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21. Plays Ennio Morricone
$4.98 $2.71
22. 25 Classical Favorites
$13.49 $11.75 list($18.98)
23. Hairspray (2002 Original Broadway
$13.99 $9.27 list($17.98)
24. Time to Say Goodbye
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25. Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers
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26. Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies
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27. House of Flying Daggers
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28. Master and Commander: The Far
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29. Halo 2
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30. Let Yourself Go with Rob Fisher
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31. The Frogs (2004 Broadway Cast)
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32. Pirates of the Caribbean: The
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33. Mary Poppins
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34. Chicago (The Miramax Motion Picture
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35. Assassins (2004 Broadway Revival
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36. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom
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37. Obrigado Brazil
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38. Baby Mozart
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39. Rent (1996 Original Broadway Cast)
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40. The 5 Browns

21. Plays Ennio Morricone
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0002YCVXI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 269
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Amazon.com

Ennio Morricone is well-known to moviegoers. His soundtracks for The Mission, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America, Cinema Paradiso, and others are invariably warmly melodic and superbly suited to the films they grace. They not only add atmosphere; they help tell the story. For this CD Morricone has created new orchestrations for many of his scores, adding a solo cello part for the indefatigable Yo-Yo Ma, whose musical curiosity seems to be endless. Outside the films, these pieces tend to be lovely melodies, mostly pretty sentimental stuff, and, in the best way, gorgeous aural wallpaper. The most moving are the two selections from The Mission, but fans of Morricone's music will find plenty to enjoy here. Ma's playing, as always, is exquisite---warm, deeply felt (given the circumstances), and entirely idiomatic within the context. Perhaps not quite for the classical music lover, but an affectionate reworking of music by an important film composer. --Robert Levine ... Read more


22. 25 Classical Favorites
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Asin: B0000058HT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 725
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good quality music
I had purchased an abundance of the "Favorites" collection, and some were better than others.

***This one stood out from many of them.***

Only flaw:
I was kind of perturbed when some same tracks on this CD were on another CD, and visa versa.

Excellent price for this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the classics - timeless
The Cd is "Classical" favorites so the emphasis is not so much on emotions but rather on instrumentation and orchestration. These are all very exceptional and I guarantee satisfaction. Anyways, I am not a classical listener as far as radio stations go but my musical tastes vary dramatically. I found this album to be a phenomenal bang for the buck as I can, on occasion, listen to the classics of which I have heard and thoroughly enjoy listening to. This album has it all.......Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, Bach, Pagony, Tchaikovsky, etc.

I really like listening to this CD........

Musical tastes vary dramatically which, if you think about it, is kind of ironic given that a CD is anywhere from 60-90 minutes and a book may take 3-5 hours to read but, for some reason, people tend to be socially grouped more by music than books. Just something to think about.

5-0 out of 5 stars fabulous collection
Mozart, Brahms, Chopin . . . need I say more? This offers a great introduction to anyone who has not yet given classical music a try. And, if you absolutely love classical pieces, then you won't regret purchasing a cd that includes varying composers and well-known pieces.

5-0 out of 5 stars 25 Famous Classics
The 25 selections are all well performed and are popular classical compositions. Mozart's music, Tchaikovsky ballet music, including the beautiful finale to Sleeping Beauty "the Panorama" scene. The music of J.S. Bach, his 1st violin concerto and Rachmaninoff's piano classic Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini. These are a great collection of music for a beginner or a fan of classical music. I recommend it highly. I am a fan of Mozart, Grieg, Mendelsshon, Wagner and Tchaikovsky. Grieg and Wagner are not to be found here. That would usually be under the Romantic Era composers. There are many cd's under that category. The Cd is "Classical" favorites so the emphasis is not so much on emotions. The emphasis is on instrumentation and orchestration. These are all very exceptional and I garauntee satisfaction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Priceless masterpieces for an affordable price.
If this record costed ten times more it would have still a small price.

The selection is excellent. In my opinion, the record has some of the most remarkable works of art ever created.

Some of my preferred are Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Symphony in D, Tchaikovsky's Russian Dance, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and Violin Concerto No. 1 and Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.

It was a pleasant surprise to see a so good record costing so little. ... Read more


23. Hairspray (2002 Original Broadway Cast)
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Asin: B00006AALQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 476
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The cast recording for the Broadway musical of John Waters's 1988 paean to dance, music, big beautiful women, and integration is a sheer delight. It's wonderfully upbeat all the way through, with a classic feel that's in keeping with the story's setting in the early 1960s. The characters come alive in these songs, from Marissa JaretWinokur's (Tracy Turnblad) opening lines in "Good Morning Baltimore"to the stunningly upbeat finale, "You Can't Stop the Beat." The music is byMarc Shaiman,whose recent projects include South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut,as well as a number of film soundtracks, and his compositions aresimultaneously solid and exuberant. Shaiman and Scott Wittman's lyrics brim over with the unreserved passions and primary-color emotions that made the film so successful. Regardless of one's familiarity with the story or the stage production, it's hard to avoid the appeal of this recording; even the less cheerful songs are awash in bright colors, without disrespect for their subjects. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (146)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful show!
What a fabulous show! I saw Hairspray in previews in NYC three days before it officially opened, and I must say that it was sheer joy put to the stage. The music is catchy, smart and wonderful, the acting is superb and hysterical, and the overall production is virtually flawless. The CD captures the heart of the show and the almost frantic energy of the cast. Perfectly cast, the entire ensemble gives it their best. Each song has its own personality, every character comes to life, it is musical comedy at its best. Harvey Fierstien as Edna Turnblad brings a smile to your face the minute you hear him sing, Tracy has a voice that can pierce through anything, and her spunky energy shines, and the rest of the cast sings brilliantly. The audience was electric when I saw the show, everyone was anticipating a ton of fun, and the show came through. I highly recommend this CD cast recording to everyone who loves musical comedies...NYC/Broadway can be proud of all of the high quality shows there right now, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Producers, and The Full Monty. Thank you to all of the folks bringing these great shows to life!

4-0 out of 5 stars the crowning-jewel of the current Broadway season
HAIRSPRAY is, in my opinion, the crowning-jewel of the current Broadway season. It's the perfect musical version of the John Waters film.

Marissa Jaret Winokur is the perfect Tracy Turnblad. Her infectious voice colors "Good Morning Baltimore", "Without Love", "The Big Dollhouse" and "Welcome to the 60's" with gusto and old-school showmanship.

Harvey Fierstein is perfection as Edna, and eats up his role with relish. His duet with Dick Latessa (as husband Wilbur), "Timeless to Me", is a real high-point of the score.

Rounding out the cast are Kerry Butler (a former Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) as Penny Pingleton, Laura Bell Bundy as Amber von Tussle, Linda Hart as Velma von Tussle, Clarke Thorell as Corny Collins, Matthew Morrison as Link, Mary Bond Davis as Motormouth Mabel and Corey Reynolds as Seaweed.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fit indeed for Fantasia Squeaky Idol Barrino
The squeaky voices in this overrated show are so annoying that one just has to cover his or her ears. While fun when you're WATCHING the show, the "musical" is just bland to listen to on CD. It's worse when you realize the show has no substance either.

So you've got a winner that doesn't have anything good in it. Reminds me very much of no-talent Squeaky Idol Fantasia Barrino.

3-0 out of 5 stars Overrated!
I like Marissa very much and had fun watching this. Compared with the major productions that graced Broadway last season, however, this pales substance-wise and form-wise. You can't even call the "singing" in this musical real singing. It's all squeaking, like, as some people have pointed out, what newly-crowned WB Supestar & Queen of Ghoul Fantasia Barrino does in all her numbers on American Idol.

Enjoyable to see, but not fun to listen to (unless you've seen the musical), and definitely not deserving of any of the awards it received.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hairspray Is Fun The Whole Way Through
The absolute joy of Hairspray the Broadway show is available for keeps in the form of this wonderful CD! The hilarious and adorable songs make for a great time wherever you are. These are no Sondheim songs; they're not deep and don't have much relevance outside of the 60's and Baltimore. But none of this matters if you take the recording for what it is: an fun and energetic listening experience. The original cast's substantial vocal talent jumps out in tracks like "Run and Tell That," "You Can't Stop the Beat" and "Without Love." While Marisa Jaret Winokur's voice is a little whiny, it does nothing to ruin the classic fun of the album. The supporting cast is flawless; they lend the phenomenal energy of the show to the CD for a great time! ... Read more


24. Time to Say Goodbye
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B000002SMW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 651
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Fans of small, pretty-voiced soprano Sarah Brightman will not be disappointed by this CD. In addition to some pop songs, Brightman sings high-flying excerpts from Orff's Carmina Burana, Puccini's "O mio babbino caro" (performed better by almost any other operatic soprano elsewhere), and "Alleluia" from Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate. One might call this a crossover disc; others might just see it as a recording featuring a pop singer with artsy aspirations. Whatever it is, Brightman's fans love her; others do not. Two duets with tenor Jose Cura remind the listener what opera singing really ought to sound like. --Robert Levine ... Read more

Reviews (207)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Pleasure for Not Particularly a Brightman Fan
I'd rather listen to Sarah Brightman than watch her. Her voice is lovely, but very small. Her technique, I think, is miniscule. She does not belong in operatic repertoire. All that criticism out of the way, I'll say this is a most delightful album! (Surprise!).

I'm weary of hearing Bocelli, who I find sometimes pleasant at best, but essentially boring, so forget the first number. "There's No One Like You" is gorgeous. The two duets with young Jose Cura are sensational, although that's because of Cura, who has a stunning voice and with his singing and acting skills and appearance/personality ought to be a much bigger star than Bocelli. Any of you who haven't: listen to him, watch him when you can. This is THE big tenor star on the rise.

