Album cover art for upc 0095115532225
Catalog: CHSA 5322(2)
Format: SACD

Nathaniel Hackmann Sierra Boggess Rodney Earl Clarke Jamie Parker Louise Dearmann Sandra Marvin Nadim Naaman Leo

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! was first performed in 1943; and was a significant turning point in the history of musical theatre. It was the first musical to put drama and plot to the fore; portrayed by rounded; believable characters. It swept aside traditions that had their roots in vaudeville – star turns; comic sketches; and endless lines of high-kicking chorus girls. Oklahoma! does feature dance; but in the hands of the choreographer; Agnes de Mille; this was idiomatic to the plot; and revolutionary in terms of the fifteen-minute dream-sequence ballet at the close of Act I. The first collaboration between composer and writer; the show was a hit; running for more than five years on Broadway; and paving the way for their masterpieces to come. John Wilson’s long-held fascination for researching original musical theatre scores of this period and bringing them anew to modern audiences reaches a milestone with this world première recording of the original score in its entirety (no cuts) and in the original orchestrations for twenty-nine-piece orchestra made by Robert Russell Bennett for the original production. His outstanding cast features Nathaniel Hackmann; Sierra Boggess; Jamie Parker; Louise Dearman; Sandra Marvin; Rodney Earl Clarke; Nadim Naaman; and Leo Roberts; ably supported by the ‘Oklahoma!’ Ensemble – twenty-two artists drawn from London’s West End. Wilson comments: ‘I love the connective tissue of the piece; the scene-change music; the ballet; the songs that sometimes get cut; the underscoring. And when so many vastly different new versions are appearing on stage; it’s more important than ever that we have a document of the actual source material.’

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