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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll be there for the pirate queen!
This is the highlights cd of the latest Boubil and Schoenberg musical "the pirate queen". "The Pirate Queen is a musical based on the life and adventures of the 16th century Irish chieftain and pirate Grace O'Malley, who was one of the last Irish clan leaders to resist the English conquest of Gaelic Ireland" (from wikipedia). The creators tried to incorporate a...
Published on 30 Aug 2007 by BKHyde-Wilkins

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2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult score
This is a difficult score to appreciate without actually seeing the show . I found it very hard to empathise with.I don't doubt that the composer is of the finest musicianship but I wish he would find a more entertaining subject.
Published 13 months ago by Mr. antony howard


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll be there for the pirate queen!, 30 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
This is the highlights cd of the latest Boubil and Schoenberg musical "the pirate queen". "The Pirate Queen is a musical based on the life and adventures of the 16th century Irish chieftain and pirate Grace O'Malley, who was one of the last Irish clan leaders to resist the English conquest of Gaelic Ireland" (from wikipedia). The creators tried to incorporate a traditional broadway musical with a dash of "Riverdance" style choreography. You cannot see any of that on the cd but one track in particular "the wedding" gives you the irish dancing feel.

If you have heard any other of the composers musicals, then you will know what to expect with this one - that is a wonderful score which tries to encapsulate the era in which the story is based with some soaring ballads and catchy recititive sections. The highlight of the cd in my eyes is the ballad "I'll be there", with a wonderful underlying rhythm and powerful emoting from Hadley Fraser. The main role of Grania is played with relish by Stephanie J. Block. Her voice is very similar in style to the character "Kim" in Miss Saigon, and in fact one of her ballads "Woman" is very much in the same vein as that show. I can see that it may not attract some people from the start, but trust me this one will grow on you (I am always humming the tunes!). A minor irritation to some people may be the piercing soprano of the Queen Elizabeth character, although this tries to portray her steely side, it can be difficult at times to discern her lyrics. Finally, this is only the highlights - I would love to hear the complete thing, as it has only been staged on Broadway to only minor success. But don't let that put you off, if you are a fan of the traditional sung through musical set sail and give this one a try!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars come and aboard !, 24 July 2007
By 
Shai Helfman (Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
When I listen to the pirate queen it take me to a sail to other places. It stat as soon as I hear the prologue ( that like in Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, and Martin guerre, is telling you with just music, the hole plot of the musical ).

In this musical, Bublil and Schonberg are using lots of motives from Miss Saigon and Martin guerre, and some parts in some of songs in "The Pirate Queen" remind you this song or an other from Miss Saigon or Martin Guerre.

It is distinguish for example in "Here On This Nights", that reminds you of a song of Martin Guerre, and in the unforgettable "I'll Be There" there is a part that reminds you a part of Chris Confrontation in Miss Saigon"

But still those songs are very emotional, and they are fantastic.

An other things that is amazing is the fact that all the songs of the musical are composed in the stile of English folk music, and the orchestration is amazing. It is amazing to hear the drumming in the wedding songs, as much as it is moving to hear the pipes and violin in more emotional parts of the musical.

I can not understand how such a wonderful musical was closed down so fast. to those who had seen it, this CD is a wonderful souvenir, and to those who had not seen it ( Like me ) this CD is a way to hear what a wonderful they had missed, and unfortunately the only way.