The "Aranjuez" number by Brightman is ever so appealing, as is "In Trutino". Yes, her voice is too small for the "La Wally" aria, but it's pretty nonetheless, as, of course, is "O mio babbino caro." All in all, this CD is somehow just an enjoyable listen. I even like her read on the Gypsy Kings number.

5-0 out of 5 stars Songbird Soothes Our Tensions
This album is particularly relaxing. I love to kick back with a glass of wine in a comfortable chair with my eyes closed and just listen.

Sarah's voice is complemented by Andrea Bocelli on the title track and Jose Cura on several others. The material runs from classical to pop, all with an operatic flavor. This is a great album to ease into opera or classical appreciation with. It is not true opera, but emulates some of the vocal and orchestral stylings associated with classical opera. Classical "purists" should look elswhere.

Sarah puts on a strong performance, exhibiting a multitude of qualities with her voice, ranging from strength to wispy warblings and everything in between. She even speaks between the final two tracks, recorded live. Her speaking voice is a surprise! If you enjoy relaxing music in a classical style, you will enjoy this CD. I would put this in her top three recordings, alongside "Eden" and "La Luna."

5-0 out of 5 stars Whoever said that Miss Brightman has a thin voice is crazy!
I must say that this is one of my most listend to Sarah cds. I wish that some people would just get over the fact that she has a small voice sometimes, and just listen to the music. For heaven sakes, she is famous and it making more money than i ever will, she can sing bad all she wants!! who are we to say anything different??
Go to one of her concerts. It is the most amazing thing. If you close your eyes, you will literally think that you are in heaven!! Because, obviously, she is the "Angel of Music"!!!
I think that Miss Brightman deserves 2 thumbs up!! BRAVO!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Time to Say Goodbye
Miss Brightman sing like a little angel and the song become very nice and heartfelt. She is a tremendous vocalist that put many singers to shame with her sheer tallent and poise. Ok, so it is not high art or culture but it is fun album with great songs. Highly Recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars If you've never heard anything better, this sounds good
I liked this CD for a little while when I didn't know of any singers that could sing better than her. She sounds okay on songs that are written for her because they make her voice sound less breathy and thin. Her voice is "sweet" but very thin. I have heard singers who have pretty voices that aren't so dramatic and full of vibrato as some of the other reviewers complain of opera singers.
Rebecca Luker
Dawn Upshaw (And she's a true opera singer)
Hayley Westenra

And if you think this is real classical singing or even anywhere close to classical singing listen to any decent Soprano over 16 who is classically trained and you will be amazed and how much better they are than her. ... Read more


25. Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0000641CG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2552
Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This disc introduces Yo-Yo Ma's latest and most ambitious adventure, the Silk Road Project. It explores the cultures that flourished along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route that for centuries connected Europe and the East. Founded by Ma in 1998, the project aims to create connections, mutual trust, and cultural interchange between people from different parts of the world through their only shared language: music.

This recording includes music from Mongolia, China, Persia, Japan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and an improvisation on an Italian Renaissance street song, performed by musicians from all those countries, as well as America, on both Eastern and Western instruments. Ma, who participates in every piece either as soloist or part of the ensemble, plays cello and a Mongolian "horse-head fiddle." There is also a Mongolian soprano, who sings a traditional song native to her region. For the uninitiated Western listener, the music requires some getting used to. Much of it is based on rhythmic ostinatos. The melodies use Oriental scales; the intonation is untempered; the music seems all color, texture, and atmosphere, without what might be called themes; and repetition takes the place of development. Contrast is achieved through sudden change, buildup by adding instruments. However, the music is often beautiful, delicate, dreamy, or peaceful; every listener will find his or her own favorite pieces. The playing is splendid, with much inventive improvisation. Inevitably, Ma's tone and personality stand out, but he never dominates in fact or spirit. The booklet offers essays by Ma and the project's musicologist, Theodore Levin, photographs of the players, and drawings of the Eastern instruments. --Edith Eisler ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars It is Pure Silk
Silk Road Journeys "When Strangers meet" Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble

This has to be one of Yo-Yo Ma's finest CD's. With the cello there is such a magnificent blend of instruments that one feels right on the Silk Road. I found that the "silky" feeling is particularly strong on Track 5: Zhao Jiping: Moon over Guan Mountains through Tracks 6 and 7: Michio Mamiya: Five Finnish Folksongs and then Track 8 Avaz-e Dashti (Pesian Traditional)
but then continues in a different feel of different kinds of silk. Although it is an auditory feeling there is very much a kinesthetic feeling in this CD.

Besides traditional orchestral instruments, there is a fascinating array of musical instruments with their own kind of onomatopoeic names other than flutes, lutes, organs, drums, and fiddles. The printed insert is a superb piece of poetic writing to guide one on the origins of this Ensemble. It is certainly a masterpiece of music to listen to on one's own in particular. It is a kind of meditation and one where one can relate to immediately for peace of mind and spirit. The ensemble was formed on trust, according to Yo-Yo Ma. So "trust" me this is splendid! I look forward to more of this type of music.
Genie Albrecht
Windhoek Namibia.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and fascinating mix of East & West / new & Trad.
If your exposure to Yo Yo Ma is primarily through his classical performances on cello, Silk Road Journeys is likely to be a shock. However, if you have heard and enjoyed the beautiful soundtrack to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, SRJ will be a treat. This is not pure traditional folk music, but rather contemporary music inspired by the traditions of the cultures who inhabit what was known as the Silk Road, from China to Europe. I am amazed that such a mix of styles fits together so well. This collaboration of musicians from different traditions reminds me of the West-meets-East recordings of Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar. Even if SRJ does not have the cultural impact of Menuhin and Shankar, I admire the creativity and boldness of this project. Fortunately it is also very listenable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is an amazing piece of work. I had the opportunity to see Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensamble in concert and sat in the front row, orchastra center where I could see the preformers and their instruments. The music is marvelous - a true east meets west experience. For anyone wishing to experiment with the tastes of other cultures - give this cd a try.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nice try, but it doesn't turn out right
Maybe YoYo Ma wants to promote Asian music, maybe he wants to create some fusion style, maybe he wants to inject western interpretation into the mysterious thousands of years old culture. He tried it, and tried it hard. But, even with all the good intention the CD doesn't turn out right. Firstly, the instruments are so distinctive, they belong to their own stages, I cannot imagine what kind of harmony it could bring if you put cello, pabla, PIPA or cidar together, or Magonia folk songs and Turkish spiritual music? Secondly, call me conservative, I would like to perserve Asian music's own style as much as I would like to western classical. Granting a western music formula doesn't go along with its melody. Lastly, these music don't mix with each other. I have visited the silk road in Western China and also had a great journey in India. The art and the music are just fascinating, but very different, even though both cultures share lots of common.

Listening to this CD is like drinking British style Chinese tea, you can still taste some original tea flavor, but milk and sugar are added.

But I applaud to Mr Ma's reaching out of introducing Asian music to the rest of the world. The forgotten corner has been discovered.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite
One of the most exquisite, haunting, creative and sumptuous works of musical art to be produced in my lifetime. I cannot play this CD as 'background' music; it captures 100 percent of my heart and mind each time I play it. It is breathtaking and disturbing and almost heartbreakingly beautiful.

It is especially touching at this moment in time, when so much of our daily consciousness is caught up in the conflicts between cultures. This weaving together of musicians and instruments from different 'worlds' is healing for my soul at a level almost too deep to express. It portrays to me with delicate artistry what it means to be an individual member of a worldwide, ancient and variegated human race. ... Read more


26. Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies
list price: $12.98
our price: $11.99
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Asin: B000060OLA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 810
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Inspired and wildly imaginative, Beethoven's Wig is one of the best introductions to classical music you could give to your children. Featuring snippets of 11 classical music staples--Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, et al.--the disc and its creators, Richard Perlmutter and friends, pour on the silly lyrics the first time around to familiarize young ears to the old masters. Then in the last half of the record, the orchestra plays the same "serious" music pieces instrumentally. You might cheerfully recall Alan Sherman's popular spoofs of old classical works in Wig; pieces like "Drip, Drip, Drip," which adapts Delibes's "Pizzicato from Sylvia," and if so, you'll again chuckle. You'll also marvel at the expertise throughout the CD, with all the pieces well played and thoroughly fun. Beethoven's Wig is an orchestral treasure with a sense of humor as old or as new as its listeners (and the fun questions that run throughout the CD's liner notes are almost as entertaining as the zany musical interludes). Highly recommended. --Martin Keller ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A gift to children: lovable classics
A couple of weeks ago, shortly after I tuned in the Today Show, I left the room for a minute and returned to find my 5-year old looking up from his play, mesmerized, at the TV. Richard Perlmutter was performing a selection from his new CD, "Beethoven's Wig." I'd never heard anything quite like it (Mozart with children's lyrics!) and found myself as drawn in as my son. But it wasn't until hours later, when I actually heard my son humming the melody from the beginning of "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," that I realized what had transpired: my kid was singing classical music. We bought the CD, and have now listened twice together all the way through, from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Haydn and Offenbach and beyond. It's really delightful, from the first track to the last. And because Perlmutter had the good sense to also include the original versions of these classics without the lyrics, performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, now my son likes to sing the lyrics himself sometimes along with the orchestra version so that he's the only voice (classical karaoke, kid-style!). He'll outgrow that someday, no doubt, but he'll always have these incredible melodies forever -- thanks to "Beethoven's Wig" and Perlmutter's fertile imagination. We highly recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great lyrics, mediocre lead singer
I cheerfully admit to being more ignorant about classical music than I want to be, so I bought this CD as much for my own edification as for my 4 year-old son's. I thought that the concept of using humor to introduce classical music would really work for my son, as he is constantly singing his favorite songs (over and over and over....).

