London EVITA Recording

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MusicalMan76
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London EVITA Recording#1
Posted: 12/6/06 at 4:05pm
Hey everyone! I just thought I would solicit some feedback on the 2006 London Cast Recording of EVITA. I just received it in the mail. EVITA holds a special place in my heart, as it was my first professional show.

Please post your thoughts, and I'll post mine a little later on! :) Thanks!
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re: London EVITA Recording#1
Posted: 12/6/06 at 4:08pm
Here's a thread with a couple opinions:

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?boardname=bway&thread=914453

As for me, my opinion remains the same as I posted on that thread. It's good by virtue of it being, well, Evita, but a lot of it seemed pedestrian to me.
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re: London EVITA Recording#2
Posted: 12/6/06 at 5:22pm
I was unsure about Elena Roger until I actually saw her in the role, at which time I decided it didn't matter that her voice isn't always pleasant, because she's an incredibly strong performer.

Matt Rawle, on the other hand... I really, really don't understand why he's sounding so nasal and (I guess) American. And also why he is lacking in cynicism, sarcasm, or anything really to be an effective foil for Evita. Che as a smiling commentator with no bite just didn't work for me; I don't care if he's Che Guavara or if he's an everyman, the character has to challenge Evita. And in this case, compared with a performer like Roger, I felt he just sort of got steamrollered.

I think Philip Quast is great, generally speaking, although the amount of angst he can infuse into even the smallest role is kind of funny. I think his Peron might actually have been happier sipping fruity drinks as he did the crosswords.

I also really enjoy Lorna Want's voice as the Mistress.

As to the accents, it was a bit weird to have Roger with a strong Argentinian accent with almost everyone else being English or Australian, but the really weird thing was that Magaldi had an "Argentinian" accent. I'm not sure how they decided on that one.

Specifically to the CD, I wish it was not just highlights, and also that the libretto didn't just use the same two stock photos of Argentina and the logo over and over again. I don't know if they made it before the production photos were taken or what, but it just looks a bit sad.
'"Contrairiwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."' ~Lewis Carroll
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re: London EVITA Recording#3
Posted: 12/6/06 at 5:27pm
I agree with everything you wrote.

Rawle is THE most boring Che on record, and like you, Roger's accent bothered me simply because the other main characters lack it. I suppose the more accurate sentence would be to say that it bothered me that the other characters lacked the accent; the accent in itself is a unique touch.
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re: London EVITA Recording#4
Posted: 12/6/06 at 5:29pm
What is the best English-language Evita recording?
"Hey, you! You're the worst thing to happen to musical theatre since Andrew Lloyd Webber!" -Family Guy
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re: London EVITA Recording#5
Posted: 12/6/06 at 5:30pm
I think the OBC still stands as the best.

However, if they could somehow magically replace Patinkin with Banderas, I'd be one happy girl. Also, if you're planning to buy the OBC album, make sure to download Elena Roger's "You Must Love Me" - a great song added for the movie and later included in the London revival.
Updated On: 12/6/06 at 05:30 PM
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re: London EVITA Recording#6
Posted: 12/6/06 at 5:38pm
That's funny, Shawk. I think Matt Rawle has an extremely "British" sound to his singing -- that is, supported more from the throat than the chest or diaphragm.

Oh well...either way, he's pretty awful.
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re: London EVITA Recording#7
Posted: 12/6/06 at 5:58pm
Nothing can beat Patti Lupone and the OBC, but it is better than the film soundtrack. I like that this production has something new to offer
Off topic: What this the best Eva Peron Biography
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re: London EVITA Recording#8
Posted: 12/6/06 at 6:00pm
I meant more his pronounciation of the words than his singing technique. I don't know if "American" is right to describe it, maybe more "kind of trying to sound like Antonio Banderas but failing and instead doing some strange American-ish thing." re: London EVITA Recording

