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on 18 August 2006
I really enjoyed listening to this cast recording. As a big fan of the musical Evita, I was excited about the revival and quickly got the cd. The orchestrations are refreshing and more authentic sounding. I think they are vastly improved.

Elena Roger is amazing as Eva Peron. Her genuine Argentine accent adds to her performance. While not as harsh as others who have player her (Paige, Lupone), Roger definitely gives the part some oomf and attitude! 9/10

Matt Rawle is a great choice for Che. Although not my favorite in the part, he definitely leaves his mark on Che. His Che, in my opinion, is slightly less outspoken than others who have played him. He does have a wonderful voice. 8/10

Philip Quast has an amazing voice, I just wish he had a bigger part than Peron. He has such a rich voice. He is definitely one of the highlights of the album. 10/10.

Gary Milner really hams it up as Magaldi in "On This Night of a Thousand Stars." His voice is pleasant to listen to. 9/10.

Lorna Want is very sympathetic as Peron's Mistress. Her voice is very pure and innocent. 10/10

The ensemble is amazing, especially in Requiem.

I'd say the highlights of this album are "Goodnight and Thank You," "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall," "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," "Rainbow High," and "You Must Love Me."

A note: this CD is not the whole show but only the highlights.

I highly recommend buying this CD and adding it to your collection, you will not be disappointed!!
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on 1 September 2006
Unfortunately, most peoples experience of Evita is the rubbish 1996 film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, so the less said about that debacle the better. Evita is simply something that MUST be enjoyed in its natural environment - the theatre, but this cast recording of the new London production is the next best thing to actually being there, and is leagues ahead of the film version that came before it.

The thing that instantly hits you about this disc is the astounding quality of the music, which is crisp and rich. Also, the score has been radically overhauled and updated from the original London and Broadway productions - most notably on "Requiem for Evita" and "Buenos Aires". It is more dynamic and expressive than ever before, and is also more authentically Latin-American. Musically, this is an aural treat.

While the music is fantastic throughout, the cast is more of a mixed bag. There is little to say that hasn't already been said by other reviewers. Elena Roger's voice is totally unique, and she makes an extremely charismatic Eva. It's not what I would call a classic voice, but it has a raw, yet rich quality. In one sentence it will be silky smooth, yet in the very next it will jar through you like an electric drill. In a role like Evita this is no bad thing, and she is equal parts singer and actress, bringing real pathos to the role. However, for me, the definitive Eva is Elaine Paige (check out the Original London Cast Recording).

When I saw Evita at the Adelphi in June, to be honest I was not too impressed with Matt Rawle as Che. However, on this recording he is far more confident in the role, and brings more emotion into what he is singing. Philip Quast has a good voice, but his stage performance doesn't shine through on this recording, and he seems a bit too tame. Lorna Want is fantastic as the mistress though, and Gary Milner makes quite a good Magaldi, but he isn't as sleazy as in previous incarnations.

As everyone else has noted, this is only a highlights CD. As such, many of the songs have been cut or shortened, although there are some bemusing song choices, with songs like "Montage" being included. I would have personally taken out this song and included "Peron's Latest Flame" and "Dice Are Rolling/Eva's Sonnet", which is one of the more important numbers from the show. I would have also perhaps reinstated "A New Argentina" to its full length. That said, you do get most of the story here, which is not too hard to follow. As a highlights CD, it is brilliant, but you are left wanting more - I miss the little end bit in "Rainbow Tour" where Eva has a hissy fit, and the full version of "She Is a Diamond" where Che and the generals openly criticize Eva and Peron. Thankfully though, "Oh What a Circus" is included in its full length.

Unfortunately, the only full-length recording of the stage show in its entirety is the Premiere American Recording (which features the Original Broadway Cast), but this is expensive and hard to get hold of in the UK.

There are too many good songs to mention, and this is really something that has to be listened to from start to finish. Evita is Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's finest hour, and this new production is fantastic. Finally, the CD is very nicely packaged with a booklet containing the libretto, and another smaller booklet containing cast photos from the new production, making it that little but more special.
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on 1 January 2015
I have loved the whole Evita score since it was first released in the 70s as a double LP with Julie Covington and I must have played it a million times after putting it onto 2 tapes. This recording is excellent and my only beef is that being a single not a double CD I noticed straight away that several songs were left off the recording. Elena Roger though still shines in the role and I think her accent makes her role more realistic. As Eva rises from the gutter Elena's accent is strong, but as she ages and becomes more refined and sophisticated the accent recedes and on the later songs you hardly notice it at all especially on the lovely Oscar winning song You Must Love Me.
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on 22 August 2006
... this is only a highlights recording. But before we get to this fact, one has to say a few words about the musical itself.

