CD The Merry Widow/The Desert Song [1944 Studio Casts] (CD 989955),
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The Merry Widow/The Desert Song [1944 Studio Casts]


  • 1. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Overture
    2. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: In Marsovia
    3. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Maxim's
    4. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Act 1 Finale
    5. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Down In Dear Marsovia
    6. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Vilia
    7. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Women
    8. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Love In My Heart
    9. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Act 2 Finale
    10. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: The Girls At Maxim's
    11. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: I Love You So (The Merry Widow Waltz)
    12. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Finale
    13. Desert Song, operetta: Opening Chorus and Riff Song, The
    14. Desert Song, operetta: French Military Marching Song, The
    15. Desert Song, operetta: Romance, The
    16. Desert Song, operetta: Then You Will Know, The
    17. Desert Song, operetta: The Desert Song, The
    18. Desert Song, operetta: Finale of Act 1, The
    19. Desert Song, operetta: One Flower In Your Garden, The
    20. Desert Song, operetta: One Alone, The
    21. Desert Song, operetta: The Sabre Song, The
    22. Desert Song, operetta: Finale, The
    23. Carmen Jones, musical play (adapted from Carmen by Oscar Hammerstein II): Beat Out Dat Rhythm On A Drum
    24. Jalousie, tango for orchestra
    25. Goodnight, Sweetheart (for the Earl Carroll "Vanities of 1931")
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): BO1195-2

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    Liner Note Author: Bucky Willard.
    Recording information: 1944-1945.
    Directors: Harry Sosnik; Jeffery Alexander.
    Unknown Contributor Roles: Kitty Carlisle Hart; Felix Knight; Wilbur Evans.
    Box Office Recordings/Encore Productions does operetta fans a favor -- even if one that may be legally dicey -- by reissuing these two long out-of-print operetta recordings on a single disc. In 1943, Kitty Carlisle appeared in a production of the 38-year-old operetta The Merry Widow in Boston and her notices were good enough to persuade Decca Records president Jack Kapp to undertake a 1944 studio-cast recording using Wilbur Evans, also of the Boston production, and Lisette Verea of a recent New York staging. The result was the most extensive recording of the score yet attempted. Kapp then brought Carlisle and Evans back into the studio to cut a version of the 1926 operetta The Desert Song. It was another excellent rendition. Both albums, originally issued as sets of 78s, were reissued on LPs in the 1950s, but otherwise languished in the Decca (later MCA) vaults. The present disc is not licensed legitimately from the copyright holders, and it clearly has been mastered from old records, since the sound is not great. But Carlisle's voice cuts through easily; singing operetta was really the strongest of her many modest skills. And while the scores are incomplete, especially from a later perspective, they remain a brave early attempt to put the music on record. The disc is augmented with three tracks drawn from Carlisle's Decca singles, notably a spirited version of "Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum" from Carmen Jones. ~ William Ruhlmann

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