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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 19 April 2012
Well I have this bu ray and love it. Seen the show live in London (her majestys theatre) and was moved to tears. This is my favourite theatre so far. So I like to consider myself a phan......
I bought this CD as I love listening to this music on my ipod, I a am a pedestrian and commute by public transport everywhere. My music is very important to me and often sets my mood for the day. Here is the problem with this cd. I appreciate it was filmed live etc but the whole cd is so quiet. I have this on maximum volume just to hear anything. Also as previously reviewed the grand finale is cut and again so quiet. Such a shame as the music is breathtaking and the blu ray is just spellbinding. Please re release this but louder and consistently louder throughout. Otherwise superb.
Incidentaly I have the original soundtrack recording from the 80s on cd and that is fine, if they could do it then surely 20 plus years later with advances in technology.......
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on 9 December 2013
This is an excellent CD, and a good companion to the DVD of the stage show starrring Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo. There are some excellent and memorable songs in the show which are a pleasure to listen to over and over again.
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VINE VOICEon 21 October 2012
Fans of the Phantom would be exceedingly happy with this new 25th anniversary cast recording of the fabled Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, taken from the live Albert Hall anniversary concerts. Unlike the venerable West End cast album with Brightman and Crawford, this 2-disc set of the musical presents the complete score with an abbreviated finale. The performances are as good as any, and worthy of the occasion, but the presentation on CD is let down by the poor recording quality.

Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess are superb in the two principal roles. Karimloo's Phantom allows us listeners to hear the character change in his voice. He seduces Christine in the first act but becomes more tortured and obsessed by her as the musical progresses. Sierra Boggess is a superb Christine with such a beautiful soprano voice. I didn't quite feel taken by Hadley Fraser's portrayal of Raoul because it did sound arrogant and not quite committed to Christine in the manner of, for instance, Steve Barton or Michael Ball. The supporting cast is just as good as the principals, especially Wendy Ferguson in her comic portrayal of Carlotta and Gareth Snook and Barry James in the flustered comic roles of the managers.

The sound quality on this CD release is not really up to scratch. It tends to be muddy in passages of dialogue, such as during the Prologue. Also in loud parts I notice that the sound does not spread. In short, the sound is quite boxed-in, and doesn't offer an enveloping, theatrical feel. I notice the same issue with the current release of the West End cast album, because that tends to sound boxy too and not up to the sound of the recent Lloyd Webber cast album remasters. (I hope that Lord Lloyd-Webber and the Really Useful Group can take a hint and remaster the London album again to improve the sound and achieve more.) I'm not suggesting that engineers should master this disc with Loudness War techniques, but clarity in recordings can be an issue for listeners like me. Taking the case of the 2010 live UK tour recording of Les Mis that cast album had better sound quality than this. It was punchy in loud passages and there was more spread of sound.

Some people have mentioned that the finale with Brightman and the four Phantoms was cut. I won't dwell on that. Rather, it would have been good if the CD omitted Lord Lloyd-Webber's speech and cut straight to the finale, just like the CD of the Les Mis Albert Hall anniversary concert. Also, it would have been good to have had more cue points on the CD. I mention this for the other Lloyd Webber musicals too. In the case of the Phantom the Hannibal and Il Muto sequences (and also Carlotta's rendition of Think of Me) could have been presented as separate tracks.

In short, this performance of the musical is as superb as ever, only to be ruined by the CD presentation, but at least it satisfies the Phans who would like a complete official English cast album of the musical. Maybe one could consider getting the DVD or Blu-Ray releases as well to obtain an improved sound quality for this performance I'm not implying that we should avoid this disc like the plague. I'm only saying that the sound engineering and recording could have been so much better.
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on 5 December 2011
It is very nice to have the full musical complete in CD Audio. While the Original London Cast is better (the voices and musical passion of both Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford are very difficult to be surpassed), this performance is of high quality, and for a Phan like me, it is an incredible gem to have what seems the most complete version of the musical to date.

As for the potential problems in some of the tracks, well, I have heard them in both the CD-Audio and downloaded version, so, until I wait for the DVD to be received, they seem to me as some special effects. For example, in the Overture, they seem like electrical discharges from the chandelier. Not very sure, but they don't seem defects in the recording, though they are not very pleasant and, IMHO, shouldn't have been included in the audio version.

Some of the songs are slightly different from the OLC orquestration, but after two or three listenings, you finally are used to them. Sierra Boggess and Karimloo are splendid in their performance.

A must-have for any phan, and especially for anyone who likes the wonderful Andrew Lloyd Webber's music.
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on 18 May 2015
Absolutely fantastic. A great live recording from the 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall, with a super cast!

Endless applause at the last two tracks is a little annoying, but easily skipped over! The finale with 5 different phantoms is also a real treat, but be warned - Sarah Brightman's song is not on this album, you will have to watch the dvd for that.
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on 28 December 2011
Having attended the 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall, I can say that the recording definitely does the live performances justice. The cast sounds fantastic, and the orchestra very rich and full. My main criticism, however, is that the recording was not edited properly for CD. I agree with other reviewers that the length of applause should have been reduced, and I also think that some of the tracks should have been editted more carefully for CD. For example, some of the musical and spoken libretto that leads up to the main songs could have been cut(they look great on stage and are appropriate for the DVD, but not always for a CD where the listener has no idea what is going on), or at least they could have split it into more tracks instead of making songs such as 'Wandering Child,' the prelude leading into 'Don Juan triumphant' and 'Past the Point of No Return' into one massive track. That having been Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess sound as superb of as they did in the Royal Albert Hall, as do the rest of the cast and the orchestra. Highly recommended.
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on 14 November 2011
I was highly anticipating the release of this CD/DVD and I was not dissapointed one little bit. To review the CD specifically, it is just fantastic! The singing, the music, the atmosphere is just sublime! Ramin Karimloo IS the phantom, he does an amazing job and has the emotion and power in his voice that no other Phantom has. Sierra Boggess was also brilliant, as was Hadley Frasier as Raoul. The tweaks they made for the CD/DVD compared to the final performance night was good; for instance when the Phantom is attacking Christine and Raoul in the graveyard with the fireballs, sound effects have been added to make it much more dramatic, which works very well. This CD/DVD is amazing and everything a Phantom or musical fan could ever want!
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on 18 December 2011
Bought this in error - was supposed to be getting the DVD of this concert (have both now by the way!!!) Can play this cd in my car unlike the DVD. This is a good nway to celebrate the various cast members over the years.
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on 3 December 2011
Unfortunately some of the tracks on this CD seem to be damaged. I'm already on my second CD and it has exactly the same problem as the first. The Overture on CD1 seems to be damaged, it's not applause but crackling and interference which is shocking.

I don't know whether to try ordering again but twice with both CD's having the same problem?
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on 1 March 2013
I'm a big musical fan so when this came out on dvd and on cd i had to get them. Well, as ever the spectacle that is Phantom doesn't disappoint. Ramin karimloo is a stunning phantom, Sierra Bogess is elegant and beautiful as Christine and finally Hadley Fraser as the empowering Raoul. Each amazing, each make it such an amazing show to behold.
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