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Passion (Original Broadway Cast)

3 customer reviews

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Passion (Original Broadway Cast) + Merrily We Roll Along + Sunday In The Park With George
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Original Broadway Cast
  • Conductor: Paul Gemignani
  • Composer: Stephen Sondheim
  • Audio CD (3 Sept. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Unknown
  • ASIN: B000002SLC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gullible Traveller on 15 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album years ago after seeing the stage version with Michael Ball and Maria Friedman at the Nottingham Theatre Royal.
I was disappointed with it then, but this Passion grows on you, and I'm just beginning to appreciate that this is one of the slow-burning wonderful creations of Stephen Sondheim. Now I would rate it as one of his best ever musicals. Listen to the mesmerising I Wish I Could Forget You or Happiness, and these songs just plant themselves in your brain - marvellous. I still prefer Sweeney Todd, Assassins, Into The Woods, but give this another hearing and see what happens.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite S. SONDHEIM’s works. Not at all a "Comedy", because the story is tragic and weird... The music is splendid.

This is the Original Broadway Cast, and it became very difficult to be found... it's sold out. And I am extremely happy to have secured this copy, new/sealed. And: at a very reasonable price.

Thank you very much indeed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norman Rutterford on 6 Dec. 2010
Format: MP3 Download
Our copy of Passion was damaged and it was difficult to listen to , so the down load was excelant
I was able to use my limited IT experience to follow the instructions and extra programmes for faster downloading. It was agreat surprise for my wife to reciev as a pressie. We were helped by seeing the London production recently which gave us the desire.
All tracks lead to a total reliving of the thatre experience. Also of course there is the DVD, so all in all I am now into down loads.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 75 reviews
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
By Charles Slovenski - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The theatre of Stephen Sondheim can be, to the ready soul, a almost religious experience, and that's no exaggeration. I'm an average guy with a job, an apartment, some friends and some hobbies; I like swimming, biking and running and got a life, albeit a quiet, uneventful one. I've had my trials by fire in the neighborhood of my heart more than once and I've been as confused about it as a dumb pup with a stinging slapped nose. But when I see or listen to a Sondheim musical, and especially PASSION, what goes on between my two ears and in my heart becomes special, precious and abiding. He gives shape and understanding to the conflicting feelings of love and passion in all their caprices and disappointments, and he pulls no punches in the disappointment and brokenheart department. I saw the New York production of PASSION and was deeply moved by the music. Fosca, nearly deranged with obsession, alientated the audience from believing in her love. Then I went to the London production and, buddy, it flew! It's about LOVE, unconditional, unrelenting love, crystal clear and bitter when unfulfilled. There wasn't a dry eye in the house during the last 20 minutes. I sat there thinking my heart would fly out of my chest with feeling. There ain't many of 'em that can work that kind of magic in the theatre these days, let me tell you.
Almost every song on this album aches. Even the first conversational duet HAPPINESS causes pain in the heart. Clara and Georgio are obviously in love with love ("how quickly pity leads to love") as they go over their chance meeting and pick-up in the park. I WISH I COULD FORGET YOU is shocking with the agony of sustained, unfulfilled love ("how could I ever wish you away?" she asks hopelessly) which leads to the perfect conclusion echoed throughout the entire musical that "should you die tomorrow, your love will live in me." Fosca dies, not of the illness described in the plot, but of love. Although this reeks of grand opera, Sondheim brings it down to such a delicate heartbeat of feeling that it seems as natural as breathing. Georgio learns to accept love and its disappointments the way we all do, by heartache and pain. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
This album should be given only by perscription. It's effect is so overwhelming that you need a doctor's supervision to get through it.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful recording, finally back in print. 4 Jan. 2003
By Wayne Rossi - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Passion is one of Sondheim's unrecognized gems. Many deride it for its lack of feeling, but how can you really hold anything against this classic piece of theatricality? The Passion OBC soars to the heavens with the voices of Marin Mazzie and Donna Murphy as the opposed Clara and Fosca, with Jere Shea solid as the soldier Giorgio. As Giorgio slowly loses interest in his neat affair with Clara and becomes fascinated by the haunted, tormented, chronically ill Fosca, we see this tale of dark obsession grow along with its lush score. Mazzie's voice has every light and airy quality, and Murphy goes through the raw, dark life of Fosca with style.
Passion contains a good deal of dialogue, and the story flows fairly well if you're reading your synopsis. Some of the spoken material that isn't on the recording is available in the written script, and I'd recommend it if you want to know more about this fascinating tale. It's not to everybody's taste, but Passion will shine for those waiting for just such a recording. At twelve bucks, I think it's a worthwhile gamble for any musical lover looking to expand a bit.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
One of Sondheim's greatest scores 9 Jun. 2004
By Bruce Hodges - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Using a glittering language that owes a debt to Ravel, Stephen Sondheim has created one of his most ravishing scores, that in actual performance seems more like a tone poem rather than a conventional musical. In a single arc, the music flows seemingly straight through from beginning to end, with small motifs appearing, combining in intricate patterns and then receding. The sensuous result is some of the composer's best work.