I also hope that this musical will make it to London. I think it deserves it. (and so are we - the theatre lovers )
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2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult score, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
This is a difficult score to appreciate without actually seeing the show . I found it very hard to empathise with.I don't doubt that the composer is of the finest musicianship but I wish he would find a more entertaining subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a chance - you will find the treasure!, 15 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
Just felt these reviews needed some balance. I agreed initially that the music was not up to Schoenberg's usual standard but I gave it a chance - and then the magic crept in! For some reason, for me at least, the music was initially inaccessible but after several listens I have come to the conclusion that it is actually a complete triumph! Start with "Woman" and from there you will slowly come to appreciate this music - wonderful. And try to leave the comparisons to Les Miserables and Miss Saigon at the door.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I cannot believe the strength of the other reviews - this is poor, poor, poor, 10 Nov 2007
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This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
Like almost all people who enjoy musical theatre, I love Les Miserables. I think Miss Saigon is a little formulaic, but basically pretty good. I also think that Martin Guerre has some really fabulous moments (I personally prefer the original version). So I got hold of The Pirate Queen with reasonable expectations; not unfairly stratospheric, but looking forward to some grand music.

What I found myself doing was occasionally chuckling, tittering and gaffawing (never where it was inteded by the script), and the rest of the time pretty much agog at how silly this all is. The music feels like the early attempts of Schonberg at high school. The lib is woefully simplistic.

The first time I listened through the whole thing with a sinking feeling. I left it a few weeks and returned for a second airing, to give it a fair chance. It just sounded worse. This is rather like Josie Lawrence and the cast of Who's Line Is It Anyway doing a damning pastiche of B&S.

So overall I would say rubbish. It gets 2 stars because sometimes it is so bad you laugh. If you are like me, and like collecting this sort of thing, then go ahead. If you are actually looking for decent music, just pull out Les Mis again.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A total disappointment, 22 Feb 2008
By 
C. Corcoran "musical theatre MD" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
Whilst I am very fond of both 'Les Miz' and 'Miss Saigon' on the whole, I cannot recommend 'Pirate Queen' as being of the same standard at all. (I found 'Martin Guerre' very uneven too). On first listening, it all seemed OK but with subsequent listening, a lot of the music seemed overdone or just plain 'ordinary'. It seems that the musical inspiration of the writers has waned to such an extent that I won't seriously search out any more from Boublil & Schonberg; which is a great pity. They proved that 'Les Mis' was not a 'one hit wonder' when 'Saigon' did so well, (although I confess that I still cannot stand to hear 'American Dream' repeatedly!) 'Pirate Queen' has a strange tendency to irritation; the lyrics are workmanlike but not inspired (an attempt to invoke the comedy of 'Master Of The House' fails miserably), and the music attempts to reflect the Irish 'Riverdance' feeling without any of the rhythmic drive or style; certainly the melodic writing of the opening chorus does not suit the Irish folk style at all. One wonders how great it could (and should) have been. As for presentation, the show would be spectacular (looking at the production stills) but I found the singing far overdone - the absolutely horrendous vibrato of most of the male leads drove me to distraction. Thankfully Grace herself (a tremendous Stephanie J Block) is sung with tremendous conviction and range, but still with the compulsory final 'broadway grunt' on a big final note - ugh! There are genuine moments when a slow ballad gets you listening once again (and the tunes *do* go through your head afterwards) but the big scenes fail to keep your attention; the dance numbers get so wrapped up in the cross-rhythms that they do not dance, and the dramatic numbers are contrived and seem to overemphasise the 'make-do' lyrics. (The lyrics for the English court scenes are frankly laughable). Music arrangements lend themselves well to the fiddle and the pipes, but some numbers turn into a piano concerto... And that damn harpsichord (whenever we are at the English court - how original)!

So altogether, a disappointment. The occasional number is inspired ('Woman' and 'Here On This Night') but overall I cannot recommend 'Pirate Queen'.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An enormous disappointment, 15 Dec 2007
This review is from: The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast Recording [Us Import] (Audio CD)
It really was an enormous disappointment, as I've really enjoyed the other musicals the duo have written. I was hoping and expecting so so much more. Firstly, the mix of operatic singing and celtic music really doesn't mix well at all. There were no memorable songs at all, and it was all so same-ey. It's like Martin Guerre all over again, but this time with worse music... I really wouldn't waste my money on buying this album, a real waste of time. Let's hope "Marguerite" is better...
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