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on November 15, 2012
I'm so excited to finally have the complete concert!! Judy was in great voice, and the song listing is very similar to her Carnegie Hall concert with some song changes and a few story changes. There is an interview with Judy at the beginning right before the concert that is new to me, and fascinating. Although the original sound was not the best, this CD has been remastered well, and this is FAR better sound quality than most surviving Judy concerts from the era. I hope this CD does well so that the company will find ways to release other great material.
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on November 22, 2012
I have listened to this album couple of times, and thought about it a lot. I view the Amsterdam concert as a try-out for later concerts. The sound is decent, if not great..better on the 2nd CD. Garland is still working on the jazz songs and her songs with just a piano. On the latter, she asks the audience to vote on whether they want a third song with the piano. They do. She jokes about singing a song about foggy London in Amsterdam, something like: "Why am I singing this song here? Does not make much sense." Garland interacts with the audience more than at Carnegie Hall, and she is more at ease.

More important, I enjoyed a number of songs more here than on the Carnegie Hall album...the list is too long to name, but my guess is 6 or 7 songs.

But, The Carnegie Hall album will always be the gold standard. Buy this album if you want to get a view of the try-out period & the songs that are particularly well sung.
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on January 14, 2013
The year was 1960. "The Sound of Music" and "Fiorello" tied the Tony Award for Best Musical, and Billy Wilder's "The Apartment" won the Academy Award for Best Picture. That same year, on one special evening in Amsterdam, Judy Garland gave a one-night only midnight performance in front of an appreciative audience at the Tuschinski Theatre. The concert was simulcast on the radio for those to enjoy at home, and now First Hand Records has released the broadcast, titled, "Judy Garland: The Amsterdam Concert, 1960."

Recovering from a serious bout of hepatitis that caused doctors to caution her that she might never perform again, the 38-year-old mother of three slowly began a string of impromptu European dates that included this concert, recorded by the Dutch station ARVO and presented on December 10th.

The two-disk set begins with almost fifteen minutes of interviews with Garland, her husband Sid Luft, and her conductor Norrie Paramor, followed by a 5-minute instrumental overture by the Jos Cleber Cosmopolitan Orchestra. Finally the diva begins her set, and its obvious that the audience recognizes that it is part of a special evening. This recording encapsulates the progression of the concert all the way through the over two-dozen songs and four encores, from "When You're Smiling," through "The Man That Got Away," "That's Entertainment," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," and the seldom heard "You're Nearer" to her timeless hits "You Made Me Love You," "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," and "Over the Rainbow." The producers even include the majority of the verbal accolades heard during the evening.

Garland is in fabulous voice here. Considering the shortcomings of the technology used (as opposed to the Carnegie Hall concert that would be recorded in 1961, this recording was taped in mono strictly for the radio broadcast), the singer's amazing ability to welcome any audience into her world, and give them a two-hour-plus concert blatantly showed the strength of her desire to entertain, and the ultimate level of comfort that she had when on stage.
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on January 27, 2013
FORGET PRECEDING COMMENTS ABOUT SOUND QUALITY -- IT IS REALLY FINE. THE REASON TO BUY THIS IS TO HEAR AN ENTIRE, REPEAT, ENTIRE, JUDY GARLAND CONCERT, ALL THE HOOPLA AND APPLAUSE IN TACT. GARLAND IS MORE RELAXED THAN EVER, THE TEMPO PERHAPS JUST A TAD SLOWER, AND THE VOICE AT ITS PRIME. THE INTENSITY OF CARNEGIE HALL IS ABSENT, AND THE PROCESS OF TRANSFORMING A LUKEWARM AUDIENCE INTO ONE THAT SIZZLES BY THE END OF THE EVENING IS HERE FOR ALL TO EXPERIENCE. THIS IS PROBABLY THE BEST CONCERT PRESENTATION OF JUDY GARLAND AVAILABLE FOR THESE REASONS, CARNEGIE INCLUDED, REGARDLESS OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT TECHNICAL ISSUES. BUY IT BECAUSE YOU WANT A TOTAL CONCERT EXPERIENCE -- YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!
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on December 28, 2012
Judy Garland - The Amsterdam Concert 1960

How can get anything better than an evening with Judy Garland ?

.....Well.....you can get another night !

The folks at FHR Records have assembled for the first time the complete Amsterdam concert recorded just months before the famous Carnegie Hall concert.

There are some good and bad aspects to this CD set. So lets start first with the bad.........well Audiophiles will definitely shriek at the less than full sound here. One must remember that this was lifted from two Dutch radio broadcasts and it was back in 1960. So considering the source you will hear fades in and out and varying sound levels. It was also recorded and broadcast in MONO and not STEREO. The other bummer is that this is almost a mirror set list to the Carnegie Hall concert (and chatter between songs) with one exception with the addition here of "It's A Great Day For The Irish" and some Radio interviews. At one point you can hear the radio voice over too just mentioning that we were listening to Judy ! Egad ! Now having said all that about the sound I will say that it is VERY listenable and has a ton of magic still in it.....sonic flaws and all !...remember this was never meant for public sale and was intended only for radio broadcast.