I thought he was more bland than terrible, but still, disappointing.
'"Contrairiwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."' ~Lewis Carroll
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re: London EVITA Recording#9
Posted: 12/6/06 at 6:01pm
Andrew Lloyd Webber has gone on record saying that in his opinion, the film soundtrack is the best recording of his musical.
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re: London EVITA Recording#10
Posted: 12/6/06 at 6:04pm
Unlike a lot of people here, I do think that film soundtrack has its perks. I actually prefer the instrumentations on the soundtrack to any of the cast recordings; they sound a lot richer, and in my book, that's a good thing. I also think Madonna and Pryce's "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You" is the best recorded version of the song - sultry, sexy, everything the number should be. "The Lady's Got Potential" is great, as is "You Must Love Me," although I prefer Roger's rendition to Madonna's. And, as I mentioned, Banderas is my favorite Che.

Unfortunately, LuPone kicks Madonna's ass in every way - this coming from a Madonna fan and someone who enjoyed her work in the film.
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re: London EVITA Recording#11
Posted: 12/6/06 at 6:06pm
Totally agreed. I'm in the (apparent) minority who LIKED Madonna in the film...but no one touches Patti in this role.
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re: London EVITA Recording#12
Posted: 12/6/06 at 6:08pm
"Andrew Lloyd Webber has gone on record saying that in his opinion, the film soundtrack is the best recording of his musical."
This was just a couple years after the whole Patti Lupone Sunset Bvd. feud he would'nt admit that Patti was his best Evita

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re: London EVITA Recording#13
Posted: 12/6/06 at 7:22pm
I myself think the film soundtrack is the best recording as well. I love Patti and her voice is definitely much better than Madonna's but I feel that Madonna's version has more emotion in it. Ofcourse, there is that difference of Patti's voice needing to be heard at the back of the theater (losing some of the feelings) whereas Madonna has the benefit of sound design and sound mixing.
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re: London EVITA Recording#14
Posted: 12/6/06 at 7:34pm

I loved that show actually ... definetly was a great production and love her voice
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re: London EVITA Recording#15
Posted: 12/6/06 at 8:32pm
Patti's voice needing to be heard at the back of the theater (losing some of the feelings) whereas Madonna has the benefit of sound design and sound mixing

You know that cast recordings aren't made live, right? I guess you could still argue that Patti sang on the cast recording as if she were singing to the back of the theatre, but she definitely was not literally singing to the back of the theatre when recording the album.

The film soundtrack did have superior mixing, though, due to its larger budget.
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re: London EVITA Recording#16
Posted: 12/6/06 at 8:34pm
Plus, the Broadway recording on CD was a transfer from Vinyl. Nonetheless, it sounds pretty good for a recording made in the late 70's.
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re: London EVITA Recording#17
Posted: 12/6/06 at 9:22pm
"Plus, the Broadway recording on CD was a transfer from Vinyl."

Hmmm ElFantasma14, I'm curious about your statement. Why wasn't a recording from 1979 NOT remastered on CD from the original master tapes that were once used to press the vinyl recording? The only times I've ever heard of CD's being mastered from vinyl or 78's is when the source material's master tapes are no longer available, the foreign distributor does not have permission from the owner of the property or the existing master tapes are in extremely poor condition. I find it very surprising that Andrew Lloyd Weber and the Really Useful Group wouldn't have taken better care of the master tapes. So I guess my question is "What is the source of your statement?" Thanks!
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re: London EVITA Recording#18
Posted: 12/6/06 at 9:33pm
This is the best recording, the orchestrations are pristine, and beautiful, more authentic sounding and the Eva on this recording is fantastic, more believeable and heartfelt that I have heard on any record.

The best moment on this recording for me, is Art of the Possible, the additions to the orchestrations are thrilling, as are the rest of the orchestrational additions.

I loved it.

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re: London EVITA Recording#19
Posted: 12/6/06 at 9:36pm
Strangely, "The Art of the Possible" is staged as a tango. As in, stompy leather boots, fatigues, large men, and combative tango. I found that unexpected, and a bit odd.

