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on February 24, 2003
If you only buy one Les Mis CD then BUY THIS ONE!! Granted it is not the complete version (ok so you'll have to go buy that one too) but just the raw talent of the performers on this recording is amazing.
Philip Quast has one of the most powerful voices that I have ever heard and it fits perfectly with Javert's character. "Stars" is my favorite song mainly for that reason.
Colm Wilkinson of course is the best Valjean out there. Sometimes his little rips at the end of a sustained note are annoying but his performance of "Bring Him Home" is the best.
And finally Lea Salonga is simply perfect as Eponine. She has a powerful yet very sweet voice that conveys Eponine's sadness without sounding whiny. Her performance of "On My Own" is nothing short of FANTASTIC and is giving Quast's performance of "Stars" a run for its money in my mind. Lea Salonga is quickly becoming one of my favorite singers and this recording is what first got my attention about her.
Overall, this recording is the best Les Mis recording out there. To get the whole story buy the Complete Symphonic Recording but for just pure enjoyment in listening, you MUST get this one!
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HALL OF FAMEon July 13, 2004
The 10th Anniversary Gala performance of LES MISERABLES, presented in concert-style at the Royal Albert Hall, drew together a cast of performers from productions worldwide, and came to be known as the Dream Cast for the musical. Colm Wilkinson again plays Valjean, with Javert played by Philip Quast (THE SECRET GARDEN). The lovely Ruthie Henshall (DIVORCE ME DARLING, MISS SAIGON) plays the tragic Fantine and belts out an impressive "I Dreamed a Dream". Lea Salonga (MISS SAIGON, FLOWER DRUM SONG) is a luminous Eponine and Michael Ball (CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG), the original Marius, returns to the role once again. Judy Kuhn, the original Broadway Cosette, also is in top voice. The comical Thenardier's are played by Jenny Galloway (OLIVER!) and Alun Armstrong (another original cast member). Also back from the original cast is Beverly Klein as the grasping old crone in the "Lovely Ladies" scene. This historic recording is a must-own for LES MIZ fans.
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on October 26, 2004
If there is only one Les Mis cast to be assembled, this is definitely it. Les Mis is one of the most-loved, if not the most-loved musical of all time, and this concert made the musical reach the apex of excellence. Lea Salonga is the best Eponine there is despite some negative reactions from other reviewers who believe that Frances' quacking does justice to the character. I bought the DVD for performances by Lea Salonga, Philip Quast, Michael Ball and Judy Kuhn. I especially loved, next to 'On My Own', 'A Little Fall of Rain', that painful duet by Michael Ball and Lea Salonga.

And I would never ever forget that flute solo of 'Bring Him Home'... it will really touch your heart. Bravo to the flutist. And bravo to the cast that swept the world!
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on August 2, 2003
This is so much better than any other recording i've heard so far of Les Mis.
Colm Wilkinson: The one and only Valjean, being that he's on most of the album, cept the international cast.
Philip Quast: The best Javert! Much improved of the international cast
Ruthie Henshall: although I have partial regard to Debbie Byrn for she was the first Fantine i have heard, I think Ruthie Henshall is amazing!!! Much much much better than Randy Graff
Lea Salonga: better than the whiny Francis Rufelle (or whatever her name is) and on my own is one of my favorite songs thanx to her.
Micheal Ball: THE marius
Cosette: When I heard she was on Pochahontas I nearly flipped out of my chair. She is excellent!
Thenardiers: Better than any other. Alum Armstrong and Jenny Galloway make it funnier and Master of the House sounds so much better.
If you have to get one Les Mis recording this is!
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on February 10, 2004
The fourth of four major (English) recordings. A concert taped live; very dynamic atmosphere. Includes special numbers. Outstanding performances from the musical's top role-players. Get this along with the Complete Symphonic Recording for a 'complete' experience!
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on January 8, 2004
This is the best version out there. I have listened to parts of each one and this surpasses the others. If you are only buying one version this is it. All the cast do a great job.
Positives- Valjean (Colm Wilkenson) is great his range is strong and clear. Fantine (Ruthie Henshall) is my favorite character, she has so much emotion in her voice and Come to Me and I Dreamed a Dream have brought me to tears. I could keep going through everyone (except judy Kuhn-Cosette) in the cast because they all did so great. Gavroche (Adam Searles) is a doll he did great and had a passion for being in character. The Thenediers are performed perfectly. O and I cannot forget Lea Salonga she is WONDERFUL!!! I cry everytime I hear A Little Fall of Rain. You actually believe she is dying her voice is so clean in On Your Own but she adds a slight tremble to A little fall of rain.
Negative- I did not like Judy Kuhn at all her voice was not at all what I pictured Cosette being like. Also her pics make me positive apalled she is a beautiful women but does not have to youth to play Cosette. Also in Castle on a Cloud which was BEAUTIFULLY performed by Hannah Chick a balloon pops from the ceiling that was full of balloons for after the finale in the middle of a word. It is a slight destraction but Hannah did not miss a note and although in the movie you see she is shaken you would never know anywhere else.
Buy this CD and you will not be disapointed. It is awesome and if you love Les Mis then it is for you...Also Consider buying the movie which is great because the cast are in full costume and even with the lack of props they show so much emotion. This is a British musical that is not dependent on a stage set!!!
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on October 24, 2004
With a stellar cast backed up by more than 200 strong voices and a wonderful orchestra, this concert has so much power that you'll stay glued to your seat 'till the end. The quality of the performances is topnotch (as expected from the aptly described Dream Cast) and the atmosphere is as exciting as can be.

[The most notable performance, as many reviewers have pointed out, is from Tony and Olivier winner Lea Salonga, whose outstanding interpretation (right combination of dejection and bitterness; the great emotive voice is, of course, already a given) has provided the character Eponine the attention it deserves. Unfortunately for Frances Ruffele (whose non-stellar presence matched by her whiney, squeaky voice that leaves much to be desired kept this charming character out of the spotlight), comparisons are inevitable and her fans will have to content themselves with EXCUSES that Eponine is not a beautiful character and therefore deserves an ugly voice.]

If you want the complete score, definitely get the Complete Symphonic Recording (which also has a good cast). If you want attention-grabbing performances, however, this is the album to get!
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on February 5, 2004
And the other cast members remain as the best ever assembled for this magnificent show. If you can get only one recording, get THIS recording; otherwise, also purchase the Complete Symphonic Recording.
You can live without the 1995 London or the 1997 Broadway cast recordings.
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on November 17, 2004
True to its "dream cast" title, this album showcases the best talents to ever play the major roles in this long-running musical. The performances here are from the concert staged at the Royal Albert Hall, and as such, are much more exciting than your standard-fare recording. The number featuring the different actors from around the world playing Valjean is one performance to look forward to, in addition, of course, to Lea Salonga's captivating performance as Eponine (this recording has the best On My Own performance you'll ever hear: perfect emotion, perfect voice -- perfect delivery!)

If you can, get the DVD/VHS version. If you're a first-timer to this musical, get this album along with the Complete Symphonic Recording. Don't bother getting either the Original London Recording or Original Broadway Recording; you'll just be wasting your money.
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on November 1, 2003
Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, Lea Salonga, and the best performers ever for Les Mis -- all in one recording! Grab your copy now!
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