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Les Miserables Cast Recording, Import
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For all the loyal fans of Les Miserables, this is a must own. Even if you do not speak French, this album is a real jewel. I found that, as I suspected, the French version's songs are much nicer, more natural, and have better rhymes. Among my favorites: La Journée Est Finie (At the end of the day), J'Avais Rêvé d'Une Autre Vie (I dreamed a dream), Mon Prince Est en Chemin (Castle in the cloud), La Devise du Cabaretier (Master of the House), Le Coeur au Bonheur (A heart full of love) to mention just a few.
This recording became the first version of the stage show in Paris in 1978, long before Schonberg (music) and Boublil (lyrics) ever imagined that a French musical could be adapted for the English speaking world, to later become a multinational, multi-language phenomenon. For obvious reasons, in order to adapt it for the English play, the original concept had to be modified . Segments and songs were added to familiarize the English speaking public with a novel that is standard reading in any French school, and considered by many as the second most read book in history (after the Bible).
The work is faithful to Hugo's novel which was first published in France and Belgium in 1862. Although the novel is very lengthy and rich in infinitesimal details, the main plot around Fantine, Cosette, Valjean, Marius, Javert and others remains truly genuine; unlike the English version, this one does not have the climatic ending.Read more ›
For me, the highlights of this 2-disc Boublil & Schönberg masterwork are "L'Air De La Misère," "J'avais Rêvé D'Une Autre Vie," "A La Volonté du Peuple," "L'Un Vers L'Autre," and "La Faute A Voltaire." "L'Air..." was sung beautifully by Fantine here, though it would go on to be the intimately familiar "On My Own" in the English version, sung by Éponine. Fantine got to keep "J'avais Rêvé..." as "I Dreamed A Dream," though it also contains a snippet that would be used as the basis for "Lovely Ladies." In my opinion, "A La Volonté du Peuple" will never be eclipsed by its English counterpart "Do You Hear the People Sing?", much as I love the latter. "La Faute A Voltaire" was based on poetry by Victor Hugo, and the main theme will run under "Little People" in the show.
It's a fundamentally different piece than the Cameron Mackintosh production, but I think it is also an absolutely perfect complement to the various recordings of the stage version. The orchestrations are interesting, as there is no readily apparent synthesizer (and the stage versions would use them heavily). As a whole, it perfectly preserves the spirit of Victor Hugo's massive novel.
Highest honor in this album goes to Rose Laurens as Fantine, with close seconds going to Michel Sardou for Enjolras and Marie (this is the only name the notes give) as Éponine.Read more ›
While a lot is obviously missing from this CD-- many songs were later added such as "Bring him home"-- I was absolutely amazed by the quality of the performances. I am not certain of all the names of the performers, so I'll refrain from mentioning them, so as not to make a mistake.
Fantine on this record is incredible-- her songs are so touching and emotional she can rival any of the best stage Fantines, and then some. And I like "L'air de la misere" which later obviously became Eponine's "On my own" much better in this format.
Valjean doesn't have many parts strangely enough, but I always thought a tenor Valjean was a bit strange. Here, he is a baritone, who sounds his age, and is very touching.
I love the "Master of the House"!-- this song and the singer fit together so well here, it's definitely the best version I have ever heard. The overreacting and oversinging of this song in the other Les Miz recordings goes on my nerves, and the exaggerated English and wacky voices that are somehow always employed make it sound like Muppet Show. Here, it's fantastic.
The young Cosette and Gavroche are exeptional. And the song which later became "Castle on a cloud" is just more heartfelt than in the other versions I have heard (make that 'all the other CDs'). I also love the Eponine and older Cosette here, while Enjolras's voice completely blew me away (very powerful). Marius is the only, well, not 'mediocre' performer, but he sounds like most other Mariuses I have heard since then.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast service and quality product. SO wonderful to hear Les Miserables in French!!!Published 3 months ago by Jane M
Excellent seller fast shipper will recommend and do business with seller any time A+++. Thank You.Published 3 months ago by Dran.nel M Lennard
Like always, excellent service. I live so far away from de States and still everything is on time. I lost this CD a couple of years ago and I was able to get it again. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you really want to understand and thoroughly enjoy the current productions of Les Miz, you HAVE to get to know this version. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sussane Towers
This is an unusual album. It is said to be the album used to sell the concept of the musical. It's beautifully executed (in French). Read morePublished 17 months ago by Gary L. Misch
The best way to hear Les Mis is in this original French concept version. It's in French, sung by French vocalists, performed by French instrumentalists. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Victor Neves
The original French cast ensemble, sung in French. Gritty, funny, tragic, familiar. If you're a fan of Les Mis on Broadway, you'll want to hear this version. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by spacepiggy