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Blasmusik spielt in diesem Musical eine beträchtliche Rolle - irgendwie auch logisch, da die Handlung rund herum um eine Blaskapelle gebaut ist.
Die einzelnen Stücke von Willson gehen von Marschmusik über Barbershop-Gesang bis hin zu Broadway-Balladen. Mit "musikalischer" Ironie aber auch Wortwitz in den einzelnen Stücken, zeigt der betrügerische Handlungsreisende Harold die Gegensätze zwischen der amerikanischen Provinz und ihm aus der Großstadt auf.
Robert Preston, der zuvor weder gesungen noch getanzt hatte, trug seine Partien im Sprechgesang vor.
Einer der berühmten Stücke "Till There Was You" war auch schon in einigen Filmen zu hören.
It is frequently cited as one of the weirdest decisions in Tony Award history that "The Music Man" won best musical over "West Side Story". I suppose it is a valid show - after all, "West Side Story" is more ambitious than "The Music Man"; it certainly is the more important show. But I myself have never been too much of a "West Side Story" fan - "The Music Man", on the other hand, is so joyful! It might not be the most ambitious show ever, but just listen to "Rock Island" directly after the overture - it is rhythmic salesmen's babble and unlike anything up to that point in Broadway musical history (at least as far as I know). Also "Piano Lesson" is innovative. Other songs are closer to plain nice - "Till there was you" stands out that way. But it's the restless songs are the highlights - especially "Ya Got Trouble" and "Pick-a-Little, Take-a-Little". Barbara Cook's performance as Marian is among her best appearances on CD but Robert Preston owns the recording as Harold Hill - pulling off the slick salesman but managing the actual singing just as well. So let "West Side Story" be the legendary show - "The Music Man" is amazing in its own right.
This is by far the best recording of this wonderful show that I have ever heard. I first got it in 1961 when I was in college. The performances are all spot-on. Preston was amazingly into it that early in the run of the show. (Original cast albums are traditionally recorded on the first Sunday after a show opens...unless, of course, the show has closed by then!) There is no comparison between Barbara Cook in this recording and Shirley Jones on the soundtrack. Barbara was (and is) one of the purest, loveliest sopranos ever to grace the Broadway scene. Shirley was too soft-focused, a vocal equivalent of shooting a scene with Vaseline on the lens. (And her "Being in Love" was no substitute for "My White Knight".) The Buffalo Bills got to sing all their songs here. (Some were cut from the movie version.) Iggie Wolfington as Marcellus Washburn was far, far better than Buddy Hackett (though no one could make a good song out of "Shipoopi").
So why didn't I give this five stars? Simply the sound quality. Capitol Records put so much echo onto it that it makes it sound like it was recorded in a rain barrel. All the other recordings of the show I have deliver better sonics, but nothing could ever match and certainly not surpass this gem.
Many dislike the brassy “Capitol sound,” but I happen to think it works beautifully for THE MUSIC MAN. The show and score has been a classic for over 60 years and hardly needs an endorsement from me; nevertheless, I think the book, score, and original Broadway cast recording all earn THE MUSIC MAN a place in the top 5 of greatest Broadway musicals!
Am I the only one who has to suck back tears every time Barbara Cook sings these songs from The Music Man? What a gifted singer! I have listened to her renditions of Mr. Wilson's songs since I was a pre-teen. I am now 51. I have worn-out my original LP recording and am now the happy owner of the CD. About 20 years ago, I wrote to and received a letter back from Mr. Wilson. I wanted to tell him how much his music has meant to my life and that it inspired me to compose and arrange music. I will always treasure his letter. May I suggest that you buy this ORIGINAL CAST recording? I believe that you will treasure it for many years to come. As a side note, I was fortunate enough to hear Barbara Cook many decades later in concert. I was not disappointed.