The lyrics are really very funny ("I can Can Can if you Can Can/Can you Can Can?"-- Offenbach's "Can Can"), and sometimes even educational (I might actually memorize the kings and queens of England set to Purcell's "Trumpet Tune"). Unfortunately, Perlmutter's voice isn't particularly melodic, so the CD isn't as enjoyable as I had hoped. So far, we've gotten more use out of the liner notes than the actual CD: I've been reading/sorta singing the lyrics to my son.

I don't regret this purchase, but I am a bit disappointed...I would actually give this three and a half stars if possible. Just listen to all the audio samples (like I should have) to see if Perlmutter's voice gets on your nerves or not.

1-0 out of 5 stars Irritating
Humor is subjective. I liked the idea of this cd but when I bought it, I found the lyrics annoying and not really funny. Obviously a lot of other people like but I found it frustrating to have wasted the money. My kids prefer it when I put on regular classical music. They (3 and 4) like listening for all the different instruments. The lyrics seemed more distracting than funny (older kids probably "get" the lyrics in a way preschoolers don't).

5-0 out of 5 stars Can I only give it 5 stars?
Warning - do not listen to this for the first time while driving. There is a very serious risk of wrecking your car because you are laughing so hard. This CD is wonderful. It the most creative music I've heard since Tom Lehrer. We have both CD's and listen to them constantly. My kids, 7 and 5, get most of the humor and love every hilarious, wonderful song. Thank you, Richard Perlmutter!!

5-0 out of 5 stars My 2.5 year old loves it!
My daughter loves this CD. She is 2 1/2 and loves the songs and the silly words. We refer to each song by it's correct symphony name, and we often listen to the versions without the words, so she is becoming familiar with the music and the names. I'm ordering the 2nd one! ... Read more


27. House of Flying Daggers
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0006HC0R8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 485
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Amazon.com

The films of director Zhang Yimou have a panoramic sweep to them that deftly creates a fantastical vision of ancient Chinese culture for the screen. Yimou's eye for color and sense of drama demands a score that conveys the emotion, tradition and action of his movies. Here Shigeru Umebayashi tells each part of the story with a mix of traditional flute, drums, string instruments and, to a lesser degree, orchestra and moody-sounding synthesizers. The lilting melody of "Lovers" is particularly effective, simmering with a passion that leaves no doubt about the tone of the scene; it comes back to dramatic effect at other times in the film as well--the soundtrack closes with a soaring version of it by soprano Kathleen Battle. Similar to but not as heavy as Tan Dun's occasionally overbearing work on Yimou’s film Hero, Umebayashi leans toward the subtle for this love story, and the film is better for it. – Tad Hendrickson ... Read more


28. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Music from the Motion Picture)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0000DG07D
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 311
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Should've won an Oscar.
The use of classical music in the "Master" soundtrack is inspired.

Yo-Yo Ma's playing of the first of J.S Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suites seems perfect for the scenes on the Galapagos Islands. The snippets of Mozart's Violin Concerto # 3 and Boccherini's sublime "Musica Notturna" are well chosen as the music played by the captain and the doctor.

Those eager to hear more by Baroque composer Luigi Boccherini, whose swoon-worthy piece, "Passacalle," closes the movie, will find what seems to be the original recording of it on the CD "Respighi: Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma," by the Berlin Philharmonic, directed by Herbert Von Karajan. The last five tracks are Boccherini's "La Musica Notturna Delle Strade di Madrid" op.30 No.6, including "Passacalle." That's the danceable, contemporary-sounding number at the end of the movie, the one in which Paul Bettany and Russell Crowe pick up their instruments and strum them like guitars, and Bettany (or his counterpart in the Berlin Philharmonic)launches into a passage high on the top string.

For those who wish to hear more of Mozart's violin concertos, several great recordings are available, one by Arthur Grumiaux with the London Symphony Orchestra. Listen to the third movement for the passage used so effectively in one of the captain-doctor jam sessions.

5-0 out of 5 stars "ALL ART ASPIRES TO THE CONDITION OF MUSIC"
-
This sound track CD is excellent. I have been listening to it a lot since I received it from Amazon. Please see my review of the DVD movie, which contains more comments about the music on this CD.
Here are some excerpts from my DVD review:
...The overall musical presentations of this film are very impressive, and the CD of the musical score is far from a disappointment. The skillfully repetitious use of percussion instruments throughout the film successfully recreates the sound of a thumping on the ship's hull: a sound that chills the heart of every sailor and alerts him to danger. The blood, the bravery, the glories of battle, as well as the continued yearning to acquire knowledge and explore the unknown, are punctuated by the music of Mozart, Corelli, Bach, and Boccherini, each of whom is the product of a refined, highly developed European culture, represented here by one French and one British warship on the untamed, empty sea...

...The original score's musical reverberations suggest a beating against the hull, rather than the sound of cannons shooting-there is no sharp "crack" as might be expected with the sound of gunfire. This simplicity of deep aboriginal-like drumming is a counterpoint to the sweet complexity of the classical compositions punctuating the story...If, indeed, all art aspires to the condition of music, then the miraculous melodies in this film represents the culmination of two thousand, and more, years of unequaled European cultural achievements. Listen to it! Experience it!

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful music stands alone
I have been listening to this CD regularly since January and have yet to be bored with it. It has a wonderful variety of the powerful, serious and playful. And it gives more complete versions of the music in the film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
I really enjoy all the pieces on this CD. When the music is not being played in the movie it still sounds good. The Mozart piece is the best.

2-0 out of 5 stars Ok but not at all great
When I watched the movie I don't even recall remembering much of the music. Maybe I wasn't paying attention or maybe it wasn't so good that my ears even wanted to pick it up. When I watched the movie a second time I payed more attetion to the score and the result was. The score wasn't all that good. An OK but nothing more. ... Read more


29. Halo 2
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00067RF6E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 131
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30. Let Yourself Go with Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000059T4T
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1975
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Kristin Chenoweth won a Tony for the supporting role of Sally Brown in the 1999 revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, made a memorably vampy Lily in the 1999 television film of Annie, and had an NBC sitcom created for her, Kristin! Now she grabs the spotlight in Let Yourself Go, her first solo recording. She mixes torchy standards ("My Funny Valentine," "How Long Has This Been Going On?") with Faith Prince-style sauciness ("If"), gets to show off her operatic and scat chops in the miniplay "The Girl in 14G," and shares a light duet with Jason Alexander (reviving his musical theater career post-Seinfeld). Perhaps her "Stranger Here Myself" isn't the weightiest you've ever heard, but this is an enjoyable album with a good deal of old-fashioned class, expertly accompanied by Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this CD so much I have two copies
I adore Kristin Chenoweth. I didn't quite know who she was until her short-lived NBC sitcom. It is because of that show that I purchased this CD. I listen to it a portion of it at least once a day.

Kristin has such an amazing voice and she really shines on this album. When I first listened to the CD, I enjoyed the faster songs more than the slow ones. Then I liked the slow ones more. Now I just love it all.

"Let Yourself Go" is a fabulous song to wake yourself up and get moving. It has the pep and spirit that shines so well in Kristin's personality.

"If You Hadn't But You Did", at times my favorite song, starts out slow but gains speed quickly. In this song, you can hear Kristin's ability to get into a character using only her voice.

"How Long Has This Been Going On" and "My Funny Valentine" really show off Kristin's voice and her ability to hit those high notes and hold them.

"Hangin' Around With You", a duet with Seinfeld's Jason Alexander, is a pleasant surprise. It's fun to listen to Kristin and Jason argue, they both have fabulous comedic timing.

"The Girl In 14G" is amazing. Here, Kristin showcases the range of her voice and shows off her opera training.

In "I'll Tell the Man in the Street", "I'm A Stranger Here Myself", and "Nobody Else But Me", Kristin captures her characters so well.

"Nobody's Heart Belongs To Me/ Why Can't I?" at first seemed like a slow boring song to me, but I found myself loving it. This song just packs so much emotion and can sometimes bring a tear to my eye. I could listen to it all day long.

"Should I Be Sweet?" is hilarious. Kristin switches her mood back and forth so easily.

"Just An Ordinary Guy", "Goin' To the Dance With You", "On A Turquiose Cloud", and "You'll Never Know" continue the flow of the album, bouncing from sweet and slow to peppy to a song merely showcasing Kristin's abilities to a beautiful love song.

"Daddy" is a great song to end the CD with. It is so much fun to listen and sing along with. Kristin sings it so well, and I always find myself listening to it twice.

Overall, this CD is fabulous. In the booklet in the CD, Kristin tells John Lahr of the New Yorker, "The one thing I don't want to do is sing a song because it's pretty. I want to tell a story. I want people to be transformed in the song." With her first solo CD, Kristin achieves this goal and so much more.

