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Oklahoma! Selections from the Theatre Guild Musical Play Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Cast Recording

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 16, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2000)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Cast Recording
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00004T9TF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,983 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Over the last nearly sixty years, the musical Oklahoma has been ground into our psyche and has become a part of our culture. It opened on Broadway in 1943 and the musical theatre has never been the same. Oklahoma set many "firsts" in the musical theatre, and the original cast album was one of them. When the Original Cast Album of Oklahoma was first released in 1943 in conjunction with the Show's opening, it was the first "complete" cast album ever recorded. Bits and pieces of other shows had been recorded for decades (and even some entire shows sung to piano accompaniment), but this marked the first time the entire cast and orchestra went into the recording studio to record the show's songs. And, ever since that time nearly 60 years ago, this recording of Oklahoma has never gone out of print.
The Original Cast Recording was so extremely popular that the cast reunited the following year to record "Volume 2" of the Original Cast Album, which contained 3 songs left out of the first album.
The original recording was released as a set of 78 RPM records in 1943. Volume 2 was released a year later, but when the set was transferred to LP several years later, Volume 2 was left out and remained thus for decades. The entire contents of both volumes have been included in proper order for the CD release.
Okay, enough blabbing now. To the point, this is definately the Oklahoma recording of choice. With Alfred Drake as Curly, Joan Roberts as Laurey, and Celeste Holm as Ado Annie, this album is not to be surpassed. They all give stellar performances. With many cast albums to follow, songs had to be truncated and/or sped up to fit the limited playing time of a 78 RPM side. That is not the case here.
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Format: Audio CD
Among the many innovations Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" brought to the musical theatre was the practice of taking the entire original cast into a recording studio to record the songs from the show with the original orchestrations as conducted by the original conductor. Musical theatre fans like myself are forever grateful for the invention of the original cast album that this show brought on.
But there are many other reasons why you should buy this recording besides its historical significance. This recording captures the groundbreaking show as it first sounded to audiences back in 1943, and it certainly rings with energy, heart, and obvious love and admiration. The great Robert Russell Bennett's orchestrations are still magnificent, but what especially distinguishes this album is the wonderful performances by the cast. Alfred Drake certainly gives Gordon MacRae from the 1955 film a run for his money as the definitive Curly; he has lots of energy and comic timing, and what a voice! Joan Roberts is a feisty Laurey, Lee Dixon is a fine Will Parker, and Celeste Holm, in her musical debut as Ado Annie, is completely charming. The supporting cast right down to the chorus is all first-rate, with the exception of Howard da Silva's strident Jud Fry.
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By A Customer on May 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If i had had the chance i would have awarded this cast recording four and a half stars. In many ways Oklahoma is one of my favorite cast albums-i love the light melodic music of most of the songs and honestly feel that this is one of Hammerstein's best efforts as a lyricist. Several of the songs are very, very good, indeed i would go so far as to call them masterpieces. People Will Say We're in Love, with its beautiful flowing melody and rich romantic feeling is one of these highlights. Laurie's other musical moments, Many A New Day and Out Of My Dreams are also very pretty. The soaring captivating title song is also among my favorites. For comic relief i would reccomend Kansas City, The Surrey with a Fringe on The Top and All Or Nuthin. These songs all capture the light, merry, american(in a very positive way) feeling of the piece especially. Oklahoma is without doubt one of the landmarks of the Broadway stage and deserves its place as one of the greatest American musicals. The reason i only gave it four stars is because this particular recording does not do justice to the piece. The stars are all exceptionally talented and the sound quality for such an early recording is not bad, but large sections of instrumental music, ( where for instance is the music from the legendary ballets?) and portions of the songs seem to have been cut. It is a very brief recording, in some ways it seems abrupt and rushed. Also, while i find it highly enjoyable, i must admit that it is in my opinion the least immpressive of Rodgers and Hammerstein's four greatest hits. It is a very positive beginning, but it lacks the soaring romantic power of South Pacific, the wonderful sophistication of The King and I, and the pure genius of R+H's masterpiece, The Sound Of Music.Read more ›
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