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This review is from: The Sound Of Music: The Original 1981 London Production (Audio CD)
I have always had a great fondness for this West End recording of The Sound of Music, but I saw the original production (several times - a friend of mine was in the cast) and this may colour my experience of listening to it. However, I think it is tremendously fresh and immediate and I was very pleased, after being unavailable for some years, when this recording was re-released.
If you are a purist, it may not be to your taste, as the director and MD have reorganised some of the songs, re-scored the show and rearranged some of them. The title song which opens the show has a newly arranged ending which brings it to a satisfying climax and 'big finish', for instance, and 'A Bell Is No Bell', unknown to me when I originally saw the show as it's not included for the Mother Abbess in the movie, replaces the Mother Abbess' version of 'My Favourite Things' which was in the original Broadway production (and the most recent West End revival).
June Bronhill is the Mother Abbess here. This is the last big thing she did and whilst it is, in some respects, a fading voice, this is nonetheless a stirring vocal performance and one that generates a great deal of excitement. If you like her recording of the original West End production of Robert and Elizabeth, for instance, then you should add this recording of The Sound of Music to your collection.
There are two highpoints in this recorded version: the title song and 'Something Good' which is breathtakingly sweet, warm and touching.
Overall, I think this is an excellent recording of a stage production and a must if you are a Petula Clark fan.