I can not reccomend it enthusiastically enough. Buy this CD! :)

3-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Voice, Mixed Bag of Standards Chosen
Being a huge fan of Kristin Chenoweth since seeing her perform on the Tony Awards as "Sally" in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown and on Rosie O'Donnell's Christmas Special, I was very excited to go out and purchase her debut album. While her voice is elegant, humourous at times, emotional, and basically just all around, great.....the songs she chose do not showcase her talent fairly. With the exception of Let Yourself Go, If You Hadn't But You Did, My Funny Valentine, Hangin' Around With You (With Jason Alexander), and The Girl in 14G, the rest of the songs are just filler. I hope the next time around, her producers select a complete track listing of songs that really show what a national treasure KRISTIN is! I look forward to her sitcom this next week! Keep up the great work Ms. Chenoweth!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD!
Kristin Chenoweth, as Idina Menzel said in her speech at the 2004 Tonys, is the "grace and light upon that stage every night." And her debut CD "Let yourself go" certainly shows how talented and charismatic Kristin is. This CD utilizes Kristin's amazing versatility and range. She can go from singing ballads such as "My funny Valentine" to upbeat numbers ("Let yourself Go") to "The Girl in 14-G" that has her singing opera and jazz in one number. If you are a fan of show tunes or just good music, you should buy this CD! Kristin is a rare gem in musical theatre today but her talent doesn't stop there. She is also a classically trained opera singer and has proven herself able to sing jazz, country, and gospel as well. On top of that, she is a kind woman who doesn't take anything for granted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let Yourself Go into many different types of singing
Kristin Chenoweth has the perfect combo of comedy and ballads...I love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Kristin Chenoweth is perfect once again!!
What can I say? The amazing Kristin Chenoweth has done it again. This CD showcases her voice beautifully; she has quite a range. A really good thing about this CD is that all of the songs are not exactly the same, so Kristin has a chance to show off her comedic singing ("If", among others), as well as her more serious material ("Why Can't I?", etc.), both of which she does extremely well. This should be a must-buy for any Chenoweth, music, or musical theatre fan anywhere! Kristin Chenoweth never ceases to amaze me, and I'm sure you will feel the same way after you listen to this fabulous CD. ... Read more


31. The Frogs (2004 Broadway Cast)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0006SSMWY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1394
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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For a long time, Stephen Sondheim's 1974 compact offering The Frogs was known for two things. It was originally staged in Yale's swimming pool with a chorus that included Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Street; and its song "Invocation and Instructions to the Audience" has become a perennial in Sondheim tributes and cabaret shows. The show was given a belated studio recording in 2001 with Nathan Lane in the lead role of Dionysus. Lane then went back for more--literally, since he adapted and expanded Burt Shevelove's book--and Sondheim wrote several new songs. Finally, The Frogs was a full-length musical, staged in 2004. New tracks "I Love to Travel" and "Ariadne" are on par with Sondheim's best--the first a bouncy song, the latter a wrenching love song that could become a new recital favorite. While this recording is more enjoyable than the actual show, which could be a bit of a slog, it's hard to shake the feeling that maybe The Frogs should have remained a curio. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Looking for a metamorphosis
I listened to this album twice while driving in the Nevada wilderness. Nathan Lane is always a charming person to spend some time with, even if he's just a voice coming out of my CD player. The problems the critics identified in the Lincoln Center production are vaguely apparent on the recording: With the exception of "Shaw" and "Ariadne," the songs sound like Sondheim using half his considerable brain -- the songs are clever, but they're not tied to the passions or thoughts of complex characters. The final song really is a letdown -- it's a call to action, but to do what? And the humor presented in the dialogue is pretty routine. Still, you should by this if you're either a Sondheim or a Broadway score completist, and there are several minor rewards.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love it
Up front admission:I love Stephen Sondheim perhaps above all other muscians in the world (runners up include Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays, YellowJackets, Keith Jarret).That said, I am completely delighted with Frogs.It has, in full quality, both things I always love about all Sondheim's work:the rich musical composition, and the perfect rhyming and delicious wit of the lyrics.I would mention that the wit, in this case, is even greater than his past works, though I would fear you might think that is why I love it so much, and that would be wrong.It's not the wit, it's the music.But the wit is great in this one. You can tell the actors love it too, and they are all in prime form in this recording.My advice:get it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim has done it again: "The Frogs" hits the mark
I suppose it depends on how you feel about Sondheim in general, but I think that this recording- while far from his masterwork- does showcase the Sondheim tunes that made him famous.Certain songs are forgettable- "Shaw" I could do without- while others really are well done."Ariadne" is utterly gorgeous, wrenching, and altogether perfect.The title song is really incredible, and at one point a five-part counterpoint is done with different famous songs pieced together.It is at the same time jaunty and eerie, not an easy mix to acheive."Dress Big" is an example of what Sondheim has been criticized of in the past- tying together rhyming lyrics without a real melodical pattern."I Love To Travel" is, however, a good example of Sondheim at his best.It's fun, fast-paced and catchy, with the lyrical style that made him famous.Other songs, like "Fear No More" are surprising, but in the best possible way, beautiful ballads that catch the listener off guard.It is easy to see where the new songs were written and which ones were preserved from the version he did at Yale, so certain songs, no matter how good, seem out of place.Over all, the music is very good, but it's the kind of cast recording where you have to skip tracks.

As for the performers, I really must say this was well cast. Nathan Lane does a great job of being a robust and energetic Dionysos, and even proves his vocal versatility in "Ariadne", although it would be nice to hear that particular song recorded by somebody else with a less distinct tone.Because Lane's voice is so easily recognized it is very hard to get past on songs like that.(I never saw the show on stage, by the way.I am just saying what I understand from listening to the CD.)In addition, I was disappointed that Roger Bart didn't have a larger singing role.He's a fabulous performer, immensely talented in both his singing and acting, and he did the best he could with the little solos he had.Lane and Bart were actually the two biggest reasons I bought this CD, being a huge fan of The Producers.I don't feel they let me down.The other actors do a good job, most notably Michael Siberry as William Shakespeare.His "Fear No More" is soft and despairing, a true delight.Peter Bartlett was just so perfect for the role of Pluto, and he's very fun to listen to.It is hard to gauge Daniel Davis' performance from listening to the recording, but I saw him recently in La Cage Aux Folles, so if his performance in The Frogs was anything near as good as he was in that, he must have been amazing.

Over all, a very good recording.Poignant at parts and redundant at others, it has higher amitions than it can live up to- perhaps if it hadn't taken itself so seriously, it would have really been superb.A worthwhile recording to listen to, I recommend this for any Sondheim fans or general musical theatre enthusiasts looking for a good time.It hits the mark, even if at times it fails to remember "It's only a play".

4-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim Aficianados, Jump to It!
Being a Sondheim fan is a chronic exercise in exhiliration and frustration, and the newly refurbished score of "The Frogs" provides no exception to the rule.Stretched to 2 1/2 hours on the stage of the Vivien Beaumont, last summer's lumpen production exposed a slight effort collapsing under the weight of its own ambitions.What is preserved here, for better and worse, is also the best of what was offered.It's a mixed bag, for sure, with a handful of floppo numbers surrounded by beautiful examples of Sondheim at his best.The famous opening "Instructions to the Audience" is cute rather than funny, and that's no compliment.In addition, Sondheim continues his 20-year tradition of composing over-rhymed patter songs with the lyrics laid across note clusters in rhythmic cadences."Dress Big" and "Hades" are the culprits here.In these songs, the words run away with themselves in true "Gilbert and Sullivan" fashion and you get riffs instead of melodies.Worse, they both sound VERRRY familiar.And "It's only a Play" is downright irritating, with Nathan Lane's broad liberal polemics juxtaposed with another annoying Sondheim jab at "critics" (didn't he exorcise this demon twenty years ago with "Merrily..." and "Sunday in the Park"?).Still, there's a lot of good stuff here.The jaunty "I Love to Travel" has a delightful swing to it and is very "atypical" Sondheim.The gourgeous "Ariadne" is equal to any of his classic ballads, once again proving that this talented composer is a true melodic master, and the moving "Fear No More" strikes just the right note of melancholy mixed with longing.The march-like title song, so over the top on stage, here preserves its ominous, foreboding tension and frames the score with chilling intensity.The cast is a bit of a mixed bag, though mostly they do just fine.Nathan Lane is, as usual, Nathan Lane.However, his comic timing remains exquisite and his singing voice is rather better than some would have it.Peter Bartlett brings zest to his every word and Michael Siberry, in particular, shines in his showcase "Fear No More".No, this isn't a masterpiece.However, there's enough here to more than satisfy any musical theater fan.Of course, Sondheim fans will be delighted that an almost new, fullblown work from the master is now available for public consumption.All aboard. ... Read more


32. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0000A1RJI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 410
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Loosely based on the popular Disney theme park audio-animatronic ride, one might expect a modicum of good-natured "Yo-ho-ho-ing"--or maybe a little rousing Korngold/Errol Flynn/Captain Blood orchestral romanticism--here. Instead composer Klaus Badelt initially entices us with some sparing Celtic folk charm, then unleashes a furious broadside of symphonic and choral thunder to rival his ominous score for K-19. The composer's fellow German mentor is an obvious influence throughout (the album is credited with a wink as "Score overproduced by Hans 'Long John' Zimmer") but Badelt brings his own muscular instincts to bear throughout. Perhaps shrewdly realizing that genre cliches are nothing if not for reinventing, Badelt delivers his rhythmically nervous Eurocentric sensibilities--sort of Holst duels Shostakovich on the Spanish Main--with the subtlety of a scorching cannonball. It's seasoned with a little romantic respite in the final act, if a bit gingerly, and could no doubt profit by some of Korngold's sparkling melodic verve. But it's a loud, unabashed Summer Blockbuster score at heart; alert the neighbors. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (319)

4-0 out of 5 stars On the strengths of the theme alone...
...which is almost all I have to go by because I keep going back to the same track, this album warrants a 5-star review. It's been a while since I've been this anxious to own a movie score and, now that I have it, I just want to keep running errands at work so I can put my headphones on and crank it up.
Klaus Bedalt's magnificent score - which varies very well with a spooky beginning, melodic love theme, and rousing action pieces (especially the outstanding theme played in full force on the final track) - is turning me into a fan of his very quickly.
The only drawback is that I was hoping for a very long end credits suite, but it cuts off after just two minutes and change. It kinda reminded me of the Face/Off soundtrack where there the boat chase music, the strongest piece in the whole score, was missing from the album.
But even though it is a complaint that knocks my review from 5 stars to 4, the "Pirates" album is truly a worthy buy and I will be keeping an eye on Klaus for a long time to come.
And Hans, what can I say except, you've given us yet another musical poet.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great music but time and organization lack!!
I am one of those kind of people that sees a movie and walks out of the theatre wanting the soundtrack as soon as possible. I was easily dissapointed because no store had it and said they only received three the first day it came out. what the heck was Disney thinking when they released this thing. I ran into at least 3 people also dissapointed that the stores did not have it(Best Buy,Cicuit City,Target,and even Walmart) So I finally decided to just order it online here at Amazon. Got it within a week and was very happy until I started listening to it. Where is all of the music? Yes most of the main songs are their but are all mixed up in this catastrophe of orginization. For example,song #1 "Fog Bound" starts out with a violin that wasn't even in the movie. On top of that #11"Skull and Crossbones" features the final battle between Jack and Barbossa but is followed by "Underwater March" when the cursed crew marches underwater and in that same song for three minutes is slow,soft music. Does anyone remember a slow scene in the final twenty minutes of the heated battle in the end? I sure don't and I saw the movie twice. The soundtrack is also way,way,way too short.At only 43 minutes long you feel like half the movie is left out (which is true)On the positive side, the music is great which is why I gave it four stars. My personal favorite tracks are #4 "Will and Elizabeth"(half the battle in the armory between Will and Jack)Note when I say "half" I really mean only half the battle music is in there.I also enjoyed #5"Swords Crossed" and #15"He's a Pirate".
So to sum things up the music is great except very dissapointed in Disney for a terrible organization job on some great pieces of music

5-0 out of 5 stars Supurb soundscape unlike any other!
NOTE: For some reason out of my control it appears this review was posted twice... please understand.

