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Bernstein: Wonderful Town

Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Wonderful Town (Related Recordings), Brent Barrett, et al. Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 7.50
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Bernstein: Wonderful Town + The Simon Rattle Jazz Album
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Product details

  • Performer: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Composer: Leonard Bernstein
  • Audio CD (12 July 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00000K4EL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,463 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Wonderful Town: OvertureSir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group 5:180.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wonderful Town: Christopher Street (Guide/Tourists/Villagers/Violet)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Rodney Gilfry/Michael Dore/Kimberly Cobb 4:580.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wonderful Town: Ohio (Ruth/Eileen)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Kim Criswell/Audra McDonald 3:290.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wonderful Town: Conquering New York (Ruth/Chorus)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Kim Criswell 3:520.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wonderful Town: One Hundred Easy Ways To Lose a Man (Ruth)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Kim Criswell 3:220.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wonderful Town: What a waste (Baker/Ruth/First Editor/Second Editor) (Baker/Ruth/First Editor/Second Editor)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Kim Criswell/Thomas Hampson/Rodney Gilfry/Carl Daymond 3:070.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wonderful Town: A Little Bit in Love (Eileen)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Audra McDonald 2:580.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wonderful Town: Pass the Football (Wreck)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Brent Barrett 3:460.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wonderful Town: Conversation Piece (Eileen/Frank/Ruth/Chick)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Kim Criswell/Audra McDonald/Rodney Gilfry/Carl Daymond 3:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Wonderful Town: A Quiet Girl (Baker/Men's chorus)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Thomas Hampson 3:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Wonderful Town: Conga! (Cadet/Ruth/Cadets)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Kim Criswell/Michael Dore 3:360.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Wonderful Town: Entr'acteSir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group 3:540.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Wonderful Town: My Darlin' Eileen (Solo cop [Lonigan]/Men's chorus/First Cop/Second Cop/Third Cop/Eileen)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Audra McDonald/Timothy Robinson/Michael Dore/Lynton Atkinson/Robert Fardell 3:330.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Wonderful Town: Swing! (Villager/Ruth/Chorus/First Man/Second Man/First Girl/Second Girl)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Kim Criswell/Michael Dore/Lynton Atkinson/Simone Sauphanor/Melanie Marshall 5:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Wonderful Town: Quiet Incidental (Eileen/Ruth)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Kim Criswell/Audra McDonald0:490.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Wonderful Town: Ohio Reprise (Eileen/Ruth)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Kim Criswell/Audra McDonald 1:250.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Wonderful Town: It's Love (Eileen/Baker/Chorus)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Audra McDonald/Thomas Hampson 3:330.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Wonderful Town: Ballet at the Village VortexSir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group 2:280.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Wonderful Town: The Wrong Note Rag (Ruth/Eileen/Chorus)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Kim Criswell/Audra McDonald 2:250.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Wonderful Town: It's Love Reprise - Finale Act Two (Eileen/Baker/Ruth/Chorus)Sir Simon Rattle/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/London Voices/Kim Criswell/Audra McDonald/Thomas Hampson 1:230.99  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
We love "Wonderful Town". It's a witty piece, brilliantly sung and breathtakingly played, with funny lyrics, melodies to sing a long to and numbers that had our children dancing for hours. The soloists are international and no wonder, BCMG are at their slickest and electric best, the story is Hollywood Soppy Musical Naff, but who cares? We have given this as a present to friends aged 80 to 8. It has always, so far, been recieved with enthusiasm.
Buy it - you won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernstein at his best 24 Dec 2012
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
The one thing about Bernstein whether you enjoy classical music or light music you can always enjoy the music of Leonard Bernstein
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quirky Gem 22 Nov 2012
By BB
Format:Audio CD
Wonderful Town is a fascinating show, as the recent 2012 revival in Manchester and it's subsequent tour showed. This studio recording has a great cast and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Simon Rattle's direction is outstanding.The story is a little corny, two 'hick' sisters coming to conquer New York and finding love instead, but the delightful lyrics (printed in full in the accompanying booklet) and the glorious music will stay with you and in the words of the 'Wrong Note Rag' which the sisters sing near the end of the show, 'you'll find you never get it out of your brain'.Wonderful indeed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not perfect 23 Sep 1999
By Michael K. Halloran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Wonderful Town" is one of the frothiest, most delightful forays in the musical comedy genre ever created. This recording will certainly bring the piece to more listeners, which is good, but it isn't the best recording available. By far the most successful casting here is Audra McDonald as Eileen, her sweet, full soprano making the most out of Bernstein's marvelous music and Comden and Green's terrific lyrics. Kim Criswell trades in her usual brassiness for a more throaty and wry characterization than we are used to from her, but she makes it work well. She seems to be singing at the extreme low end of her range at times (especially in the "Ohio" duet) but this is because the role was originally written for Rosalind Russell, who had an incredibly full lower range (almost tenor-like). The rest of the casting works fairly well, but Rattle's conducting is what keeps this set from earning top honors. Parts are way too slow (the spoken section in OHIO) and others way too fast: the vamp in "Conversation Piece" needs to go at least twice as slow as Rattle takes it, or the number loses its humor. For better recordings of "Wonderful Town," I recommend either of the Ros Russell versions (the second one is slightly better) or the new, two-disc recording with Karen Mason and Rebecca Luker, which includes all the music plus several variants.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOPS! 9 Jun 2001
By MOVIE MAVEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you need one reason to buy this super cd, let it be for Leonard Bernstein's brilliant music---his only score to win a Tony Award. (That's right: neither "Candide" nor "West Side Story" won a Tony.)
