Les Miserables (The Complete Symphonic Recording) [ECD] - Original Cast

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Les Miserables (The Complete Symphonic Recording) [ECD] - Original Cast

3 CD(s) - Show - Label: First Night - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 25/10/1999 - 5014636899124

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Review of "Les Miserables (The Complete Symphonic Recording) [ECD] - Original Cast"

published 04/01/2010 | livelylad
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Time to start reviewing again.
Excellent
Pro Brilliant Music, Lyric and Singing. A classic masterpiece.
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very helpful
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"Les Miserables Complete Symphonic Recording 3 CD's"

Les Miserables - The Iconic picture of Cosette

Les Miserables - The Iconic picture of Cosette

Les Misérables- The Complete Symphonic Recording

This Complete Symphonic Recording is to date the only English-language recording to feature the entire score. It has an international cast, featuring performances from 3 of themajor productions of the musical around the world.

Introduction

I will give some background information into the phenomenon that is Les Misérables. I will tell you the basic plot line of story, I believe that if you listen to this recording or watch the musical (as I have) you will be hard pressed to follow the story. By telling you the plot this will add to your enjoyment of the album, as you will know whats happening in relation to the song.
Background

Les Misérables is based on the Victor Hugo novel (Les Misérables) written in 1862. It is set in early19th century France, amidst the social and political struggles it tells the stories of a various characters as they struggle for survival in what can only be discribed as "hard" times.

Les Misérables - The Story

**** I have added notes to each song on the track listing below to enable you to follow the story***

The story starts in early 19th-century France. It follows the stories of several main characters, Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Cosette, M. & Mme. Thénardier, Marius Pontmercy and Éponine. All these characters are linked through the story.

I will tell the story as simply as I can. The central character isJean Valjean. He has just been released on parole ( yellow ticket-of-leave) after 19 years in the chain gang. Wherever he goes and whatever he does he must by law display his yellow ticket-of-leave. This basically makes an outcast in society.

In his hour of need the only person to afford him some human kindness is the Bishop of Digne. He takes in Valjean gives him food and wine, only to be repaid by Valjean stealing some silver. Valjean's sworn enemy Inspector Javert catches Valjean and proceeds to take him to the Bishop to ascertain if this is silver has come from the church. Valjean is astonished when the Bishop lies to Javert to save him, he also gives him two more candlesticks, saying that you must use this precious silver to become a better man.

Javert is not convinced by the bishop and swears revenge on Valjean.

The story moves forward around 8 years, Valjean (having assumed a new identity as Monsieur Madeleine ( The Mayor) ) is a wealthy successful man. He owns a factory and is the Mayor of the town.

Fantine, a worker in his factory gets into a fight. The Mayor breaks up the fight and asks his foreman to deal with all involved it in a fair way. However Fantine has refused the foremans sexual advances and as revenge he sacks her. Fantine desperately needed that job as she was sending money to the innkeepers M. & Mme. Thénardier who are looking after Cosette, Fantines illegitimate daughter. Fantine is reduced to becoming a prostitue, to provide for Cosette. Fantine fights back against an abusive customer, he calls for the police. Enter Javert, now the police chief, he believes the man and arrests Fantine. The Mayor arrives, and after speaking with Fantine he realises his actions have led to the ruin of Fantine, he tells Javert to let her go and proceeds to take her to a hospital instead.

This is the chance encounter that Javert has been waiting for. Javert is convinced that the Mayor is Valjean.

A few days later the Mayor rescues a local man who has been trapped by a runaway cart. Javert is reminded of the abnormal strength of Jean Valjean. Javert (possibly in a ruse) tells the Mayor that Valjean been recently arrested, as is to appear in court later that day. The Mayor is torn between freedom and returning to prison. Unable to see an innocent man go to prison he confesses to the court that he is Valjean.

Valjean is to return to prison for breaking his parole, but before returning to prison, Valjean visits Fantine who is dying, he promises to find and look after her daughter Cosette. Valjean escapes to carry out his promise.

Valjean travels to the Inn Cosette has been living. The Thénardiers have been ill treating Cosette. The Mayor buys her freedom and leaves for Paris.

Nine years pass Cosette has fallen in love with Marius. He is torn between his love for her and taking part in the revolution they are sure will erupt after the death of General Lamarque.

The night before the Paris Uprising, Valjean prepares to go into exile with Cosette as Javert is on his tail once again. Cosette and Marius part in despair at the thought of never meeting again.

Éponine is secretly in love with Marius, after she is shunned by Marius she decides to join the students at the barricade. Marius notices Éponine at the barricade even though she has disguised herself as a boy.

