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    $30.49 $18.32 list($37.98)
    1. The Phantom of the Opera (Original
    $4.98
    2. 25 Mozart Favorites
    $13.49 list($18.98)
    3. Romanza
    $13.99 $12.84 list($18.98)
    4. Highlights From The Phantom Of
    $4.98 $2.71
    5. 25 Classical Favorites
    $13.99 $8.98 list($18.98)
    6. Let Yourself Go with Rob Fisher
    $26.49 $23.00 list($32.98)
    7. Rent (1996 Original Broadway Cast)
    $11.99 $11.76 list($13.98)
    8. Best of the Millennium: Top 40
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    9. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor
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    10. Fiddler on the Roof: 30th Anniversary
    $10.99 $8.00 list($11.98)
    11. Classical Wedding
    $13.99 $13.50 list($17.98)
    12. Chopin: Favorite Piano Works
    $13.99 $13.68 list($17.98)
    13. Essential Mozart: 32 Of His Greatest
    $13.99 $11.99 list($18.98)
    14. Harem
    $13.99 $10.95 list($18.98)
    15. Classic Yo-Yo
    $13.99 $11.09 list($16.98)
    16. Oklahoma! (1955 Film Soundtrack)
    $10.99 $8.82 list($11.98)
    17. Annie (1977 Original Broadway
    $4.98 $2.58
    18. 25 Wedding Favorites
    $13.99 $9.59 list($18.98)
    19. The Producers (2001 Original Broadway
    $23.99 $20.00 list($29.98)
    20. Josh Groban in Concert (with Bonus

    1. The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast)
    list price: $37.98
    our price: $30.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004YTY2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 151
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (261)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Let the specacle astound you!"
    I can get a pretty good sense of what a theatrical experience this show must be from listening to its London cast recording. All that thundering, overpowering, eerie but beautiful music, which is actually pretty good and may very well be Andrew Lloyd Webber's best. The above-average, occasionally beautiful and touching lyrics to such songs as "Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," and "Point of No Return." The fine performance of Michael Crawford as the Phantom, which does a great job of conveying the character's passion and pain and thankfully doesn't really conjure up memories of his best-forgotten days as a juvenile lead in such fimusicals as "A Funny Thing..." and "Hello, Dolly!" The beautiful voice of Sarah Brightman as Christine. The supporting cast, from Steve Barton's Raoul to Rosemary Ashe's stunning Carlotta to the two theatrical agents, Andre and Farmin (or something like that). All contribute to the enjoyment and, yes, spectacle of this recording, and no doubt did and, in the case of the music and lyrics, still do contribute to the success of the stage show. All are reasons for buying it, so why not?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the best recording ever. . .the ONLY recording ever
    Alright, let's get this straight. It's a simple math problem; even a first grader could get this. Michael Crawford=Phantom. Phantom=Michael Crawford. That's just how it is. In the title song, when he sings "The Phantom of the Opera is there"...oh its brilliant. Especially that funny thing his voice does on the "Phaaa" part of Phantom. Normally it might be a little awkward, but in this role its absolutley perfect. He really makes us sympathize with him and almost makes you bawl in the Finale.

    Sarah Brightman does a great job with Christine. Most peolpe absolutely screw up the vocals at the end of the title song (ah-hem, 1992 Japanese Version and Sandra Joseph on Broadway. Hate to say it, but it doesn't work with their voices. Yeah, they can sing, but just not that. They do very well otherwise though) I like the way she screams out "I'll go MAD!" in Notes II.

    The only bad part about this (but it's quite minor) are Madame Giry and Joseph Buquet. Buquet's voice is kind of breathy and the vibrato takes over and Madame Giry's voice is a little breathy also, but nothing major.

    The orchestra in this is beautiful. In most recordings, the orchestra cuts short in the intrumentals before Hannibal and after the Auction (which is one of the best parts) but in this one is it really powerful. It gives you goosebumps because it blends so well together. Especially when the horns come in!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Recording
    I simply love this recording. I have never seen Phantom performed on the stage and this is the only recording I have ever heard of the Phantom of the Opera, but I was delighted to hear its music. I have had this CD for only a week and cannot stop playing it for some reason! It has quite a musical score, and the story is very sad. I have never read the book (although I am waiting for its arrival from Amazon after ordering it), so I cannot tell you whether it is true to the original story. The story is that of a man who has been abandoned by all mankind and must live in a labyrinth under the opera house. He falls in love with Christine Daae and becomes her tutor. She believes that the Phantom is the Angel of Music sent by her deceased father. The Phantom loves her so and wants her career in the opera house to advance. He sends notes to the managers, telling them to give her main roles instead of the prima Donna Carlotta. It is a heart wrenching story because you really feel sorry for the Phantom.

    The cast is strong. MICHAEL CRAWFORD plays the Phantom on this recording and is argued by many phans to be the best phantom. I have heard no other recording, so I can't argue that point. The role of Christine was written for SARAH BRIGHTMAN, so naturally she does well. There are many high notes and her role can be compared to that of COSETTE in LES MISERABLES because it seems that the majority of her parts are high. RAOUL is played by STEVE BARTON, and his voice is marvelous. ROSEMARY ASHE plays CARLOTTA. I don't like the part of Carlotta, but that isn't Ashe's fault!

    Some of the music in this sounds familiar, like from CATS (I'm talking about a couple bars of music, not like a whole song or anything), so that is very interesting. If you like Andrew Lloyd Webber, you will love this rock opera! I like "Angel of Music," "Phantom of the Opera," and "Music of the Night."

    Buy this CD because it is worth every penny!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just as good the 100th time!
    This is truly a great recording. Overall, I am totally in love with it, but I am here to give a review, not to push my personal biases on others. So, from the standpoint of a musician, actress, and singer, here goes. First of all the actors...
    MICHAEL CRAWFORD: Overall, Awesome. Truly the best cast member. His voice is easy to listen to, and very expressive. He IS the Phantom. No questions asked. Technically, not perfect, but this is theatre, not technical type singing. Sometimes, he sounds like he has a bad cold, and tends to slide into the correct note on the higher notes, but overall, this detracts very little from his outrageous awsomeness.
    SARAH BRIGHTMAN: Not a huge fan of Sarah's, I'm afraid. Vibrato is one thing, but when you sound like a chipmunk singing while sitting in one of those massage chair things, you're using a little too much. She hits all of the notes beautifully, but you would too if your husband wrote the part for you. Her acting skills and expression are below par, and her inunciation is like she's singing with dental equipment in her mouth. She should definately practice singing more forward, as she gets caught in the back of her throat frequently. Her solos can wear on the nerves, but overall, you could do worse, she's not completely devoid of vocal talent, and she sounds fine when she's singing with someone else.
    STEVE BARTON: Not much to say about him. No surprises here, but easy to listen too, expression is on par, and he is technically the best out of the three leads. No complaints, but I've heard this voice a million times before.
    OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT: Carlotta is excellant, and beautifully annoying, all though she does have one moment in NOTES where she slips out of character for a phrase. Meg sounds like she's singing while trying to breath through an oxygen tube, in other words, barely audible. I would have liked to hear her more in the harmony on Angel of Music. Everyone else: Fine. Cooly. No complaints.
    AS FOR THE MUSIC: There is a lot of it, and it rocks. The orchestrations are fabulous for Broadway, and the melodies are beautiful, if frequently repetitive. Don't buy this if you don't like the tune of Angel of Music, it shows up in practically every song. The chorus numbers are ass-kicking and funky harmony-full.
    THE FINAL VERDICT: You can't go wrong here. Even if you despise Sarah Brightman, everyone else more than compensates for her, erm , lack of pronunciation. Crawford is at his best, and the melodies are some of the most memorable in musical history. Even newbies to the Phantom world will rejoice. Go ahead, throw away your money here. You won't be dissapointed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Overblown, but still worth a listen.
    I am not one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest fans. But still, this is a good show. People that give this negative reviews claim that it is overated. And they are correct. But there are very good melodies in this show, although the lyrics are not top quality. There are also so many layers of the phantom that Gaston Leorux wrote in this character that are not explored in the lyrics. In this show we have little reason to sympathize with the main character. But in Sondheim's"Sweeney Todd" we are told in sometimes Gruesome detail why Sweeney has those killing sprees. But these shows are completly different animals of the theater. Phantom is a show that takes you to another world, while "Sweeney" makes you think. In my opinon, this is Andrew Lloyd Webbers last good show. ... Read more


    2. 25 Mozart Favorites
    list price: $4.98
    our price: $4.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000058HV
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1137
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent pick-up
    Although I would have liked to have seen more selections from Mozart's formidable operas, this CD offers a very comprehensive selection of old favorites and a few pieces casual fans most likely have not heard before. For 5 dollars, do yourself a favor and pick up this collection for someone perhaps not familiar with the man who remains ahead of his time, even today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars any classical music
    I have been trying without success to order OPERA MUSIC ON
    CASSETTE TAPES. The only thing that appears for me to choose from is Compact Disks.

    I have a cassette tape player in my automobile, and would like to purchase cassette tapes of classical/opera selections. Does Amazon.com offer opera cassette tapes for sale?

    P.S. the "help" department wasn't - much . . .

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning...Tranquil...Amazing
    The music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the world's most acclaimed and brilliant composers, is undeniably essential in anyone's library of classical music. "25 Mozart Favorites" is a wonderful collection to start with. Not only does it include the basic necessities, but the choice and flow of the movements is perfect. Another quality of this collection is that it doesn't exploit his music and give buyers the idea that if you play it over your baby's crib at night, it will turn your child into a genius.
    Two of the many highpoints: "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (or, "A Little Night Music").
    The music of Mozart is stunning, tranquil, and amazing, a world of its own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for Mozart fans
    If you're a lover of Mozart's glorious music, this CD is for you. It is also a good intro cd for beginners who are interested in the music of Mozart. The selections are some of Mozart's finest: Overtures to Figaro and Magic Flute, piano concertos, violin music, flute music, and even his Requiem. The only thing that they left out was his actual opera arias and highlights (for example Don Giovanni or Nozze de Figaro arias). But otherwise it is a very excellent taste of Amadeus' unforgettable music and, i will emphasize.. AFFORDABLE. The price is great. ... Read more


    3. Romanza
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000041OG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 268
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    From his childhood on the family farm in rural Tuscany to the worldwide stage, Andrea Bocelli has achieved phenomenal success. His singing is only partially the point, and his fame owes much more to the aura of romance and the romantic archetype that's attached to him. Romanza is by far Bocelli's largest success, winning adoration thanks to the swooning vocals and the easy, sometimes lush, always pop-safe instrumental textures and melodies. As far as his opera chops go, Bocelli has won the approval of Pavarotti but likely will not wow enthusiasts. The upside is that Bocelli will likely grow the opera pie, convincing labels to take on more operatic projects. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (284)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting, fresh and beautiful
    Okay, I admit it. I discovered Bocelli and his music through the television commericial for Bellagio, the new resort in Las Vegas. I heard a portion of the song, Con Te Partio, only once and could neither forget the song or the performer. I purchased the CD immediately after locating it at Amazon.Dom. The songs are either contemporary or wonderfully traditional - and address topical issues like world peace, self-awareness, and romance. The insert provides both the Italian lyrics and English translations. Bocelli, whose voice is more beautiful and clear (and less overblown) than Pavoratti, sings with such wonderful empathy that you can not help be moved. Bocelli is joined by several feature performers, including John Miles and Sarah Brightman of "Phantom of the Opera" fame. Although I personally think Brightman is a thin soprano at best, her joint venture on the second version of Con Te Partiro that the CD provides, is worth hearing. Bocelli's version of Rhapsody is truly glorious. Although the music is clearly Italian, there are touches of Brazilian and French influences in a couple of pieces that enhances the freshness of this glorious CD. Thank you, Bellagio, for bringing this musician and music to America's awareness.

    5-0 out of 5 stars raw and pure
    There is something about Bocelli's voice that is completely revealed, raw, yet pure. His songs climax and grow. I have some opera fans who snub his voice because they say it not purely classical, yet that is what I love about him. He is different not completely one or the other- just a beautiful honest voice.

    I have been studying singing on my own with singing CDs
    "Voice Lessons To Go", by Vaccarino which I gladly recommend as well. I was inspired to improve my own voice by him and Sara Brightman on this CD so that I can sing along with them. I am also signing up for a music appreciating class this fall at the community college for fun! Hey we must enjoy our 40's!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Romanza
    This an awesome cd. Bocelli is an amazing vocal tallent and his music is simply divine as if he was touched by the hand of God our lord and creator. His music is sublime and his tallent is God given. Highly Recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breakthrough Album
    This was the CD that bridged the gap between pop and opera. This is something that no other opera singer was able to do, certainly not on such a grandly successful scale. With his singing diversity of style (alternating between a bluesy pop voice and a clear and powerful operatic one), Andrea Bocelli did a fantastic job of putting together a great collection of first-rate songs and adding his own tremendous voice to them, a simply stunning achievement. Many of the songs are deeply moving with breathtaking moments. If you like Bocelli, you must give Sarah Brightman a chance, another opera diva with an accessible reportoir who does the pop thing very well.

    David Rehak
    author of "Love and Madness"

    5-0 out of 5 stars italian review
    Im a freshman at uc berkeley (yeah with that she bangs guy). andrea is MUCH better. i don't mind him going into pop. next pavarotti pretty much, i think. i finished taking upto italian 4 (basically the prereqs for an italian studies major), and this cd helped me review my italian. it has a lot of that subjunctive tense that i hate, but i still remember it through this cd. it's so powerful. especially the song with "fosse dentro te." and then there's that really mellow ballad. i don't know the names of this song cuz i downloaded the whole album off of winmx. oh yeah, "vivo per lei" is also a great song too. the german translation of that song is cool too. ... Read more


    4. Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera: The Original Cast Recording (1986 London Cast)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000001FLQ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 577
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Highlight versions of cast recordings are by definition a compromise, and this reduction of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera is no exception. Weighing in at 59 minutes, it's over 40 minutes shorter than the two-disc version, excising many musical scenes that convey the flow and impact of the show (which include, admittedly, a lot of patter and screaming). On the other hand, all the hits are here--"Think of Me," "Angel of Music," the title tune, "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Masquerade," and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"--and Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman are still on hand to make their distinctive contributions to the original London cast. So if you're looking for a convenient, inexpensive single disc that will let you enjoy Lloyd Webber's scrumptious melodies without having to immerse yourself in the action, this just might be for you.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (67)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Terrific, not to mention terrifying!
    I have yet to buy the complete CD version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's haunting musical version of the classic love story The Phantom of the Opera, but my copy of 'Highlights' is nearly ten years old...and I still love it.
    Michael Crawford was not only the first man to play the title character but in my opinion he must be the best. Surely, it's impossible for anyone to be better than him. His voice is magnificent, his cackling laugh keeps me up at night and even on a recording his sorrow and anger seem so real.
    Although I've heard she's not much of an actress, vocally Sarah Brightman is amazing as Christine, a talented opera singer and the object of the phantom's desire.
    Steve Barton sings the part of Raoul, Christine's old friend and love interest. He's very good which is why it's a shame his career didn't get more of a boost out of his performance.
    In fact the whole cast is simply amazing. In songs like 'Masquerade' it becomes very clear to even be in the chorus of this spine-tingling musical you have to be very, very good.
    Some will appreciate this CD more after having seen it live, but in my opinion every single person should own a copy of this tremendously good recording.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One Phantastic Soundtrack
    I saw The Phantom of the Opera nearly three years ago, and I remember it like I just saw it yesterday. The acting is superbe and the music is magnificent!! The entire soundtrack (it's a double cd) is great, but if you are just looking for the "main" songs, then the Highlights CD is just as good. Every time I listen to this CD, the play vividly comes to life, and I feel exactly what all of the characters are feeling....especially the Phantom. The play is wonderful...the music is even better!! You will definitely not be sorry that you bought this soundtrack.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This started my Crawford Kick!!!!
    I never heard of Mike before hearing this in 6th grade....

    I was absolutely memorized by this man's voice--and boy
    if i was the only one in the classromm, i would have started crying...his singing was so cystyalized- seems like he puts
    all genuine emotion in his voice and it shows....

    I love when he sings with the music box in the last song....
    that's better than a full orchestra...

    Or Michael with that haunting piano in song 6..that'll
    do it to me....

    I now have joined the Michael Crawford International
    Fan Club Association (well not yet, i plan to!!)--

    I saw the Phantom 2wice in my life.... with Ted Keegan
    and Colm Wilkonson in the lead roles respectively---

    Just holds no candle to Mike.....

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Abriged Phantom of the Opera
    Highlight versions of cast recordings can be convient -- nice price, one disc, shorter runtime, and all of the big numbers. I originally bought this highlights version a couple months before seeing the show because I didn't have the money for the two-disc complete recording, and it is a decent purchase. All the standout songs are here -- Think of Me, the title song, Angel of Music, All I Ask of You, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, and others -- and for the curious who may never see the show but want a sample of it anyway, this is likely more than enough. But I made a mistake buying this over the complete set, because as soon as you see the show you'll be dying to have it all. Yes, the big ones are here, but there's so much wonderful stuff that you miss with this one, especially little things connecting the big numbers. Notes and Magical Lasso are perticularly missed here. It may not be important to you now but once you've seen the show you'll want it. So my advice is skip this version and save up a little more money for the complete double-disc album. You'll be glad you did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Audiophile friendly
    I agree with the other many positive reviews. In adition if you have a high end system, the recording reproduces the soundstage and imaging of the performance. As an example in the last piece you can follow the performers moving across the stage providing a "you are (almost) there" experience. ... Read more


    5. 25 Classical Favorites
    list price: $4.98
    our price: $4.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    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


    6. Let Yourself Go with Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000059T4T
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1975
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    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


    7. 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


    8. Best of the Millennium: Top 40 Classical Hits
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004GOZA
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 513
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    For those who want the most remembered passages of classical music's best-loved works, here's a package for you. On this bargain priced double-CD, you'll find music from 40 different classical composers; for the most part, the recordings excerpted here are some of the very best. Of course, you only get one Bach sampling (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, played by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) and one Mozart (A Little Night Music conducted by Herbert von Karajan), but this is still a nice collection--perhaps the starting point for a budding collection of classical music. This set's downfall? Unfortunately, though the liner notes discuss the evolution of classical music chronologically, the tracks are programmed in alphabetical order by composer's last name. This makes for some startling transitions! Emil Gilels's reflective performance of the Adagio from Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata is followed by the crashing cymbals and bombast of Carmen's "March of the Toreadors," a recipe for a heart attack if there ever was one. Still, there's something here for everyone and the liner notes even explain what movies this music can be found in. A nice touch. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A solid sampler to get one started
    As a simple beginning introduction to classical music, this affordable dual CD is a solid sampler.

    Taking many easy to recognize pieces, the editors have identified where one may have heard them before. Certainly almost all these works have been heard in several famous and well known films.

    I bought it solely to be able to hear a full orchestration of one of Satie's Gymnopodea's. And needless to say the performance of that particular piece is exceptional here.

    I have also used this CD and its many selections in my drama classes to provide stimuli for many types of scenes: improvisational and formal alike. It also helps greatly as mood music for rehearsal and preparation. Certainly "Carmina Burana" really makes Shakespeare's "Once More into the Breach" speech from Henry V rock and roll.

    Is this an end all and be all collection? Absolutely not. But it is a great place to begin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Magnificent!
    This is one of the (if not THE) best, well-rounded classical CDs ever made. It is great for anyone that is just being introduced to classical music, because they will probably have heard some of the songs on here. Also, this CD is great for classical music lovers, as it is a good mix of their favorite songs. I'm 13, and own a few other classical CDs, but this one will always stand out above the rest. It is also a bargain price for 2, absolutely jam-packed (77min. each!) CDs.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    The only reason I wanted this CD is for Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. However March of the Toreadors immediately follows it. I see that it was arranged in alphabetical order but I wonder if it wasn't also a cruel joke. I now am conditioned to have my nerves jolted every time I put in the CD and listen to the Moonlight Sonata.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not that good.
    The only good thing I can say is that it includes about 10 songs I personally love.
    But I can also say it includes at least 5 songs that are extremely cheesy.
    The rest of the songs are in the so-so category :)
    But what I find really dissappointing is the volume leveling, its terrible!
    Just to mention a few, Monlight Sonata (Beethoven) and Clair De Lune (Debussy) are barely hearable, increasing the volume not only causes white noise but it will break your ears when playing one of the loud songs (like the March Of The Toreadors).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Some say worn out, i say thats because its a classic...
    I bought this cd not expecting to recieve such joy from it. the recordings are flawless and beautiful, and they go very well together on this cd... though i felt it was missing something.
    personally, out of openion, these wold not all be on my 40 greatest compositions of the millenium. i was quite surprised that Bach's tacatto in D minor was not featured on this cd. my true feelings for this song are not the greatest, but many have argued it was one of the best compisitions written (i think i'll leave that to personal openion myself).
    i read a review of someone saying it was just tired music from comercials... pitiful review i might add. just because something is worn out is not a horrible thing... we must defien what a classic means, and to me, if almost every person who has ever watched television knows this music from comercials, or for any other reason, then i would call it a classic. to tell you the truth, i don't think the world would be quite the same if all this calssic music hadn't been composed, and this cd is just a living reminder of that. Some of these reviews are also just a reminder of how narrow minded some people can be toward true classical music.
    i loved the cd, but i only gave it 4 stars for my own personal reasons. i think that no cd should claim it has the best of something, becuase you might be minorly disapointed with the selection (i was, and if that offends any one, i am truely sorry). But it didn't stop me from enjoying this beautiful, ageless, music. ... Read more


    9. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1992 Canadian Cast)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B000001E0A
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1478
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat completed the transition from cantata for schoolkids to big-budget glitzfest with Steven Pimlott's 1991 London revival.Here's the 1992 Canadian version of that show, and even if it's not an ideal recording--Janet Metz as the narrator is no match for Laurie Beechman in the original Broadway cast and there's a little too much synthesizer in the orchestrations--this CD is valuable for the performance of former teen pop idol Donny Osmond as the title character.He's in excellent voice, and was so right for the role that he was selected to preserve it for the 2000 video production.And of course the songs are still here, showcasing Rice's witty lyrics and Lloyd Webber's chameleon tendencies--dabbling in country, calypso, French caf&eacute;s, and a King-like pharaoh--as well as favorites "Any Dream Will Do," "Close Every Door," and "Go, Go, Go Joseph."This production also includes the "Joseph Remix" (also known as the "Joseph Megamix"), a nine-minute medley of themes arranged with a heavy beat that was used for a kind of onstage aerobics routine as the show's postscript. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best recording of the show yet!
    Laurie Beecham's narrator on the original broadway cast is still the best out there, but Janet Metz comes in a VERY close second. Donny Osmond is the best joseph! He makes everyone else sound "second rate". When i first heard of this musical, i expected it to be very offensive to catholics ( and others ) who know the biblical version of joseph's coat of many colors. BUT: Mr. Webber has put the show together with such care that it truly is a "family show". Even my grandparents (who are devout catholics) loved the show when they saw it. The music is great, the costumes are great, the performers are great, and above all- you can't lose with a story like this. You need only buy 1 joseph cd, this one. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Osmond shines in Canada's "Joseph"
    I have to admit, I purchased the CD of this version of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" mainly out of curiosity over Donny Osmond's performance as Joseph. Well, he is superb. His voice is clear and strong, and he delivers outstanding renditions of the character's songs. The rest of the cast in this, the 1992 Canadian version of this musical play, also does a fine job.

    "Joseph," with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is a consistently entertaining CD. The lyrics re-tell the story of the biblical patriarch Joseph (found in Genesis 37-45), and Rice sticks remarkably close to the source material. "Joseph" has many inventive and humorous touches (such as making the Pharaoh sing his part a la Elvis Presley, or having Joseph's brothers break out into a calypso song).

    "Joseph" works because of its combination of a compelling story, clever lyrics, and superb music. If you have heard other CD versions but have not listened to this one, check it out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Donny Osmond is a perfect Joseph
    I must admit, my sister and I went to see "Joseph" when it was in Boston a few years ago, mainly because we had childhood crushes on Donny Osmond! I absolutely loved the show. Donny Osmond was just fantastic in this role and the songs seem to be made for his voice. Whoever thought of casting him was right on. This CD is one you will sing along to while in the car, and even my 2 year old loves the music.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's ok
    my name is Tyson. I'm 16 and have a passion for music. Donny Osmond is by far the best Joseph I have heard out of all the cast recordings. However, I don't care much for the Canadian cast, especially Janet Metz the narrator. Her voice actually starts to annoy me. I think the best narrator is from the l.a. cast. My school is doing Joseph right now, tomorrow night is the last two performances. I am the lightboard operator so I have heard it at least 16 times from our school's cast. My friend Matt definately does an incredible job as Joseph and the best high school OR college Joseph I have heard through my years of ushering and tech for the different shows.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Cast Recording Overall
    This is the best overall cast recording of the three revival cast recordings available. After hearing (and seeing in Toronto Canada) Donny Osmond as Joseph, you won't want to hear anyone else in that role. I have all the other recordings of this show, and this is by far the best recording. True, the orchestrations are a bit electronic sounding, but then again, this is Andrew Lloyd Webber and the orchestrations make the best of the available instrumentation. The songs are uncomplicated, the lyrics are playful and witty. Janet Metz as the narrator can be a little wearing on the ears after awhile, but I personally like her performance the best of the three revival casts. The American cast with Michael Damian in the lead is a joke. And the British revival cast recording is mixed differently so that all of the performers seem to be soft and lost within the orchestra. If you want just one cast recording of Joseph, this one is the one to get! ... Read more


    10. Fiddler on the Roof: 30th Anniversary Edition (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00005OB07
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1499
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This new version of the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack coincides with the movie's 30th anniversary (which is also celebrated by a special edition DVD). The CD is notable for several instrumental tracks by John Williams, as well as for "Any Day Now," a previously unreleased song performed by Perchik/Paul Michael Glaser (better known for his starring role in TV's Starsky and Hutch). The soundtrack is often compared unfavorably with the original 1964 cast album, in which Zero Mostel played the part of Tevye (here performed by Topol, who had been in the 1967 London production). But this CD has a lot going for it, including glossy remastering and, of course, Isaac Stern as the fiddler. In the end, whatever version you decide to pick up, Fiddler remains one of the most enduring musicals of all time.--Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Generic review
    I've listened to this particular version, but my review is more on the lyrics and their culturally transcendent attributes.

    The music of "Fiddler on the Roof" is loaded with cultural connections, but my point is that most of the songs, and especially, "Matchmaker", "If I Were a Rich Man", and "Sunset, Sunset" are universally applicable and will resonate with any listener who understands their lyrics. "Matchmaker" sings of the longing for love, connection, and stable happiness. "If I Were a Rich Man" speaks of the dream within all of us for a better life, either through monetary wealth or less tangible forms of prosperity. And, "Sunrise, Sunset" is the melancholy but stubbornly celebratory lament against the passing of time, along with the richness of experience it brings.