Then again, they inserted the tango pretty much anyplace possible, so there you are.
'"Contrairiwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."' ~Lewis Carroll
Updated On: 12/6/06 at 09:36 PM
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re: London EVITA Recording#20
Posted: 12/7/06 at 12:57am
I have all the recordings - some thoughts:

The Original Concept Alb: (with Julie Covington) it's neat to hear the first incarnation and her "Dont Cry For Me" is pretty neat to hear. Have to admit that after hearing Elena, all the other Eva's sound way too inauthentic - and Covington definitely would be at the top of that list - but still a great recording

The OBC: I'm not a Patti or Manny fan - it's a good recording and Patti isn't as out of control or overacting like she is in other recordings/roles. Not my favorite.

The Movie soundtrack - what I like is the orchestrations - especially the end titles (missing on the recording) beautiful - and Antonio adds a nice flair to Che. Madonna is passable to me.

The new OLC recording - I really loved it - don't know why it's been received in a rather underwhelming fashion. Love the new orchestrations - think the cast is great - love the changes (especially adding You Must Love Me)> My only complaint is that it's not a double CD...and that they don't seem to be promoting Evita as much as Sound of Music...
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re: London EVITA Recording#21
Posted: 12/7/06 at 3:13am
Regarding one of the previous posts, One of the currently best Evita biographys is Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro's EVITA: THE REAL LIFE OF EVA PERON. The European edition is EVITA: THE REAL LIVES OF EVA PERON. It is not biased and does not take sides.

As for the new London production, I've seen it and loved it for the most part. The CD itself is more than good. Here is the review I wrote:


EXCELLENT RECORDING OF THE COLOURFUL NEW PRODUCTION, BUT...


... this is only a highlights recording. But before we get to this fact, one has to say a few words about the musical itself.

Over the years Andrew Lloyd Webber has made many musicals, some more successful and appealing to the public than the others. Most people will, however, agree that “Evita” remains one of his most satisfying works to this date. Numerous reasons confirm this statement. Just like in its predecessor “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Evita” is almost entirely sung-through; the lyrics are witty and appropriate; the subject matter is again a personality larger-than-life who rises from obscurity and dies at the peak of its fame, thus becoming a legend; the score is captivating and appealing to the listener, at home or in the theatre. The subject matter is quite well know, but let us repeat the essentials for the ones who are unacquainted with it: We follow the life story of Eva Duarte Peron, wife of post-World war two president of Argentina, Juan Peron. However, the musical is very loosely based on the actual life of the real Evita. The story follows Evita from the day of her death in July 1952, and then we have flashbacks until that moment, covering her coming to Buenos Aires, alleged love affairs, meeting Peron, being the first lady and dying of cancer at 33.

This CD is the cast recording of the newly directed 2006 London production that opened in June in London’s Adelphi Theatre. This is the first production that did not use Hal Prince’s renowned direction, but instead it has Michael Grandage, one of the best contemporary British theatrical directors. The cast who delivers the glorious score is for the most part, well picked. Elena Roger, a tiny, blue-eyed young Argentinean , brings a welcoming freshness to the role, sung in the past by some of the best female voices in the theatre, such as Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige. Elena seems to understand that the role of Eva Peron needs to be acted as well as sung. She brings a new touch to the songs we’ve heard performed so many times before and although Patti LuPone’s Evita will by all accounts remain unmatched, Elena Roger found both her voice and character, despite the fact that at some points she sounds as if she is struggling to hit the highest of notes. Her rendition of ‘Buenos Aires’ is one of the highlights of this recording, but one must note that the famous ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ needed a bit more of the vocal range in Elena’s take of the refrain reprise.

Matt Rawle’s Che gets a mixed review. He can be quite good at times (like in ‘The money kept rolling in’) and yet he has the tendency of singing too much in a high voice, similarly like Mandy Patinkin on the 1979 Broadway Cast Recording. I always felt Che needs to have a deeper voice, as sung by Antonio Banderas, Colm Wilkinson or David Essex. Philip Quast makes a fine Peron, but his presence on this album, due to its highlights nature, is barely noticeable.

