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Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two] 
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Now that movie-mania has died down and eBay prices have fallen considerably, your best bet may be to pick up the OLC on vinyl if you're looking for the original cut of that number...only if you have access to a turntable, of course.


Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:17 am
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
I actually found my CD of the original cut at a used bookstore, so searching in those venues might prove rewarding as well.


Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:54 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Question from a newb who's got the German version as performed in Duisburg:

During Javert's Suicide (Javert's Selbstmord), the liner notes have the "it is either Valjean, or Javert!" line as:

"Wenn Valjean lebt, gibt's keinen Javert!" ("If Valjean lives, there is no Javert!")

But he seems to be actually singing:

"Es heisst entweder ich, oder er!" ("It's either me or him!")

I like the second one better, but did they change it at some point? Or is it an ad-lib from the singer?


Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:46 am
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
That was changed during the first weeks of the run in Duisburg.

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Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:32 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Auf die Barrikaden wrote:
That was changed during the first weeks of the run in Duisburg.


Vielen Dank, Auf die Barrikaden! Did I hear it correctly, or are th elyrics something else?


Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:36 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Does anyone know a better source of this "live" performance of "j'avais reve" by Rose Laurens than the YouTube version?

http://youtu.be/icr05D_8ANk

The first few words are missing as if the microphone wasn't turned on to the playback. It's hands down the best and most impressive version of the song in any language, and I would love to find a clean rendition if it exists.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:29 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
I've already seen that video before.

That's probably from a french TV show, when the original production was being promoted.
I really love Rose Lanrens as Fantine. In my opinion, she's the best Fantine ever.

I could never find a proper version of this recording myself. The only recordings I know of "j'avais rêvé" by Rose Laurens are the one on the OFC and the pirate soundboard...


Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:13 am
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Évariste wrote:
Auf die Barrikaden wrote:
That was changed during the first weeks of the run in Duisburg.


Vielen Dank, Auf die Barrikaden! Did I hear it correctly, or are th elyrics something else?


Sorry for the late reply. You're welcome! You heard it absolutely correct. German translator Heinz-Rudolf Kunze did a massive overhaul of his original 1988 Vienna production script for the Duisburg production, bringing it closer to the English lyrics. This however is an example where he probably overdid it and corrected it. In Vienna it was already "Es heißt entweder ich oder er" which is much better to sing than "Wenn Valjean lebt gibts keinen Javert".

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:42 am
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
JAPANESE TOUR CAST: 2003 GREEN/LIGHT BLUE/ORANGE/VIOLET

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Release year: 2003
Toho, 2CDs, E-0308B [Green - Bessho]
Toho, 2CDs, E-0308IS [Light Blue - Ishii]
Toho, 2CDs, E-0308Y [Orange - Yamaguchi]
Toho, 2CDs, E-0308IM [Violet - Imai]
Run time: 2:33:03 [Green]/2:34:16 [Light Blue]/2:31:01 [Orange]/2:32:51 [Violet]

Track listing [Shared on all four albums. English titles are printed alongside the Japanese titles in the track listing in the booklet. For ease of reference, and because I don't have a keyboard that types Kanji characters, I am only typing the English titles below. Keep in mind that all tracks are performed in (mostly) Japanese. Also note that on each album, the performance itself is recorded in full. All cuts noted reflect those made to the "official" score for the Broadway production as finalized in 2001.]:

DISC ONE
1. The Chain Gang [Full song.]
2. On Parole [Cuts Valjean's "Now every door is closed to me..." and the Inn Scene. Retains a few bars of the fight music before Valjean's "And now I know how freedom feels..."]
3. The Bishop [Full song.]
4. Valjean's Soliloquy [Full song.]
5. At the End of the Day [Full song.]
6. I Dreamed a Dream [Full song.]
7. The Docks (Lovely Ladies) [Full song. Track continues through Bamatabois exchange, which cuts his lines from "It's the same with a tart..." to "...lead me a dance!"]
8. Fantine's Arrest [Begins with Javert's "Tell me, quickly..." Plays in full from there.]
9. The Cart Crash [Shortened and re-arranged. Cuts the whole townspeople section from "Look at that!" to "There is nothing to do." Cuts Valjean's "Who will help me to shoulder the weight of the cart?" Also cuts one of the cart's attempted lifts and one of Fauchlevent's lines. Plays in full from there.]
10. The Trial (Who Am I) [Full song.]
11. Fantine's Death [Shortened orchestral intro. Cuts one verse of Fantine's, from "Don't you see..." to "...another day is dying?"]
12. The Confrontation [Cuts one bar of intro. Starts cold from Fantine's Death and plays in full.]
13. Little Cosette [Shortened orchestral intro. "Oh, help! I think I hear them now..." through "...It's Madame!" are cut. Shortened transition to the next number.]
14. The Innkeeper's Song [The drinkers' portion from "Mine host, Thénardier..." through "...the spoils of war!" are cut, as well as "Ain't got a clue..." through "...or my old man is gonna do me in!" The rest plays through in full.]
15. The Bargain [Full song, including the Well Scene.]
16. The Waltz of Treachery [Cuts the final "La la la la..."s between Valjean and Cosette. The orchestral transition to Paris was altered and shortened as well.]
17. The Beggars [Full song.]
18. The Robbery [Full song.]
19. Javert's Intervention [Full song. Shortened orchestral transition to the following number.]
20. Stars [Full song.]
21. Eponine's Errand [Cuts the keyboard transition between Gavroche's "Auntie, dear..." bit and "Cosette, now I remember..." Eponine now starts cold.]
22. The ABC Café [A few beats of fanfare have been added to the beginning of the number. The students' "In St. Antoine, they're with us..." through "Seven guns in St. Martin!" are cut. Gavroche now interrupts earlier.]
23. The People's Song [Full song. As this is the end of the disc, the final orchestral punch is a bit abrupt. The chord resolves on the next disc.]

DISC TWO

1. Rue Plumet [Cosette's "In my life, I have all that I want..." through Valjean's "...Of the years, years ago." are cut]
2. A Heart Full of Love [Cuts a few bars from the intro.]
3. The Attack on the Rue Plumet [Cuts the Eponine/Montparnasse exchange. "What a palaver..." through "Told you I'd do it..." are also cut.]
4. One Day More [Full song.]
5. Building the Barricade [Cuts several bars from the Entr'Acte, as well as a bar or two of transition in the Letter Sequence.]
6. On My Own [Cuts several bars from the intro.]
7. Back at the Barricade [Students sing a reprise of "Red and Black" over what had been an orchestral moment previously. "Now we pledge ourselves..." through "We'll be there!" are cut.]
8. Javert at the Barricade [Full song.]
9. Little People [Cuts the students' lines surrounding Javert's "Shoot me now, or shoot me later..." verse, which in turn has a different melody.]
10. A Little Fall of Rain [Full song.]
11. Night of Anguish [Full song.]
12. The First Attack [Full song.]
13. The Night (Drink with Me) [Full song.]
14. Bring Him Home [Full song.]
15. Dawn of Anguish [Cuts the "Drink With Me" reprise.]
16. The Second Attack [Full song.]
17. The Final Battle [Cuts the fanfare before the Army Officer's lines.]
18. The Sewers [A good slice of the oboe-led orchestral reprise of "Bring Him Home" has been cut, as well as "Dog Eats Dog" from the second "Well, someone's got to clean them up..." through "...gutters run with blood."]
19. Javert's Suicide [Full song.]
20. The Victims [Shortened intro. "Who will wake them?" through "...now the fighting's done?" are also cut.]
21. The Café Song [Full song.]
22. Marius and Cosette [Cuts the first verse of the "Heart Full of Love" reprise.]
23. Valjean's Confession ["You've spoken from the heart..." through "The story you must hear of years ago" are cut.]
24. The Wedding [An exchange, from Marius' "When I look at you..." through Thénardier's "What I tell you is true!" is cut.]
25. Epilogue [Shortened intro.]

Image

Japanese tours of Les Misérables continue annually to this day, so it's no surprise that from time to time, a few more recordings would be produced. In 2003, four more casts from this tour would find themselves on record, making these the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh officially-released live recordings of the show. As the cuts from the tail end of the Broadway production had been implemented in all of the official Cameron Mackintosh productions worldwide by this point, on each of these albums, a full performance is preserved on two CD's.

Recorded during the engagement at Tokyo's Imperial Theatre between July and September 2003, and released exclusively through Toho's website (other international specialty shops would start carrying these albums over the years), these discs, much like the 1994 ones, are spectacular records of Les Misérables' live sound. The mix and balance are spectacular, particularly on the light blue and orange albums, which represent my personal ideal sound for the show (well...barring the PRC). As is a trademark of the Japanese productions, the performances are brimming with raw, impassioned energy (occasionally sacrificing musical precision); of particular note is the pairing of Kazutaka Ishii and Mashiro Takashima as Valjean and Javert on the light blue album, easily one of the most intense duos ever recorded. As for representing the score, each album is as complete as it can possibly be (considering the edict of the cuts from on high), making them, in my opinion, absolutely essential listening.

