight another big musical hit is brought to you transcribed by the American Railroads, the same railroads that bring you most of the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the fuel you burn, and all the other things you use in your daily life. And now, here is our star, Gordon MacRae!"

BTV (before TV), my sisters and I would gather around the radio practically every Monday night for The Railroad Hour. It was never an "hour" show, debuting on ABC radio on October 4, 1948 with guests Dinah Shore and Jane Powell. The show was GOOD NEWS, condensed to 45 minutes. On May 2, 1949 the program switched to a 30-minute format -- SHOWBOAT with guest Lucille Norman. On October 20 of the same year it moved to NBC Radio, where it stayed through its final show on June 21, 1954 -- THE NEW MOON, also with Ms. Norman. I don't know how many of the 299 episodes I heard (a lot), but BITTER SWEET - "Coward's shameless attempt to revive sentimental operetta" - remains a particular favorite of mine.

Maybe it's because BITTER SWEET is, if anything, a nostalgic show. The heroine, Sarah Millick - now the Marchioness of Shayne - recounts her life story at a party. Forty-five years earlier, ". . .she fell so desperately in love with her handsome young singing master that she threw it all away in order to be with him.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Regina Hilburn on October 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I originally acquired this recording on vinyl in the summer of '89 during my first trip to London, & was stunned at the haunting richness of the score & the beauty of the perfomances, particularly Valerie Masterton's as Sarah. It remains one of my very favorite albums--I am listening to it again as I write this. Run, don't walk, to buy this, & discover one of the truly great gems of 20th century operetta that deserves to be staged more often.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Boz on August 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Noel Coward's evocative score with it's nostalgic tribute to Viennese operetta is beautifully recorded here. A rare gem.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Wheeler on April 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I caught this production on tour in 1988. twice as I enjoyed it so much.

The recording is just as good, not least for the new orchestrations by Michael Reed which give some numbers, such as 'Tell Me What is Love?' and 'Tokay' a showstopping feel.

Valerie Masterson is superb in the large role of Sarah, who is required to play ages from 18 to 70+ during the course of the show. 'Zigeuner' is beautfully poised, the Finales are deeply felt, 'What is Love?' a tour-de-force but my favourite must be 'The Call of Life', aided by the orchestrations which cut to piano near the end before the full orchestra join for the thrilling climax.

Martin Smith was a very sincere and appealing English Carl Linden in the theatre, and the decision not to attempt a Viennese accent did not detract from his performance. His is a much lighter, music theatre rather than operatic voice, and Masterson blends well with him in their duets, with 'I'll See You Again' being the obvious highlight.

Rosemary Ashe as the crowd-pleasing Manon doesn't disappoint, reinventing 'If Love Were All' from the now rather quaint-sounding delivery of Ivy St Helier in the original. Her cabaret act, a saucy French number followed by a more restrained 'Kiss Me' are delivered with great style.

Donald Maxwell (who didn't appear in the stage production) sings well in his one number, 'Tokay' complete with ringing top Ab which was added by the orchestrator.

This recording is also greatly helped by the ensemble players, such as the six girls who are Sarah's bridesmaids and later have a rather middle-aged comment on marriage, 'Alas! The Time is Past' which was cut from the stage show, perhaps to cut the length down.
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