The story here is an odd one, that some listeners may find a bit puzzling: a sickly woman (Fosca) falls in love with a much-healthier soldier, who eventually leaves his (also much-healthier) girlfriend for the sicklier one. Not the most believable scenario -- on paper, that is -- until the great Sondheim illuminates the touching emotions lurking just below the surface.

As Fosca, Donna Murphy (who won a Tony Award for her portrayal) makes a strange character come to vivid life, and sings the aching songs with a luster that drills them into the memory. A highlight is the searing "I Wish I Could Forget You," in which she dictates an imaginary letter to Giorgio, played by the wonderful Jere Shea. The incandescent Marin Mazzie plays Shea's girlfriend Clara, and is also in beautiful voice in her many "letter scenes," as well as those in which she combines her liquid voice with others. The score is chock full of Sondheim's soaring melodic lines and his usual heart-rending lyrics.

The recording quality is excellent -- quite natural, with realistic balances between the orchestra and the singers evoking an actual stage production. If I recall, the original Broadway orchestra was augmented with extra musicians for the recording, resulting in an even more sumptuous sound -- an excellent decision. Highly recommended.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
LISTEN! 26 Jan. 2004
By Mark Andrew Lawrence - Published on
Format: Audio CD
PASSION, like so many Sondheim shows, is not a disc to put on in the background while you do the dishes.
Like any good musical or opera you need to sit down and listen..really the music, the lyrics and dialogue.
PASSION is a mood piece.... there are few "set" songs....mostly the music segues back into dialogue. It is a beautiful meditation on lust, obsession and the power of unconditional love. It is no accident that the phrase "I thought I Knew what love was" should reappaer so many times throughout the show...but listen carefully as the meaning changes.
That's the power of this show.
It does not pretend to be - nor does it want to be - HELLO DOLLY! If that's the kind of musical you are looking for there are dozens of them. PASSION is a very special show, and for those who open their ears - and hearts - it will be an incredibly moving experience.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Love Without Reason 15 Dec. 2006
By Lostgirl - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite Sondheim musical. For me that's a big statement, but this musical is beyond brilliant. Based on a 19th century Italian novel that was later made into a film, the dark nature of this story might alienate some listeners at first. We open on a scene where Giorgio, a handsome young soldier is bidding farewell to his beautiful mistress, Clara- he has been sent to a remote outpost. They are young and in love but Clara is married. Still they are hopeful for their future. When Giorgio arrives at his new location he finds a remote, provincial town where his Colonel lives with his cousin Fosca, a repulsive, terminally ill woman. Fosca falls hopelessly in love with Giorgio and the love triange makes up the crux of the plot.

Many listeners may have a hard time understanding why Giorgio's affections turn from the beautiful young (albeit married) Clara to the sickly, repulsive Fosca, but the lyrics and the score weave such a spell that you are caught up in it. Love here is not necessarily a happy thing. Yes, the opening song, a duet sung by Giorgio and Clara, is an ode to the joy of being in love, but Giorgio's idea of love progresses to something darker and deeper as he comes to know Fosca more and more. As Clara attempts to schedule her affair with Giorgio around her husband, Giorgio arrives at a conclusion that his feelings were something else: "Love isn't something scheduled in advance/Not something guarenteed/You need/For for fear it may pass you by/You have to take a chance/You can't just try it out/What's love unless it's unconditional?/Love doesn't give a damn about tomorrow and neither do I!"

He comes to know his feelings for Clara as "Love within reason/ that isn't love". At the same time Fosca is literally staking him, which at first he resents and later relents to an idea of: "Love without reason/ Love without mercy/ Love without pride or shame/ Love unconcerned with being returned/No wisedom, no judgement, no caution no blame". It is Fosca that loves him with this completeness, and he can't help but return it.

Many of the songs are letters written from one character to another and that stucture takes some getting used to. In fact it's hard to isolate individual songs here. Each one flows into the next to create the effect of a unified whole. At the end all the characters sing bits of each song in the show as Giorgio reads Fosca's final letter to him they come together in a musical climax before fading out, leaving only Giorgio and Fosca softly singing "your love will live in me"

Marin Mazzie is a gorgeous Clara who's voice shimmers in a luminious way. As Giorgio, Jere Shea sounds fine but falls rather short emotionally. He hits all the notes but with little feeling (Michael Ball of the London cast is far better, I think). However as the doomed, dark Fosca Donna Murphy gives one of the most stunning performances I've ever heard. Her understated delivery is devistating. Her voice is perfectly suited to the score and we have one of those all too rare perfect combinations of actor and material.
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