The new orchestrations sound fresh and have more of a Latin American and tango flavor than the previous ones. ‘Buenos Aires’ has a new lush melody in between the verses and the discreet accordion sound in ‘I’d be surprisingly good for you’ is a nice touch. However, there are some quite unnecessary cuts made in the music. So in the latter song the charming orchestral play of the melody between the refrains is completely cut, which takes a lot from the song’s appeal. The same has been done with ‘You must love me’, which is beautifully performed by Roger, but the lack of the orchestral solo is something which is very noticeable and not called for.

The lyrics of Tim Rice, one of the main assets of this show, haven’t lost any of their wittiness and one has to mention the fact that the entire second verse of ‘Lament’, which can be only heard on the 1976 Concept Album with Julie Covington, is now fully used for the first time on stage. This is very important, since not only does it gives an important insight into what authors conceived as Eva’s motivation (the need to be loved), but also it makes the whole story line more complete. This is certainly the most touching number on the CD: Roger gives a truly moving performance and there is a discreet choral accompaniment here, which gives a moving note to it all.

Finally, to the issue from the beginning of this review. This is, sadly, only a highlights CD of this production, and what’s worse, it has less material than the highlights album of the movie soundtrack with Madonna. It remains unclear why the author’s didn’t go for a full 2 disc edition, even more so, when the last one was done in 1979, with Broadway Cast Recording. No matter what the reasons were, there was 10 more minutes left to fill on this CD and it is just about enough to round off the story. Some of the things missing in the musical numbers on the CD are: ‘Eva and Magladi’, the introduction to ‘A new Argentina’ or the last Eva’s lines from ‘The rainbow tour’. There is also a question of the reason for including ‘The art of the possible’ (which is more of a number to be seen on stage than to listen) and omitting of ‘Peron’s latest flame’ altogether. These are the main reasons this CD is not as good as it could have been. Let us hope that this issue will be resolved if this production makes it to Broadway in the near future. The CD itself comes in a nice sleeve case, lyrics, director’s notes and a couple of production pictures.

For those of you who are getting acquainted with the story of Eva Peron for the first time I must point out: Bear in mind that this musical is only loosely based on the life of the real Evita. As much as Tim Rice’s lyrics are craftily made, they lack a lot of historical accuracy. As a historian I became very interested in Eva Peron’s life story so I did some research after seeing the movie. It turned out that the authors based their entire work on a single book called EVITA: THE WOMAN WITH A WHIP by Mary Main. The author belonged to the rich Anglo-Argentinean part of the society that was naturally opposed to Perons. Today’s historians concur that this book is based on rumors, lies and myths, written with the single purpose of slandering Eva Peron as much as possible. It contains no footnotes and no bibliography. The authors used it mainly because it was one of the few books available on the subject in the English language during the 70-is. So one should be very careful in making any conclusions based on the musical or the movie alone.

All things considered, this is a nice addition to your existing Evita cast recording collection or a good souvenir from the show. But for the people who want to enjoy Evita completely, I would recommend to go for the more complete recordings: 1976 Concept Album with Julie Covington, 1979 Broadway Cast with a Tony-winning Patti LuPone or 1996 movie soundtrack with Madonna.

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re: London EVITA Recording#22
Posted: 12/7/06 at 4:49am
Evita was a whore, plain and simple!
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra
Salve, Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Eva
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
O clemens O pia
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re: London EVITA Recording#23
Posted: 12/7/06 at 5:30am
re: London EVITA Recording

Interesting for me, no one mentioned the Original London Cast Recording starring Elaine Paige as Eva. I think Elaine is still the best Evita.

All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That's what makes theatre live. That's why it persists. - Stephen Sondheim
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re: London EVITA Recording#24
Posted: 12/7/06 at 5:45am
I was a bit disappoined by the CD - the show had so much more omph in the theatre and oddly, the orchestrations and cast all sounded far better live than they do on the cast recording. As it was the first Evita recording I heard, I have a soft spot for the OLC as well... re: London EVITA Recording

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