BWW CD Reviews: Masterworks Broadway's KISS ME, KATE/BRIGADOON (Original Television Cast Recording) is Irresistibly Charming

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BWW CD Reviews: Masterworks Broadway's KISS ME, KATE/BRIGADOON (Original Television Cast Recording) is Irresistibly Charming
Cover art courtesy of Masterworks Broadway.

At the end of 2013 Masterworks Broadway scored a commercial success with their release of the Carrie Underwood led cast album for THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Earlier this year, they invited audiences to travel down memory lane with the charming release of two television soundtracks featuring Robert Goulet, KISS ME, KATE (1968) and BRIGADOON (1966). With this special release, these delightful but rare albums are now getting a chance to be heard and appreciated by a new and wider audience.

According to a Peter Filichia these two albums were missed by many a dedicated theater devotee in their original release "because the broadcasts were shown on 'Armstrong Circle Theatre' -- sponsored by Armstrong Flooring -- the albums were only available at outlets where the company's products were sold. Now we get a chance to hear two more showcases of [Robert] Goulet in his prime." Due to these circumstances, for a fan of theater, these recordings are worth their weight in gold alone.

Another intriguing and incredibly fun aspect of the albums are their unique orchestrations. Choral Director Ray Charles and conductor Jack Elliot bring an ebulliently brisk pace to most of the numbers and orchestrate the numbers with decidedly 60s tonality. It does not take close listening to hear the swinging tones of Ray Charles' "Goldfinger" on the disc. Moreover, that swinging jazzy sound of the 1960s finds its way into many of the orchestrations for these albums. While unique, these choices are a welcome and altogether fascinating change from other iterations of these cherished scores.

Likewise, the vocals on albums are appealing, clean, and precise. Both KISS ME, KATE and BRIGADOON are favorites of theatre fans, theatres, and audiences, so many know these songs inside and out. With that said, none of the vocals on the disc disappoint. Moreover, Robert Goulet, who was loved on the stage and screen, fascinates on the disc, giving us performances that now can be enjoyed and respected for generations to come.

With irresistible charm, vibrant 60s soundscapes, and incandescent vocal performances, the Robert Goulet led dual album KISS ME, KATE/BRIGADOON (Original Television Cast Recording) is a true gem from the vaults. Whether you're a fan of classic musicals, a fan of Robert Goulet, or a fan of rare recordings, this blast from the past offers listeners an excitingly fresh take on familiar material.

Masterworks Broadway first released KISS ME, KATE/BRIGADOON (Original Television Cast Recording) on March 18, 2014. Physical copies of the album can be purchased exclusively from Masterworks Broadway's Official Music Store and ArkivMusic. Digital copies can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon.

For information about other theatrical recording releases, click here.

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