    Listen to the words, and you hear Life singing itself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Remastering of a Classic Soundtrack Album
    This is a wonderful Soundtrack.
    It was incredibley popular in High School in 1972 among teens.
    ?Who knew?
    I have a real fondness for this soundtrack, and the movie it comes from, and if I need a good cry this will do It.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Those who enjoyed the motion picture will absolutely love this 30th anniversary edition CD of the music.

    Not only does it feature the beloved songs, sung by Topol and cast, but it also includes some of Tevye's conversations with God and the listener from the motion picture in such songs as "Tradition" and "Tevye's Dream." In addition, this version also includes previously unreleased songs, such as "The Wedding Procession", the First Act Finale and Entr'acte, "The Rejection Scene" beween Tevye and Chava, and "Any Day Now" sung by Perchik, which was not included either in the original motion picture or on the original motion picture soundtrack album.

    It, of course, also includes music by soloist Isaac Stern. This CD is a real delight and a must-have for musical lovers or Fiddler fans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
    Topol shines as Tevye and John Williams' orchestrations of Bock and Harnick's classic musical are incredible. Thirty years later, this release still has incredible merit. Extra tracks and some of Topol's incredible theatrical spoken monologues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nu? A Soundtrack Recording?
    I was taken to see this movie when it first premiered. I was four. I didn't understand the plot at all, and was bored silly, yet still managed to leave the theatre singing "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match...."

    Many times since I've listened to the soundtrack, and I later bought the video; this show so beautifully captures Jewish folk and klezmer music even while the tunes play so well on Broadway. And by now the songs have become so famous, that many recordings of Jewish folk music include "Sunrise, Sunset."

    Of course, I had to get the CD to play in my car, and to my delight, it had songs that were not on other recordings: Chava's beautiful song is here!

    I think the quality of the recording is very good; it's quite clear why this film won an Academy Award for its music, and this CD does it justice. ... Read more


    11. Classical Wedding
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000000V1V
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 9239
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you , Thank you , Thank you
    This CD is wonderful, I found all the music for my wedding right here, and it sounds just like I wanted it to. I certainly recomend this to any bride looking for classy, beautiful music for thier wedding!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great CD for Your Wedding
    My husband and I had a small elegant wedding (immediate family only). We wanted "classy" classical music for our ceremony. There were so many great songs on this CD that we had trouble choosing which ones to use! We settled on #1 (Hornpipe from the Water Music) and #16 (the traditional Wedding March). One would have thought the church was filled with a world-famous orchestra. I don't think anyone could go wrong with this CD if you want to use prerecorded classical music at your wedding.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great For Outdoor Weddings
    I had my wedding outside, in a large gazebo, but did not have
    the funds to hire a musican to play traditional wedding songs at my ceremony. I also wanted the traditional "Here Comes The Bride" with out worring how it would sound for certain instruments. 'Classical Wedding' was WONDERFUL alternative and made my outdoor garden wedding spectacular!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Trumpet
    The trumpeter on this recording is Gary Armstrong. He is incorrectly listed as Gray Armstrong. Thank you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A great CD!
    Reviewer: A music fan from Hartford CT
    This CD was very helpful for our classical ceremony music.
    I really like the musicians and the sound.
    For the reception I used the CD "New Wedding Traditions Volume I" (from amazon.com) That CD had meaningful songs for our family and friends like "A Song For My Daughter" for my father bride-dance, "A Song For My Son" for the mother-groom dance,"A Wedding Thank You" for our bridal party and "To Our Family and Friends" for everyone.
    I am very happy with both of these CDs because they gave me all the special wedding music I needed.
    Gloria Easton ... Read more


    12. Chopin: Favorite Piano Works
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000427J
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1307
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars No Casio? No Problem.
    Just another amazing recording of a composer who will forever be immune to cliche and by whom we will constanly define what is and is not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Would be better if...
    I'm all for the preservation of the treasures of history, but c'mon, let's hip it up a little. Distortion isn't really a bad thing, you know. How bad ass would it be to hear these gems with one slight adaptation: forget piano, that's so 1830. Get with the times and pony up a few bills for a new-fangled invention called a keyboard. It's a really keen contraption with which you can actually play a variety of music from different time periods. Maybe you've heard of a little revolution called techno. Tell me that it's not an artform to mix pre-recorded samples with subtle manipulation of the different tracks. Not to mention the complex composition of original pieces. Imagine, if you will, composing a full spectrum of melodies and beats through the original creation of a bassline and then adding, piece by piece, different rearrangements of various tones and miscellaneous noises. The parallels between "classical" and techno are innumberable. If that's not sub-genius, I don't know what is.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very good choice, but get the Philips too
    There is not that much to add to the other reviewer's comments: these two discs are a bargain and unreservedly recommended. Ashkenazy is indeed the very best overall Chopin interpreter around. I immensely enjoyed his treatment of pieces such as the second scherzo and the g minor ballade. Not to mention the etudes, the preludes, etc. etc. Ashkenazy is never doing stupid things, such as beating the hell out of the numerous fortissimo chords. Instead he offers a very pleasant sounding forte at a ferocious Steinway. All is crisp and clear, and the fact that some recordings are analogue doesn't matter at all: in fact, they are hard to be discovered.

    But keep something in mind: as I said, Ashkenazy is arguably overall the best. This implies that he can be bettered in some ways. Philips has also released a Best-of Chopin set, which contains better renditions of some Waltzes (Kocsis), the Barcarolle and Mazurkas (Kovacevich) and the impromptus (Davidovich). Additionally, the Philips discs give you the Marcia funebre, the Fantaisie-Polonaise and the fourth Ballade, three big pieces that cannot be found over here. Overall it is more balanced too. So if you are going to buy just one best-of-Chopin set, go for the Philips. The best choice, however, is to get both of them!

    5-0 out of 5 stars First-rate compilation of Chopin
    First-rate compilation of Chopin pieces, sensitively played by Vladimir Ashkenazy and beautifully recorded by Decca. Personally, I couldn't live without the complete sets of Chopin's works, but if you only need a selection of favorites or a good starting point to explore Chopin, this double CD may come as a clear first choice. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!!!
    In this recording we hear one of the great piano performers in Vladimir Ashkenazy playing pieces from one of the greatest piano composers in Fryderyk Chopin; with the utmost quality in recorded sound. And if one needs more convincing, you get two hours of music for the price of one cd. Hard to find a better buy in classical music. Moreover, this cd not only looks good on paper, but it also is one of my favorites to listen to. I usually listen to music to help enrich and exonerate an otherwise mundane (computer) task, and I find myself stopping work several times each listen because I'm overcome by the beauty of these pieces, and the both spirited and soulful playing of Ashkenazy. For anyone new to Chopin, I cannot think of a better starting point (no, this double cd does not cover all his great compositions!) than this recording. ... Read more


    13. Essential Mozart: 32 Of His Greatest Masterpieces
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005A8JZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1205
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mozart: music's greatest
    This CD includes samples from many of Mozart's best-known and most popular wrorks--sonatas, operas, etc. It's a good starting point for those new to Mozart or the casual classical listener. Buy it for a friend, get them hooked on Music's genius.

    p.s. I know some people may turn their noses up at me for calling Mozart the greatest, but he was better than Beethoven because of his operas, and he was better than Bach because although Bach is more complex, intricate and elaborate in his instrumentation and harmony, Mozart is more perfect. That is the bottom line.

    David Rehak
    author of "A Young Girl's Crimes"

    4-0 out of 5 stars Truly Essential
    This Compact Disc is truly essential and any true musician must own a copy.I think that the collection of pieces entitled The Russian Flute Ballet by Dsoeteffsky is more Essential in the sense that it holds more complicated suites.With that in mind I suggest you go pick up both because one with out the other is impossible.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A nice diverse selection
    The only drawback to this CD is the amount of opera it contains. While the 'singing' selections are relatively short, I've had to program the player to skip them. Now, the purist may sniff their nose at my dislike for opera, but I listen to classical to get away from singing...and opera does NOTHING for me. The rest of the selections are first rate, with only a few duplicates from among my other CD's (Classical Masters Box set's, and the ubiquitous Eine klein Nachmusik). If you have no objection to opera and are relatively new to Mozart, I would highly recommend this CD

    5-0 out of 5 stars a Mozart sampler for any reason you want
    This is a great sampler of the world's greatest composer! Rather than deciding where to begin -- operas? symphonies? concertos? sonatas? -- you can begin everywhere at once. The performances are not second-rate, they are excerpts from world-class recordings. You can use this set as the basis for further listening adventures, or you can use it as an end in itself. As such, it is surely a contender for Best CD In The World. If you bought complete recordings of every composition excerpted on this disc, you might have to file bankruptcy, so don't let purism stand in the way of enjoying Mozart. I used this set as my introduction (it was previously packaged as "The Greatest Mozart Show On Earth") when I first ventured into classical music a couple of years ago, and so far I've expanded into operas, piano concertos, and string quintets. The genius revealed over the range of forms led to love at first listening!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not for purists, but a great introduction nevertheless
    I don't think Mozart purists would want a collection that consists in large part of excerpts or single movements from various works, but I bought this for my kids and it really is an entertaining, first-rate, diverse introduction to the endless repertoire of Mozart. Perfect for someone who is only a casual fan of classical music, or kids who need memorable tunes to sustain their interest in classical music, or I suppose for someone who just wants beautiful music in the background. ... Read more