Over the years Andrew Lloyd Webber has made many musicals, some more successful and appealing to the public than the others. Most people will, however, agree that "Evita" remains one of his most satisfying works to this date. Numerous reasons confirm this statement. Just like in its predecessor "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Evita" is almost entirely sung-through; the lyrics are witty and appropriate; the subject matter is again a personality larger-than-life who rises from obscurity and dies at the peak of its fame, thus becoming a legend; the score is captivating and appealing to the listener, at home or in the theatre. The subject matter is quite well know, but let us repeat the essentials for the ones who are unacquainted with it: We follow the life story of Eva Duarte Peron, wife of post-World war two president of Argentina, Juan Peron. However, the musical is very loosely based on the actual life of the real Evita. The story follows Evita from the day of her death in July 1952, and then we have flashbacks until that moment, covering her coming to Buenos Aires, alleged love affairs, meeting Peron, being the first lady and dying of cancer at 33.

This CD is the cast recording of the newly directed 2006 London production that opened in June in London's Adelphi Theatre. This is the first production that did not use Hal Prince's renowned direction, but instead it has Michael Grandage, one of the best contemporary British theatrical directors. The cast who delivers the glorious score is for the most part, well picked. Elena Roger, a tiny, blue-eyed young Argentinean , brings a welcoming freshness to the role, sung in the past by some of the best female voices in the theatre, such as Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige. Elena seems to understand that the role of Eva Peron needs to be acted as well as sung. She brings a new touch to the songs we've heard performed so many times before and although Patti LuPone's Evita will by all accounts remain unmatched, Elena Roger found both her voice and character, despite the fact that at some points she sounds as if she is struggling to hit the highest of notes. Her rendition of `Buenos Aires' is one of the highlights of this recording, but one must note that the famous `Don't cry for me Argentina' needed a bit more of the vocal range in Elena's take of the refrain reprise.

Matt Rawle's Che gets a mixed review. He can be quite good at times (like in `The money kept rolling in') and yet he has the tendency of singing too much in a high voice, similarly like Mandy Patinkin on the 1979 Broadway Cast Recording. I always felt Che needs to have a deeper voice, as sung by Antonio Banderas, Colm Wilkinson or David Essex. Philip Quast makes a fine Peron, but his presence on this album, due to its highlights nature, is barely noticeable.

The new orchestrations sound fresh and have more of a Latin American and tango flavor than the previous ones. `Buenos Aires' has a new lush melody in between the verses and the discreet accordion sound in `I'd be surprisingly good for you' is a nice touch. However, there are some quite unnecessary cuts made in the music. So in the latter song the charming orchestral play of the melody between the refrains is completely cut, which takes a lot from the song's appeal. The same has been done with `You must love me', which is beautifully performed by Roger, but the lack of the orchestral solo is something which is very noticeable and not called for.

The lyrics of Tim Rice, one of the main assets of this show, haven't lost any of their wittiness and one has to mention the fact that the entire second verse of `Lament', which can be only heard on the 1976 Concept Album with Julie Covington, is now fully used for the first time on stage. This is very important, since not only does it gives an important insight into what authors conceived as Eva's motivation (the need to be loved), but also it makes the whole story line more complete. This is certainly the most touching number on the CD: Roger gives a truly moving performance and there is a discreet choral accompaniment here, which gives a moving note to it all.

Finally, to the issue from the beginning of this review. This is, sadly, only a highlights CD of this production, and what's worse, it has less material than the highlights album of the movie soundtrack with Madonna. It remains unclear why the author's didn't go for a full 2 disc edition, even more so, when the last one was done in 1979, with Broadway Cast Recording. No matter what the reasons were, there was 10 more minutes left to fill on this CD and it is just about enough to round off the story. Some of the things missing in the musical numbers on the CD are: `Eva and Magladi', the introduction to `A new Argentina' or the last Eva's lines from `The rainbow tour'. There is also a question of the reason for including `The art of the possible' (which is more of a number to be seen on stage than to listen) and omitting of `Peron's latest flame' altogether. These are the main reasons this CD is not as good as it could have been. Let us hope that this issue will be resolved if this production makes it to Broadway in the near future. The CD itself comes in a nice sleeve case, lyrics, director's notes and a couple of production pictures.

For those of you who are getting acquainted with the story of Eva Peron for the first time I must point out: Bear in mind that this musical is only loosely based on the life of the real Evita. As much as Tim Rice's lyrics are craftily made, they lack a lot of historical accuracy. As a historian I became very interested in Eva Peron's life story so I did some research after seeing the movie. It turned out that the authors based their entire work on a single book called EVITA: THE WOMAN WITH A WHIP by Mary Main. The author belonged to the rich Anglo-Argentinean part of the society that was naturally opposed to Perons. Today's historians concur that this book is based on rumors, lies and myths, written with the single purpose of slandering Eva Peron as much as possible. It contains no footnotes and no bibliography. The authors used it mainly because it was one of the few books available on the subject in the English language during the 70-is. So one should be very careful in making any conclusions based on the musical or the movie alone.

