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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must be fate.
Both Broadway and the record industry were very different in 1953. KISMET opened on December 3, 1953. On December 6 the cast went to Columbia's 30th Street Studios and recorded the album which was in New York City record stores by December 10! Today it takes months, sometimes years for the cast album to emerge, without any discernible increase in quality...
Published on February 26, 2010 by Mark Andrew Lawrence

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CD
I was a little disappointed with the sound quality of this CD. I haver only plasyed it twice and would be hesitant to puchase another.
Published 24 months ago by Liz McKenzie-Smith


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must be fate., February 26, 2010
This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
Both Broadway and the record industry were very different in 1953. KISMET opened on December 3, 1953. On December 6 the cast went to Columbia's 30th Street Studios and recorded the album which was in New York City record stores by December 10! Today it takes months, sometimes years for the cast album to emerge, without any discernible increase in quality.

KISMET was record in high fidelity mono. The LP was a very long one for it's time lasting 53 minutes and getting all of the score along with some of the dance music. The Lp stayed in print through the end of the vinyl era and was among Columbia's earliest CD releases. This edition is Sony's 3rd CD release, utilizing the original album artwork. The remastering is the same as used for the 2000 edition (including bonus tracks of highlight's from Mike Wallace's radio interview withe the stars) but instead of the traditional jewel case the disc is housed in a less permanent cardboard wallet.

Reviewing the 2000 release I wrote:

Here it is, in glorious crystal-clean monophonic sound: the one and only ORIGINAL original cast recording of KISMET.

Unlike later recordings, this album preserves the lush orchestrations by Arthur Kay. Recorded just three days after the show's Broadway premiere, the cast is in great voice, fresh and full of energy.

Sony has done another outstanding remastering job making these 50 year old tapes sound as clean as possible. As a bonus, there are highlights of a radio interview with album producer Goddard Lieberson and star Alfred Drake. The biggest bonus is the wonderful original album artwork.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drake, Morrow and Diener lead a dreamy cast in exotic Broadway classic, February 28, 2010
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
KISMET is a grand old rollicking ride, a thrilling score taken from the immortal themes of Borodin, written by Robert Wright and George 'Chet' Forrest, and starring the big-voiced leading man Alfred Drake as the colourful poet Hajj.

Derived from the play by Edward Knoblock, the story concerns fast-talking poet Hajj and his daughter Marsinah, as they get tangled up with the Wazir and the voluptuous Lalume, amongst others. Dulcet-toned Doretta Morrow (the original Tuptim in THE KING AND I) plays Marsinah with Joan Diener (MAN OF LA MANCHA's original Aldonza) in her Broadway debut as Lalume. Alfred Drake (from the original casts of OKLAHOMA! and KISS ME KATE) has the right amount of attitude and swaggering brag to play Hajj.

The score is best-remembered for delights like "And This is My Beloved", "Stranger in Paradise", "Baubles Bangles and Beads", "Not Since Nineveh" and "Gesticulate". This sparkling reissue of the original 1953 cast album (which is the exact same disc as the 1998 Broadway Masterworks pressing but in a new, "eco-pack" cardboard sleeve) includes a fascinating excerpt from 'Stage Struck', a radio programme of the day which interviewed Drake, Morrow, the composers and album producer Goddard Lieberson during the recording sessions for the cast album, a few days after opening night. KISMET ran for a not-too-shabby 583 performances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise!, October 14, 2012
This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
I've seen several productions of KISMET over the years, and I've heard several recordings of it, too, but nothing beats this Original Cast Album from 1953. The Arabian Nights story of the clever beggar and his beautiful daughter spending one magical, life-changing day in Baghdad is highlighted by the score of Robert Wright and George Forrest, based on themes from Alexander Borodin.

And what a score it is! In this one musical, you'll find several of the greatest show tunes in Broadway history: "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," "Night of My Nights," "And This Is My Beloved," and, of course, that magnificent show-stopper, "Stranger In Paradise." The rest of the score is gorgeous, too. And you'll never hear it sung as well as here. Alfred Drake, Doretta Morrow, Richard Kiley, Joan Diener, and the rest of the splendid cast are sheer perfection. Even though it's an old, monaural recording, it still outshines all subsequent productions that I've ever heard. If you're curious about this wonderful show, this is the only recording you'll ever need. Trust me. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a "borrowed din" but a sublime and sexy one, July 16, 2014
This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
KISMET was a 1953 musicalization of an already-creaky 1911 pseudo-ancient-Araby original, but the show's developers had the genius to set the show's tunes to the music of Alexander Borodin, the 19th Century Russian composer of the Polovetsian Dances. Then they ramped up the "1001 Nights" atmosphere of a fictional, lost-in-the-past Baghdad to the breaking point. The result is an overheated and ever-moving spectacle that is not particularly sexual, but dripping with sex. Insinuating, percolating "Arab" rhythms drive the show, such as this staggering whirl of dactyls from the song "Rahadlakum": "The KIND of conFECtion to DRIVE a MAN out of his MESopo-TAMian MIIIND!" Yes, they were singing about candy (wink). Specifically, the kind called "Turkish Delight" (wink, wink). This is also the show that gave us such popular hits as "Stranger in Paradise" and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads."

KISMET, according to a CBS radio interview by Mike Wallace that is an extra on this CD, was "not a critic's show but the public's show." It may even have worked in the show's favor that the major New York newspapers were all on strike when KISMET premiered in late 1953. It was months later that the critics got into print to accuse it of "a borrowed din" that "sold its soul for [bad] jokes." No matter--in the absence of daily papers the producers had resorted to the then-novel means of television advertising. KISMET dug in and ran for well over a year, a very long run in those days.

This CD, while remastered, is not immune to its monaural source limitations. Little matter: the songs are either rhapsodic and enchanting, or garish and a little overblown -- and meant to be -- yet charming nonetheless, with great verbal wit. Alfred Drake's singing must be heard to be believed, just part of a very capable cast that included Doretta Morrow and Richard Kiley (who later became Don Quixote in MAN OF LA MANCHA). The album comes complete with a "liner notes" type of booklet adapted for its eco-friendly jacket. Like it or lump it, this is seminal Broadway, and at this price well worth taking a chance on. Could this sort of musical travel widely today without provoking several more no-win-ums in the Middle East? Perhaps not, but enjoy it anyway.
I have a certain "Vamp" to thank for this gift. Thanks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kismet CD, September 22, 2011
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This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
I saw Kismet both on stage and at the movies as a child in the 1950s in Melbourne. We had a record of it at home. When I saw Kismet returning to Melbourne recently (the Production Company performance) I couldn't wait to go and take my daughters with me. We loved it and I immediately went on line to find the CD. This original broadway cast of Kismet recording is the same one (and same cover) that we had at home all those years ago. For the past 4 weeks I have almost worn it out playing it in the car over and over again. It is brilliant!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Borodin!, November 5, 2011
This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
From the first notes in the overture it is clear that this musical is epic. The music was written by a famous Russian composer named Alexander Borodin and is world class. The lyrics to the songs are funny, clever, and sincere. I bought this for my wife (a musical snob) and it quickly became one of her favorites.

I just sat at the keyboard for 3 minutes trying to think up possible downsides.....I've got nothing.

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musically Sumptuous, March 16, 2012
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This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
Russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was best known for the opera PRINCE IGOR. In the 1950s, composers Robert Wright and George Forrest adapted the opera, as well as several of Borodin's string quartets, into music for a Broadway play: losely based on a 1911 play by Edward Knoblock and with book and lyrics by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis, KISMET in December 1953 to lukewarm critical reviews--but the spectacle, the music, and a memorable cast put it over with the audience, and the play went on to run 583 performance, a run that compared favorably against most other musicals of the day.

The story is one that can be readily imagined by the title, a middle eastern fantasy about a poet, his daughter, a prince, a wicked wazir, and his seductive wife, all of whom cross paths in the fabled city of Baghdad. Then as now, the great thing about the play is the music, which produced such memorable standards as "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads" and "Stranger In Paradise"--popular songs that are actually overshadowed by such musical knock-outs as "Not Since Nenevah," "He's In Love," "Gesticulate," "Rhadlakum," and "Night of My Nights." The score is a dazzler, no doubt about it, sweeping, delicate, exotic and glamorous, and the lyrics are unexpectedly witty, matched only by the likes of Cole Porter's work.

The singers are equal to it. The play was led by Alfred Drake, a genuinely memorable performer whose stage credits included everything from the original productions of BABES IN ARMS to KISS ME KATE. His performances of "Fate" and "Gesticulate" are astonishing. He meets his vocal match in Joan Diener, who plays the Wazir's wife Lulume, who slaps and seduces with remarkable performances in such songs as "Not Since Nineveh" and "Rahadlakum." Doretta Morrow, who introduced "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads" is also memorable, as are Richard Kiley and Henry Calvin.

The cast for KISMET was simply huge, numbering about fifty, and the vocal power of such a cast and its huge orchestra is amazingly well captured on the original 1953 cast recording. Everything about the recording sparkles and shines. The arrangement is perhaps particularly notable for being male-heavy, something a bit unusual for the time. The remastering is incredibly good, and a bonus track includes interviews with members of the cast as they prepare to make the recording. KISMET was later revived in the 1970s under the title TIMBUKTU! and starring Eartha Kitt, a production that was mildly successful, but it has never been given a full scale Broadway revival; this is as close as you can get, and if you're into Broadway music, this is a must have from start to finish.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
In Memory of Nicky, feline compainion of a decade, gone too soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD too, me back quite a few years, November 22, 2012
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This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
It was great to hear Alfred Drake again, and Borodin's music. I listened to this record album when in my teens, and didn't realize how much the music still moved me. There is an added interview on the end of the CD which I'd never heard before as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a big hit, January 6, 2013
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This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
This was a Christmas gift and the recipient was very pleased. It's just too bad no one made a video recoding of the original cast or I would have bought that too. The later films just weren't as good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CD, March 20, 2014
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This review is from: Kismet (Audio CD)
I wanted to complete my collection of Broadway show CD's.
This version is by the original cast does not dissappoint.
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Kismet
Kismet by Kismet (Audio CD - 2009)
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