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Allegro (1947 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, March 9, 1993
$69.58 $4.74

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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: March 9, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Masterworks Broadway
  • Run Time: 33 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002WEY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Andrew Lawrence on January 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Highly experimental in form, ALLEGRO would lead the way for innovative productions many years later. The score was fragmented and although there were some complete songs, often dialogue and music would weave together. This makes for an awkward cast recording given the limitations of the 78 RPM discs in use in 1947. This was only the second cast album done by RCA Victor but a very different piece from their first show, BRIGADOON.
There are other problems too: none of the cast (with the exception of Lisa Kirk) are really strong singers and fail to make the characters come alive.
The original set of five 78s sold so poorly that RCA did not transfer it to LP until 1965 and by that time the masters had deteriorated: You will hear surface noise on this CD transfer.
This show cries out for a new full-length recording.
Most of the key musical themes are heard on the recording. But at 33 minutes more than half the score is missing, including:
1. The Overture (it is on the Rodgers & Hammerstein Overtures CD)
2. The extended choral sequence announcing Joseph Taylor's birth (the introductory segment is heard)
3. The choral segments documenting Joe's growing years
4. The Nursury School ballet
5. The reprise of "I know it can happen again" sung at Grandma's death
6. The Frehsman dance sequence
7. "A Darn Nice Campus"
8. "A Lovely Day for a wedding" (can be heard on Brynn Terfel's R & H CD)
9. The Entr'acte
10. Extended Party Chatter sequnce: "Yatata Yatata Yatata" (which can be traced as a partial inspiration for Sondheim in MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG)
11. Ballet to the Title Song
12. The Finale
1 Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I saw the original "Allegro" at its Boston tryout in 1947, and still remember Lisa Kirk standing alone on stage, singing "Why am I crying my eyes out; he doesn't belong to me." I have also seen all the other R&H plays, and believe that of their so-called flops (Allegro, Me and Juliet, Flower Drum Song, and Pipe Dream), Allegro is the finest of the lot. The score is excellent, and the Greek chorus works (for me, at least). The CD is good - what there is of it - and I wish there were more and that the recording quality was better, but the material is good enough to stand on its own feet. Rodgers often mused about bringing "Allegro" back for another go, and I hope that someone may yet try it. All it needs is some work on the book to temper Hammerstein's political message (good=small towns, country doctors; bad=big cities, rich people), plus maybe a little more humor. But the basic plot line is fine, and I especially like their courage in having the lead woo and marry his high-school sweetheart - and have the marriage turn out to be a disaster. That took guts for R&H in 1947!
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Format: Audio CD
Until we get a decent recording of this wonderful score, fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein will have to settle for this stopgap. Providing only 33 minutes of the show in truncated versions of the songs, this is the only recording of "Allegro" ever made. Why did no one think to record the wonderful concert staging at "Encores!" a few years back?! If you love Rodgers and Hammerstein, you will want this, but the poor recorded quality and the brevity of the selections are drawbacks. 5 stars for the show, but 3 for the recording.
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Format: Audio CD
If any Broadway score needs a "new" recording, this is it. This was RCA's first Broadway Cast recording - the sound is atrocious. Performances vary. The 78 rpm format allowed only fourteen songs to be recorded - out of 25 - and some of those were abridged. This is one of R&H's most important shows - we need a complete and reverent recording of this work. For R&H buffs and cast album buffs only.
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Format: Audio CD
I doubt anyone will argue when I say that "Allegro" does not represent Rodgers and Hammerstein at their best, but it is still necessary to have this recording in your musical theatre library. I cannot respond to the earlier reviews complaining about the truncated versions of the musical numbers as I am not familiar with the entire "Allegro" score. But, being all too aware of the "Carousel" recording of the same period, I don't find them difficult to believe. While this show has four phenomenal numbers -- "A Fellow Needs A Girl," "You Are Never Away," "Money Isn't Everything," "The Gentleman is a Dope" -- the overall score is more experimental than memorable. This score is better purchased as an historical document of the world's first concept musical -- more than 20 years ahead of its time -- than as a favorite listening experience. Just as Hammerstein was out of his element with the later musical comedy "Me and Juliet," so Rodgers was out of his element here. There just isn't the kind of cohesive musical structure here (perhaps because of score omissions) that one can find in master works such as "Carousel" and "South Pacific." But don't let me dissuade you, I still think this album is a valuable addition to your collection.
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