The recordings are billed as "previously unavailable in the CD era."
Beginning with the release of Regina on July 20, the titles will be available as digital downloads through all major digital service providers and as disc-on-demand (each with the original cover art and liner notes) exclusively through Arkivmusic.com.
According to the label, "These cast recordings will be the first in a long-range plan to issue a 'new' classic Masterworks Broadway title each month, transferred from the original masters in the Sony Music Archives. In most instances, these will be the first authorized releases of these recordings in the digital era, and the first time they have been available directly from the original masters since the LP era. Future releases will be announced in the fall."
The reissue of the 1958 New York City Opera cast recording of composer-librettist Blitzstein's Regina marks the first release of the recording since the LP era, and "is one of the most requested of all out-of-print Broadway albums." An operatic adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes, Regina premiered on Broadway in 1949; for this revival, the composer edited the score.
Blitzstein (who famously wrote English lyrics for "Mack the Knife") "was present at the Regina recording sessions and oversaw the production that inspired this recording." The booklet includes short essays in appreciation of Regina by Lillian Hellman, Leonard Bernstein and Frank Loesser. The reissue of the 1959 Jones Beach Marine Theatre stereo recording of the operetta, Song of Norway (available Aug. 17) will gets its first release since the LP era. Song of Norway was a 1944 hit Broadway musical about the life of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, using Grieg's melodies adapted as songs by Robert Wright and George Forrest, the team that wrote the Tony-winning 1953 hit Kismet. The conductor is Lehman Engel. It features opera star John Reardon and Brenda Lewis, who also sings the title role in Regina.
The 1951 original Broadway cast recording of Make a Wish (available Sept. 14) has appeared on CD in unauthorized versions created outside the U.S., but never before using the original RCA Victor masters. The score is by Hugh Martin, and features the golden-age Broadway stars Nanette Fabray, Stephen Douglass, Harold Lang and Helen Gallagher. Make a Wish will also include a bonus track of a rare cover version of "What I Was Warned About" by Oscar and Tony-winning singer/actress Judy Holliday, introduced in the show and sung on the original cast recording by Nanette Fabray.
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