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Les Miserables (1987 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording
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Les Miserables - Highlights (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
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Regardless of cast, Les Misérables has become a sensation. Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's score is filled with beautiful ballads ("Bring Him Home," "I Dreamed a Dream") and rousing anthems ("One Day More," "Do You Hear the People Sing?"), and Victor Hugo's classic novel of a student uprising in early-19th-century France provides a compelling story line that continues to thrill audiences all over the world. --David Horiuchi
Top Customer Reviews
The Conducting) LONDON is best. The conducting is slower in the London version. Some listeners think that this sacrifices dramatic tension, but the slower speed brings out a hundred details that you never hear on other recordings.
Sound Quality) BROADWAY is best. The London recording has very good sound, but Broadway's sound is more sharp and focused.
Jean Valjean) TIE. Colm Wilkinson sings the role of Valjean on both recordings. His voice is a bit unsteady, but his acting is perfect. And he is IMMEASURABLY better on these two recordings than he was at the Tenth Anniversary Concert.
Javert) LONDON. Roger Allam has a strong, clear voice, and uses it well in Javert's solos. Terrance Mann has more trouble with his solos, but manages to pull through in the rest of the Broadway recording. Both of them are decent actors, but neither of them can touch Philip Quast, who will always be THE Javert.
Fantine) LONDON. Patti LuPone is one of the few Fantine's who sings the role instead of wailing it. And she does more than just sing it. If LuPone's "I Dreamed a Dream" doesn't bring you close to tears, you have a stone heart. Randy Graff on the Broadway recording leaves a lot to be desired, but isn't nearly as bad as Ruthie Henshall in the Tenth Anniversary Concert.
Marius) LONDON! Michael Ball was the first and the definitive Marius. His singing and acting are great, and he makes a potentially sentimental character believable and even likeable. Nowhere does David Bryant on the Broadway recording come close to matching him.Read more ›
The actors in this cast are all good (Colm Wilkinson, Terrence Mann, etc.), though it is understandable that comparisons are inevitable, especially since different actors have played the roles in different recordings. I, too, have preferences. For the role of Marius, I prefer Michael Ball -- to me, he is 'it'. For the role of Cosette, it's Judy Kuhn. And for the controversial role of Eponine, I prefer Lea Salonga. Why? For the simple reason that based on what all the Eponine players have shown, not only is she the best singer (miles apart from Frances and Kaho), she's also the best actress. (Not a surprise. Prior to doing the anniversary concert recording, Lea Had played the role on Broadway and on the West End to rave critical reviews.) Lea's Eponine is more intense, has more depth, and is more felt. She's also more effective in getting the audience to empathize with her. Frances does a great job, of course, and has been recognized for it -- good for her! -- but Lea gives the role more than just character; she gives it PRESENCE. In the past, people took the role of Eponine for granted -- everything was all about Valjean and Javert, sometimes extending to Marius and Cossette. With Lea joining the cast, people have actually started noticing Eponine. Lea Salonga has given the character the recognition it deserves.
Orchestration-wise, I prefer this version over the London recording. The faster beat makes the movements more exciting.
Overall, this is an excellent recording and one that you should definitely get. But don't forget the anniversary concert set (it has the best cast -- the "dream cast" indeed) and the complete symphonic version (which has all the music and songs) --they're the most important Les Miserables recordings.
Orchestrations - London. The Broadway recording is fuller and clearer, however, it is also a lot more rushed. Now, for certain songs like "One Day More", that works, but at other times it can be a problem. The orchestrations on London seem more refined, they're slower and you have to opportunity to catch more and experience it better.
Jean Valjean - London. Colm Wilkinson is the definitive Valjean, and plays him on all of the recordings with the exception of the Complete Symphonic Recording. On Broadway he is rushed too much, he speaks quickly, and tends to say every word like it is its own sentence; it ruined "What Have I Done?" for me. What makes Wilkinson the best Valjean, while he is good in the TAR, is exemplified in the London recording. He is a wonderful actor, and appropriately conveys every emotion needed for such a complicated character. His voice is full and powerful, and he hits some truly high and difficult notes with such perfection that he makes it seem easy.
Javert - Tenth Anniversary Recording. Philip Quast is by far the best Javert, without any questions. He performs Javert in both the CSR and the TAR tremendously. While the Javert from London, Roger Allam, is quite good, he leaves a lot to be desired, and I have a strong dislike for Terrance Mann's performance on Broadway, it felt weak.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter was thrilled with this gift! I will have the opportunity to hear it when I visit her in a few days.Published 1 month ago by Susu
What's not to love? One of the best musicals ever and now I can listen to it every day if I like.Published 2 months ago by Music Lover
Here's the thing. I wanted to be happy with this purchase, but there's no way I can be. This is a "highlights" album, and as such leaves out key parts of the full Broadway... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Thumbless