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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT THAN USUAL, BUT STILL EXCELLENT
When "Aspects of love" premiered in April 1989 in London, wide audiences knew Andrew Lloyd Webber mostly by his big blockbuster musicals such as "Cats", "The Phantom of the opera" or "Evita. After the "Phantom", the composer decided to try something new, much in the same way he has done with "Cats" in the early 80-is after he decided to part ways with his lyricist Tim...
Published on 12 Sep 2006 by Marijan Bosnar

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not one of ALW most known, but some lovely tunes
Published 22 days ago by Jo Monson


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT THAN USUAL, BUT STILL EXCELLENT, 12 Sep 2006
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
When "Aspects of love" premiered in April 1989 in London, wide audiences knew Andrew Lloyd Webber mostly by his big blockbuster musicals such as "Cats", "The Phantom of the opera" or "Evita. After the "Phantom", the composer decided to try something new, much in the same way he has done with "Cats" in the early 80-is after he decided to part ways with his lyricist Tim Rice. As the basis for his next musical he chose David Garnett's short novel of the same title.

The plot involves various love triangles and is as close to a soap opera as you can get in a musical. We follow a 17 year-old Englishman Alex, who is in love with an older French actress Rose Videle. They end up in the Spanish villa that belongs to Alex's uncle George, an elderly painter and writer. George in turn has an ongoing affair with a younger Italian sculptress Giulietta. George finds Rose and Alex in the villa and after Alex is called to the army, George and Giulietta begin living together, which at first Alex finds impossible to accept. Giulietta and Rose become quite friends, there is even a hint of a lesbian relationship between them. Even so, George and Rose get married. Some time has passed and Alex is out of the army and is reunited with George, Rose and their 14 year-old daughter Jenny in their villa in France. Jenny falls in love with Alex, something that a very old George, now depended solely on Jenny's love cannot agree to. Alex is torn between Rose and Jenny and soon George dies. At his funeral Alex meets Giulietta and they are instantly drawn to one another. Alex leaves with her, although Rose pleaded him not to leave her alone.

As you can see, the plot isn't quite as simple as it might appear. For this project Lloyd Webber decided to use a much smaller, almost chamber orchestra, however, that isn't a drawback. This is his most romantic score and the orchestra fits it perfectly. The music itself is full of beautiful and intimate love melodies, especially when the orchestra takes the lead in its interludes; you can almost see the nature and the scenery of the plot. The most popular songs from this show are "Love changes everything" sung by Alex and "Anything but lonely" sung by Rose. Of course, there are other catchy tunes, my favorite being "Seeing is believing", a romantic duet between Alex and Rose; "The first man you remember", sung sweetly by George to his young daughter Jenny; "Mermaid song", a shy duet between Alex and Jenny and a big ensemble number with a notable drums sequence called "Hand me the wine and the dice". It's important to note, however, that many parts of this musical is dialogue that is sung instead of being spoken, and this is the main difference between Aspects and the big Webber shows. This means that Aspects isn't meant to be played as background music while one does the dishes or cleans the house. The best way to listen it, for the first time anyway, is with headphones and paying attention to the libretto. It probably won't grab you after the first listen; it needs a bit of an effort, but after a couple of times you'll grow to like it for sure. Don Black's lyrics remain pleasing as ever.

The casting was done very well. Michael Ball, who made his name as Marius in Les Miserables, plays Alex. As always, his voice is a gem by itself. He was a perfect choice. Ann Crumb as Rose and Kathleen Rowe McAllen as Giulietta have similar voices. Kevin Colson makes you think he IS George; his voice and pronunciation sounds exactly as an elderly English gentleman should.

I have only two complaints and they concern the CD package. The musical is almost complete, over 70 minutes on both discs and a full libretto is included in the booklet. However, the font size in it is so small that you need a magnifying glass in order to read it. I had to download it from the net and print it separately. Also, the sound quality is a big disappointment; I had to increase volume on mi Hi-fi in order to hear it properly. I wished that the publishers would be more careful about these things.

