It’s the time of end-of-year-reviews and I’ll incorporate one of mine into Favourite Friday! So….here they come: My top 5 (musical theatre) recordings 2013. As always in no particular order.
1) Live – that’s not a Cast Recording, but an EP of the composer-writer-duo Kerrigan Lowdermilk which I like very much. And on that EP many Broadway voices sing these fabulous songs – it’s a great everyday listen! My most favourite songs on there are “The fathers ran away”, “Holding on”, “Sadie” and “Shut up and listen”. Just go and preview them on iTunes and be amazed.
2) First Date – I saw that show back in September when I was in NYC and I was very happy to be one of the first people to have the recording (because I bought it in the theatre….it wasn’t even in the stores back then). Krysta Rodriguez has a great voice and even if the music had been not my favourite the CD would’ve been worth its money just because of her. But gladly the music is a nice, mostly up tempo, driving pop-score and has so many funny, sad and thoughtful lyrics that it pays off even more! Plus: Since it’s closing on Jan 5th and you weren’t able to SEE Zachary Levi perform (which of course is a pitty!) you can at least listen to him sing. And to Ms. Rodriguez. And everyone else – and get the vibe of the show at least somehow.
3) The Last 5 Years – My favourite musical of all times got an Off-Broadway-Revival this past spring, directed by Jason Robert Brown himself. Since I wasn’t able to see it I was looking forward to the recording to be released – hearing that contemporary take on the material. I own serveral recordings of Betsy Wolfe’s voice and I loved Adam Kantor on the taping of Rent’s final Broadway performance – so my anticipation was even stronger. And I like it (well if not it wouln’t be featured in that list, right?). I like Adam Kantor’s Jamie-tone and with Betsy Wolfe as Cathy you sometimes even are able to hear that Cathy is supposed to be a mediocre singer (unlike Wolfe who is a brilliant singer!) – I always love if characters are given a new tone, a new voice. And with that recording it’s a job well done!
4) Rebecca – Since I am German I thought that at leat one of my featured recordings had to be German. The German recording of Rebecca was released in November 2012, but I’ll still count it as a 2013 favourite. This is the second recording of the Kunze/Levay musical Rebecca (based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier) after the world premiere recording from Vienna 2007. After their run in Vienna some things were revised and changed so it’s nice to have that recording, too, even though I own the one from Vienna. The highlight you can’t argue about is Pia Douwes as Mrs Danvers who seems to be scarier and more like a psychopath with Douwes’ voice. To be honest she was the one reason I bought that recording in the first place – and it’s worth it big times! She’s just incredible.
5) The Mystery of Edwin Drood – After my visit to Münster to see Drood last February and even before I binge-listened to the recording of the 2012 Broadway revival starring my all time favourite Stephanie J Block as Drood. Especially the first CD is much fun to listen to (the second one not soooo much in my opinion since it’s basically the repition of one song with some (musical and lyrical) variations, the different confession songs. But they are nice to have, to get to know the structure – and to be honest the structure is the thing making it special. And Stephanie J Block is the one making this recording special. Please, just go to Youtube right now and search for her “Writing on the Wall” – and if you happen to love it as much as I do: You’re very welcome. 😉
In case you haven’t found a gift for the musical theatre lover in your life I can recommend any of these. What are your favourite recordings of 2013? My German friends: Any German favourites? I’d love to hear that in the comments below or on my facebook page.
I’m very looking forward to 2014 recording-wise, a German Next to Normal recording and the Big Fish OBC in February….Have a great second to last weekend in 2013!