Customer Review

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Substnadard, 15 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Phantom Of The Opera At The Royal Albert Hall (MP3 Download)
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.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Nov 2011 15:44:58 GMT
I totally agree with all that you have said. I was going to review this album but you have already written what I was going to. The long applause could have been shortened for the album (not the DVD/Blu Ray) and Sarah Brightman should have absolutely been included. Can't believe they cut a highlight like that.

Posted on 15 Nov 2011 20:49:08 GMT
Moomster says:
I also agree!
I thought my CD was faulty due to the sound at the start which is people getting into position on the stage. Why not start it from the 'Sold!' line.
Also i was miffed that they cut the Phantom of the Opera with Sarah Brightman and the Four Phantoms.

Posted on 16 Nov 2011 22:18:42 GMT
Your totally right, it's all about the music, and the quality is terrible. I was there at the last show, it sounded great on the night and I was looking forward to a modern crystal clear sound track (like the Les Mis 2010 cast recording) instead we got a muffled and very quite dull soundtrack that fails to portray the high drama of the classic show and fantastic cast.

Posted on 22 Nov 2011 08:16:46 GMT
I entirely agree. If you have the volume set correctly for speech at the start then when the music starts you jump out of your seat and have to make a dash to your player to turn it down. Once set for the music then it is difficult to hear the spoken parts.

Posted on 22 Nov 2011 17:42:00 GMT
casscam says:
I completely agree! I can't believe they didn't master the CD better than this. They definitely should have cut out all the excess applause and I was shocked when it went from ALW introducing Sarah right into Music of the Night. I did a few double takes to make sure I didn't miss it but no, the special rendition of POTO was not there. Very sad. At least I have it on the DVD. I was also bummed the Michael Crawford was not able to sing with them all. It would have made for a great DVD/CD extra to have filmed him recording one of those songs.

Posted on 2 Dec 2011 12:19:49 GMT
The bit I find most stupid is apart from the 15 minutes or so of just clapping, they placed the "Entr'acte" again at the very end. This was NOT played in the RAH on the night. Why bother to put that in again, when they cut a line from "Seal My Fate Tonight", which is probably my favourite line which ALWAYS gets butchered in cast recordings. I also find the mixing of the orchestra an issue. Individual instruments aren't really heard, and just mixed together at the same volume. The cymbal is a particular example. In the show the cymbal is very prominent, especially in big moments to create impact. It's barely heard here.

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 21:43:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Apr 2012 21:44:49 BDT
I have just got my CD, after watching spell bound the show on the television over the Easter week end, and thought there was something seriously wrong with my disc or equipment. What a shame! Not a recording of which Polydor can be proud. I was so looking forward to the depth of the RAH organ and frankly it is well below par - the engineers want shooting. Sounds a bit like something I did on my Grundig reel to reel back in 1965. I do hope the DVD is better but I am not holding my breath!
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