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on 17 August 2002
Beginners please! - a collection of overtures from the musicals; 19 in total ranging from Hammerstein, Berlin, Porter, Bernstein, all the way to the contemporaries Lloyd Webber and Dana P Rowe. This fantastically arranged compilation, by Chris Rayner, gives us a feel to the musical theatre by dosing us with a good selection of shows. Of course, the older idea of the Overture is a condensed version of the show's music anyway. A warning, though - overtures are much more than a medley of tunes, if at all - they have a purpose to give you a 'first feeling' (to get your minds into the show's layout) and sometimes explore the inner emotions of the whole show together. This is especially so for the 'newer' musical, namely The Witches of Eastwick which explores motives from the show at the same time as giving a rhythmic feeling symbolising a space-trip. The composer and orchestrators are given the opportunity to show the audiences his/her full potential. Likewise, you are hearing the composers, perhaps, at their best.
So why hasn't this kind of C.D. been done before? Don't know, but I'm glad it was able to include at least three newer items, namely Jesus Christ Superstore, The Witches of Eastwick and Blood Brothers.
Everyone who is musical minded is going to adore this - Chris Rayner has picked all the very best musicals and the very best recordings to show a great diverse variety selection.
The C.D. is basically a collection; there is nothing new other than the idea. I have really enjoyed the compilation and have learned a lot by listening to it and some un-familiar music too. Recommendations are the overtures to Candide and Oklahoma. Eastwick, I feel, is better as fast as they play it in the show, however. More would be desired, such as CATS etc... - but perhaps for the next volume?
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