Many a time we see soundtracks that sound alike. This lack of diversity leads to a monotony of soundtrack after soundtrack which in my opinion is very boring.

On the contrary, Klaus Badelt nailed the score very well... most refreshing piece of soundtrack I've heard in a very long time. It's very mysterious, yet magical in its own right. Beautifully composed and comprised of many different themes heard throughout the film. The use of more tribal and colonial period-oriented orchestra instead of a standard hollywood symphony or orchestra results in a more organic and natural score, complimenting the film's theme, time period, and overall mood.

This soundtrack is rich enough to make you feel as though you are in the film without having to watch the film... very difficult to pull off in my opinion. I listen to it time and time again any still find it very refreshing.

Very awesome! I highly recommend this as a noteworthy piece of music!

Expect more brilliance from Klaus Badelt in Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 and 3!

5-0 out of 5 stars Supurb soundscape unlike any other!
And older version of this appeared to get posted as well as the new, editied version. This originally said the same thing as my review above.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hans Zimmer Derivative of Himself
Clearly Hans Zimmer was heavily influenced by the Planet compositions of Gustav Holst, but his Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack was also heavily influenced by another composition. One of his own. And I do not mean Gladiator. While you can tell that Gladiator is a Zimmer project, it doesn't that closely resemble POTC. At least not as much as Crimson Tide. If Zimmer was self-derivative it was of his score for the 1995 submarine movie. In fact, you don't have to listen too closely to a side by side comparison of the two to hear HUGE similarities. The entire main theme of the score for POTC and Tide are almost identitical. I am sure I am not the only one to notice this. I do not mean to take anything away from his most recent creation, but Zimmer (or his seeming nom du plume, Badelt) is getting quite repetitious. ... Read more


33. Mary Poppins
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000654YWO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 999
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Winner of five Oscars (including two for Richard and Robert Sherman's memorable slate of songs), Disney's 1964 adaptation of British author P.L. Travers' belovedchildren's tales melded live action, animation and music more successfully than any film before or since. Containing the most complete version of the ShermanBrothers' score and a wealth of previously unavailable behind-the-scenes treasures, this double-disc, 40th anniversary soundtrack edition becomes the ultimatemusical tribute to the beloved family masterpiece. The Sherman's memorable songs are showcased here in a more comprehensive musical context than ever before;indeed, a number of the expanded or previously unreleased pieces of the Irwin Kostal-arranged underscore now included were truncated in editing the film itself. Thegenerous bonus disc contains the set's greatest historical treasure: a 40+ minute pre-production story meeting between the Shermans, gag writer Don DaGradi andauthor Travers herself. Also included is a lengthy 1964 audio documentary featuring the Shermans and stars Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, an audio montage of the songwriting team reminiscing and playing their original demos for the project and an illustrated 40-page companion booklet containing a history of the project as well as complete song lyrics.-- Jerry McCulley ... Read more


34. Chicago (The Miramax Motion Picture Soundtrack)
list price: $13.98
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00006RIO7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 263
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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The movie version of Kander and Ebb's Chicago was long in the making, but it's well worth the wait. Director Rob Marshall's main change was to turn the classic musical numbers into fantasy sequences, but of course this isn't obvious on CD. Most importantly, the arrangements are bursting with life while being true to the show's spirit, and the casting is simply inspired. Catherine Zeta-Jones actually started her career on the British boards (she was in The Pajama Game and 42nd Street), so her turn as slinky Velma Kelly isn't that surprising; Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart is more of a leftfield choice, but she shows she can handle the singing demands with pizzazz. The real revelation may well be rapper Queen Latifah, who belts out "When You're Good to Mama" with a marvelous affinity for the material. OK, so the R&B reprise of "Cell Block Tango/He Had It Coming" by Queen Latifah, Macy Gray, and Lil' Kim fails to convince, while Anastacia's "Love Is a Crime" is just blah (rest easy, purists, it's over the end credits). On the other hand, the CD provides two bonuses: "Class," which was cut from the movie, and "I Move On," a great duet written by Kander and Ebb for the final cut. It's really easy to mess up film adaptations of Broadway shows. Happily, Chicago proves it can be done right. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (244)

4-0 out of 5 stars A worthy soundtrack for a great movie
Kander & Ebbs' music translates beautifully to the film version of their hit musical. All the songs capture the jazz flavor of 1920s Chicago and give a bit of insight into the characters themselves. For a good example of this, check out "Mr. Cellophane" about Roxie's husband Amos who is the most unnoticed person in all of Chicago, admirably sung here by John C. Reilly. Queen Latifah is brassy and risque with her rendition of "When You're Good To Momma." Catherine Zeta-Jones astounds with her sexy and boisterous "All That Jazz." Renée Zellwegger and Richard Gere surprise with their vocal talents, as well. My favorite number in the entire album is "The Cell Block Tango," a clever telling of how the Six Merry Murderesses wound up in jail.

Included also are the deleted song "Class," a duet between Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latfiah, and two excerpts of Danny Elfman's excellent score to the film. The only drawbacks (and the only reason why I don't give the album 5 stars) are the songs "Love is a Crime" by Anastacia and "Cell Block Tango/He Had It Comin'" by Queen Latifah, Lil' Kim and Macy Gray. They seem out of place with the jazz feel of this album.

Barring those two songs, this is an excellent album and really exudes the style and feel of the film.

5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful musical experience
Much to my surprise, I had to get this CD right after seeing the movie and have played it every day since I've purchased it. Who would have guessed that Catherine Zeta Jones, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly and Renee Zellweger could excel in this genre?

From the first strains of Catherine Zeta Jones and All That Jazz to the last "legit" soundtrack vocal of Hot Honey Rag, this CD is a winner. Other standouts include Queen Latifah's When You're Good to Mama, John C. Reilly's Mr. Cellophane, Cell Block Tango and Renee Zellweger's renditions of Funny Honey, Roxie and Nowadays.

The extra songs, Love Is A Crime and the hip hop version of Cell Block Tango, aren't bad but they simply don't belong on this CD. It's a blatant pandering to a younger generation that will enjoy the soundtrack songs on their own.

This soundtrack could have easily turned into a very bad joke. A wild round of applause to the producers, director and actors who made it happen.

3-0 out of 5 stars Short & to the point
Great movie and this could have been a great soundtrack album if it wasn't completely ruined by the two additional tracks tacked on to the end of the CD. How could the producers have allowed this abomination?!

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!
This CD is one of my favourite CD's. The performances are much more gripping on film, I recommend buying the film and then if you like the performances buy the recording. Otherwise check into the stage performances of Chicago.

But wow! The Kander and Ebb score is to die for!! Chicago is one of my favourite musical scores and the energy and excitement of their music comes out so well here! Both of the leading ladies are amazing and even Richard Gere has his moments. An altogether amazing and must have recording!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bang for your buck!
This CD only has 2 songs that I found to be really awful. #17 and #18. I don't what they were thinking when they put those 2 on the CD. The other songs are catchy and jazzy, and for $13, it's worth your money. Everyone complains about Class, but I like it. It has a certain appeal. The instrumental songs are great, they aren't boring and dull like some. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and John C. Reilly do a great job singing, especially Catherine. Overall, if you're looking for a good CD with great jazzy numbers, I recommend this one. ... Read more


35. Assassins (2004 Broadway Revival Cast)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0002B161Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 852
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"Everybody's got a right/To their dream." So begins Stephen Sondheim's 1991 show Assassins--and in this case, said dreams involve killing an American president. The characters form a veritable rogues' gallery, including John Hinckley, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth of course, but also half-forgotten luminaries such as Leon Czolgosz (who killed McKinley) and "Squeaky" Fromme (who aimed for Gerald Ford with an unloaded gun). While Sondheim's lyrics are trenchant as ever, his music, which ranges from Sousa pomp to clever little waltzes, is technically brilliant but also oddly uninvolving. (Many fans prefer the recording of the 1991 Off-Broadway version, though "Something Just Broke," which was added to the 1992 London production, makes its recorded debut here.) Still, there are several high points. In "Unworthy of Your Love," for instance, Hinckley and Fromme wax poetic about their unrequited love for Jodie Foster and Charles Manson, respectively, in a Burt Bacharach-style ballad that's deliberately (I hope!) sappy. And of course as with most Sondheim shows, the cast of this revival--Michael Cerveris, Mario Cantone, Becky Ann Baker, Marc Kudisch, Denis O'Hare--is very good. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more


36. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B00000IQMT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7457
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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The Star Wars cycle, George Lucas's stellar pop parable cum merchandising blitzkrieg, has long since made history as an unparalleled cinematic-cultural-marketing phenomena; somewhere Billy Jack should be in one envious, ass-kickin' mood. Phantom Menace, easily the most eagerly anticipated film of the '90s, returns to the saga's roots and allows Lucas to flesh out the history of some of the fable's core characters and conjure up a dazzling new cast of cohorts, antagonists, and alien realms for them to interact with and in. Thus, all composer John Williams had to do was essentially reinvent the world's most popular wheel. The film-scoring legend has admirably risen to that daunting challenge, delivering an inventive score whose dynamics should surprise and delight even the most ardent SW fanatic. The Main Title and a few oh-so-sparing bars of a familiar Jedi theme are all that remains from the original trilogy's lexicon, Williams having evolved the saga's musical language, stylistic reach, and orchestral palette with masterful subtlety. The composer's most ambitious surprise is the welcome addition of strong choral elements, which he uses in ways both majestic ("Duel of the Fates") and menacing ("Passage Through the Planet's Core"). And though the film revolves around a young boy (Anakin Skywalker, who will grow to be both corrupted and redeemed as Darth Vader), the only flirtation with cloying sentimentality comes with the innocently loping "Jar Jar's Introduction." In the tradition of the Cantina and Max Rebo's Band of the previous trilogy, Williams and Lucas close out this musical installment with "Augie's Municipal Band," a Carnivale-esque romp that segues grandly into the composer's swelling title music. Williams may be the master of a grand scoring tradition, but Phantom Menace is gratifying evidence that he seldom plays it safe--even when the Force is with him. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (369)

5-0 out of 5 stars Williams Scores again
What can you say about John Williams that hasn't already been said? He's widely regarded as the best composer of his time and once again he lives up to that repuation. Thankfully, almost all the music is new here. You'll here tidbits of the Force Theme and a few others and the openning is still the same, but everything else is changed. The most impressive addition to this soundtrack is the use of the chorus. In Return of the Jedi, the chorus was used in a scene on board the Death Star where Luke begins to ferociously attack Vader and it created one of the most memorable scenes from Star Wars. So based upon that success, Williams has added choir use to several more songs. Most notable is the amazing "Duel of the Fates." Possibly the most impressive title though is "Anakin's Theme," which hides the Imperial March theme in the background while a light and happy melody is played, until the very end as the rest of the orchestra becomes silent and the ominous theme of Darth Vader makes itself known, reminding us of the fate of young Anakin.

5-0 out of 5 stars John (Willaims) 3:16
"And God gave a man unto the Earth. A man who's musical brillaince was the likes of which nobody had seen before. He named this man John, and saw that it was good..."

John Willaims goes beyond explanation and praise with his mastery of music. The composer of such scores as "Jaws", "Jurrasic Park", and "Superman" brings his brillaince back to Star Wars.

23 years ago, John Willaims scored the soundtrack for the famed Star Wars movies. His work was work of true brillaince, his music pounding out emotion, aggression, tension, and passion. He truely does it again for the new Star Wars prequel, "The Phantom Menace"

The themes and music are just as powerful, and a watchful ear will detect innuendoes of old themes, such as the Force theme, Vader's March, and the Emperor's theme. Listen closely to Anakin's theme to hear its dark undertones, and slow down the light-hearted victory celebration to get the low, menacing theme of Emperor Palpantine. John Willaims is a TRUE genious when it comes to music.

3-0 out of 5 stars First Impression of The Phantom Menace
I managed to buy and listen to the soundtrack before I saw the movie. If anything, I thought this might give me an idea of the flavor of the film. Alas, my prediction proved to be correct. Aside from "Duel of the Fates," which is the kick-butt music heard during the lightsaber duel, the soundtrack was very subdued. Slow. I really expected a lot of high-speed action music, with violins flying up and down the scale or rapid drumbeats. Alas, I heard a lot of slow, sonorous drum beating and long, drawn-out, sentimental violin pieces.

There was also a plot moment that is given away in the soundtrack if (like me) you happen to buy the CD before seeing the movie: the death of Qui-Gon. I sort of expected it, anyway, because we all know that Obi-wan Kenobi was Anakin's trainer, not Qui-Gon. Sorry if I blew a story moment for some people. That's just something I noticed.

When I saw the movie (read my review for my "take" on that), I was only slightly surprised that the film was a drag. This soundtrack was too tame and too soft for a Star Wars soundtrack, and Phantom Menace is too slow to be a Star Wars film. I'm listening to the CD as I write this, to make sure I'm giving the soundtrack a fair shake. Track 12 is pretty nimble, but also slows down rather quickly. There were no pieces here that were particularly memorable, except for "Duel of the Fates," nothing to stick in the skull like "Darth Vader's Theme" or the music heard during the chase through the asteroids in Empire Strikes Back.

The only other bit of color in the soundtrack was "Augie's Great Municipal Band," which mixes calypso police whistles with a digeree-doo (sp?) and children's voices singing glossolalia in the background. Intriguing, and typical of Williams' great efforts at conjuring up interesting "alien" music using unusual instruments.

And when you get right down to it, I still missed hearing the Star Wars key signature, which only appears only once, during track 11, around 2:33.

1-0 out of 5 stars George Luca$- Evil Bad Man
The release of this soundtrack is proof positive that luca$ has been relegated to a plaid-wearing toy salesman. Released 2 months before the highly-anticipated movie's release, i went to my local music store to buy it. I was a big fan of star wars at the time, and had been devotedly avoiding any press or previews from episode 1, wishing to preserve a certain ignorance for episode 1. After plopping down the $20 on the soundtrack- i read the track listing on the way to my car. Did anyone else notice how almost every track name is a total spoiler? You don't release a soundtrack 2 months before possibly the most anticipated movie of all time and ruin the 'plot' with the Soundtrack. There ISNT a worse business move that could possibly exist. That utter act of disrespect to george luca$' fans is exactly the reason every man woman and child in america should boycott that wanna be rancher. Thanks George lucas for ruining star wars. and for being so money hungry and inconsiderate that you ruined it for a once-true-fan before the lousy movie even came out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage John Williams
I bet John Williams loves doing Star Wars music. Here is a man who is one of the greatest composers alive. He's got the Oscars and the nominations to prove he's no fluke. Not to mention the record sales. When Williams is asked to do a Star Wars film the music is already basicly in place.

The music of Star Wars is fantastic. This soundtrack contains most of your favorite songs from the early films and has a couple of new ones that I think Williams and Star Wars fans will enjoy.

"Duel of Fates" is the best track on the soundtrack. Williams has really outdone himself with this song. I love the chorus in the background. They add a different demension to the song. The trumpets are absolutely fantastic. I play the trumpet and this is a trumpet players dream. The melodoy to the song is great and I have to give props to the London Symphony Orchestra.

This is a good album. I don't think it's as good as the early films or episode II, but I'm glad I own it. Fans of Star Wars will enjoy it, so will fans of John Williams. People who like classical music will also get a kick out of this one. You'll like it. Trust me. ... Read more


37. Obrigado Brazil
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00009ZKXD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 608
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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This enchanting, flavorful CD finds the ever curious Yo-Yo Ma traveling to South America, and Brazil in particular. The music varies from classical to samba to bossa nova; the combinations range from guitar, flute, and cello to female voice (the remarkable Rosa Passos), cello, guitar, percussion, piano, and bass; to simple cello and piano; to cello and two guitars. The overriding element is rhythm; each selection has a beat which is both infectious and sensual, but the contexts are splendidly varied. "Dansa brasileira" has a Debussy-like, impressionistic flavor, "Dansa negra" is sultry with an easy melody, "1 x 0" is a dance scored for guitar, percussion, and cello with a solo clarinet riff. It's impossible to get bored or tired listening to this creative CD; it's unique--just like Yo-Yo Ma himself--and endlessly surprising. It may not be quite what we'd call "classical" music, but it is many kinds of music, and they all will delight. The other musicians are as impressive on their instruments as Ma is with his cello, and that's saying a great deal. --Robert Levine ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great overview of the Brazilian spirit
I was blessed to spend almost 2 years in the beautiful country of Brazil. I learned the language and loved the people. I'm a musician myself and have been recently discovering the beautiful sounds of Heitor Villa-Lobos. This CD has 2 of his pieces as well as a fantastic selection, ranging from the smooth jazz of A. Jobim to the more traditionals sounds of Paxinguinha with the samba. There's nothing like jazz sung by a native of Rio and there's nothing so wonderful as the samba.

I admire the selection of music on this CD as it covers a wide variety of genres and a large chunk of Brazilian history. Several of the newer pieces were also quite enjoyable, especially because they were performed by the composers themselves.

Of course, Yo-Yo Ma outdoes himself again. His playing is impeccable as is his ability to become part of the larger ensemble. I'm so glad he's willing to blend in and let us hear all the different and beautiful aspects of this music. He's truly a class act as well as an astonishingly accurate and polished musician!

2-0 out of 5 stars Once more...with feeling.....
Let me say first that I really wanted to like this cd. When I saw the title "Obrigado Brazil" I believed that I would adore this album since I'm a huge fan of Brazilian music, but after my first listen I was highly disappointed.

Usually, Brazilian music is inviting - the performances are emotionally honest, open, and warm. But, I can't find that vitality on many of Obrigado Brazil's songs. The artists' performances are mechanical. Although they are technically sound because they play all the correct notes, they are unconvincing because emotionally they are dry, inhibited, and uninspired. Even renown Brazilian singer Rosa Passos's voice failed to inspire on Jobim's classic "Chega de Saudade."

I'm surprised -- and then not surprised - - at the four or five star ratings for this bland album. I realize there are many who are not well aquainted with the Brazilian standards - - or other artists' interpretations of these classics. For me, the classics never get old as long as the artist's interpretation is well-done and done with vitality.

