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Format: Audio Cassette|Change
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on 10 August 2017
this is a super show and you may not like it a first but the more you listen the more there is to like
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on 28 March 2015
The music is quite fine and even at times great though it is not what you could expect as ragtime music. But the music is varied and entertaining, certainly swinging and joyful.

The situation at the beginning of the 20th century in New York, the state as well as the city is rather simple with a lot of social clichés: the immigrant who will succeed by pure chance added to some hard work; the bourgeois type upper middle class racially tolerant wife; the real ragtime musician and his loved one; the anarchistic working class militant calling for a revolution; The ship full of Jewish immigrants that nearly sank in view of Ellis Island; and I should say etc.

The main events are the vicious killing of the musician's girlfriend by some gang of firemen who will also destroy the musician's Model T out of spite because the man is black. Then the social and psychological derangement that this racist fact causes in the musician is by far too much since he starts a gang of bomb terrorists who start bombing all kinds of buildings to get even with society, to get a vengeance. The son of the rich family whose fortune was made in firecrackers decides out of spite mostly to join the musician and his gang and help him make better bombs. That is slightly childish.

The negotiations to stop this rampage are performed with the worst forked tongue you can imagine and the musician who is guaranteed justice in court and who has gained a safe exit for the members of his gang, comes out and is shot down at once by all the police waiting for him. That too is too much.

The end becomes then sentimentalese.

That kind of discourse on race relations and what it used to be and is no longer is rather easy but was typical of the 1990s. It is when racial discrimination was at the highest in justice and prisons that we had so many of these entertaining musicals or film to try to make us believe everything was going dandy and fine. It is evident that we are far from that nice situation and discourse. After six years under a Black president in the US black kids, teenagers mostly are shot down by the police even when they are unarmed.

Sorry chaps! But there is a lot of work still to do to come to a racially tolerant society in the USA.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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on 7 April 2003
'Ragtime' the latest addition to the London theatre set is a collection of thumping good songs and strong narrative, charting the cultural changes in turn-of-the century America. The soundtrack is nearly two hours long and not a second of it is disappointing.
The title song 'Ragtime' introduces the principal characters and allows the listener to get comfortable with the rather unusual method of story-telling used throughout the show. Characters come forward from the song and tell us about their lives; as the songs progress the story unfolds.
The listener soon begins to care about the plight of the characters, especially Sarah and Coalhouse; this makes the soundtrack interesting and charged with emotion. I am certainly encouraged to see the stage show.
Although for now this is a lesser known show in the UK, I believe the show will soon become established. The cakewalk style of 'New Music' depicts the changing of the times, 'Gettin' Ready Rag' has you dancing in your seat, and the lament of 'Til we reach that day' brings a tear your eye. There is even humour in the strangest of situations, when in vaudeville style 'The crime of the century' brings to life a heinous murder which has the unforeseen benefit of making one of it's victims a celebrity.
For a new musical experience, on a level with greats such as 'Showboat' and '42nd Street, the music of 'Ragtime' is well worth listening to.
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on 1 April 2003
Ragtime is just simply a great musical. Combining a enthralling tale twisted around fictional characters and an interesting and emphatic glimpse into the life of real characters of the ragtime period. This includes characters like Harry Houdini, the famous illusionist and Emma Goldman, the famous rights activist. With a score to die for this CD never fails to draw me into a storyline that communicates the real injustices and scenarios of the age of Ragtime.
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on 19 August 2008
Ragtime has to be one of the best shows written in the last 20 years. I bought this recording due to the success of the New York production and was not disappointed. Crossed my fingers we would get a production here but we don't always transfer the best of broadway. We did get a fantastic production not as spectacular as the Broadway version but nevertheless excellent. Terrific cast led by the tremendous Maria Friedman. Managed to see the last night of the pitifully short run, sheer magic. Buy this album, it grows on you and the story unfolds as you sit and listen. Every musical lover should own this. Brilliant!!
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on 4 May 2003
“Ragtime”, based upon the novel by the same name, is essentially a ‘thinking’ musical that is exceptionally good at telling a good story. This is also echoed by the west-end star, Maria Friedman (mother). The show is Epic, in more ways than one.
The music has two main strands to it: the songs sung by the white, upper-class family, which are all gorgeous, and the music written for the black Americans, which are extremely authentic Ragtime.
The music pinpoints the drama well, and so this double C.D. of the Broadway production gives a very extensive track listing of almost all the music, which is perhaps necessary because the show is, almost like Les Miserables, mostly sung-through.
The orchestras are fantastic. The orchestrations are all so epic too. You can NEVER go wrong with the multi-award winner orchestrator William David Brohn, as he makes the music shine in all the right ways. You could have no better person to arrange this epic score; this C.D. set also including a BONUS TRACK, the ‘Ragtime’ Symphonic Suite, led by an even bigger orchestra! What also gives this music such dramatic depth and ‘hugeness’ is the skilful vocal writing of composer Flaherty. The highly tuneful score is extremely lyrical, and the lyrics fit perfectly together with the tunes, and vice versa.
The show goes from epic, to extraordinarily epic when you think it couldn’t possibly.
Although I say the score is huge, some may say and have noted that through a totally patriotic American show lies Huge Sentimentality. Here, it works at an advantage I feel, although others have disagreed with me.
The music is both light and dark, with a lot of the black American music being painful.
The first act on this C.D. is, however, far too long for my ears. It runs 15 minutes over the maximum average.
In all, one of the greats. A fantastic cast. A fantastically extensive C.D. set!
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on 10 January 2010
You've come this far, don't stop now. Press the button, you are in for a rare treat, I promise.
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on 13 October 2009
fabulous cd with some of the best new music heard from a new musical in the last ten years
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on 8 July 2003
This is one of the greatest musicals of the last twenty years. Not only is the show faithful to the original novel which is well worth reading but it transfers the entire era and culture to the stage. This recording is equally successful in transferring to CD the music and atmosphere of the show.
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on 7 April 2003
'Ragtime' the latest addition to the London theatre set is a collection of thumping good songs and strong narrative, charting the cultural changes in turn-of-the century America. The soundtrack is nearly two hours long and not a second of it is disappointing.
The title song 'Ragtime' introduces the principal characters and allows the listener to get comfortable with the rather unusual method of story-telling used throughout the show. Characters come forward from the song and tell us about their lives; as the songs progress the story unfolds.
The listener soon begins to care about the plight of the characters, especially Sarah and Coalhouse; this makes the soundtrack interesting and charged with emotion. I am certainly encouraged to see the stage show.
Although for now this is a lesser known show in the UK, I believe the show will soon become established. The cakewalk style of 'New Music' depicts the changing of the times, 'Gettin' Ready Rag' has you dancing in your seat, and the lament of 'Til we reach that day' brings a tear your eye. There is even humour in the strangest of situations, when in vaudeville style 'The crime of the century' brings to life a heinous murder which has the unforeseen benefit of making one of it's victims a celebrity.
For a new musical experience, on a level with greats such as 'Showboat' and '42nd Street, the music of 'Ragtime' is well worth listening to.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse



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