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This Sound of Music soundtrack reissue could have been better
on 17 June 2012
My review of this Sound of Music CD is only for the presentation of the music, and not of the music itself. I only say this in case people get unhappy if they see my review.
I have been keenly following the various releases of the Sound of Music film soundtrack. This album has meant a whole lot to me and started me on my love of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals.
Having said that I feel disappointed with this recent 45th anniversary release. RCA has tended to reissue the soundtrack for every 5-year anniversary of the film. The past reissues were kind to us in including music unavailable to us for a long time.
As far as this 45th anniversary reissue is concerned, it uses the same CD mastering as the 40th anniversary soundtrack. This alone can be a positive because you still get all the song cues arranged in the running order of the film. Admittedly there isn't any noticeable improvement in the sound quality. I note that all releases have used the original RCA LP as a basis when longer versions of certain songs (such as the Processional and the Salzburg Festival reprise of Edelweiss) are available and could have been used instead. Also, we don't get much in the way of extras - except for Lea Michelle's rendition of My Favourite Things. I would have hoped that the R&H Organisation and 20th Century Fox would have ganged up to put out a complete twin-disc treatment of the soundtrack with all song cues and all underscoring. Interestingly enough, Fox lent all the original masters - including the 6-channel music masters - to the people who did the Blu-Ray, and one wonders why they didn't do a new stereo mix of the music and vocals for release as a CD.
I know that this release is meant for the mainstream casual fans who just want a copy of the Sound of Music soundtrack. However, one wonders when Sound of Music - and the other R&H film musicals - will be given soundtrack reissue treatments similar to the Wizard of Oz twin-disc soundtrack and even the complete score treatments accorded to Cleopatra, the three Lord of the Rings films and the Star Wars Classic Trilogy. There are people - myself included - who would like to hear Kostal's marvellous underscoring that links the songs together. The love scene for Maria and the Captain is a miracle. Kostal interweaves the Sound of Music theme song, Edelweiss, My Favourite Things and Something Good in the lead-up to that song.
For those who haven't got a copy of the CD, go ahead and pick this release up. For those who own the 40th anniversary release, hold on to it. I'm sure that someone will put out a proper Sound of Music soundtrack some day.