HIGHLIGHTS FROM A NICE PRODUCTION!
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 07/05/2012 12:32:37
This great CD, with a running time of 49 minutes, features 15 tracks from the 1994 Toronto premiere production of NAPOLEON.
With music by TIMOTHY WILLIAMS and lyrics by ANDREWS SABISTON, the songs chart Napoleon Bonapartes rise to power from his humble beginnings as a promising young officer leading the French army in Italy, to launching an invasion of Russia in 1812 and cumulates with the death of his beloved Josephine a few years later.
Several of the songs are solo featuring either Napoleon, Josephine or his younger brother Lucien, but others include a whole ensemble from an original cast of 32 performers backed up by an orchestra of 35 players.
What of the music? Well, some of it is rather sombre. CALM BEFORE THE STORM and WAITING AND HOPING are two prime examples, depicting Lucien as he sees an irreversible change in his older brother and a young woman, Clarise, who is eagerly awaiting news of her soldier husband on campaign. More light hearted are CUT THROAT GAME, in which French Minister Talleyrand weathers the political storm sweeping the country, and TALE OF THE SCULPTORS who find work creating busts of Napoleon as his fame rapidly grows. THE ROAD TO AUSTRIA has the French army on campaign as the troops lament military life while constantly on the march and in LAST CRUSADE, Napoleon sets out his ambitious strategic plans for the invasion of Russia. The FINALE is a sorrowful duet with Napoleon and Josephine, now on her deathbed, as they express their eternal love for one another.
Although this CD represents only the highlights of the stage production, which could only focus on so much of Napoleons life and military career anyway, it is still an excellent work which, perhaps not as famous as many established musical shows, is nonetheless well worth our time. It is just a pity the full, uncut production is not available!
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: Quiggan on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.