The great thing about this new cast recording of "Follies" is that it is greater than the sum of its parts. All admirers of this score would have liked the original cast of 1971 to have recorded the score in its entirety. Sadly, that did not happen but this is as close as we are likely to get to that perfection. Most of us will probably have a performance from one of the other four "Follies" cast recordings that he or she prefers to the one on this recording but, of all the recordings so far made, this is the one that most encapsulates what "Follies" is about. Enough dialogue is included to set the songs clearly in context, the performers are well into their roles, the orchestra and the conducting are exemplary, the sound quailty is first rate and the booklet is informative. There really is not much more that anyone could want.
The version of the score used in this production is the original from 1971 but Vincent and Vanessa are omitted so we do not get the Bolero d'Amore. I personally prefer "Ah, but Underneath" as Phyllis' folly rather than "The Story of Lucy and Jesse" but the recording reflects the current production and "Lucy and Jessie" is very well performed indeed. We are still going to need the other records in our collections though. Despite the disfiguring cuts, the original cast broad something very special to the table; the London Cast has some songs you won't find anywhere else; the Concert Recording from Carnegie Hall highlights a very special event; and the most recent complete recording has the Bolero d'Amore and a host of songs replaced by others during the gestation period of tis truly remarkable score. However, none of the other recordings gets to the ehart of "Follies" as well as this one. Tommy Krasker and Philip Chaffin have done a superb job producing this album. Thank you, gentlemen.