Rodgers & Hammerstein: Oklahoma!
Complete Original Score
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.’
Recorded in Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos, the work will be released on double Hybrid SACD and in spatial audio.
There will also be a limited edition (1,000 copies) double-vinyl release.
|Rodney Earl Clarke