I've heard much better interpretations. If you're a fan of Yo Yo Ma or Rossa Passos, then I probably would add this to complete my collection. Bu if you're looking for emotionally honest "classical" performances - - I'd try Morelenbaum(squared) and Ryuichi Sakamoto's tribute to Composer Antonio Carlos Jobim's "A Day in New York" which is much, much better than Obrigado Brazil. They perform the standards not only with precision, but with alegria(happiness).

5-0 out of 5 stars Yo Yo Ma does it again!
Obridgado Brazil is a great album. I highly recommend it along with the brazilian music of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Versatile YoYo Goes Brazilian
As liner notes declare, "many musicians, from Arthur Rubinstein to MIles Davis, to fas under the spell of Brazil's seductive sounds." YoYo brings his cello to a group of talented Brazilian artists for this collection of ecclectic snapshots of this blended music of jazz, ragtime, samba, etc.

Love the clarinet sounds of D'Rivera and the great guitar and who can not like the percussion of this vibrant culture.

Ma continues to explore and venture out musically, ala Appalachian recordings, Silk Road journeys, baroque, etc.
He is so talented and his intoxicating cello adds much here, yet never overpowering or smothering his talented musicians which surround him.

This is joyous, celebrative music!

5-0 out of 5 stars Obrigado in the studio
Yo-yo Ma is one of the most interesting musicians working today. His eclectic tastes bring us fascinating music from around the globe, and his astonishing musicianship guarantees excellence in every new adventure. Recent CDs have seen him venturing to China via the Silk Road and to the Belle Epoque of France. His attention has also been focused on Latin America with Soul of the Tango and this first, studio version of Obrigado Brazil. He has even followed up these recordings with Obrigado Brazil Live in Concert, which repeats some pieces from the earlier studio recordings but is primarily new work in the same vein.

Ma is joined by a septet of mostly Latin American performers, two of whom also double as composers: composer/clarinettist Paquito d'Rivera, singer/guitarist Rosa Passos, guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad, Ma's long time accompanist at the piano Kathryn Stott, and a bassist and percussionist.

Listen to one of my favorite tracks, the lovely Menino, and you wil hear that Ma brings real sensibility to this music. Occasionally his performance reveals that he isn't as familiar with the style as d'Rivera or the others--he tends, for example, not to bend pitches but approach them as his Classical training would have--but this is no significant flaw, as the qualities of line and rhythm he does bring to the music compensate. Those who complain that Obrigado Brazil isn't truly Brazilian music, that it's perhaps over-refined miss the point entirely, and are advised to look elsewhere for their entertainment. Certainly if "authentic" folk music is what listeners are after, they won't find it here. But they will find wonderful music, played with love and dedication by superb musicians, and well worth hearing.

Now, to compare the studio version with the live concert recording. The liner notes of Obrigado Brazil Live in Concert claim that the energy of a live performance makes the works the two CDs share sound totally different, with the implication that live is better, but I can't agree. There are subtle variations, to be sure-for example one of the pieces has much more percussion in the studio version, and even the ambience of the studio recording is audibly different from the live concert-but these aren't wild distinctions and certainly not necessarily improvements. The energy of a live concert may well be counterbalanced by the control of a studio version. It's surely a matter of taste. Personally I usually prefer studio recordings to live. Here, though, the biggest difference is not in the comparisons of the pieces that are on both CDs, but on the contrasting approaches of the overall programme. The studio version of Obgriado Brazil is more introspective and melancholy; the concert recording has more fast, joyful works and moves beyond Brazil for its sources. In this particular case, I prefer the live concert material for the most part. The two final pieces of the studio recording are glorious, though, and I wouldn't want to miss them by only purchasing the live recording. I'm totally taken by the joyous exhuberance of the penultimate track, Brasileirinho, and the crazed final track, Salvador, with its wild improvisation. Admittedly, what I prize many listeners may despise--so much so that the marketers label this last a "bonus track". And I'm not so much a Bossa Nova fan, but if you are, I think the studio CD leans more in that general direction. Whether to buy one or the other, or even both, will surely be a matter of personal taste. But certainly, do buy one--you're almost guaranteed to enjoy it! ... Read more


38. Baby Mozart
list price: $6.98
our price: $6.98
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Asin: B000065VCG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1334
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Of all the reasons you'll click the Add to Shopping Cart button next to Baby Einstein's Baby Mozart--and there are many--the best one is that playing this record for babies doesn't feel weird. Instead of subjecting tiny, tender ears to the kind of Mozart that can make adult classical fans wilt when tackled by a maestro who means business, this is Mozart lite, mixed and mastered by a dad, Bill Weisbach, who's clearly hung around for his share of crib-side cooing. The slightly tinny sound of a child's piano sweeps the sting out of Piano Sonata in B Flat's third movement; the first movement of Concerto for Flute and Harp in C floats by, birdlike; variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman" translate to a fancy-sounding (but adorable) "Twinkle, Twinkle"; and Piano Sonata in F's third movement snuggles so deeply into its childlike setting that if you close your eyes, you'll see a pastel parade of animals floating by overhead. Other pieces (more aptly called fragments, since only one track stretches beyond the three-minute mark), like Symphony No. 41's fourth movement, wander into more robust Mozart territory, but it's here the claims about classical music enhancing young kids' abstract reasoning skills and spatial intelligence crystallize. Babies strapped in for a roller coaster of sounds that gracefully dips, swerves, and high-jumps like this version, do have to process what they're hearing somehow (and a case could be made that the instruments Weisbach's chosen--the vibraphone, glockenspiel, and music box among them--make it more appealing for them to do so). Followers of Julie Aigner-Clark's Baby Einstein empire, many of whom opted out of the fan club once Disney bought the company in 2001, won't trip over a single Mickey Mouse-ified sound here. This is pure, plugged in, and muted Mozart, and if it doesn't make your baby smarter, it'll at least sound awfully sweet issuing from your nursery's speakers. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Creative & Soothing
I like classical music, but some of the pieces have crescendos and accents that make it very difficult to listen to when you just want to relax. When I saw Baby Beethoven, I bought it and enjoyed it. I saw Baby Mozart at a different store and instantly picked it up.

The music doesn't have the sudden musical attacks that classical music has because the instant sound can frighten little ones. That is one of the great things about this CD. I can listen to in when I just want to sit down and relax.

I also like that the pieces and the CD itself, it's too long. I can finish the CD during a nice bath. The music also isn't too loud in general, so you don't have to have the CD player volume at full blast one moment, just to hear the music and almost off the next, so you can keep your hearing.

I highly recommend this CD, whether you have little ones or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for the kids
My twin girls loved the video so I bought the CD and they love it!We listen to it in the car and they relate the CD to the video. It's great and keeps them happy on the road.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun - cute songs- also check out Troy & Genie Nilsson
This is fun. Also, if you're like me you probably also want to get more music that has fun + deep moral/spiritual meaning + pro music that you can stand hearing a million times. My favorite of that kind that I would highly recommend to you is Troy & Genie Nilsson's stuff like Scripture Rock. ... Read more


39. Rent (1996 Original Broadway Cast)
list price: $32.98
our price: $26.49
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Asin: B000005ALT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 333
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Into Broadway's creative vacuum of revivals, movie adaptations, and Hollywood star vehicles comes Rent, the story of squatters, junkies, performance artists, struggling musicians, drag queens, aspiring filmmakers, and HIV-positives (and you thought Miss Saigon's helicopter landing was cool). Undoubtedly among the defining pop cultural events of 1996, Rent has already won four Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. More importantly, it threatens to bring substance back to the Great White Way.

Transposing Puccini's 100-year-old opera La Bohème into modern day Bohemia (19th-century Paris's Left Bank becomes late-20th-century New York's East Village where the scourge of tuberculosis becomes the plague of AIDS) Rent celebrates life among the young, sick, and unconventional. While Broadway shows are hardly the place for authentic portrayals of the latest marginalized hipsters, composer Jonathan Larson (who died at age 36, days before his musical opened) managed to sculpt vivid characters and scenes that bring Avenue A as close as it will ever come to 42nd Street. And by telling a socially relevant story of living without the guarantee of a future (renting, that is), Larson does his own little bit to define an X'ed generation. At worst, Rent is the Hair of the '90s.

For the majority of us who won't be seeing Rent anytime soon, the Original Cast Recording is more than just an after-show souvenir. Well-packaged with a complete libretto, the two-CD set is a worthwhile album separate of live performance. Full of songs that are funny and catchy, inspiring and touching, smart and hip and not overly sentimental, Rent mixes showtune pop with elements of rock, R&B, dance, gospel, and tango to make one of the best albums of the year--certainly the best rock opera in decades. La vie bohème, indeed. --Roni Sarig ... Read more

Reviews (482)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Musical
"Rent" is the realization of the brilliant Jonathan Larson's dream based on Puccini's opera La Boheme. Larson changed the way musicals are heard by providing rock music, and modern day topics. "Rent" deals with homosexuality, disease, and growing up in America. The story follows the lives of eight friends as they try to survive in New York's alphabet city as seen through the lead Mark's eyes. Through him, we see the relationship of the friends, and love blooming, and dying, between Roger and Mimi, Tom and Angel, and Maureen and Joanne. Ex-roommate, Benny is trying to evict Mark and Roger from their loft to build a cyber-arts studio, which would displace the homeless in the area. Add in the fact almost all of the characters have AIDS, the story borders on heavy.

The story is pretty good, and it turns into a good theatrical presentation, but Larson scores with the musical making the soundtrack worthwhile. There is the heavy rock beginning in the title track, and continues to rock on with songs like "Out Tonight", "Another Day" and "Today 4 U". These songs are well balanced with slower ballads like "One Song Glory" and "Goodbye Love", with everything falling between the two. "La Vie Boheme" is a great cast cut al la Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." Larson was great at adding in humor to offset the depressing scenes throughout the story. The bonus to this album is the great Stevie Wonder sitting in with the cast for a cover of "Seasons of Love", which makes the album worthwhile all in its self.

