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on March 10, 2013
I bought this CD based on the reviews, and have not been disappointed. It's a somewhat out-of-the ordinary tale that begins with opening of the time capsule that was buried at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The date is July 4, 2076, and the occasion is America's 300th anniversary. The opening number is wonderful, as the mayor starts to eat a specimen from of a festoon of bagels sent forward from the past, while being admonished that they "belong to the taxpayers." That's never stopped him before. Some things remain the same across the centuries. The title number is catchy, and cute. Life is wonderful in 2076, and the song drips with optimism about its present.

While rummaging through the time capsule, they find a letter stashed by a disgruntled candy seller at the '39 Fair, who was forced to buy shares in a candy company to get his permit to sell at the fair. Well, now that Future Rosy Candy stock is worth a fortune, and they have to find the lucky beneficiary. He's a mild mannered tree surgeon who is catapulted into position of president of the candy company. The company PR person grooms him to fit the role, which goes to his head, and turns everyone against him. He leaves the planet (it's 2076!) learns some lessons and has some realizations that bring him back to make things right.

The music is mostly very charming. Some chuckles here and there, some nice satire about capitalism and power brokers. For the most part, the score is melodic, lilting and fun, though for me there are a couple of clunkers. Most performances are very good. There are places where I find Philip Chaffin as the lucky inheritant a bit lacking in personality or verve - but then, he IS a classically mild-mannered character. Everyone else seems to carry the songs beautifully.

I listen to this CD more than I expected I would, simply because there are certain melodies that waft into my head now and again, and make me want to listen again and again.

I don't think it's a blockbuster musical, but I think it's a good addition to any collection of theatrical music. And you can't beat the cover!
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Sweet Bye and Bye, a 1946 musical that never made it to Broadway, was a disaster despite a pedigree that had music and lyrics written by Vernon Duke and Ogden Nash and a book by S. J. Perlman and Al Herschfeld. From what I've read, it deserved its fate. Not only was it set in the future, it labored under the need to be a light hearted, sardonic, humorous and even gentle satire about business...but the four creators didn't add up to Brecht and Weill. As it happened, the two book writers had one kind of musical in mind and the songwriters had another. Songs were cut, including the best ones. Casting was awful.

What we only have now to go by is the new release on CD by psclassics of the complete score as it has been reconstructed. If you like old Broadway musicals and Vernon Duke, this is an album worth getting. Duke was a good friend and protégé of George Gershwin. Not too many people may remember him, but many of his songs have lasted, especially the great score for Cabin in the Sky, and the songs April in Paris, Autumn in New York and I Can't Get Started.

The score for Sweet Bye and Bye, in my opinion, is variable. There are a number of patter songs and recitatives that most likely were set after Nash wrote the lyrics. I found them interesting the first time I listened to them, but after that I wasn't entranced by the lyrics and the music didn't stimulate much interested. (I've listened to them several times since and my opinion hasn't changed.)

But Duke and Nash came up with three extraordinary songs that have been - and shouldn't be - forgotten. This album is worth the price just for these three.

Sweet Bye and Bye sets the musical, describing a future that will be wonderful. It doesn't take long to realize the description is nothing but clichés. Duke's music is clever.

Round About is sad and poignant:
You go round about and round about
And round about you go
For an olden spell is wound about the game.
Then it's ring around and swing around
Your partners as you go
But the more they change, the more they are the same...

Born Too Late, so plaintive:
Born too late,
No more worlds to conquer.
Born to late,
All the deeds are done.
Long ago, somewhere around the corner,
Slumbered a princess
Waiting to be won.
The sky was bright with fiery dragons,
Mermaids filled the softly singing sea.
Now the sea and the sky are humdrum,
And the princess, where is she?
Faint and far,
I can hear the music
Fade and die.
Leave me with my fate.
Faint and far, I can hear the princess sighing,
You were born too late.