    14. Harem
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008W2QZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 728
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    If one's notion of "world music" promises a touch of the exotic and indigenous, often overlooked is the fact that the influence of western pop music has seeped into every corner of the globe, creating a hybrid that's often more than merely the sum of its influences. Theater vet Brightman steps into that pan-cultural hall of mirrors here, wedding her fascination with the music and rhythms of the "forbidden places" (the title's Arabic meaning) of the Middle East to her own oft ethereal vocal charms and rock-solid sense of drama. And if the diva's equally sound crossover sensibilities (and that of longtime producer Frank Peterson) sometimes mire it in familiar world-beat pastiche, Brightman's charmed muse manages some transcendent moments nonetheless. Her musical borrowings (Borodin for the title track; Puccini's *Madame Butterfly* for "It's a Beautiful Day") are as compelling as her choice of collaborators: classical violin star Nigel Kennedy and Iraqi vocalist Kadim Al Sahir add compelling touches to the weary timeliness of"The War is Over." The musical influences range from Europe across the Mediterranean and as far East as the Indian roots of "Bollywood" composer A.R. Rahman's "The Journey Home" and Brightman's own "You Take My Breath Away" to evocative recastings of the emblematic standards "Stranger in Paradise" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," while ex-Killing Joke keyboardist Jaz Coleman provides the savory East-meets-West orchestrations that ensure Brightman's star turns the seamless foundations they deserve. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (163)

    5-0 out of 5 stars TAKE ME TO THE HAREM!
    Oh what a wonderful album release! In short words to describe it, brilliant, a masterpiece in the cross-over music and a must for every CD collectors. For the information of everyone, Harem refers to the forbidden places, where nobody can enter or explore the inner beauty of the faraway lands. It does not completely adapting the Arab musical instruments, but touches all the hearts for those who will hear "THE WAR IS OVER." Kadim Al Shahir participation is much appreciated by the arabs colliding with an artist from the West End. A collaboration by great artists like Nigel Kennedy, Ofra Haza, Natasha Atlas and A.Abdul Rahman. Best cuts to keep on listening are: The War is Over, Beautiful, The Journey Home, Free, Arabian Nights and of course, the title track harem. A very marvelous start to appreciate the beauty of this album! A real getaway music from the usual crossover albums she has made - Eden and La Luna. This surely will top previous album La Luna and Encore. I could say, if you have liked Fly, this one will definitely soothes your mind and soul...

    A MUST FOR EVERY CD COLLECTOR OF SARAH BRIGHTMAN!

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, But Perhaps Not Sarah In Tip Top Form!
    There are 3 Sarah albums that soar above just anything else out there today.(1) LaLuna,(2) Time To Say Goodbye,(3) Eden..It is asking too much for anyone to continue on such a high level, but this album is just about as good as these three! There are some nifty ,toe-tapping neo-disco tunes here which might even be called joyful, especially the first 3! And I admit I first did not really like this CD, but on further playing, it's now among my all-time favorites.On a few tunes, including the title "Harem", Sarah's breathing is very audible, something the sound engineers should have eliminated. (This is my only criticsm, though) An original here "Till the End of Time" is among Sarah's alltime best, and there are many other worthy moments, including new versions of the tried and true "Wonderful World",and "Strangers in Paradise"..If you're new to Sarah, this is surely the bounciest, least solemn album. I give 5-stars, since this is surely among the best of recent releases, though maybe not quite not up to Sarah's very best! But still many great songs, and another illustrious addition to the Sarah catalogue!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soaring over the New Baghdad
    Get on board a magic carpet ride with Sarah. "Harem" introduces us to the new Sarah with her coloratura voice & Arabian beats. This sets the tone for the whole album. Later we hear masterpieces such as "Free", "Beautiful" (Sensual), "It's a Beautiful Day" (Exquisite Madame Butterfly-inspired),. This album takes you through a journey of the soul. It's beginning teases us with the quiet melodic Arabian sounds, then kicks in with the full pulse-pounding beats & descending strings. Sarah then pours out her sensuality with meaningful ballads. After this, she gives herself to me by releasing her voice to its maximum abilities in operatic pieces that will "Take Your Breath Away". Buy this album and soar over Baghdad.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ..What A Wonderful World.. What A Wonderful Remix!!!!!!!!!
    When I first heard of Sarah's version of What A Wonderful World, it is definately one of the most beautiful song I had ever heard. I hated this song before, but Sarah takes the song and reinvents it to 'now'.. It sounded fresh as if the song was written yesterday!!! Loved it, though the music was sorrowful but it made me think of even though with all this 'war' going on right now, it made me think... "What A Wonderful World!!"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy It!!
    Amazing music combination, from Classic, Pop, New Age, Chillout!! wow! ... Read more


    15. Classic Yo-Yo
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00005OAY5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 832
    Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Except for one "previously unreleased" recording and two new ones, this is a compilation of segments taken from older Yo-Yo Ma CDs, perhaps to whet listeners' appetite to hear the entire records. The disc represents a triumph of performance over material. The program consists of short pieces and single movements of long ones and serves to display Yo-Yo Ma's extraordinary versatility, his spectacular instrumental and musical gifts, and his remarkable ability to invest everything he plays with the same commitment and emotional concentration. There is no logic to the sequence, except that it begins and ends with solo cello. Bach, whom Ma plays tuned normally when unaccompanied and tuned low with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, may justify the CD's title but seems out of place. Moreover, juxtaposing him with O'Connor and Piazzolla is jarring, though the Tangos are beautiful. The transcription of Dvor&aacute;k's lovely E-minor Slavonic Dance, despite the participation of violinist Itzhak Perlman and his golden tone, sounds like a movie soundtrack: all bravura and cheap effects. The playing's the thing, and it is stunning, not only Yo-Yo Ma's, but that of all his collaborators, from vocalists Bobby McFerrin and Alison Krauss to pianist Emanuel Ax, Ma's duo partner of 25 years. Ax joins Ma for the Finale of Brahms's second cello sonata; that is what you may find yourself humming at the end. --Edith Eisler ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and beauty
    This is one terrific CD. There is simply one wonderful surprise after another. So many exquisitely beautiful pieces and so many that are sheer fun! I was not familiar with most of this music before and now I am inspired to get the individual albums that this music came from. I want more tangos! I want more Appalachian music! I want more Yo-Yo Ma!

    The only piece that didn't work for me was Vocalise with Bobby McFerrin.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great if you're not familiar with Yo-Yo Ma
    This CD is a good sample of what yo-yo ma has acheived in his musical career, if you want a more in depth listening of his talents than I suggest getting the simply baroque CD. The only thing that I didn't like about this cd was that the compositions were to mixed up in the genres. There was a bit of classical, some movie works, a great song by John Williams, and some of The Tango series music. If you would rather listen to one genre, get a CD that just has Classical or Contemerary, don't get a jack of all trades cd.

    2-0 out of 5 stars What is this?
    This is a compilation of many different styles; look Yo-Yo can play bluegrass! Not really "Classic" Yo-Yo.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
    Many people seem not enjoy this varied collection of Yo-Yo Ma's music...I think just the opposite! I loved every moment of this CD; to me every piece was the "best of the best" of Yo-Yo Ma's music. The CD begins with a Bach cello suite, which brilliantly showcases Ma's rich-sounding cello-playing in stunning solo. His samplings of tango music are not to be beaten either-the "Libertango" is filled with the exotically exciting sounds of many different instruments which complement the perfect "tango sounding" cello. Gershwin's famous first prelude gets a new twist with brightly swinging cello and fitting piano accompaniment, and "Simple Gifts", with Alison Krauss singing, is a simple yet deeply feeling arrangement of a timeless hymn-certainly not to be missed! Last, but certainly not least, some highlights of Ma's Appalachian CDs are included and showcase this uniquely American form of music wonderfully. OK, I'll admit that the order and compilation of this music is a little different...but I think you'll find, like I have, that each piece is like a beautiful gem-shining and stunning and able to stand on its own.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good sampler
    As previous reviews have stated this CD is a sampler from previous albums. So if you are a long time Yo-Yo Ma fan this CD is not going to pleasurable and you may actually find it jarring. But if you are just trying out Ma and don't know what to get or to try afterall, CDs are pricey, then get this CD.

    If you are a huge fan of his _Soul of Tango_ then get this CD just for the unreleased cut of Piazolla's Tango Sensations: Fear (it is a great piece full of energy). You may also want to get this CD for the Alison Krauss cut of Simple Gifts.

    For the truly thrifty who think that the MP3 or OOG version of the music (ripped on premium ware and played on a higher end stereo) will be satisfactory I would argue that you will lose a great deal of richness so, get the CDs of Ma's music for fuller quality.

