What can I say? It's brilliant! A witty, tuneful, upbeat satire on warmongering, full of Gershwin songs (what better recommendation?). A vaudeville version of "All Quiet on the Western Front", maybe....
If you know the recording of the 1927 version with the same cast and conductor, released back in 1991, let me say to you as forcefully as I can: this recording is at least 200% better! The 1927 version seems woefully thin in comparison.
Also, this performing edition of the 1930 version is orchestrated almost entirely by the great Russell Warner, who I learn with great sadness died earlier this year. The performing edition of the 1927 version had been orchestrated by a hotchpotch of orchestrators, including someone I won't name who contributed a toe-curling kitsch overture. In the present recording Warner has great fun working up a new version of the famous Strike up the Band overture--an exciting, impudent piece that had me laughing almost as soon as it started.
Did I say 200%? Call it 300%.
The recording of the 1927 version was almost unlistenable in parts due to its wilful bad taste. The decision to break up the title song with two full minutes of tapdancing is a case in point. None of that here. I honestly can't think of a single flaw in the recording.
Sorry, I meant to say 400%. No, 500%. And counting....
Most of this recording was made in 1991. Why has it taken 20 years to reach the public???
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