After such a great musical, it was a shame to lose the talent of Larson. He was able to take theater to a new level, and introduce topics that have been avoided on mainstream stages. He really did bring the theater to the modern age with this musical. Add in great music, well-conceived lyrics, and a good story, it is well worth seeing live. The messages Larson tries to communicate are right on target. No day but today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Bohemian Masterpiece
Rent is one of the best musicals ever, and Jonathan Larson's songs are some of the most skillful and creative you'll ever hear on Broadway. He used gorgeous melodies, vocal harmonies, and chords to bring his amazing poetry to life. The soundtrack has a wide spectrum of music ranging from upbeat songs like the title song "Rent", "What You Own", and "La Vie Boheme", and simple yet gorgeous ballads like "Without You", "I Should Tell You", and of course "Seasons of Love". Some songs always make me laugh, like "Contact" or "Today 4 U", and others ALWAYS make me cry, like "Finale B". Larson's writing is so impressive too. For example "Light My Candle" seems to be (in my opinion) a metaphorical song about taking a risk to start a relationship. And the recurring festive carol-of-the-bums "Christmas Bells" theme maybe is an ironic contrast to the struggling characters lives. And the soundtrack is so complete: there are so many memorable quotes sung by memorable characters. The voices are awesome too, and the cast blends so beautifully. My personal favorite cast member is Anthony Rapp, who is the coolest guy ever and a great singer with a distinctly awesome voice. But all of the actors have awesome voices which bring Jonathan Larson's melodies to life. And if you listen closely, you will hear that Larson subtly incorporated these melodies into unlikely songs throughout the soundtrack, just as his modern-day themes are also expressed throughout. Is that a hint of "I Should Tell You" I hear in "Another Day"? Or do I hear a short piano rendition of "Sante Fe" in "La Vie Boheme" and its intruiging percussion in "You Okay Honey"? And the "No Day But Today" theme can be heard in "Life Support" and of course "Finale B" among others. This gives the soundtrack such a sense of unity, and helps illustrate the themes of Rent, like coping with AIDS, not conforming to society, and of course the ever-important love. In this way, all the songs seem to weave together to form the final texture that is Rent. In short, Rent is a skillful masterpiece full of passion, love, and hope. And its catchy songs make it the awesome musical that it is. The soundtrack is a must for music-lovers!

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!!! I THINK IT'S THE GREATEST MUSICAL EVER!!!!!
<br /><br /> Rent is like the greatest musical ever!! It has drama, comedy, and romance of course. Rent is a very touching musical! I haven't seen it yet but I am dying to see it! I can't name my favorite song because I love them all!!! Adam Pascal doesn't an incredible job as Roger! Adam Pascal has an amazing voice!! I am going to get is albums soon! Anthony Rapp is really great as Mark and I love his voice! I can't name my favorite character because they are all great!! I wish that the OBC was still doing the show! And I can't wait till the Rent movie comes out next fall or winter! Some of the OBC members will star in it -Anthony Rapp,Adam Pascal,Taye Diggs,Idina Menzel,and Jesse L.Martin are going to be in it!! Yay!! I Love Rent!!

5-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL
No words can express the meaning of this musical - the performers on the cast recording are excellent - the songs are heartfelt - nothing beats this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars No day but, Today
After making the mistake of purchasing the highlights cd before the full cd, was my mistake. this album takes you to where by the end of both cd's you begin to look at things differently, even if for just a moment. The album is filled with voice talents that will undoubtably shape this generation of musical theatre. I feel confident if Johnathan Larson was to choose to change his fate and see his musical, he would choose to not change a single thing that has happened in the time Rent has been on Broadway. And Rent teaches that throughout the play. A deffinite must have for fans of Broadway Musicals ... Read more


40. The 5 Browns
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0006HHU5A
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 523
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Their story is truly one of the more unusual tales of classical music today. Pop music has produced world-famous examples of all-in-the-family groups (which typically gave way to one or two solo stars as the years passed). And of course there's the Trapp Family singers of The Sound of Music fame. But the sibling pianists known as the 5 Browns are in a category all their own.They've gotten mega-exposure from profiles on 60 Minutes, Oprah, and the like as the first example in the history of the esteemed Juilliard School of Music in which five members of the same family have won admission (scholarships at that!) and studied concurrently. But if this sounds like a P.T. Barnum publicity stunt, make no mistake: Desirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melody, and Ryan are the real thing--musicians of intense dedication and talent. Their debut CD offers different perspectives on this pianistic quintet. It's not surprising that the literature isn't exactly overflowing with arrangements for five pianos--so only 4 tracks here actually have all ten hands busy tickling the ivories (arrangements of "Flight of the Bumblebee," West Side Story scenes, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and music from Grieg’s Peer Gynt). The flip DVD side includes videos of their amazing in-sync dexterity for "Flight" and the Bernstein excerpts, plus a charming interview introducing the very down-to-earth Browns. They talk about how they took to the piano, one by one, at a very early age and also point out that they remain each other's best friends, which helps them weather the stresses of the competitive classical performing arts world. Other tracks involve several four-hands settings and some solos (my own favorite is Melody's beautiful rendition of Debussy’s gorgeous "L'Isle joyeuese"). We're sure to hear more from this amazingly talented family--whether as a group or as soloists. --Sarah Chin ... Read more

Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this CD!
I am one of the few people that buys all of his music (instead of illegal downloading) because I want to support the artists that I like. When I buy a CD I always make a copy so I can burn a back-up, play it in my portable player, make my own mixed cd,etc. These new "Dual Discs CANNOT be copied/ripped on a computer!!!!! I have tried 4 different programs and it wont work. In my opinion it ruins the way that I want to use the music I purchased. I will NEVER again buy a dual disc. What sense does it make if you cant listen to the music the way that you want to enjoy it.

BE WARNED. BOYCOTT THE DUAL DISC!

5-0 out of 5 stars Addictive
I purchased this cd after I was intrigued by a television commercial.It is now my favorite cd.I have it always playing in my car as I drive back and forth to work and then bring it into the house to play the dvd portion on my television.The music is brilliant and musicians scintillating.I only hope that the Five Browns debut cd is so successful that there are many more to follow.If you are going to buy one CD this year it should be the Five Browns.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blown away!
My mom teaches piano and I happened to pick this up as something she could use as a motivational tool for her students.I didn't even plan on listening to it but happened to have it with me the next day as I started a cross country drive from Florida to Idaho.It was far different than I expected (a cute family circus of 5 on grand pianos)!! The emotion, richness, feeling and passion with which these kids play is incredibly moving.There is a purity of playing power that amplifies every piece, whether it is the lightness of Debussey or the explosiveness of the Sorcerer's Apprentice.I'm almost 50 and this music ignited an interest in and appreciation for classical music I didn't think possible.My hope is that the Browns will stay true to their vision and we can expect much more of this inspiration in the future.

3-0 out of 5 stars Playing the Devil's Advocate...
Am I the only one in the world who isn't blindly enthusiastic about the Browns? I admit that anything with Oprah's name in the liner notes generally heads for the dumpster in my estimation, but I was willing to listen closely and with an open mind to this debut, as I am always excited about new classical talent. However, I was sorely disappointed... I can do without multi-piano showpieces and having them start the CD with "The Flight of the Bumblebee" was painful to hear, as this trite piece makes most true classical fans groan, no matter how well (and fast) it is played. All of the 5-instrument pieces which came from Brigham are along the same line -- only the Bernstein, arranged by Ken Briggs of Julliard, moved me, and I suspect that is partly because of the brilliance of the composer. The solo pieces fell one by one... I can't help wondering if the Browns have taken the time to listen to established artists interpret the repertoire. Rachmaninoff's Elegy in E flat minor crawled along at barely two-thirds the tempo that the composer himself established on the piano roll recordings, way too slowly and lacking drama for me. And as I am a diehard fan of Barbara Nissman's masterful interpretations of Prokofiev's sonatas, I found Ryan's playing of the Sonata No.3 pale and lacking focus. These kids are good, don't misunderstand -- all the notes are there, but if the insight to grasp a musical piece's overall coherency is missing by the time a performer is in his/her twenties...Well, you know the old saw -- good pianists are a dime a dozen. In all fairness, I was somewhat taken with Melody's solo performances, but I was not that familiar with the works in question. Hmmm... let me go through my library and see what I can find!

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm Sure We'll Be Hearing More From The Browns!
I usually allow myself one gimmicky classical album a year. I usually purchase more than one, but that's another story. When Is aw the cover of the CD for THE FIVE BROWNS: a group of young people who resemble the kid who mows your lawn, the nice young person who waits on you at the coffee shop, or the girl every boy has a crush on-I took a closer look and wondered what type of music would come from five people playing the piano. It may be marketed as gimmicky, but it is anything but a gimmick. These two brothers and three sisters are gifted musicians who are equally as gifted as an ensemble as they are as soloists. While the goal of the album is to entertain, and while entertaining inspire young people to be interested in classical music, people young and old can appreciate the musicianship if these young people. One of the things I appreciated most about this collection is its quality. So often classical collections geared to younger audiences "dumbs down" the music so to speak. It does not respect the intelligence of the young audience and is completely lost on an older audience. The selections are good choices for any audience, and only the liner notes and cover are blatantly geared to a youthful audience.

The music is entertaining and worth the price of the disc alone, but it is a dual disk that has music on one side and a DVD on the other. The DVD contains two selections but also includes an interview with these young people who have personalities that are as engaging as the music. I am willing to bet that we will hear from these young people again, either as soloists or as an ensemble.
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