All things considered, this is a nice addition to your existing Evita cast recording collection or a good souvenir from the show. But for the people who want to enjoy Evita completely, I would recommend to go for the more complete recordings: 1976 Concept Album with Julie Covington, 1979 Broadway Cast with a Tony-winning Patti LuPone or 1996 movie soundtrack with Madonna.
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on 20 August 2006
This is the newest recording of one of ALW's best musicals, EVITA, with an all new cast and completely new arrangements. The CD comes in a nice package with lyrics to all the songs contained on this 20 track highlight album. As I said, the arrangements are all new, which is sometimes positive, but negative in other places. Certain passages lack some "oomph", for example I'd be surprisingly good for you which is turned into something completely different, weakening the erotic, seducing impact of this piece. Therefor, the rocking parts are better than in any other version (for example A New Argentina), and some other little snippets that "Evita" veterans will hear in the background (for example a soft choir in the Lament, which sounds magnificent). The instrumental passage in Buenos Aires has been almost completely revised. Often, the arrangements sound similar to the magnificent ones of the film version. One thing you can say for this CD is the sharp sound quality, of course better than on any other EVITA album. Now for the cast: Elena Roger's accent is a little annoying, but other than that she can capture the character of Eva, especially the cold, aggressive side of her. But she manages to sound emotional, too, especially in You must Love Me, written for the film and added in here. She is definately an Evita for a new generation, energetic, ruthless yet vulnerable. Same for Matt Rawle, his Che sounds younger and more down-to-earth than other interpretations, showing a young revolutionary who has not yet found his way, but with the right cynical touch suiting for this character. What can you possibly say for Philip Quast as Peron? He may lack the military brutalness and cold boldness of that character, but therefore makes him more like an actual person, more human and not an overlooked part of the cast like many predeccessors were. I'd also like to mention Lorna Want as the most beautiful mistress I've ever heard. So, as many revised, modern stage versions of ALW musicals are, this one takes some time to get used to because it takes EVITA to a new level. But it is an interesting level, and so this album should be recommended to any musical or Evita-fan!
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on 15 February 2015
Slightly over produced. I welcome the new vocals with genuine heritage after Elaine's which, truthfully, were never ideal . . But Che ?? Come on Andrew, if you're going to be somewhat faithful, lacks studio presence. It's always going to be bought as it's a masterpiece but quite honestly, I'll always listen to the original (that I've paid for a few times in different formats) as this has nothing truly refreshing to offer. I thought the Madonna / Banderos version was refreshing . . This one isn't
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on 16 August 2006
When I saw this production at The Adelphi in June, I was horrified that it was too early in the run to be able to buy the cast recording from the theatre. I guess that shows what I think of this cast; for Evita fans this is a must have!

Andrew Lloyd Webber's score has been slightly updated, but the changes are good and only noticeable to the most obcessive of fans. Elena Rogers sounds perfectly authetic as Evita and Matt Rawle is excellent. As is Philip Quast. I love Lorna Want's rendition of "Another Suitcase".

My only small niggle is that the soundtrack feels slightly incomplete. A few tracks have been cut and some of the introductions to the songs feel a bit odd.

Buy it!
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on 2 January 2007
It's a great album and Elena Rogers is raspingly fantastic and different in the lead role - but I did feel shortchanged as so little of the important linking passages and some of the important songs were not on the album - was this just to save money? Peron's Latest Flame and Eva's Final Broadcast are two of my favourites in the show - neither is on this CD. Really disappointing ......
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on 15 August 2006
To start with you don't necceserally have to of seen this stage production of Evita in order to enjoy this fabulous new cast recording of Andrew Llyod Webbers historic masterpiece. However, i have been lucky enough to see the show in London's Adelphi theatre and i can truthly say that this soundtrack has the stunning vocals and orchestra which are featuring in the present production of London at the moment. This cast recording features the amazing cast including the exciting Argentinean discovery Elena Roger as Eva, Philip Quast as Peron and Matt Rawle as Che. Which in my personal opinion is a step up from that of originally Elaine Paige and then Madonna in her film debute. This is a definate CD which if like me will bring you a lot of joy and perhaps even urge you into buying tickets for this new summer sizzling musical EVITA 2006.

"A must-have for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice fans, musical lovers and theatre go-ers alike!"
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on 24 December 2009
Overall, this CD is fantastic. But, if you haven't seen the musical on stage (or the film version) and therefore do not know the full story, this is not the best Evita CD you could buy. But, if you have seen it, this is a fantastic recording with some of the best vocals I have heard from Eva and Che, but the other cast members do it justice in their own way. Each voice is unique and adds depth to the numbers, and every voice is full of emotion, making it beautiful, especially "Oh What A Circus", "Eva Beware Of The City/Buenos Aires", Another Suitcase In Another Hall", "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", "Rainbow High/Rainbow Tour" and my favourite "A New Argentina".

A must for any fan of Evita and that knows the story :-)
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