Notes and Editorial Reviews
An original Broadway cast recording starring Julie Andrews and Roddy McDowall.
1. Camelot, musical: Act 1. Overture
2. Camelot, musical: Act 1. March (Parade)
3. Camelot, musical: Act 1. I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight
4. Camelot, musical: Act 1. The Simple Joys Of Maidenhood
5. Camelot, musical: Act 1. Camelot
6. Camelot, musical: Act 1. Follow Me
7. Camelot, musical: Act 1. C'est Moi
8. Camelot, musical: Act 1. The Lusty Month Of May
9. Camelot, musical: Act 1. Then You May Take Me To The Fair
10. Camelot, musical: Act 1. How To Handle A Woman
11. Camelot, musical: Act 1. Before I Gaze At You Again
Camelot, musical: Act 2. If Ever I Would Leave You
13. Camelot, musical: Act 2. The Seven Deadly Virtues
14. Camelot, musical: Act 2. What Do The Simple Folk Do?
15. Camelot, musical: Act 2. Fie On Goodness
16. Camelot, musical: Act 2. I Loved You Once In Silence
17. Camelot, musical: Act 2. Guenevere
18. Camelot, musical: Act 2. Finale. Camelot (Reprise)
Music composed by Frederick Lowe. Lyrics written by Alan J. Lerner.
Principal cast includes: Richard Burton (Arthur); Julie Andrews (Guenevere); Robert Goulet (Lancelot).
Recorded at 30th Street Studios, New York, New York on December 11, 1960. Originally released on Columbia (5620). Includes liner notes by Mark Kirkeby.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Lyricist: Alan Jay Lerner.
Liner Note Author: Mark Kirkeby.
Photographers: Maynard Frank Wolfe; Don Hunstein.
Camelot, a musical based on the Arthurian legend, reunited most of the creative talent that produced My Fair Lady, including lyricist/librettist Alan Jay Lerner, composer Frederick Loewe, and leading lady Julie Andrews. Lerner had once again found a story that conformed to his favorite theme, a romantic triangle involving an older man, a younger woman, and an ardent suitor. As with My Fair Lady and his and Loewe's recent movie musical Gigi, the older man was played by a distinguished actor not known for his singing, in this case Richard Burton, who was making his musical comedy debut. Loewe wrote some melodies of limited range for Burton, but he proved to be a much more accomplished singer than his predecessors, Rex Harrison and Louis Jourdan, and certainly Harrison's equal in his articulation and phrasing of the English language. This made his performances of such songs as "I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight" and the title song delights. Andrews brought her own beautiful English pronunciations and pure singing to light songs like "The Lusty Month of May" and "Then You May Take Me to the Fair," but she didn't really have a big number. Robert Goulet, making his Broadway debut, did, the show's standout song, "If Ever I Would Leave You," and he wrapped his powerful baritone voice around it. His was a career-making performance. Critics naturally compared Camelot with My Fair Lady and often found it wanting. The criticisms had more to do with the stage production than the score, but it too is not up to the standards of the earlier work. In particular, it often seems that Lerner intends the lyrics to be funnier than they come across as delivered. For example, Goulet as Sir Lancelot is introduced with "C'Est Moi," a boastful song that might have made him more ridiculous than he should be, if the words weren't swamped by Loewe's music. And songs like "The Lusty Month of May" and "Then You May Take Me to the Fair" recall similar and more impressive efforts by earlier Broadway lyricists such as Oscar Hammerstein II ("June Is Bustin' Out All Over") and Lorenz Hart ("To Keep My Love Alive"), respectively. But the performers sell the songs effectively, particularly by the end, when Burton's melancholy reading of the reprise to the title song, with its evocation of "one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot," moistens the eyes of every listener.
Works on This Recording
Camelot by Frederick Loewe
M'el Dowd (Voice),
Roddy McDowall (Voice),
Robert Goulet (Voice),
Richard Burton (Voice),
Julie Andrews (Voice),
Robert Coote (Voice)
Period: 20th Century
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