Fiddler on the Roof
Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Book by Joseph Stein
Prologue: Tradition - Tevye and the Company
Matchmaker, Matchmaker - Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava
If I Were a Rich Man - Tevye
Sabbath Prayer - Tevye, Golde and the Company
To Life - Tevye, Lazar Wolf and the Company
Miracle of Miracles - Motel
Tevye's Dream - Tevye, Golde, Grandma Tzeitel, Fruma-Sarah and the Company
Sunrise, Sunset - Tevye, Golde, Perchik, Hodel and the Company
The Wedding Dance - Instrumental
Now I Have Everything - Perchik and Hodel
Do You Love Me? - Tevye and Golde
The Rumor/I Just Heard - Yente and villagers
Far From the Home I Love - Hodel
Anatevka - The Company
Cast; Zero Mostel: Julia Migenes: Tanya Everett: Joanna Merlin: Maria Karnilova: Michael Granger: Ross Gifford: Austin Pendleton: Sue Babel: Gluck Sandor: Carol Sawyer: Bert Convy: Beatrice Arthur: Leonard Frey: Paul Lipson
rec. September 1964, Webster Hall, NYC
Orchestra; Orchestrations by Don Walker
MASTERWORKS SONY BROADWAY 88697499202 [49:54]
This famous original Broadway cast recording returns in handy book format. Its slimness is an advantage, though spine invisibility is increased by virtue of its being tricky to ensure that the spine remains tight. If you’re not careful this will slip invisibly between jewel cases and your cries of ‘oi’ will go unanswered.
The stage production is something to think about - choreography by Jerome Robbins, sets inspired by Chagall - and the music by Jerry Bock, and the lyrics of Sheldon Harnick, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, prove impossible to forget. Add to those, sets by Boris Aronson, and the casting of Zero Mostel and you can hardly go wrong.
That said there’s a great deal to be said of the famous Topol recording. I’d go for both. With Mostel there’s more demotic Americanism, with Topol more obvious Eastern European shtick. And then, too, it tends to get forgotten that the original cast enjoyed turns from the magnificent Bea Arthur and from Julia Migenes. The Golde isMaria Karnilova. Most of the songs have in some way engraved themselves into the annals of show music history. With a good book and taut choreography the show is a natural winner. There are very few poor numbers. I’d single out only Now I Have Everything, and then not because it’s a poor song in itself, but because it’s a generic and theatrically unconvincing number in this specific context.
The LP was first released in 1964. You can find the jewel case packaging on RD87060 though it’s doubtless also available on other transfers and as downloads.
You can hardly go wrong.