It has come the time to discuss a topic I enjoy; cast albums. But just “cast albums” seems to be too broad, so I will specifically talk about one called, “The Golden Apple.”
Oh, and to you Minecrafters out there, it is not a musical about the golden apple in your game.
A show deemed, “The most original musical since Oklahoma!” received rave reviews, along with winning the New York Drama Critics’ Circle prize for Best Musical. The show opened in April 20, 1954, transferring from off-Broadway. Golden Apple on the Great White Way, however, closed after only 125 performances.
The show was entirely sung-through, similar to Les Miserables. In fact, some may call the musical an opera, due to the score’s beautiful operatic style, reminding me of the Porgy and Bess score.
Based on this, we can see that the score was probably long. And it was.
So did this Golden flop receive a recording?
Yup, and what a radiant, magnificent recording. But one problem: back in the early 50’s, they never recorded more than about 50 minutes, and didn’t do “Deluxe double-CD sets” as we call them now. So, guess what? They did the sinful process of cutting the glorious 130-minute score down to about 48 minutes, adding childish 10 second rhyming narrations to replace the cut songs. (The plot is pretty confusing, though. And for that, I appreciate the narration.)
Despite this, the recording STILL IS a radiant, magnificent recording. Including one beautiful score, lush orchestrations, and talented cast.
I picked this recording up at a used “record” (more like CD) store, not knowing what the heck it was, along with the “Take Me to St. Louis” cast album that I never listen to. What a find!
After the closing of the show, the production had been revived in rather smaller venues every now and then, never producing a recording. This was until the Dallas production of the musical, in which PSClassics finally recorded the entire score, live. Yes, I said the ENTIRE score. The 130 minutes worth of brilliance has been captured onto a “Deluxe Double-CD set.”
This is great news. I am especially excited to listen to the original finale, which the writers loved, replacing the finale on the Broadway album that the writers loathed. I am worried, however, about one thing. And that is, if the voices will be half as good as the ones on the OBC. (Based on the New York Times review of the production, the orchestra was rushed, and the actors devoted more energy keeping up with the band than with acting.)
We will have to wait until May 19th, when the recording is released, to see about this. So, look out for a review of that sometime.
But for now, do yourself a great favor, and listen to the beautiful OBC of “The Golden Apple.”