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Subject: Re: show boat - was THE SOUND OF MUSIC
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 10 Nov 2018 15:36:48 -0600

text/plain (26 lines)

My favorite recording of this type (indeed, one of my favorite recordings of any type) is the 1988 Show Boat with Frederica von Stade and Jerry Hadley in superlative form as Nola and Gay! Teresa Stratas (Julie) is a huge plus as is Bruce Hubbard (Joe). Conductor John McGlinn seems to be madly in love with Kern’s score and the result is a joy and a delight and an elation and…

Among the many positives of the recording is that it features all the music Kern ever wrote for his masterpiece. Over the years there have been numerous additions and deletions to / from the show. The producers of this set have sculpted a performing version approximating the original and presented it from beginning to end. As an appendix they’ve included all the other Show Boat music.

A problem with the original version, which we hear on this set, is that there is much that’s considered not politically correct today; I’m thinking specifically of the use of the “N word” - but, notwithstanding the shock of hearing it repeatedly, it does fit the time of Kern’s composition. It’s jarring to our evolved ears but I imagine audiences of its day were used to it. (Think Mark Twain, for example, who used the word in his writing).

For anyone unfamiliar with the album I strongly urge you to buy it and listen at your earliest convenience. (It’s a long 3 CD set so allow plenty time). For those who already own it and haven’t listened for a while, I recommend you dust it off and either listen to it on your audio system or load it onto your phone or mp3 player and treat yourself to a highly pleasurable experience.

Kurt Youngmann

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties.” —-James Madison, 4th president of the United States 

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