Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Now in stock...from Kritzerland..two limited edition CDs

Illya DarlingIllya Darling - 1967 Original Broadway Cast

Kritzerland is proud to present the first ever CD release of the Original Cast Recording of Illya Darling, with a score by Manos Hadjidakis and Joe Darion.

The original cast album was issued by United Artists, who had funded the show in full. That LP put the songs in a completely different order than they were in the show. For this first-ever CD release, Kritzerland have put the songs back in show order and have given the proper titles to any that were renamed for the LP. In going through the session tapes, Bruce made the incredible discovery that two songs were recorded but not used on the LP - the show's opening number "Po, Po, Po" and a number called "Birthday Song." Both songs were transferred and mixed from the four-track session tapes and put where they belong in the show's song order. Hearing the show with those two numbers and everything in show order is something of a revelation.

The colorful cast includes an incandescent Melina Mercouri, Orson Bean, Titos Vandis, Nikos Kourkoulos, Rudy Bond, Hal Linden, and Joe E. Marks.

The CD has been mastered from the original album master tapes (and for the two added songs, from the original four-track session tapes) and is a Limited Edition of 1000 copies only.

Anya The Musical MusicalAnya The Musical Musical - 1965 Original Broadway Cast

Kritzerland present the first ever CD release of the Original Cast Recording of Anya The Musical Musical, with a score by Robert Wright and George Forrest (based on themes by Sergei Rachmaninov).

Anya, the musical version of Anastasia, opened on Broadway at the end of 1965 at the Ziegfeld Theater and lasted a mere fifteen performances. Nobody would have predicted that a new musical by the team that wrote Kismet (here doing to Rachmaninov what in Kismet they did to Borodin), written by George Abbott and Guy Bolton, and direction by George Abbott would end up being such a troubled production and such a huge flop.

Happily, United Artists Records went ahead and recorded the cast album and, thanks to Bruce Kimell's Kritzerland, it is finally available on CD. Whatever the show's problems (it's been revised several times since), the album is filled with glorious music, excellent performances, and is indeed a most musical musical. The Rachmaninoff "themes" are masterfully used by Wright and Forrest (no one was better at that sort of thing than they were), and Don Walker's orchestrations and Harold Hastings' musical direction make the most out of all of those gorgeous melodies.

The wonderful cast includes Constance Towers, Michael Kermoyan, Lillian Gish, Irra Petina and George S. Irving.

New liner notes are by Walter Willison (Tony-nominee for Two By Two), who was very close to Wright and Forrest.

This CD is a limited edition of 1000 copies only.

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