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on 30 September 2009
Reviews of the soundtrack to the excellent Tim Burton version of Sweeney Todd (of which I am a fan) often suggest trying this recording, so I decided to give it a listen. The smaller orchestra and more intimate recording makes for a different experience, but still a very enjoyable one. Overall there is a greater sense of deranged, menacing but blackly humourous glee here.
I have some problems with Patti LuPone's accent in places, which is more Lower East Side than East End, but her ability to convey Mrs Lovett as a character every bit as scheming, seedy and unstable as her partner in butchery is outstanding. The extended version of my favourite song "A Little Priest", and the wickedly gleeful way that the two leads play off each other is outstanding, and shows off the wit of Sondheim's lyrics perfectly.
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on 11 January 2017
Not sure if this is the full show as the original production recordings over 2 Lps. A bit. Ore music than the sweenytood film of Tim Burton though.
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on 6 March 2013
I went to see the show at the Adelphi theatre last year and was blown away. An amazing show with astounding acting.

This is one amazing recording with all of the classics from start to finish. Well worth buying!
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on 5 September 2015
Really good version dispite some of the reviews.
The singing is good and strong and the reduced orchestra works.
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on 29 June 2014
Loved this CD as I'm a huge Sondheim fan, and I love this version.
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on 29 April 2013
Great recording, Michael and Imelda are fabulous but there were some great songs missing that I thought was a shame.
Poor Thing and Pirelli's Miracle Elixir .......
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on 20 March 2008
As we all know, Sweeney Todd is a truly magnificent musical. Or should that be 'operatic play'? 'Musical' to many people has the connotations of the fluffy but vacuous. And simple popcorn entertainment this is not. Thank goodness for Stephen Sondheim who brought integrity and credibility to musical theatre, spitting in the eye of those who accuse the form of not to be taken seriously. This is a fine recording, and the actors bring a suitable vocal quality to their roles. My only problem with it is the rather dodgy accents. Pretty much all of the actors seem to be struggling with their cockney accents, many of them coming out as some sort of confused Irish, RP and American hybrid. Except for Michael Cerveris as Sweeney, who brings a rich baritone voice and suitable lashings of anger, hate and sadness to the role. Overall this is an excellent recording (superb value for 2 CDs and an in-depth booklet) which sits very nicely alongside the original Broadway recording of Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park with George".
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on 27 October 2006
Unforunately old enough to have seen the original London production twice, and have loved the Broadway cast recording ever since. Have heard other recordings and broadcasts and seen many other productions but this is the first that can compete with the original. I never saw it on stage, and was expecting some scaled down budget version, but I think it works amazingly well. It is like a chamber opera, very intense and focused, and certainly on record the orchestration and voices have an intimacy that is very compelling. Cariou and Lansbury are powerful and thrilling, Cerveris and Lupone are warm and chilling at the same time, and very human. The harmonica (?) in the throat slitting version of Joanna is a perfect counterpoint to the gruesome nature of the scene, adding a pathos to the desperation of the acts being committed. I listen to this recording all the time. On a wider note isn't it interesting that the new recordings are finding subtleties and pefrmances that hindsight can bring...try the revival cast of Follies with Donna Mckechnie etc.. superbly sung and played.
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on 28 July 2007
Sondheim does it again with this truly enthralling thriller of a musical!

A great introduction to a truly wonderful piece that has made history and makes musicals what they are today.

Sondheim does not just take the norm and recreate it, but introduces new twists and turns in music that many sane composers would not dream of getting away with!

Here we have some musical theatre greats such as Patti Lupone playing the notorious 'Nellie Lovett'. A perfect cast, a woman that you can take seriously and plays this very gritty role believably. Many have a different idea of how to play 'Mrs Lovett', (ie. Angela Lunsbury putting a rather odd `human cartoon' like quality to her. A great actress but not suited in this way to the part, but it is indeed a pleasure to see the role taken on in different ways.)

We see such talent that is the actors playing and accompanying the show with their own live instrumentation. Only a handful of shows have seen the actors play in the orchestra as well. This adds a real twist and special quality to this ever great show.

The cd is cleverly made with connective dialogue in between pieces, helping a listener who may not be familiar with the show, to follow it easily and step by step.

A great introduction to musicals at their best. Great for any performers library. Comes neatly packaged in full coloured printed box with full libretto to all the words, so if musical or just a fan of singing, you may join in with all the stars of the show! Also included in this pamphlet are pictures of crew and actors and a brief history of the show.

Defiantly recommended to any musical fan, a good piece of endless listening!
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on 28 May 2008
The show is a masterpeice of modern theatre as well as modern musical theatre and the orchestration in this version demonstrates this. Although rather different to the original but I really cannot take Cerveris seriously as an evil barber from London's Fleet Street (harsh american notes slip in a lot, why? (and no being american is not an excuse)). Also, as much as I do love LuPone's voice (I have practically every recording of theatre she has done) it does not really fit the role of Mrs. Lovett (in my opinion) where I may make the bizarre suggestion that Bonham-Carter's untrained voice was better.

Overall this is a good version, let down (in my honest opinion) by the vocals. I would suggest that you buy "Original Broadway Cast" as it is arguably the best of the three most well known versions (this, OBC and Film).
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