    This CD is good for the beginner and for those who compulsively collect Ma cuts but for the average fan it is a skip. ... Read more


    16. Oklahoma! (1955 Film Soundtrack)
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005A7XB
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1616
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (22)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great, but the extra sound effects are unnecessary
    This new expanded version of Oklahoma is long awaited for conisseurs of the marvelous 1955 film. It includes not only all music (which has been remastered) from the previous release, but many previously unreleased tracks as well.

    On this album we have Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones in the lead roles that would put them over the top. This is the film for which they probably are both most famous. They were paired up again for Carousel the following year. Jones went on to appear in the 1962 film The Music Man. Gloria Grahame is nice as Ado Annie, but she pales in comparison to Celeste Holm from the OBC album. The cast here is in top vocal form and excellent performances are had throughout.

    My only gripe is the presence of extra sound effects in the previously unreleased material. Hand clapping, foot stomping, extra dialog, and shouts and cheers have no place in a soundtrack album. As another reviewer stated, if we wanted the effect this CD gives, we can grab a copy of the movie and fast forward it to those parts. Many of the best soundtrack albums on the Angel and Sony labels have been plagued with this lately. Extraneous sound effects are had on the remastered and expanded editions of Oklahoma, Carousel, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, and others. While I can see the reissue producers' desire to include the music as it would be heard in the film, more effort should have been made to locate the original recording session masters where they exist.

    On the plus side, though, all of the selections on this CD sound better than ever. We have the Overture and Main Title as heard in the film itself and they have never sounded better, although I do like the original Capitol Records version of the overture better (it appears as a bonus track at the end of this album). The Entr'acte is featured as well, but the Exit Music has not been included.

    I absolutely recommend this album. It is a worthy addition to any Broadway fan's collection. But those who still have their copy of the previous (1993) CD release - hang onto it, you will not regret it! That is how a soundtrack album of Oklahoma, presented with all its integrity, should sound.

    3-0 out of 5 stars OKLAHOMA REMASTER A SLOPPY MESS!
    My disappointment with this expanded soundtrack reissue of OKLAHOMA is based on my belief, which is shared by many other people who grew up with and have grown to love these magnificent performances for their musical excellence, not as a mere souvenir of a movie for casual listening. If I want to experience the movie, I watch the movie on DVD or tape. If I want to enjoy the music on a recording, I want the music to be allowed to speak for itself without sound effects mixed in meant exclusively for the visual presentation. The film versions of the three Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals from which these Angel CD reissues are derived, showcase the finest performances, before or since, that these magnificent scores have ever received. The additional music on the expanded editions of these albums is NOT from the original multi channel vocal and music separation soundtrack master recordings stored in the 20th Century Fox vaults but instead recorded directly from a final mix print soundtrack complete with foot stomping and extraneous sound effects, which besides having no place on a music only recording, actually detract from the listening experience rather than enhance it. If this were 42nd. Street, the foot stomping would make sense, since it is an integral part of the musical presentation, but without the visuals these random sounds don't make any sense in OKLAHOMA, where the superb arrangements of Robert Russell Bennett should be allowed to speak for themselves without intrusions from foley effects. If this were a live recording, such sounds would be an artifact of the original and impossible to remove and therefore have to be acceptable if one wanted to hear the score in its entirety. But in the case of OKLAHOMA (and for that fact, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I and SOUTH PACIFIC) a wealth of unmixed original musical material exists in the studio vaults which could have been made available for this remastering and even more music could have been included on this album (probably enough to fill 2 CD's). For instance, THE OUT OF MY DREAMS BALLET could have been presented in its ENTIRETY, with the extra verse of the song which was on the original album but on this CD replaced by a much shorter version used in the film, without any worry about the sound effects intruding at the beginning and especially at the end. THE KANSAS CITY, FARMER AND THE COWHAND DANCE MUSIC AND THE FINALE could have been presented minus the foley intrusions that almost drown out the music entirely. That is the saddest part concerning this release. The original studio vault material could have been made available if anyone at EMI-Angel had cared enough to present OKLAHOMA with the integrity that this classic recording deserves and should have gotten. If you can get past these aberrations (in addition to some amateur sloppy fade-ins and fade-outs cross cutting the old and new material) the sound on this CD is very good and offers an energetic and beautifully orchestrated performance of the score by Gordon Mac Rae, Shirley Jones and the entire supporting cast. In fact, this performance is superior to the Broadway original in every respect. But even so, try to find the previous CD version of this album, which may not have the additional music but does include the entire vocal score (including the longer version of the song OUT OF MY DREAMS) without all the intrusive sound effects and sloppy edits making for a far more enjoyable listening experience. Let's hope that someday EMI-Angel will give all three of the Rodgers and Hammerstein soundtracks their due and re-release them with added material from the untainted studio vault separations. That would really be SOMETHING SPECIAL.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oklahoma!
    This is by far THE BEST movie and sountrack. The music is beautiful, but still fun and entertaining. It deserves more than 5 stars!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Positively Gorgeous
    The score of "Oklahoma" is, quite simply, one of the true masterpieces of the modern world--funny, simple and yet perfectly, elegantly, constructed. Say what you will about other recordings, I can't find much wrong with this one. The vocal performances and orchestration are almost chillingly beautiful. I nearly wept when I heard Gordon McRae's smooth, crooning baritone voice singing "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top"...and that was only the second song on the CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oh What a Beautiful CD!
    From the electrifying overture to the finale, this is one for the ages. The rich, strong, at times tender baritone of MacRae complemented by the sweet soprano of Jones, grace the CD throughout. The character actor-singers Greenwood, Nelson, Grahame, Steiger, and others, are perfectfully rendered. (Steiger, though, may not have been up to the movie-deleted "Lonely Room", which would have added considerable depth to his loathsome but pathetic character). There's the fine reprise of "People Will Say We're in Love" and the turn-of-the-century style feminine music of the "Many a New Day" ballet, neither heard in other CDs of the movie.

    This is Americana at its most nostalgic, but by no means saccharine. The orchestrations and sound effects of the "Out of My Dreams" ballet, also new in this edition, with their sordid proto-Curly and 'dance-hall' girls, add a dark dimension conjuring up Agnes DeMille's at once menacing and masculine cowboy choreography, not to mention even the sullen sky and landscape. The musical direction under conductor Blackton is crisp and sweeping. Purists have criticized the 'non-musical' foot stomping, clapping, and short dialogues. But who can resist Will's "Kansas City" ragtime, the "Farmer & the Cowboy" dance, and Laurie's calling upon the "elixir of Egypt" to grant her wish? Yes, you can see these on a DVD, but can you play it in your car and let your imagination wander? Or can you see it in a drive-in or a big screen anymore, which is the only way to do it visual and musical justice?

    Hammerstein's first lyrics to which Rodgers ever put music began: "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow..." Truer words could not be said of this master work. ... Read more


    17. Annie (1977 Original Broadway Cast)
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000AG6Z
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1836
    Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The original Broadway cast recording of Annie still has as much charm as it did in 1977. Charles Strouse wrote the snappy music and Martin Charnin's clever lyrics capture the misery of the Great Depression, the glitter of the upper-crust life, and the character of the FDR administration. Andrea McArdle shines in the title role, most notably with the classic anthem "Tomorrow," while Tony-winner Dorothy Loudon and Reid Shelton provide support as the hag Miss Hannigan and the benevolent Daddy Warbucks, respectively.

    The 1998 remastered edition includes as bonus material 17 minutes of tape Strouse and Charnin recorded for backers' auditions in 1972. They present the seven songs with some plot structure and early ideas for characters ("Miss Asthma" was a precursor for Miss Hannigan). Many of the songs didn't survive the final cut, but "Just Wait" eventually became "Little Girls" and "We Got Annie" was resurrected for the 1982 film. "Tomorrow" also appears--touted as the song's earliest recording--and Strouse and Charnin's rendition will increase your appreciation of McArdle. You won't listen to this rough draft every time you play the CD, but you'll enjoy it if you have any interest in the show. The booklet includes the original synopsis and production notes as well as new notes by Charnin on the extra tracks, but no lyrics. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (33)

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Personal Favorite!
    From the time I first saw this show in community theater when I was seven, I have been in love with it. It may seem silly to say, but it spawned my interest in theater, musicals, and history! This is a musical that can bring a smile to the faces of the most bitter people. Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin outdid themselves with the charasmatic music and lyrics. "Tommorrow" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and was actually the last song from a Broadway show to become a standard. The cast is lead with great passion by Andrea McArdle as the title character, Dorothy Loudon as a delightfully wicked Miss Hannigan, Reid Shelton as Warbucks, orphans that aren't sappy (a great achievment), and a quality ensemble (listen for Laurie Beechmen as "The Star to Be" during the "NYC" number). Annie was the first CD I ever owned, and i've listened to it hundreds of times. Take it from me: It's a keeper!

