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Candide (1956 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, Extra tracks, May 13, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

The smash 1956 Broadway hit, written by Lillian Hellman (based, of course, on the novelette by Voltaire) and featuring the glorious music of Leonard Bernstein! The nostalgic notes by star Barbara Cook recall how the adoring audience cried, "No! No!" as the final curtain fell; it's no wonder-the music and performances are breathtaking. Includes a bonus track.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Leonard Bernstein, Richard Wilbur, Max Adrian, Barbara Cook
  • Audio CD (May 13, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Masterworks Broadway
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000996FW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,278 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on September 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Leonard Bernstein's CANDIDE was a Broadway flop when it first opened in 1956 at the Martin Beck Theatre, shuttering after an abysmal 73 performances. Though the show has never quite achieved the greatness it deserves, the Overture is considered to be one of the greatest, most thrilling ever written. The original 1956 cast album of the show has now been reissued on the Columbia Broadway Masterworks label.
Based on the play by Voltaire, the show starred Robert Rounseville ('Mr Snow' in the film version of CAROUSEL) as Candide, with Irra Petina as the Old Woman with One Buttock and Max Adrian as Dr Pangloss. Barbara Cook (the City Center revival of CAROUSEL, PLAIN AND FANCY) stars as the young ingenue Cunegonde.
The score, by Leonard Bernstein by lyrics by Richard Wilbur, John LaTouche and Dorothy Parker, is superb. The musical is best known for the devilish 'jewel song' aria "Glitter and Be Gay", sung by the clarion soprano of Barbara Cook, who infuses it with all the vocal pyrotechnics that it calls for."I Am Easily-Assimilated" is comically performed by Irra Petina, whilst the baritone of Robert Rounseville is showcased in "It Must Be So".
As a bonus on this new reissue, there is the majestic sweeping Overture as performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Bernstein himself. There are also brand-new liner notes including an essay from Barbara Cook.
As well as this landmark recording, I also recommend the 1997 Broadway revival cast album (which features Harolyn Blackwell as Cunegonde and Jim Dale as Dr Pangloss). Buy them both today!
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Format: Audio CD
I grew up listening to this album (my parents having been among the enlightened few who saw the original production) and have always considered it fascinating and brilliant. Sure, there have been a half-dozen attempts to revise the show over the years, with much music added later on (some of it very good), but you really can't go wrong with this original version.
First of all, in Cook and Rousenville, it has two FANTASTIC singers. Max Adrian's Pangloss is also a delight. The quasi-operetta orchestration is more full-bodied and satisfying than some later versions, feeling much more like the 1700s. Throughout, the music and lyrics are intelligent, inventive, and enchanting - on par with West Side Story, if a bit less easy to relate to, being in an older idiom. (In fact, one of the best songs of West Side Story, the breathtaking wedding duet "One Hand, One Heart" was actually written for Candide, but not used because the irony of "Oh Happy We!" suited Candide better.)
Anyway, this albums is a flawed masterpiece that preserves a spectacularly creative production, and is a must-have for any serious fan of American musicals!
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Format: Audio CD
Candide is without a doubt one of my favorite pieces of music. Forget the show; the show itself will never work on stage. But the music really is amazing. The biggest problem is, there must be a dozen recordings of it, and not one is even remotely like another. You literally need to buy six cds just to get the full grasp of the score. This one, the first, has the best cast and the best orchestra; unfortunately, it contains all of one third of the music. Still, it is more than worth it (heck, the overture alone makes it worth it)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Someday, a genius producer will make this show work, probably as a film instead of a staged production. Until then, we must bask in the fabulous music, the best of which, perfectly sung, remains on this all-too-abbreviated original cast recording. Ideally, this recording should be supplemented by Bernstein's 1989 recording of a complete score. The two together represent youth and age, sadly.

All the tinkering and updating went for naught when you compare the original "Best of all possible worlds" words with later versions. Candide was a child of the 18th century and 1950s and should remain so.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I grew up with this recording of Leonard Bernstein's "Candide," and spent literally decades trying to work out all the lyrics. They're sung so fast and often in combination in a kind of fugue, that working them out has been tricky. But the effort is well rewarded. Original credit for the lyrics goes to the American poet Richard Wilbur while credit for additional lyrics goes to Dorothy Parker ("Oh life is a glorious cycle of song/A medley of extemporanea/And love is a thing that can never go wrong/And I am Marie, of Rumania."). You could hardly ask for better writers.

So you can imagine my surprise when I rented a concert version of "Candide" from Netflix, only to discover that many of the wittiest lyrics had not only been changed, but in some cases completely replaced, and replaced by lyrics that eliminated the wit altogether. Gone, for example, are the following lyrics from "Best of All Possible Worlds":

Cunegonde:
Dear master, I am sure you're right
That married life is splendid,
But why do married people fight?
I cannot comprehend it.

Pangloss:
The private strife of man and wife
Is useful to the nation.
It is a harmless outlet for
Emotions that could lead to war
Or social agitation.

Chorus:
A brilliant explanation.

. . .

Candide:

Since marriage if divine, of course,
We cannot understand sir,
Why there should be so much divorce,
Do let us know the answer.

Pangloss:
Why, marriage, boy, is such a joy,
So lovely a condition,
That many ask no other than
To wed as often as they can
In happy repetition.

Chorus:
A brilliant exposition.

And so on.
Read more ›
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