Richard RODGERS (1902-1972) and Oscar HAMMERSTEIN (1895-1960)
South Pacific - Original Broadway Cast recording
featuring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza
rec. Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City, 18-19 April 1949 SONY MASTERWORKS BROADWAY 88697 499192 [c.65:00?]
The Original Broadway cast recording of South Pacific had Mary Martin in sparkling form and gravely-voiced Ezio Pinza espying her "One enchanted evening…across a crowded room". It sparkled - unlike the cinema version which disappointed. The screen casting was uninspired especially the wooden Rossano Brazzi. The soundtrack album was so-so..
South Pacific was one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatest hits. It opened in New York in April 1949 and ran for 1,925 performances. The songs were marvellous: they tumbled over each other in rich profusion - all scintillating, all memorable. Many were richly romantic like "Younger than Springtime", and "This Nearly Was Mine". Others were dreamily evocative, for instance Juanita Hall, as Bloody Mary, in singing the words – "Most people live on a lonely island lost in the middle of a foggy sea. Most people long for another island where they know they would like to be…" and then evokes the dream island "Bali Ha’I" (your own special island)." Others were wickedly humorous as when Mary Martin and the nurses agreed to "weep no more – show him what the door is for …" and "I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outa My Hair" while the sailors agreed that "…nothing else is built the same, has a soft and wavy frame like the silhouette of a dame" in their song "There is Nothin’ Like A Dame".
The refurbished sound is very good, the documentation thorough with plenty of pictures and there are some bonus tracks: two songs "Loneliness of the Evening" and "My Girl Back Home" both sung by Mary Martin and a reprise of Bali Ha’i sung by Ezio Pinza and orchestrator Richard Rodney Bennett’s Symphonic Scenario for Concert Orchestra played by André Kostelanetz and the Philadelphia Orchestra "Pops".
Ian Lace
Track Listing:
1) Overture
2) Dites-moi
3) A Cockeyed Optimist
4) Twin Soliloquies
5) Some Enchanted Evening
6) Bloody Mary
7) There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame
8) Bali Ha’i
9) I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outa My Hair
10) A wonderful Guy
11) Younger than Springtime
12) Happy Talk
13) Honey Bun
14) You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught
15) This Nearly Was Mine
16) Finale: Dites-moi (reprise)
Bonus Tracks:
17) Loneliness of Evening
18) My Girl Back Home
19) Bali Ha’i
20) South Pacific - Symphonic Scenario for Concert Orchestra
André Kostelanetz and The Philadelphia Pops Orchestra