He begs her with a letter to deliver to Cosette, professing his undying love for her even if he is killed at the barricade. Valjean intercepts the letter, he promises promising Éponine that he will inform Cosette of the contents of the letter.

Valjean proceeds to read the letter, learning about Marius and Cosette's relationship.

Valjean decides to go to the barricade in search of Marius. The students repel the first attack but prepare for further onslaughts.
The army give the rebels one last chance to surrender, but the rebels refuse, they fight on, and everyone is killed except Valjean and Marius. Valjean escapes through the sewers.

Javerts encounters Valjean in the sewers and allows him to save Marius's life as long as he surrenders later. Javert is unable to cope with the fact he has allowed Valjean to leave and as a result comits suicide.

Valjean unawre of Javerts suicide believes that his presence will only put Cosette in danger. Heconfesses to Marius about the past he makes Marius promise never to tell Cosette.

Marius and Cosette marry, Valjean alone prepares for his death. Marius decides to tell Cosette that her father saved in his at the barricade. They rush to Valjean, just in time to bid him farewell.

Valjean decides to confess all to Cosette, before his death. Cosette beg Valjean not to die, his long struggle Valjean passes.

***This is not the by any means the full story, It will however i hope give you an insight and aid you in appreciating the album.***
The Music/Lyrics

As you would imagine the album has a great mix of songs/lyrics. There are huge orchestral numbers delievered with great power and passion. There are also soft ballads with gentle orchestral arrangements. I cant think of a single performance on this album that is not fantastic. I would be most surprised if the hairs on the back of your neck are not on end after listening to this CD.

When you listen to the album you will note that several songs have the same musical arrangement. Basically you will believe that you are going to hear the same song again but you will not. You will be able to determine which song is which one you have listened to the album several times.

The lyrics are fantastic and of course depict the story of the musical. The lyrics deliever a whole range of emotions telling the story of struggle, oppresion and love.. There are songs that are funny, in particular " Master of the House" absolutely brilliant.

Disk One

1. Prologue - Javert, Valjean & Company ** Introduction to the musical inculding the chain gang, Valjeans parole.


2. Valjean's Soliloquy (What Have I Done?) - Valjean ** Humbled by the bishop's mercy and kindness, Valjean decides to follow the bishop's advice and breaks his parole.

3. At the End of the Day - Choir, Company, Factory Foreman, Factory Girl & Valjean ** Fantine, gets into a fight after the other workers discover that she is sending money to her secret illegitimate child they conspire to get her sacked

4. I Dreamed a Dream - Fantine **Fantine sings about her broken dreams.

5. Lovely Ladies - Company ** Desperate for money, Fantine sells her locket, and hair, before becoming a prostitute

6. Fantine's Arrest - Javert, Fantine & Bamatabois ** Fantine fights back against an abusive customer,and is arrested by Javert.

7. Runaway Cart - Orchestra ** The Mayor ( Valjean) rescues a local man who is trapped by a runaway cart.

8. Who Am I?/The Trial - Valjean ** The Mayor unable to see an innocent man go to prison confesses to the court that he is prisoner 24601.

9. Fantine's Death - Fantine & Valjean ** Valjean visits Fantine and promises to find and look after her daughter Cosette.

10. The Confrontation - Javert & Valjean ** Valjean asks Javert for time to fetch Cosette, Javert refuses. Valjean eventually knocksout Javert and escapes.

11. Castle on a Cloud - Little Cosette ** Cosette dreams of a better life than she is living at the Inn.

12. Master of the House - Thénardier, Mme Thénardier & Company ** Detailing how the Thénardiers use numerous cons to cheat their customers at the Inn.

13. Bargain/Waltz of Treachery - Valjean, Thénardier & Mme Thénardier ** Valjean pays the Thénardiers to let him take Cosette away.

14. Look Down - Choir, Company, Gavroche, Marius & Enjolras ** Gavroche (Street urchin) mingles with the whores and beggars on the street.

15. The Robbery/Javert's Intervention (Another Brawl) - Thénardier & Mme Thénardier, Marius, Epoinine & Javert ** A street gang led by the Thénardiers prepares to ambush Valjean.

16. Stars - Javert ** Javert compares his hunt for Valjean, to the order of the stars

Disc Two

1. Eponine's Errand - Eponine & Marius ** Marius, persuades Éponine to help find Cosete.

2. ABC Cafe/Red and Black - Enjolras, Marius, Grantaire & Students ** The students led by Enjolras prepare for the revolution, they are sure will erupt after the death of General Lamarque.