You'll never know just how good these songs are unless you hear the music.
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on August 20, 2011
Über den 5. Stern lässt sich diskutieren, jedenfalls soweit Orchestrierung und Interpretation dieser Aufnahme betroffen sind, denn verglichen mit dem grandiosen Album von Dawn Upshaw oder der Neuaufnahme von "Ziegfeld Follies of 1936" mit den Stimmen von Mary Testa, Christine Ebersole und Ruthie Henshall und einem fantastischem Orchester ist man versucht, die vorliegende Aufnahme eher mit "Sadie Thompson" in die 2. Reihe zu stellen - was aber immer noch großartig ist. Es fehlt eine Spur zur absoluten Perfektion. Den 5. Stern verdient alleine Vernon Duke himself, der außerstande scheint, einen schlechten Song abzuliefern. Meiner Meinung rangiert dieser Mann als Theaterkomponist mit Rodgers, Kander, Arlen, Sondheim und wenigen anderen in einer Reihe, und was die Genialität und Phantasie seiner Musik anbelangt, steht er handwerklich Gershwin um nichts nach, mehr noch, ist auf Grund seiner fundierten klassischen Ausbildung jenem da und dort überlegen. Vernon Duke ist einer der komplettesten Musiker, die je für die Bühne geschrieben haben, auch wenn er für seine Überheblichkeit, eben dieser Meinung anzuhängen, berühmt war. I hope to hear "Banjo Eyes" "Lady Comes Across", "Dancing in the Streets", "Jackpot", "Zenda" and maybe some other not realized or unproduced projekts in the near future on CD, I feel, these would be very happy moments for me and for every listener who loves Dukes abilities. And by the way: Don't forget those wonderful movie songs ("She's Working Her Way Through College" and "April in Paris"), maybe on one rendition. Sammy Cahn himself lamented that they mangled Dukes Original songs and even so these songs sparkle and shine). Dear Dawn Upshaw, what about a second volume?
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on August 8, 2011
Broadway has been a bit sad for a while now - revivals that sag, comedies that aren't. But lately things have looked up. Who knew Harry Potter would have such a magnetic stage presence and make `How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' such a fresh new hit (and the best thing on Broadway right now); or that those South Park lads could pump out such a joyous, fun-filled touching show full of great music called `The Book Of Mormon'; or even that a pretty good film can scrub up into a 50's jazz-soaked sensation, `Catch Me If You Can'? Yet despite all of those hits, the real surprise this year is the release of a soundtrack to a 50-year-old show that never even got off the ground,' Sweet Bye and Bye'. Well someone found it, someone had the idea to put a fresh cast and realise the beautiful score. Sweet, sweeping, romantic, funny and moving, and chock-full of great performances, this is one show whose time has come.
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on August 12, 2011
Sweet and Bye Bye is a wonderfully creative and clever score. Vernon Duke, a highly underrated composer of the American Theatre, has composed beautiful, haunting character soliloquies, but also clever satirical pieces that reveal character and comment on modern American society circa 1946 (some still relevant to today). The score is beautifully orchestrated, well recorded with excellent voices, and nicely packaged with insightful notes on the original production, the problems out of town, and the difficulties in assembling materials. For any musical theatre fan, this ranks as a MUST have -- along with Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle in terms of fascinating flops.

Now if they would only record Duke's Zenda which also has some excellent material.
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on July 22, 2013
If you have a table that wobbles and need something to slide under one leg, you might be the one person out there who might find a use for this CD. [I've already tossed the CD, the booklet and the sleeves and will use the clean jewel case the next time I need one.] Yes, the show had one or two amusingly relevant references to today, and, no, the music is not god-awful. It is just hopelessly mediocre. When you're listening to a show for the very first time and can't wait for a song to end, you know you're a long, long way from OKLAHOMA. [On the other hand, if you loved FLAHOOLEY, this might be the very show you've been waiting for!] As for the performances, one can only wonder (as with SHERRY) what the astonishing waste of talent!
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on August 11, 2011
Once again, PS Classics has produced an outstanding CD of a long forgotten musical. This musical, composed by Vernon Duke, heralds exceptional vocalists and orchestrations. Philip Chaffin's glorious tenor and Marin Mazzie's sumptuous soprano voices have never sounded better. The entire cast is wonderful. This amazing musical is one of many "lost" musicals that I hope PS Classics will produce in the near future. I can always count on exceptional voices accompanied by a full orchestra and terrific arrangements when I buy from this organization. If you are a fan of musical comedy, you will not be disappointed.
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on September 17, 2013
As a collector of Broadway Musicals both good and bad I have to say I bought this sight unseen and had never heard the music. Obviously the show was a bit of a flop and there is very little one can say about it. Would not recommend.
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on October 27, 2011
This is a ravishing score. Listen to it several times and the score will remain with you. Some of the numbers rank with Duke's greatest. And the Ogden Nash lyrics are clever. This is an unexpected treasure.
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on October 29, 2011
The songs in this musical are awful. No wonder it never made Broadway. I suppose it might have been considered cutting edge modern at the time, but not now not for me.
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