Aspects of love may not be Lloyd Webber's best known work, but a true fan of his will certainly enjoy and appreciate it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate indeed, 6 Jan 2005
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
This is my favourite ALW musical, probably because it is the show that I liked most. I bought a "restricted view" ticket and to my surprise, I was not located behind a pillar, 1000 meters from the stage, but I was sitting right in the very first row, a meter away from the stage and the orchestra pitch ("too much view" rather than "restricted view") and it was a really breath-taking experience.
If "Phantom of the Opera" was Webber's attempt to marry grand opera and musical, this is his attempt to introduce chamber music to the musical. It is an intricate interweaving of themes and variations (as in chamber music). This creates a more intimate atmosphere, rather than the overwhelming pathos that usually is a characteristic of musicals. I think you need a little more time to get used to this sort of musical, but if you take the time then it is really rewarding, with lots of gems - and I do not mean the hits "Love changes everything", but rather things such as "There is more to love", "Mermaid song", "Memories of a happy moment" (if I remember the title correctly), "Seeing is Believing".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just stunning, 31 Mar 2008
By 
This review is from: Aspects Of Love (Audio CD)
This is my favourite Lloyd Webber musical - it's story is beautiful and the music is both brave and ground breaking. The story of 17 year old Alex who falls in love with stage star Rose and how their entwined love affair crosses throughout both their lives touching them and everyone around them - it is passionate and touching. I bought the CD boxset last year after owning it on cassette for many years and losing it in a house move and it was like coming home listening to it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Lloyd Webber spectacular, 23 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
This Lloyd Webber, Black and Hart collaboration is one of the most enjoyable musicals of recent years. This cast recording sees Michael Ball in his most renowned role as Alex, the young soldier trying to negotiate his way through the trials and tribulations of love, never quite managing to shake off his past. The story is complex, but well handled by the team and the music is rich and heartfelt; from the simplistic 'mermaid' duet between Alex and his young cousin, to the vibrant and complicated harmonies of 'hand me the wine and the dice'. Not forgetting, of course, the most famous and powerful song 'Love Changes Everything' which takes on a whole new meaning within the context of the show. Listen and enjoy.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent recording of one of lloyd webbers better shows, 4 Jan 2006
By 
Adam Coleman (Twickenham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Aspects Of Love (Audio CD)
Mr Lloyd-Webbers shows can be a bit hit, miss or maybe [as the terrible 'Woman in White' currently playing in london as aptly demonstrates] but this recording is an excellent example of a great recording of a great show.
Aspects of Love, alongside with Suset Boulevard, is (in my humble opinion) one of Lloyd-Webber's better shows - this recording is the only available version of the show and features the excellent vocal talent Mickey Ball and Ann Crumb who were in the original cast along with other great performances by notable names. The songs are excellent and the lyrics are wonderfully funny one moment and tender at other times. The performance essentially deals with themes of love and the story is communicated well on this recording as it contains the whole score. There are plenty of stand-out tracks but the final reditiion of 'anything but lonely' has to be one of the best. The production did not last long in London and failed to set boardway alight but is def one of Lloyd-Webbers better shows and anyone who has not heard it should buy it now!
This edition is wonderfully packages in a cardboard case with full liberto for those like me for love a cd that not only sounds but looks good.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!, 17 April 2005
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
This is indeed a much overlooked recording. As always Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has more than surpassed my expectations! The score is simply brilliant. It flows without stop from beginning to end and makes this a very coherent piece. The melody and themes are full and create a very intimate atmosphere. The more one listens to it, the more it reveals. The orchestrations alone deserve praise! The story is very bohemian and quite original and the lyrics are witty and expressive.
It is hard to see how this musical can have detractors. It is a chef d'ouvre that shows Lloyd Webber's unparalleled talent for melody and harmony. I would love to be able to see the show live and certainly will if ever a chance arises!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF ANDREWS BEST.........................., 12 Jan 2005
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
I first saw this west end musical in the early nineties when Micheal Praed and Sarah Brightman took the main parts and having seen many of ALW's productions I still think this is probably his best. The show had a great fast paced story and was also visually stunning with sets turning from theatre scenes to bar scenes to trains within moments. Therefore I feel reviews by people who have only heard the CD are unfair and not a true reflection of what the complete show was like. If you listen to any musical without seeing it first I don't think it's possible to "GET" it. If the show ever resurfaces trust me it must be seen. Micheal Ball does a wonderful job and had a big hit with "Love Changes Everything" but the CD is full of other great moments most notably "Seeing Is Believing","Anything But Lonely" "There Is More To Love" and "Chanson D'enfance" However the definative versions of the last two tracks can be found on Sarah Brightmans and Andrew Lloyd Webbers "Surrender (Unexpected Songs)". This CD brings back wonderful memories of a fanatstic show, if you got to see the show I recommend this CD as a reminder to a remarkable performance and one of Andrew Lloyd Webbers best but totally underated shows!
Just a note to other reviewers : Joseph was ALW's FIRST show so he did not go onto better things with Joseph.
Aspects came BEFORE Sunset Boulvard so be annoyed with the fact that Sunset sounds a bit like Aspects not the other way round.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lloyd Webber's most intimate piece, 19 Nov 2004
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
'Aspects of Love' will go into history as ALW's only flop. This is not deserved. After his huge productions (he just finished 'The Phantom of the Opera')he wanted a little intimate piece. And boy, did he succeed!.
He follows attentively the storyline of the novel by David Garnett and Don Black and Charles Hart did a wonderful job to use exactly the same words as in the book.
The plot is all about a circle of life, and how faith can transmit from mother to daughter. Both mother and daughter live the same love and passion for the same man at a different moment in time. So the story seems to repeat itself. ALW translates this in a score that seem to reflect itself discretely. So yes, the score of the second act is nearly the same as in the first, but the arrangements accentuate the nuances.
So this is not an easy musical, in terms of 'sit back and enjoy'. It is nearly interactive! Can you put your finger on the themes and how they are woven in the lives of the protagonists? This delicate play of themes make the musical a delight and without any doubt, ALW's finest. For the careful listener: he will use some songlines again later in 'The Woman in White'.
A part from that, there are the wonderful themes: 'Love changes everything', which launched Michael Balls carrere and 'Anything but lonely' which remains an encore standard for Sarah Brightman.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!!, 5 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
I loved this musical. The CD is recorded really well and each performer holds their own beautifully! There is not one 'weak link', which is unusual.
Admittedly, it took some time to get into, but once u have grasped the storyline, the songs really come to life. You feel the passion and longing of Alex, the struggle between family and romance for Rose, the thrill and heartbreak of first love for Jenny, the calm and the worldly-wise attitudes of George.
It's on my stereo all the time. it really is like entering another world!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Aspects of Love (Audio CD)
Bought with a budding musician in mind well packaged clean product
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