3. Do You Hear the People Sing? - Enjolras, Students & Company ** Gavroche brings news of Lamarque's death, the students march out into the streets to gather support for the revolution

4. Rue Plumet/In My Life - Cosette, Marius & Eponine ** Cosette is consumed by thoughts of Marius. Valjean refuses to tell her about his past or her mother.

5. Heart Full of Love° - Marius, Cosette & Eponine ** Éponine ( In spite of her own feelings for Marius) leads him to Cosette.

6. Attack on Rue Plumet - Thénardier, Gang, Eponine, Marius, Cosette & Valjean ** Éponine prevents her father's ( Thénardier) gang from robbing Valjean's house.

7. One Day More - Full Company ** Valjean prepares to go into exile on the eve of the Paris Uprising. Marius joins the students for the revolution.

8. At the Barricade (Upon These Stones) - Enjolras, Marius & Students ** The students prepare to build a barricade.

9. On My Own - Eponine ** Éponine details her love for Marius even though they cant be together.

10. Building the Barricade - Marius, Enjolras & Students ** The students build their barricade.

11. Javert's Arrival - Javert, Enjolras, Company & Gavroche ** Javert (as a spy) lies to the students about the government's plans to attack the barracade.

12. Little People - Gavroche ** Gavroche exposes Javert as a spy.

13. Little Fall of Rain - Eponine & Marius ** Éponine returns to the barricade, she is shot and dies in Marius' arms.

14. Night of Anguish - Valjean & Students ** The night before the first attack.

15. First Attack - Orchestra ** Valjean arrives at the barricades in search of Marius.

16. Drink With Me - Grantaire, Marius, Students & Company ** After they repel the first attack the students settle down the night.

17. Bring Him Home - Valjean ** Valjean prays to save Marius from the hell that is to come.

18. Dawn of Anguish - Enjolras & Students ** As dawn approaches, Enjolras sends the women and fathers of children away from the barricades. He vows to fight on.

19. Second Attack (Death of Gavroche) - Enjolras, Students & Gavroche ** Gavroche runs out to collect more ammunition. He is shot 3 times and dies.

20. Final Battle - Enjolras & Company ** The army gives one last chance surrender, the rebels refuse. All are killed except Valjean and Marius

21. Sewers - Dog Eats Dog - Thénardier ** Valjean escapes through the sewers carrying a wonded Marius. He encounters Thénardier.

22. Javert's Suicide - Javert ** Valjean runs into Javert, who has been waiting for him. Valjean begs Javert to give him one more hour to save Marius. Javert agrees, but consumed by guilt he commits suicide.

23. Turning - Women ** Women mourning the deaths of the students and the waste of life.
Disc 3:

1. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables - Marius ** Marius mourns for his friends.

2. Every Day - Cosette, Marius & Valjean ** Marius consumed by not knowing who saved him is comforted by cosette.

3. Valjean's Confession - Valjean & Marius ** Valjean confesses to Marius that he is an escaped convict. Telling him he must go away to protect Cosette.

4.Wedding Chorale/Beggars at the Feast - Thénardier, Mme Thénardier & Marius ** Marius and Cosette are married. They leave after Marius punches Thénardier when he realises that Valjean saved his life.

5. Epilogue (Finale) - Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, Eponine, Full Company ** Valjean prepares for his death. The ghosts of Fantine and Éponine arrive to take him to heaven. Cosette and Marius arrive just in time to bid farewell, and to thank him for saving his life.

The Stage Show

I have seen the stage show 3 times at Manchester,Edinburgh and London Queens Theatre. I would advise you if you get teh chance to go and see the live show. Its a brilliant experience.
Summary

Really all I can say is that this CD is fantastic. It has wonderful music, lyrics and singers. I guarantee that you will be singing "Master of the House" and "On my Own" once you have listened to the album. I would strongly advise you to watch the stage version as this will give pictures to the words and enhance your enjoyment of the CD. The whole Les Miserables experience is fantastic and one I thoroughly reccomend.

Album notes

The soundtrack also features the London Philharmonic Orchestra . Included is a CD with video footage.

This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.

Number of CDs: 3
Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics
Recording mode: Stereo



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Comments on this review

  • Cheryl1910 published 18/02/2010
    E from me, a lot of detail in your review.
  • KathEv published 17/02/2010
    Fab review, clearly talking about something you really enjoy!
  • ALM1 published 15/02/2010
    Superb review.
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3 CD(s) - Show - Label: First Night - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 25/10/1999 - 5014636899124

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EAN: 5014636899124

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