Our Review of Recordings
You KNOW we can't have a Les Miserables page without this logo *SOMEWHERE* on the site...
It's a real pain in the neck when you know what you want, but don't know where to find it. This proves to be a very common problem when searching for a recording to buy to Les Miserables. There are *MANY MANY MANY* recordings out there, and we've got/heard several!
To make live easy for all you new fans, we've put together a review for the recordings we've heard, and what we think you'll like best. Complete with five star ratings! (one star being worst, five being the best!) Enjoy!
Words in Italics would be a description of the CD covers.
The Original London Cast Recording : (Tan cover with Cosette logo on front. It says 'The Original London Cast' right on it.) Jai's friend Candace has the two-CD-set, and according to her, it's wonderful. Colm Wilkinson (the Father of Valjeans) plays Jean Valjean. Off the top of her head, Jai can't think of the rest of the cast, but... it's certainly something you'd be interested in. Javvie is great! ***
The Original Broadway Cast Recording : (White cover with Cosette logo on front. It says 'The Original Broadway Cast' on it.) Probably the easiest to find. Like the OLC, there are two CDs to the set. Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, Terrance Mann as Javert. Also Michael Maguire as Enjolras, which is most definatly a *GOOD* thing! It's good, but not the best. Fantine... isn't *WONDERFUL*, but the rest of the cast makes up for that! ***
The Complete Symphonic Recording : (Black cover with Cosette logo in a Gold Circle. This too, says 'The Complete Symphonic Recording' on it.) Most expensive (In New Hampshire, at least), and probably the most difficult to find. (Welllll... according to Jai. She searched two Best Buys, Record Town, and many other places in the Malls) The set contains three CD's, and the third has a trial piece of software. It's kinda neat... making up for the cast.
Gary Morris as Valjean. (since Jai's writing this, she doesn't know how Ses feels about him... pardon) He's horrid. I can't stand Gary Morris! Although, Javert is *WONDERFUL*! Philip Quast is a God! As for the Rebels... wellllll... Michael Ball is a wonderful Marius, but... well, I kinda don't care much for Anthony Warlow as Enjolras. Oh, and Eponine is alright, but she's a bit difficult to understand (She's Japanese, and from what Liv told me, she didn't know English at the recording... 'cept her songs, methinks...). The Thenardiers... er... no.
The CSR is good in the fact that, yes, you do get three CD's, which is the entire play. Every song in the production is on those CD's, but... the cast needs work. I'm sorta... not thrilled by it, and almost think it was a waste. For Jai, the CSR... well... *
The Tenth Anniversary Concert Recording : (Picture of the cast during 'One Day More' on cover. Blue, white and red lights shine down making the stage look like the French flag. It says 'Les Miserables : The Musical that Swept the World' on it, and beneath that 'The Tenth Anniversary Concert Recording') WHOO HOO!!!! Ses and Jai have both heard/own this two CD set, and... this is our all-out, run-out-and-get-it, HAVE-TO-OWN recording. Accourse, Colm Wilkinson is Valjean, Philip Quast as Javert. Lea Salonga as Eponine, which is a total plus, Michael Ball as Marius, Judy Kuhn as Cosette. Ruthie Henshall as Fantine (Er, no order, of course. Disorganization, muchly). The cast is absolutly amazing!
Hee hee... the rebel students get themselves a paragraph! Michael Maguire makes one heck-of-a-wonderful Enjolras (Especially his 'Let others rise to take our place until the earth is free!' bit. WHOO!). Other greats include : Matthew Cammelle as Feuilly (Holy GOD is he gorgeous...), Darryl Knock as Joly, Peter Polycarpou as Jean Prouvaire, and... many others. Those were our faves, tho. And of course, the great and awe inspiring Anthony Crivello, as his wonderful performance of Grantaire. (Note: Ses isn't having an affair, really.)
This cast is *extremely* emotional. The first time Jai heard this one, she bawled her eyes out once 'One Day More' came around. And then 'A Little Fall of Rain', where Lea 'gasps/breathes her final breath' as Eponine. The other kicker is 'Drink With Me', when Anthony Crivello sings, 'Is your life just one more lie?'.
If you get any recording, go for the TAC. You won't regret it! *****
Highlights From Les Miserables : (Methinks it's black, with the Cosette Logo. It says 'Highlights from Les Miserables') Not a good choice. While the cast is great, you will *NEVER* hear the entire musical on just one CD. You miss many songs at the Barricades, and shorter numbers beween songs. I don't think 'Look Down' is on there, or 'Thenardier Waltz of Trechery', or even 'The Confrontation'.
The cast is the same as the Original Broadway Cast... just not as much of them to listen to! **
The Tenth Anniversary Concert Video : Right, it's not a recording, but we *HAD* to review it! Basically, it's the recording, but you actually see the concert! Whoo, creative name, isn't it?
It's kind of neat to watch the cast members sit listening to the others. Watching the members of the cast sit is half the fun! Also, it's good to put the face with the voice, if that makes sense. You actually see how Lea (Eponine) gasps and clings to Michael (Marius), and you see scenes from the musical. I.E.: the Barricade, the Runaway Cart, etc. And those first shots from Drink With Me ... WHOO! Those are the best shots in the entire demmed movie! *****
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