Candide [1974 Broadway Cast Recording]

Candide [1974 Broadway Cast Recording]


3 New & Used Starting at $64.61


Although its original Broadway cast album made it a success d'estime in the eyes of a generation of musical theater fans, the first production of Leonard Bernstein's musical adaptation of Voltaire's Candide in 1956 was a critical and commercial failure that ran only 71 performances. More failed attempts to make it work followed until 1973, when director Harold Prince, fresh from A Little Night Music, brought in his collaborators on that show, librettist Hugh Wheeler and songwriter Stephen Sondheim, to overhaul Candide. Wheeler wrote a new book, Sondheim provided new lyrics to several of Bernstein's tunes, and Prince directed a playful, intimate production in which the performers acted all over the theater. After a brief run in Brooklyn, it moved into a drastically reconfigured Broadway house on March 10, 1974. The result was at least a critical success with a run of 740 performances, not, unfortunately, enough to turn a profit because the potential size of the audience had been reduced so much by the set. Columbia Records recorded the show in its entirety on two LPs with a running time of 105 minutes (finally reissued on two CDs by the Masterworks Broadway imprint of Sony BMG Music Entertainment in 2006). The recording brings out the highly entertaining nature of the show, although it cannot due justice to the inventive staging. By stripping the production down, the new creative team also reduced the effectiveness of Bernstein's music somewhat by failing to employ a full orchestra, and those who only hear the album may underestimate the effectiveness of the staging. (2006 reissue producer and annotator Didier C. Deutsch, for instance, mistakenly writes, "In the final analysis, it might not have been a great production, but -- as this recording proves -- it was a fun one." Actually, it was a great production.) There is no mistaking the talents of the cast, however, especially Mark Baker as Candide and Lewis J. Stadlen as Dr. Pangloss and any number of other characters. Prince and co. must be credited with rescuing a work that seemed doomed to forever being a cast album fan's favorite but never a workable show. Sondheim's lyrics (to "Life Is Happiness," "The Best of All Possible Worlds," "Auto da Fé," "This World," and "Sheep's Song") are noticeably wittier than the rest, but it's hard to take him to task for that, especially when they are in the spirit of Wheeler's clever dialogue, which is rendered here intact. Finally, the 1974 Broadway revival of Candide is more than just a rescue mission. It's a jewel of a production (and a recording) that achieves more by doing less.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/29/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0828768839126
catalogNumber: 88391

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mauceri   Musical Direction
Mark Baker   Vocals
Gail Boggs   Vocals,cast
Chip Garrett   Vocals
David Horowitz   Vocals,cast
Debra Starr   Vocals
Sam Freed   Vocals,cast
June Gable   Vocals,cast
Maureen Brennan   Vocals,cast
Jim Corti   Vocals,cast
Robert H. Henderson   Vocals
Lewis J. Stadlen   Vocals,cast
Jeff Keller   Vocals,cast
Candide Pit Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Lynne Gannaway   Vocals
Becky McSpadden   Vocals,cast
Joe Palmieri   Vocals,cast
Renee Semes   Vocals,cast
Sam Freed   Vocals
Mary-Pat Green   cast
Carolann Page   Vocals
Robert Henderson   Vocals
Deborah St. Darr   Vocals
David Horwitz   Vocals
Mark Baker   Vocals

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer
Stephen Sondheim   Composer,Lyricist
Matt Kelly   Reissue Research
John Mauceri   Musical Director
Richard Wilbur   Composer,Lyricist
Didier C. Deutsch   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Reissue Liner Notes
John Latouche   Composer,Lyricist
Hershy Kay   Orchestration
Thomas Z. Shepard   Producer
Robert Waller   Engineer
Mike Kull   Reissue Research
Roxanne Slimak   Art Direction
Hugh Wheeler   Book
Robert "E.S.T." Waller   Engineer
Anthony Fountain   Reissue Research
Buddy Graham   Engineer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Candide [1974 Broadway Cast Recording] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Jaques2 More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest experiences one can have experiencing a cast recording. Every note and line of dialogue is intact, it's almost as if it were created for radio broadcast. Other versions and recordings of Candide may have more symphonic splendor, but this is the version where Voltaire's voice is as strong as Bernstein's. A must.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago