11 di 12 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
J. T Waldmann
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Audio CD
When KISS ME, KATE opened in Philadelphia on December 2, 1948, "the show and its dazzling cast . . . elicited an avalanche of critical praise. Not one song was added, dropped, or shifted in position from that moment until the Broadway opening, nor was the book altered significantly." (from Miles Kruger's notes for the 1990 EMI recording) Therefore, if something is so perfect, why mess with it? Why try to update it? Why attempt to ". . . [invigorate] the material with a contemporary sensibility that permeates everything: the way it looks, the way it plays, the way it sounds." (from Sheryl Flatow's note to the 1999 DRG recording) Would anyone even consider putting a blond wig and a push-up bra on the Mona Lisa?
Not that "the classics" should be never be fiddled with. It happens all the time with Shakespeare and Verdi and Puccini - sometimes with pleasing results. Sometimes not. The 2005 rethinking of SWEENEY TODD works admirably well (although I still prefer the original, more operatic version) and I understand so does the new revival of COMPANY. Both can be understood as reinventions that clarify and enhance character and motive. But this KATE doesn't work, because it's just Mona Lisa in a push-up bra.
The fault doesn't lie so much with the singers as it does with the concept. Perhaps KATE played differently on stage, but recording producer Hugh Fordin is quoted in the liner notes as saying, "I want a cast album to sound as if the performers are doing the show for you in your living room." How preposterous! Has he seen the size of my living room? Musical director Paul Gemignani says, "I pick up the pace, so the music is faster on the recording. I do that because the listener doesn't have visuals, and because it energizes the performers." Really, but at what cost. Brian Stokes Mitchell is forced to sing "Where Is the Life That Late I Led" at such a pace that it loses all nuance. Compare it to Alfred Drake on the original or to Thomas Hampson's on the EMI recording and you'll understand. Marin Mazzie has the most pleasing voice of all the Lili Vanessi/Kate's on record. Her "I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple" is lovely, but someone unwisely encouraged her to do some extremely ugly vocalizing during "I Hate Men." I see visions of nodes growing on her vocal chords as she growls through this number. Mazzie could take a lesson from Patricia Morrison on how to sing angrily without abusing the voice. Michael Berresse is a fine Bill/Lucentio, but Amy Spanger is too much of an air-head, dumb blonde (see Adelaide in GUYS AND DOLLS) for me. I prefer the 1948 (also 1959) original Lois Lane (Lisa Kirk), a fully mature and confident woman who definitely knows her way around men.
But most irritating of all, this KISS ME KATE, like many other recent revivals, does NOT SOUND LIKE BROADWAY! Robert Russell Bennett's marvelous orchestrations have been discarded and replaced by Don Sebesky's wimpy Las Vegas-style arrangements. Even though "So in Love" is beautifully sung by both stars, it sounds more lke "Sinatra at the Sands" than Broadway. And what's with the "Steam Heat"/"Cool" intro to "Too Darn Hot." This is Cole Porter, not Leonard Bernstein or Adler & Ross.
All carping aside, there is much to recommend this recording. But for authentic Broadway, you're better off with the original 1948 Broadway cast recording, even with its dated sound. The 1959 Angel "Reassembled Original Cast" benefits from better sound, but the performances aren't as fresh as they were 11 years earlier. John McGlinn's 1990 EMI "complete" recording offers excellent sound, an outstanding orchestra & chorus, every note & every lyric written for the show, a rather stiff-sounding Thomas Hampson, a Lois Lane/Bianca (Kim Criswell) almost as good as Lisa Kirk, and the strangest-sounding Kate you'll ever hear (Dame Josephine Barstow). An essential recording, it is now out of print.
The choice? Simple, you must have one of each.