Sound Of Music / O.S.T. (Hk)



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    Sound Of Music / O.S.T. (Hk) Sony BMG
    1. Sound Of Music / O.S.T. (Hol) Sony Music
    2. Sound Of Music / O.S.T. (Hk) Sony BMG
    3. Sound Of Music: 50 Th Anniversary Edition / O.B.C. Masterworks / Masterworks Broadway / Sony Music Distribution
    4. Sound Of Music (Hol) BMG/RCA

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Review Text Rodgers & Hammerstein's final musical, The Sound of Music, was also a definitive work for the team in that it combined many elements common to their other shows, particularly South Pacific and The King and I: it was set in a foreign locale, it starred a female lead in charge of children, it concerned an unlikely romance between an older man and a younger woman, it had a social/political element, and it featured a stirring anthem for a soprano (in this case, "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"). The "based on a true story" plot concerned an aspiring nun who becomes a governess in pre-World War II Austria, only to marry the children's father and flee with the family from the Nazis. Mary Martin played Maria, the postulant, and brought to the part her usual warmth and humor, along with a sense of authority born of decades of Broadway stardom. She was supported by an excellent cast including Patricia Neway, the Mother Abbess who sang "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"; folksinger Theodore Bikel in the male lead; and Kurt Kaszner and Marion Marlowe as collaborationists, plus, of course, the children, who joined in on soon-to-be standards such as "Do-Re-Mi." The massive success of the 1965 film version starring Julie Andrews tends to overshadow the stage production, so it's worth noting that this album topped the Billboard chart for 16 weeks and remains superior to the movie soundtrack, which deleted several key songs and added inferior ones written by Rodgers alone after Hammerstein's death. This CD reissue has noticeably improved sound and adds two bonus tracks: a 16-and-a-half-minute suite of the score put together by original orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett that constitutes a virtual overture and a version of "Do-Re-Mi" by Mitch Miller & the Sing-Along Chorus, with the children of the cast joining in. ~ William Ruhlmann

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