    4-0 out of 5 stars andrea mcardle shines
    I've been a huge fan of Annie since I was little and first saw the 1982 film(not the best version of the musical but it introduced me to the wonders of the musical) at around the ages of 4-6. Since then, I've grown out a bit in my collection. I own two versions of the 1982 film on vhs, the new disney version, and both the obc recording(this cd i'm reviewing here) and the disney version of the soundtracks. Annie is a musical you can't help but love. From Tomorrow to Easy Street, it's oozing with a story any young girl can relate to, even if you aren't an orphan. The love Annie shows for wanting a family is touching and the songs are beautiful and well done by an incredible cast. Don't buy the soundtrack to the 1982 film unless you want to be confused, buy this one and learn the magic of Annie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Andrea McArdle and the original cast; a gem
    The original 1977 cast of ANNIE still cannot be beat, with its original titled moppet Andrea McArdle in her Broadway debut. Dorothy Loudon is still the definitive Miss Hannigan, with Reid Shelton giving Daddy Warbucks a warmth and sincerity that is seldom seen with any other actor playing the role. Robert Fitch and Barbara Erwin are magical in the roles of slimy Rooster and Lily St. Regis. Sandy Faison is a glowing Grace, and the late great Laurie Beechman shines in a variety of small roles. Raymond Thorne plays F.D.R. (he amazingly stayed for the entire Broadway run), and the ensemble is strong and tight.

    This beautiful new reissue of the original cast album contains bonus tracks of the original backers' auditions tape, where composer-lyricits Martin Charnin and Charles Strouse first introduced this marvellous score. The tape is interesting in that you hear some songs that were cut prior to the Broadway opening (like "Apples" and "I've Never Been So Happy), and we learn that the melody-line for "Little Girls" was originally written for a song called "Just Wait". Truly one of the mandatory albums in any Broadway collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great CD
    This CD was great because it is the original Broadway soundrack. I think it has better vocals than the movie soundtrack as well.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't bother with this one!!!!!
    I just received this CD, they fail to mention in the description that it has been REMASTERED!!!! It sounds AWFUL all the background vocals and music is almost in auditable, I am VERY dissapionted with one, you will be too, trust me. ... Read more


    18. 25 Wedding Favorites
    list price: $4.98
    our price: $4.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004Y6T1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8306
    Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars 25 Wedding Favorite... Almost
    As with many compilation CDs 25WF is long on music but short on musicianship. The performances are dull and lifeless with little or no attention to the subtleties necessary to perform these compositions. The recordings are reminiscent of a Jr. College Orchestra performing late in the day. The sound quality is thin and hollow which adds to the dreary atmosphere.
    An unremarkable set of recordings to be avoided at all costs.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good CD
    We are going to use many of the songs on this CD for our wedding. The quality is very good.
    We also found on amazon.com "A Song For My Daughter" "A Song For My Son" and "A Wedding Thank You" all on the New Wedding Traditions Volume I CD.
    Thanks Amazon for making our wedding planning much easier.
    The Bride and Groom

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good CD
    We got this CD for our wedding it was a great help.
    We also got "A Song For My Daughter" and "A Song For My Son" and some other great reception songs on the
    New Wedding Traditions Volume I CD
    which we also found on Amazon
    Thanks Amazon you have made our wedding planning a little easier.
    The Bride and Groom

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Source of Ideas But ...
    The best I can say about this CD is that there are many different styles represented & one can at least get a sense of which pieces merit further investigation. My overall impression is that most of the selections are given a heavy-handed treatment(one might say ultra-formal) or are downright silly--I could swear I've heard 2 of the tracks in Disney's Electrical Parade. I don't blame the composer, of course, but the arranger & compiler. I'm planning my own wedding & found a few ideas of songs I'd like to hear in *other* versions, but nothing on this CD sounded like what I wanted to hear at my wedding, let alone anyone else's. If you have limited exposure to classical music, or don't know where to begin in planning your wedding selections, this might be a good place to begin, simply because of the variety. But I wouldn't recommend it as the source of your wedding music.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A nice selection
    I needed some classical music for my wedding so I pruchased this CD and it is very nice.
    I also purchased "Classical Wedding Traditions" (also from amazon.com) I really like that CD too. ... Read more


    19. The Producers (2001 Original Broadway Cast)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005AY6I
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 604
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    The Producers was the vehicle that first proclaimed Mel Brooks's decidedly singular comic vision as a film director in 1968. At the time, the world may not have been entirely ready for the depth charges of hilarity he unleashed; but more than three decades later, it seemed almost foreordained that the film's retooling as a full-fledged musical--directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman--would become the smash hit of the 2000-2001 Broadway season (even before opening at the St. James Theatre in April). Brooks is, of course, no stranger to the Broadway musical genre or to songwriting, but skeptics might find themselves taken by surprise at just how outrageously well all the threads come together for the new show.

    The film's absurd core vignette--the infamous "Springtime for Hitler"--if anything gains a few notches in hilarity when framed by a character-rich musical that comes off as both parody and valentine in its mimicry of Broadway's "golden age." Brooks (with the help of idiomatically expert arrangements by Glen Kelly) has cooked up a variety of numbers constituting a virtual primer of old-fashioned American musical comedy styles (there's even a toying with Cabaret-style decadence), but they're always coated with an extra layer of zaniness. In fact, the whole show becomes a Chinese box of parodies within parodies. But what really gets the whole mix working is a surefire cast headed by Nathan Lane playing Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick doing a delightfully nebbish turn with delusions of misplaced glory as his sidekick, Leo Bloom.

    From his first big number (musically winking at Fiddler on the Roof), Lane hungrily lays claim to the role, undaunted by his formidable predecessor, Zero Mostel. Even on disc, you can visualize his over-the-top mugging as a dethroned "king of Broadway" who was "the first producer ever to do summer stock in the winter." Comedy, as they say, is all about timing, and that's exactly what Lane gets right. His interactions with Bloom, Franz Liebkind (Brad Oscar), and Roger de Bris (Gary Beach) are priceless, even when only in sound. As for the tunes, Brooks crafts a number of truly memorable ones--don't be surprised to find yourself horrified as you hum along with "Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop" and, of course, "Springtime for Hitler." --Thomas May ... Read more

    Reviews (157)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Back to the Future with Uncle Mel
    My wife and I were lucky enough to see the show in previews on Broadway and we haven't stopped laughing yet. The CD contains music which SOUNDS like tunes you've heard before -- even a casual listening will prompt you to think of Gypsy, Bye Bye Birdie, A Funny Thing Happened . . ., How To Succeed . . ., Fiddler on the Roof and at least a half-dozen other shows. It's as if someone dug this recording out of a circa 1950 time capsule.

    This isn't meant to say the show is merely derivative. In fact, I consider the broadly familiar sound a strong positive factor. So is the madcap humor and pacing, both of the songs and the production as a whole.

    Indeed, one of the show-stoppers on this cast recording is "The King of Old Broadway" and that's what this entire show is: a fabulous throwback to the old Broadway of classic American musical comedy of the mid-20th century. Three minutes into this CD you'll know you're NOT listening to a Disney show nor one composed by a Brit with three names.

    Mel Brooks' tunes are catchy and singable and his lyrics are Noel Coward-sharp. (Just see if you can get these ditties out of your head!) The CD comes with a nice extra: extensive liner notes which include the complete lyrics and spoken interludes of every song.

    The songs on the recording are well-played by an enthusiastic orchestra -- Glen Kelly's fine arrangements and orchestrations flesh out Mel's tunes. The singing is uniformly good, an occasional flat note not withstanding, and the interpreations are inspired. When Max/Nathan Lane tells Leo/Matthew Broderick near the end of the show, "I never realized you're a good singer" it's more than a line of dialogue. It's actually true.

    If you're lucky enough to see the show, the CD is the ultimate souvenir. If you haven't seen it, the CD will more than tide you over until you do. And if "The Producers" inspires a renewal of the American musical comedy genre in the next few years (let's face it, success breeds imitation), then we all have Mel Brooks and company to thank or, to parody one of his own songs from the show:

    Broadway going nowhere in a hurry . . . 'til him.

    Bland and spiceless, never ever curry . . . 'til him.

    Mel's schtick changed the Great White Way.

    It's no longer prim.

    Oi vay, let's hope there's at least another one . . . like him.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Tunes, Hilarious Lyrics
    I attended the first Broadway preview of "The Producers" in mid-March and I have rarely seen an audience respond with such enthusiasm. "The Producers" is lavish, filled with jokes that are as hilarious as they are non-PC, and it boasts terrific performances by Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Gary Beach and the rest of the cast along with extremely clever direction and choreography by Susan Stroman. The music is tuneful without being especially memorable ("Springtime For Hitler" being the exception), but Brooks' lyrics are often riotously funny.

    The CD is an enjoyable souvenir, but it cannot serve as a substitute for seeing the show, which has many memorable sight gags that obviously won't come across on the CD, such as a flock of animatronic pigeons giving the Nazi salute, a dance number set in "Little Old Lady Land" replete with chorus members using walkers, the "Springtime for Hitler" production number, etc.

    One quibble: too much dialogue has been preserved on the CD. For example, at the beginning of Lane's showstopper, "Betrayed," he reads a postcard from Broderick's character before launching into the song. Excessive use of dialogue can detract from the enjoyment of the songs.