...and now the GOOD........JUDY ! ...the voice of Judy is bang on, lovely and powerful as you would expect. I think in many ways some of the songs here are better than the Carnegie Hall show actually. Judy Garland was a genius and fans of her will love this 2 CD set ! The orchestra was filled in with local talent as well while Judy was on tour and they sound wonderful....

Overall a great 2 CD set and I am very thankful for what FHR Records did here to give us the best sonic experience even thought the original had some definite shortcomings. The music is magic.....

...ladies and gentlemen..........Judy Garland !
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on December 29, 2012
A few months before making her historic--and best-selling--album at Carnegie Hall in 1961, Judy Garland presented a similar concert in Amsterdam on December 10, 1960. The concert was reportedly broadcast on Amsterdam radio at midnight. Though the repertoire is similar to what she sings on her Carnegie Hall album, it's interesting to hear a different orchestra, as well as to hear how she was preparing herself artistically for what was to be arguably her greatest concert. In between songs, she charms the audience with self-deprecating anecdotes.

The concert was over two hours long, with no back-up singers or warm-up acts. It was all Judy. So say what you will about her, she was not only a talented performer but a generous one.
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on October 16, 2013
ALL Garland fans have memorized the Carnegie Hall experience. And even though she performed the same songs in Amsterdam (with the addition of one), they all sound new here because, as we all know, Judy never performed the same song twice in the same way. And the same with her anecdotes. The Paris hairdo story is ALWAYS a gem. The quality of this CD is excellent, considering the source material. And it is money very well spent....ENJOY!!
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Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm, June 10, 1922 - June 22, 1969) really needs no introduction; despite the decades of time since her untimely passing she remains one of the world's best (if not still the best) entertainer ever. Garland could take a song and infuse it with so much emotion that you would cry or laugh as she performed straight from the heart; and that's grand. I very, very rarely hear or enjoy a voice as singularly beautiful, mesmerizing and enchanting voice as Judy's; indeed, when my late grandmother was listening to a Judy Garland record album there was a household rule that there was no talking allowed until the record had finished playing--because Judy hadn't "finished singing yet!" There were and are many other devout fans like my late grandmother including myself; and even today's youngest generations are being introduced to Judy through her appearance in the perennial favorite "The Wizard of Oz" and the incredible recordings of Judy at Carnegie Hall and this Amsterdam concert, too.

Others have noted that the audio for this December 10, 1960 Amsterdam concert (at The Tuschinski Theater) isn't as good as what we got for her Carnegie Hall concert only four months later in April of 1961--and they are right. However, I think we have to keep in mind that this was not intended to be released as a commercially available concert on record album or tape; it was a mono recording for a radio broadcast and so the sound isn't quite up to par with the Carnegie Hall recording. However, I still think this concert is a delight: Judy is clearly in excellent form and she enjoys an excellent rapport with her audience. Indeed, as the concert progresses the audience becomes more and more enthusiastic and by the end of the night they are refusing to leave, giving Judy two and a half minutes of continuous applause until she sings three encores--including a repeat of `San Francisco" because they ran out of extra arrangements! Nevertheless the audience loves every minute of the reprise of "San Francisco;" Judy has to shout out that the theater should turn up the lights to signal to her audience that the concert truly was over that evening.

The set of songs that Judy sings is essentially the same that she sang at Carnegie Hall except that they she performs them in a somewhat different order; but that doesn't matter--I loved listening to every minute of her singing! The one song we get here that Judy didn't perform at Carnegie is "It's a Great Day for the Irish," a fine marching-type number that Judy performs with panache as she does with all the songs here. The anecdotes are pretty similar to what we get for the Carnegie performance recording but I did like the sparkling little extras like the brief interviews with Judy, her husband at the time Sid Luft and Norrie Paramor who conducted the orchestra that evening. I only wish the radio announcers had spoken more in English than in Dutch!

In addition, the liner notes include an essay by Jonathan Summers. I love the black and white photos of Garland, too.

Judy Garland's Amsterdam concert from December of 1960 was clearly an outstanding success and this two CD set is a must-have for any Garland fan. In addition, people who appreciate classic pop vocals, classic jazz vocals and other classic songs and ballads would do well to add this to their collections.
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on April 14, 2013
This album is a prelude to the Carnegie Hall concert; although it has a different "feel" to it than Carnegie's concert, it's also very similar. Judy sounds more relaxed at this concert, especially in her chats with the audience. The audience seemed to love her and let her know it, even with the language difference. Sid Luft being at the concert could have been a reason for her relaxed feeling too. The difference that I noticed most in this concert was that the excitement of Carnegie's concert was much more intense than Amsterdam. The reason for that could be that the New York audience was filled with many celebrities. I would recommend this CD even though you have Carnegie Hall. Vocally, Judy sounds great and there are quite a few "chat" breaks which I love. Diane Barrie
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on August 28, 2015
Judy at her prime, doing what she did best. No one could touch her talent then, and still can't. The sound quality is really not bad, considering the source tapes. She's in great voice and obviously having a ball.
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