The lyrics of Betty Comden and Adolph Green are some of their best. The witty duo came back to Broadway for this show, their first reunion with Bernstein since the success of "On The Town" almost 10 years before. They had very recently written the wildly successful "Singin' In The Rain" in Hollywood and with "Wonderful Town" they (& the entire creative team) conquered New York City.
This CD, to my mind, is a heck of alot better in almost every way than the original cast recording which starred Rosalind Russell. Russell, of course, could not sing and although her role is heavy on comedy and light on music, Kim Criswell comes off better: she is funny & touching as well as caustic and light-handed as well as tough. Russell sounds angry and almost sullen throughout...also quite mature. Add to this, the fact that Criswell has a sensational singing voice. As her love interest,Thomas Hampson, one of our finest operatic baritones, knows exactly how to lighten his voice to sing musical comedy and does it beautifully. On the Russell CD, George Gaines merely sounds old and terribly fancy, like a serious singer who is slumming. Although Edith Adams is fine as "Eileen," Audra McDonald (a 3-time Tony winner, herself) is even better in the role of the girl that all New York City wants to woo. Brent Barrett brings his gorgeous voice, as well as comic skills to his one song as the football-playing dunce, "Wreck."
The sound on this 1999 recording is superb. The conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, throws himself into Bernstein's score with verve and shows exactly how much he loves American jazz and Broadway.
There are many comic numbers, all of which hit the mark, but I must mention that "A Little Bit In Love" and "A Quiet Girl" and "It's Love" have got to be three of the sweetest, cleverest, most charming "love" songs in any musical. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why oh why Wonderful Town? 12 Feb 2000
By Ryan MacRae - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Why? Because we LOVE it!
The music in this show is absolutely breathtaking! "Ohio" has become my new favorite song (and not because that's where I live, but because of it's haunting harmony that rips at your heart strings).
All the performances are great, but Audra's (as usual) stands out above the rest. Her "A Little Bit in Love" is so charming you can almost hear her face light up! That girl is just asking to beome another wonder of the world! Oh yah, and so is Wonderful Town.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute perfection 30 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I had the awesome good fortune to see this program performed in London last summer with all these stars and under the baton of Simon Rattle. It was a magical evening, all of which is captured on this fantastic recording. The cast does a marvelous job of passing the terrific energy of Berstein's music along to the listener. And the lyrics are a delight. Although this particular show is not as well-known as other classics by Bernstein et al, it well deserves a place among the standards. 'What a Waste' is a delightful surprise, and 'A Quiet Girl' is quite moving. Audra McDonald sings like an angel, and her rendition of 'Little Bit in Love' is simply lovely. Despite the perfection of the voices and the lyrics, one of the highlights of the recording is Bernstein's jazzy and sensual 'Ballet at the Village Vortex.' Wow! Overall, this is just a terrific recording that brings back memories of a magical night -- imagine 200 people doing a 'Conga' line through the Royal Albert Hall -- that energy comes through on this recording.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An addicting recording 22 Feb 2001
By Steve Casteel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I was browsing through the cd selection at my library when I came across this one. I have always liked Leonard Bernstein but for some reason had never connected him with this musical. His name and Thomas Hampson's caught my eye and I decided to try it out. I'm so glad I did! The songs are marvelous, really bringing out the whole comical aspect of the story. I had never heard of any of the performers (with the exception of Thomas Hampson, whose voice I just love) but was so impressed with their renditions of their characters. Kim Criswell's throaty voice sounds just like you would think Ruth would feel about life in general; Audra McDonald has a sweet optimistic view in her songs; Brent Barrett is hilarious in "Pass the Football" (I laugh every time I hear it--he is so expressive); and Thomas Hampson's beautiful baritone is perfect in "What a Waste" and "A Quiet Girl". The supporting singers are great, too. I have listened to this cd over and over. I just can't seem to get enough of it! The recording itself is very good, clear and detailed, and I was delighted with the booklet with the full lyrics. Altogether very good; I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys musical theatre.
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