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South Pacific (Original 1949 Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Columbia's original cast album-with Rodgers & Hammerstein masterpieces like Some Enchanted Evening; This Was Nearly Mine , and Younger Than Springtime -sold over a million copies. This reissue adds four bonus tracks (CD only), including two that were dropped from the original score!

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Based on James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pulitzer prize-winning South Pacific is one of the most beloved musicals ever to hit the stage. The appeal is simple: a collection of stunning compositions--immense symphonic sound orchestrated by Rodgers collaborator Robert Russell Bennett--and characters with a simple though cohesive through-line. On this original Broadway cast recording, the lovely, girlish Mary Martin (Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun) is the heartily feminine American nurse Nellie Bly to the dashing former Metropolitan Opera bass Ezio Pinza as French plantation owner Emile de Becque. This release takes from the original high-quality tapes cut in 1949 (rather than the acetates, which were recorded simultaneously for the vinyl release of the day). There are alternate takes of a few songs and the restored original version of the hard-hitting racial commentary number "Carefully Taught." Pinza's "Some Enchanted Evening" is tender and lovely without being cloying. Martin's confidence and warm vocal expressiveness on numbers such as "Twin Soliloquies" and the bonus track, "Loneliness of the Evening," are stellar, and the choral numbers are both solid and spunky. --Paige La Grone
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: November 10, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000DHSL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,155 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This world-premiere recording of South Pacific is justly regarded as one of the best recordings of this classic Rodgers & Hammerstein score. Although it was recorded in 1949, way before today's digital technology, it still sounds magical, seductive and wonderful, until it allows other performances to pale in comparison. The score is wonderfully served by the original Broadway cast, still immersed in the glowing reviews that were given for the show and the score. And, the Sony recording, deapite being a constricted and rough-sounding mono recording, sounds much better than ever before thanks to a sparkling 20-bit remastering of the original source tapes.
The highlight of this recording is Mary Martin's full-throated, sassy and spunky portrayal of Nellie Forbush. Every song she sings is a delight from first note to last, and she carries with her an infectuous and winning persona. Her renditions of "A Cockeyed Optimist" and "A Wonderful Guy" are delightful and charming, and she is able to bring out the comic relief in "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and also a truncated version of "Honey Bun." Martin's outstanding performance is ably matched by Ezio Pinza's sonorous Emile. He dives into Emile's numbers with a full-throated operatic fervour, and gives us ravishing performances of "Some Enchanted Evening" and a somewhat edited version of "This Nearly Was Mine." He is also magical on his duet with Mary Martin, the "Twin Soliloquies." The rest of the cast is just as superb, with William Tabbert showing the romantic and prejudiced sides of his believable portrayal of Lietunant Cable, when he sings 'Younger than Springtime" and "Carefully Taught." And, Juanita Hall makes a characterful and colloquial Bloody Mary.
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Format: Audio CD
Certainly one of the few all time great scores for the musical theatre, SOUTH PACIFIC is very much alive and very, very well in this recording made over fifty years ago.
Beginning with those first three majestic chords from "Bali Ha'i" through to all of the justly famous songs: "Some Enchanted Evening," "There Is Nothin' Like A Dame," "A Wonderful Guy," and "Younger Than Springtime" to the less famous but no less superb "Twin Soliloquies," "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught," and my personal favorite, "This Nearly Was Mine," everyone is a gem.
The cast is flawless: Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza lead a cast with no weak links. Interestingly enough, except for the opening song sung by two children and three songs in which the chorus sings, every one of the songs in this classic show is sung by the four principal players.
The sound is remarkable for being so "historic" and there are even four bonus tracks: Martin sings two songs cut from the show in tryouts, Pinza sings "Bali Ha'i" and there's even a ten minute "Symphonic Scenario for Concert Orchestra" taken from the themes of the score.
The accompanying booklet has interesting essays, a plot synopsis and several terrific photographs from the original Broadway production. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Format: Audio CD
Growing up in the musical wasteland of the 1980s, I often raided my parents' record collection out of sheer desperation for songs with meaningful lyrics and real instruments. Among the many wonderful discoveries I made that way was an exotically titled soundtrack album with a pretty yellow and green cover, which my grandfather had apparently bought new in 1949. Perhaps intrigued by the record's vintage, or maybe by the vague familiarity of some of the song titles, I brought it back to my room...and it hasn't left my collection since.
It's hard to pinpoint just what makes this album so majestic from start to finish, because every song is a gem in its own way. This is perhaps the only soundtrack on which the overture holds my attention just as much as the vocal numbers do (on most other soundtracks I skip through the overture), and it provides the perfect segue into the childish innocence of "Dites-Moi," still a favorite of mine years after I finally became proficient enough in French to decipher its pidgin pronunciations.
While the songs fit together flawlessly and tell the play's story, most of them also stand well on their own. Perhaps "There is Nothin' Like a Dame" and "Honey Bun" are less than politically correct (though still harmless) by today's standards, but they're still a lot of fun all the same. "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught," on the other hand, was decades ahead of its time and is still all too relevant, as Americans are once again at war with "people whose skin is a different shade." On the lighter side, "Bali Ha'i" can always be counted on to take you to Your Own Special Island - just close your eyes and see! Then there's that Broadway staple, the spine-tingling, move-you-to-tears love song. Not all musicals have given us even one of these.
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Format: Audio CD
A first-rate score by Rodgers & Hammerstein; four sensational and perfectly cast leads; and an ensemble (orchestra and chorus) that does more than just support the stars. The album always has been a joy from start to finish! In just under 46 minutes you get all the key musical moments from the score. The Cd includes 4 bonus tracks: Mary Martin's solo recordings of the cut songs "His Girl Back Home" (Originally to be sung by Cable as "My Girl Back Home") and "Loneliness of Evenng"; Ezio Pinza's solo recording of "Bali Ha'i" and a Symphonic Scenario for Concert orchestra conducted by Andre Kostelanetz. Best of all the CD re-produces the original artworked that was on the first LP issue in 1949.
That leads to my one very minor quibble: The mono sound is a little "old" sounding. The top end is just a little brittle. Still, miles ahead of Decca's OKLAHOMA and CAROUSEL or Victor's ALLEGRO. And a far better recording of SOUTH PACIFIC than any subsequent cast or sountrack album.
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