Mauceri-Conducted 'Rodgers & Hammerstein Overtures' on Disc From Decca

News   Mauceri-Conducted 'Rodgers & Hammerstein Overtures' on Disc From Decca In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Rodgers, Decca Broadway is re-releasing a John Mauceri conducted album of overtures by Richard Rodgers, representing the nine shows, one film musical and one TV musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Cover art for 'Rodgers & Hammerstein Overtures.'
Cover art for 'Rodgers & Hammerstein Overtures.'

In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Rodgers, Decca Broadway is re-releasing a John Mauceri conducted album of overtures by Richard Rodgers, representing the nine shows, one film musical and one TV musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Originally released in 1992 under a different title ("Opening Night: The Complete Overtures") that got little attention, the new packaging hails the disc as "Rodgers & Hammerstein Overtures" and includes notes by Mauceri, who conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (recorded in 1991), and producer Tommy Krasker, who offers illuminating histories of the shows and details about elements of the overtures. The disc was released by Decca in October. It first appeared on the Phillips Classics label in 1992.

Heard on the disc are overtures to Oklahoma!, Allegro (the recording premiere), South Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet (the recording premiere), Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song (this is the first recording of the overture that includes "I Enjoy Being a Girl," written for the national tour), the 1965 TV musical "Cinderella" (overture created by Johnny Green), and the entr'acte to The Sound of Music (created by Robert Russell Bennett with the addition of "Climb Every Mountain" by William Brohn) and a suite constructed by Sid Ramin from pieces from the 1945 film, "State Fair" (the main title music was too short and wasn't exactly an overture), plus the eight minute, 11-second "Carousel Waltz," which broke ground as a kind of prologue with movement in Carousel.

For information about Decca Broadway, visit deccabroadway.com. For information about the Richard Rodgers centennial celebration, visit rr2002.com.

— By Kenneth Jones