The King and I [1964 Columbia Studio Cast]

The King and I [1964 Columbia Studio Cast]



In his liner notes to the 1993 CD reissue of this 1964 studio cast recording of The King and I, Marc Kirkeby suggests two reasons for its existence, first that the 1951 original cast of the show "lacked great singers," and second that no stereo version of the show existed. But the 1956 original soundtrack, which was in stereo, boasted a "great singer" in Marni Nixon. Actually, there are two better reasons why Columbia Records chose to make a recording of the show. First, it didn't have one -- the original Broadway cast album was on Decca, and the original soundtrack was on Capitol. Second, RCA Victor, Columbia's third major rival, was about to record the 1964 Broadway revival. Coming up with a studio cast album gave Columbia a competitive product in the marketplace. The highlights of this version are found in the principals, Barbara Cook, who had appeared in a 1960 New York revival, giving a characteristically warm and affecting performance as Anna Leonowens, and Theodore Bikel, late of The Sound of Music, being, for once, a king who could sing. But the album on the whole falls victim to a typical weakness of studio cast albums: Never having been onstage together, the performers sound like they're in different shows. Bikel is the only one who is trying for a dramatic portrayal; Cook doesn't bother to alter her accent, so her declaration that she comes from Wales in one song is laughable. And songs like "My Lord and Master" are sung by opera singers -- like Jeanette Scovotti -- who sound like opera singers. The result is a muddle, though there are some fine performances. (This album marks the first recording of "Western People Funny." "March of the Siamese Children," a Cleveland Pops performance, has been added for the CD reissue.)

Product Details

Release Date: 03/09/1993
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074645332826
catalogNumber: 53328

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Theodore Bikel   Vocals,Track Performer
Barbara Cook   Vocals,Track Performer
Lehman Engel   Conductor,Choir, Chorus,Performing Ensemble
Anita Darian   Vocals,Track Performer
Jeanette Scovotti   Vocals
Cleveland Pops Orchestra   Track Performer
Daniel Ferro   Vocals
Orchestra   Track Performer
Children's Chorus   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Rodgers & Hammerstein   Composer
Lehman Engel   Director
Oscar Hammerstein   Lyricist
Philip J. Lang   Arranger,Orchestration
Ed Michalski   Engineer
Fred Plaut   Engineer
Thomas Z. Shepard   Producer
Robert Waller   Engineer
Marc Kirkeby   Liner Notes
Edward Sorel   Cover Art
Jeanette Scovotti   Contributor
Daniel Ferro   Contributor

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The King and I [1964 Columbia Studio Cast] 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When is someone going to re-release the 1964 Music Theatre of Lincoln Center recording of "The King and I" with Darren MaGavin and Rise Stevens?. Now that Sony and Rca are one company, and that this is the BEST recording from that time, it would seem to me a good candidate for a compact disc debut. It's frustrating to see other less exciting versions of this work come out on cd, and not this 1964 jewel!. "King" is one of three in the music theatre of lincoln center cast recordings, along with "South Pacific, starring Florence Henderson and Georgio Tozzi", "The Merry Widow, with Patrice Munzel", not to have been released on compact disc. This was also the first recording to release the SMALL HOUSE OF UNCLE THOMAS ballet.