    1-0 out of 5 stars What's all the hubbub, bub?
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with the handful of folks here who've found the praises heaped upon this show to be undeserved. I suppose I should say the praises heaped upon this recording rather than the show itself. Never seen the show, never gonna. Sitting through the cd is arduous enough. I can't imagine being trapped in a theater for two hours watching this thing. How this uninspired little throwback of a vaudeville routine earned it's "Second Coming of the Broadway Musical!" label is beyond me. I guess all the tourists who couldn't get tickets to the Lion King actually find the play an amusing way to waste seventy bucks. Go figure.
    The songs on the album range from dull & plodding to shrill & shriller still. The humor is juvenile & just plain humorless. Has Nathan Lane ever played a character who isn't Nathan Lane? I sat through the album three times over the course of a couple weeks trying to hit that magic moment when a score grabs you and you find yourself humming the tunes at work or singing along in the car at the top of your lungs. The only thing I found myself doing was shaking my head in disbelief.
    If you're looking for a great new musical that combines edgy humor with catchy tunes go for Avenue Q, Urinetown, Reefer Madness or the much more deservedly lauded Hairspray. And fear the coming of "Blazing Saddles: The Musical!"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great
    What a great album. I don't particularly like Nathan Lane. Quite frankly I don't think he can sing a note and can only play one character - himself. However, he is perfectly cast in The Producers. His voice fits the music, his one-character acting is the character. It is perfect. The music overall is brilliant - especially the chorus numbers. Mel Brooks has got to be the funniest man alive, and who knew he could write such great music to go with his lyrics. All in all, a triumph!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Musical!
    The Producers is an amazing show with hiliarious songs and lyrics. I think Mel Brooks went over amazement and comedy with this listening track, he went way beyond amazement and comedy. No matter how many hundreds of times I've listened to this CD, I've laughed at every joke each time. Any Broadway lover and comedy lover, such as myself, should own this CD! ... Read more


    20. Josh Groban in Concert (with Bonus DVD)
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $23.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000077ZIG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 154
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Josh Groban in Concert has all the ingredients to be a long-running PBS staple: a young (21), good-looking performer with a golden voice; songs in Italian and Spanish for the crossover crowd (i.e., Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman) and pop and movie songs for the mainstream; guest stars galore (David Foster, John Williams, Angie Stone, Andrea Corr, Lili Haydn); a large orchestra; and striking but not obtrusive visual effects. The centerpiece of this DVD-CD combo (also available in a DVD keepcase) is the 80-minute concert DVD, filmed in Pasadena in October 2002 and featuring numerous songs from Groban's debut CD, including "You're Still You," which catapulted him into stardom when he sang it on TV's Ally McBeal. There are also two new songs--the ballad "Broken Vow," with Groban accompanied by Foster, and "For Always," with the orchestra conducted by John Williams, who wrote the song for the Steven Spielberg film A.I..

    The 37-minute CD offers seven songs performed in the concert (including the two not on the previous CD, "Broken Vow" and "For Always"), plus "O Holy Night." The DVD has excellent picture and sound (PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS), interviews, and backstage footage, and the combination with the CD is an excellent value. Groban's fans, of course, will consider it a treasure at any price. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (117)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible talent!
    I have both this CD/DVD and his debut album, and I can't say enough about either. In this latest CD, you will hear improvements from his original renditions- and I thought it couldn't get any better! What's always blown me away is not just his incredible voice, but his ability to interpret songs. Not too many singers can do just what he does at age 21! Many of his songs are in Italian, one in Spanish, and the emotion that he puts into it makes you understand what he's singing- all without a translation! In this DVD are guest appearances from John Williams, Lili Hayden, Andrea Coor, David Foster, and Angie Stone. All of pairings are magnificent. One of Josh's most recent attempts- Broken Vow- is heartwrenching. It literally moves you to tears. A few other tearful ones are You're Still You, and To Where You Are. During those, you can't see the screen, you're crying so much. Un Amore Per Sempre, Alejate, and Alla Luce del Sole, are a few other non-English favorites of mine. The guitarist on Alejate is superb! Oy! And I nearly forgot- Vincent, or also known as Starry, Starry Night- written by Don McLean, is performed beautifully by Josh. Three artists are connected in that rendition by Josh- Vincent van Gough, Don McLean, and, of course, Josh Groban. The concert moves very smoothly, the songs seem to transition well. I can't say enough good things about this CD/DVD. It's one of those must-haves! You have to experience it for yourself. So get it, watch/listen to it, and then write about it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This CD/DVD Package is AMAZING!
    If you have heard Josh Groban's debut CD, then you know this is a kid [only 21!] with a remarkable voice. The CD in this package include 6 previously released songs performed LIVE, one live performance of a new track - Broken Vow - and a studio version of his chart busting Christmas single - O Holy Night. The DVD contains his Great Performances - Josh Groban in Concert video that has been airing on PBS. It was taped in Pasadena on October 3 & 4, 2002. Beautiful staging and lighting enhance all 13 tunes that were on his debut CD, plus a solo performance of For Always from the A.I. Artificial Intelligence soundtrack and Broken Vow. The DVD include guest performances with Andrea Corr of The Corrs, Rhys Fulber and Lili Hayden on Canto Alla Vita, Lili Hayden on Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Angie Stone on The Prayer, and John Williams conducting on For Always. The additional footage provided of backstage and various interviews with the guests is excellent. Josh's brother, Chris, also did a short backstage video with some interesting footage of rehearsals, backstage, and personal impressions.

    I would highly recommend this CD/DVD for your collection!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breathless Beauty - 100 Stars
    "There is such a place in this world for your voice." ~ David Foster

    Josh's voice is the purest of spiritual ecstasy. His voice is almost timeless in beauty and inspires hope, courage and compassion. "To Where You Are" was my introduction to Josh's voice and yet I didn't fully realize the complexity or the beauty of his voice until I found his "Closer" CD.

    His very existence seems to raise your consciousness and the graciousness he displays on stage only made me respect him more. Josh seems as comfortable on stage as God must feel in heaven. His voice raises your spiritual awareness, drenches you in a tearful romantic high and at times can stun you into silence. At such a young age, he truly owns the stage. He even plays the piano in an impromptu moment amidst a conversation with David Foster.

    I was impressed with how Josh allows the creative process to evolve around him and how he shares the stage with talent from near and far. Angie Stone and Andrea Corr sing duets with Josh in this concert.

    The moment with Lili Haydn is stunning as she seems to appear as an angel and Josh looks on in wonder to where she plays her violin with a backdrop of special lighting/shadow visual effects that takes Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring to entirely new levels. Josh climbs stairs in "Let Me Fall" and then actually "falls." It is all planned and they show the details in the Making of the Special section. Rose petals swirl in the breeze in the background on huge screens as Josh sings Alejate.

    I never felt so much love in my soul
    And no one but you loved me
    I laughed and cried, I was reborn...
    ~Alejate

    Contents:

    1 Bonus CD - Songs from the concert with the additional selection of O Holy Night.

    1 DVD:

    Play Show

    Song Selection - Quickly locate any of the 15 songs from the concert.

    Special Features - Making of the Special, Chris Groban's Backstage Footage and Weblinks.

    Setup Options - The lack of song translations in the subtitles was slightly disappointing. I would have loved to read the words in English, as it would have added an additional layer of depth to the romantic Italian and Spanish ballads. Fortunately song translations for Un Amore Per Sempre and Alejate are readily available online.

    Josh Groban in Concert is a highly collectable and romantic concert that not only displays Josh's breathlessly beautiful voice, it also displays the depth of his commitment to music and his spontaneous comedic side.

    Yes, I'm completely addicted. More! More! :)

    ~TheRebeccaReview.com

    2-0 out of 5 stars Lackluster
    I think I knew about Josh Groban long before most people did, and I know I introduced him (via my website) to hundreds.

    This CD/DVD combination was a major disappointment for me. So much so, that I gave it to a relative instead of keeping it.

    All I can say is, Josh, diversify. All your songs are sounding the same to me, and it's getting boring.

    Gorgeous vocals go only so far when the songs, great as they are, seem uninspired. I found the television special (DVD) to be like this: You see and hear one song, and you've seen and heard them all. "The Prayer" was, in my humble opinion, irritating, as bad as when a singer tries to inject soul into the "Star Spangled Banner."

    It just doesn't work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to being there!
    I haven't yet had a chance to see Josh Groban perform live, but this DVD concert is probably the next best thing.

    Josh's voice is amazing; there is so much emotion there, especially during such numbers as "Vincent" and "Let Me Fall". Most of the songs are sung solo, but there are a few duets. "Canto alla vita", with Andrea Corr, is another highlight of this concert.

    All the songs (with the exception of John Williams' "For Always") are on Josh's two CDs, but it's nice to see them performed in a concert setting. All of his original duet partners appear here, with the exception of Charlotte Church for "The Prayer" (Angie Stone was used instead). David Foster even joins in to play piano and banter with Josh.

    As a bonus, the accompanying CD includes a lovely version of "O Holy Night", which is, as far as I'm aware, unavailable anywhere else.

    This product is listed as being a CD with bonus a DVD, but I think it's really the other way around. The DVD is great. Supplementary features (including a "making-of" featurette and brother Chris Groban's backstage footage) are interesting to see, but are really just icing on the cake. The concert itself is enough, and well worth the price. ... Read more


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