on 9 April 2001
First, I would like to assure the reader that I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the music on this recording. It is a real tragedy that this gem of a musical isn't more widely known. The score itself and the cast's excellent rendition will not leave you disappointed. However, having been involved in a production of The Hired Man myself, I do find it a little frustrating that most of the dialogue, pivotal to the musical itself and offering most of the light relief from the otherwise bleak plot, has been cut and replaced by a narration which, though in itself is not all bad, doesn't compare. I do accept that this is a concert recording and not a "soundtrack" as such, but as this is the only recording I could find and, as far as I know, the only one available, it does annoy me just a little that the humour and real character of the play is not represented. Anyway, enough with the grumbling! If you are looking for a wonderful, fresh musical, filled with magical, heart-rending music, then this is for you: a plot taking you through every human emotion possible, from the farms of the nineteenth century, through the First World War and into the mines of northern England, with vivid characters and a tear jerking finale. A fantasic piece which I cannot reccomend enough and a strong recording with only one, minor flaw...
on 27 May 2001
This original cast recording cannot be faulted. It is vibrant , beautiful and summons up deep emotions in the listener.It is perfect except for the narration by Philip Schofield. However it must be remembered that it is the music we are supposed to listen to . Forget the narrative and sit back and relax. Let the music carry you away in the fox chase ( Get Up And Go ) and cry for all the local men lost in The First World War . If you get the chance , see this show live. You'll love it !