Each of the 2003 Japanese albums comes housed in a thick jewel case featuring the familiar Cosette logo on a textured brown background. As with the 1994 albums, the recordings are differentiated by the brightly-colored obi bands on their respective spines. In addition, the actor playing Valjean on each recording is indicated on the bottom right corner of the cover art.

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The discs themselves are also color-coded and come housed on facing panels of the thick jewel case:

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The back cover of each album includes a full track listing and additional information (Sample taken from the Green album.):

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The front cover of the booklet matches the album cover, again indicating the recorded Valjean in the bottom right corner. (Sample taken from the Green album.):

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Production information is found on the inside cover and first page of the booklet (Sample taken from the Green album.):

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And cast information immediately follows, with the overall rotating cast on the left, and the one specifically performing on the album on the right. (Sample taken from the Green album.):

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The complete lyrics are included in each booklet. (Sample page taken from the Green album.):

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Also included in each booklet are color photographs of the principles and supporting leads, and several double-page collages of production photos. I am including a comprehensive set of them below, separated by album.

GREEN (Tetsuya Bessho)

The players:

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The production:

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LIGHT BLUE (Kazutaka Ishii)

The players:

Image

The production:

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ORANGE (Yuichiro Yamaguchi)

The players:

Image

The production:

Image
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VIOLET (Kiyotaka Imai)

The players:

Image

The production:

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This is a fantastic batch of albums. I'm all for any set of recordings that helps preserve the live sound of John Cameron's theatrical orchestrations, and that sound is captured perfectly on these discs. Moreover, the cast on each of these records brings a pitch-perfect sense of drama and electricity to the proceedings. While none of the albums quite reaches the impossibly high standards set by the '94 Red album, each is a worthy addition to the canon of Les Misérables' recorded history, and the Light Blue recording especially finds itself in heavy rotation when I find myself needing to listen to the score at home. I don't pretend to know Toho's reasoning for producing such a vast array of recordings from this particular season, but I'm incredibly grateful that they did so. They may not be in my native tongue, but the overall soundscape comes as close as humanly possible to transporting back to that other Imperial Theatre that I so often visited in my college days.


Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:01 pm
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Young Hoofer
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Unfortunately, the four CD albums from 2003 have now gone out of print, so I would suggest to not hesitate if you see a copy available online somewhere. The annoucement is here on the official Toho webpage for the recordings: http://www.tohostage.com/cd/index.html

They are also saying that the 1994 Red and Blue recordings are now limited to what's in stock as production has ceased.
(Luckily, I also have all six recordings as well as a few "unofficial ones" as well)

The sudden discontinuation of these recordings lead me to speculate that there will be one or more recordings released very soon based on the revised 25th anniversary staging playing until July 10th in Tokyo (Moving on to Fukuoka, Japan starting from August).
If the cast recording is again recorded live (or semi-live), I'm sure the new recordings will be of very high quality as the cast is very good this year. (Saw four shows this summer)

On a side note, since I can't get any more tickets for the Tokyo engagement (sold out!), I'm going to Seoul in 2 weeks to see the Korean production (also the 25th anniversary / Connor-Powell staging).


Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:45 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
Well, that truly is a shame (though to be honest, considering its extremely limited availability Stateside, I thought that the '94 Blue album at least *had* gone out of print already). I mean, it makes sense that they would want to market what the show is and not necessarily what it was (hence why the go-to album sold at souvenir shops in the US is the 25th Anniversary and not the OLC, CSR, etc.), but it's still sad seeing pieces of the show's legacy tumble away. Anyway, that's wonderful hearing that the casts over there continue to be top notch. My own reservations with the current soundscape of the show aside, a solid cast will never fail to sell me on the score, and if Toho decides to record again, I will happily fork over some cash to hear what they've been doing.


Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:17 am
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Post Re: Les Misérables: The Albums [A retrospective] [Take Two]
I agree about all the live Japanese production recordings. I'm partial to the '94 blue album myself, but all of them are very good.

Not surprised that they are now out of print.

The Japanese casts have always been absolutely top notch, so I have no doubt this year's cast will be just as amazing as ever.

As for the production...uefi4tijegwitpwitgwpit.

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Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:42 am
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