CD Nol Coward's Bittersweet [Selections] (CD 4645486), Audio Other
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Nol Coward's Bittersweet [Selections]

  • 1. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Overture - Michael Collins
    2. Bitter Sweet, operetta: The Call of Life - Vanessa Lee
    3. Bitter Sweet, operetta: If You Could Only Come With Me - Roberto Cardinali
    4. Bitter Sweet, operetta: I'll See You Again - Roberto Cardinali
    5. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Ladies Of The Town - Jean Alister/Dorothy Dorow/Rita Williams Singers/Mary Thomas
    6. Bitter Sweet, operetta: If Love Were All
    7. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Dear Little Caf - Vanessa Lee/Roberto Cardinali
    8. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Today
    9. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Kiss Me - Julie Dawn
    10. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Zigeuner - Vanessa Lee
    11. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Finale - Roberto Cardinali
    12. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Selection [Excerpt] - London Palladium Orchestra
    13. I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet") - Peggy Wood
    14. If love were all
    15. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Dear Little Caf - Peggy Wood
    16. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Zigeuner - Peggy Wood
    17. I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet")
    18. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Zigeuner
    19. I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet") - Jane Marnac/Ren Bussy
    20. Ne Serait-Ce Pas L'Amour? (What Is Love?), song - Jane Marnac
    21. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Le Petit Caf (Dear Little Caf) - Ren Bussy
    22. Bitter Sweet, operetta: Tzigane (Zigeuner)
    23. I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet")
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1130

  • Credits

    Composer/Lyricist: Nol Coward.
    Audio Remasterer: Robin Cherry.
    This unlicensed album presents a 1958 studio cast recording of Nol Coward's 1929 operetta Bitter Sweet that has been out of print for many years, after having been released in the U.K. by RCA Victor/EMI and, in the U.S. in 1960, on Angel. It went out of copyright in Europe as of January 1, 2009, and Sepia Records didn't waste much time getting this version out. But the new label did take the time to add a bunch of extra tracks that more than double the running time. The 1958 album (tracks 1-11) was notable for being the first album-length version of the score, and it is excellent, with Vanessa Lee putting her soprano in the service of the starring role of a woman who follows her heart in 19th century Vienna and, along the way, sings such Coward standards as "I'll See You Again" and "Zigeuner." Also impressive is Julie Dawn as the nightclub singer Manon, handling another Coward evergreen, "If Love Were All." In fact, the only thing wrong with the recording is that it is incomplete, presenting only nine songs from the score (plus the "Overture" and "Finale"), when there were another eight sung on-stage, among them "Bonne Nuit, Merci" and "Green Carnations." The 12 extra tracks do not include any of that material, however, repeating many of the same songs in different versions. Although there was no "original cast album" of Bitter Sweet, Peggy Wood, Georges Metaxa, and Ivy St. Helier, the London stars, did cut a couple of singles of the major songs before the opening, and those tracks are here. Evelyn Laye, who starred in the show on Broadway, recorded "I'll See You Again" and "Zigeuner" a decade later, and they're here, too. Most unusual, there was a French-language production in Paris in 1930, and four songs from that cast have been included. The whole thing finishes with a 1954 Coward recording of "I'll See You Again." Thus, this is a good miscellany of Bitter Sweet, especially for those who don't mind hearing four different versions of "I'll See You Again" and three each of "Dear Little Caf" and "Zigeuner." But it is not a complete recording of the score. ~ William Ruhlmann

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