Now before the backlash starts I am a huge Phan and I loved every moment of the anniversary special, but I am disappointed with this cd/mp3 release. Why? Quite simply the standard of the recording. I appreciate that this was filmed live, but there are some criminally long stretches of just sheer applause (grand finale I am looking at you) and in certain places (the opening Overture) the sound quality is not up to par. Sienna Borgess and Ramin Karimiloo sound fantastic as usual, and it is wonderful to have a CD with the whole score and not just snippets of this like the original, but the most criminal thing of all, having the 3= minute introduction in the grand finale of simply applause then ALW talking, to introduce Sarah Brightman... and then immediately skip her wonderful rendition of Phantom to do the group/four phantoms music of the night.
I saw the show so know she definitely sang this and whilst I appreciate this may be for legal reasons I find the exclusion rather baffling, especially as everything else, including the long applauses have been present in their full glory. It almost makes the last track redundant as, as great as the Four phantoms singing is, it doesn't provide the full experience I was hoping for.
Never the less still a must buy for true phans, although for newcomers I would still recommend the original 1986 soundtrack, or if you must the movie soundtrack (yes I know) as they at least benefit from the production values of a studio recorded album.
One hopes that maybe ALW will reunite the cast from this and record this in the studio , but this is unlikely, maybe in another 5 years we will have the album this should have been, until then this is still a wonderful album, just disappointing.