Notes and Editorial Reviews
Featuring not only the complete score but also an appendix of songs dropped at earlier stages, this is a notable release that is a must for seasoned musical-theater lovers.
Nymph Errant has a unique place amongst Cole Porter shows. It is treasured by the British not so much for the fact that it was one of two London shows for which Porter provided the score, but as the source of the songs "Experiment", "It's bad for me", "The Physician" and "Solomon". For Americans it remains an enigma for never having been produced there, but noteworthy as the source also of "The Cocotte", which Porter himself recorded. A recording of the complete score is a welcome and seemingly quite
unlikely part of the build-up to the Porter centenary next year.
It should be stressed that this recording does not fall into the expanding category of recordings that re-create scores of the 1930s in original orchestration. The concert at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane from which it comes gathered together a glittering array of star names, between whom the songs are divided irrespective of the character to whom they are assigned. Moreover the arrangements are neither the original nor in period style, and vary from the effective and tasteful to the brash and disagreeable. The recording lacks the refinement of a studio recording, whilst the atmosphere is that of a concert and a sequence of songs, complete with applause between items, rather than of the theatre and an integrated score.
Having said that, it is marvellous to have a recording of the work at all, and one so good in its way. We are given not only the complete finished score but also an appendix of songs dropped at earlier stages. There are splendid numbers— notably "The Cocotte" enticingly performed by Alexis Smith, "Georgia Sand" rousingly done by Andrea McArdle, "Si vous aimez les Poitrines" (Liliane Montevecchi) and "Cazanova" (Kaye Ballard). The biggest cheer of the evening is rightly reserved for Elizabeth Welch, performing "Solomon" 56 years after she first did so in the original production. That really is some sort of record, and it caps a notable release that is a 'must' for seasoned musical-theatre lovers.
-- Gramophone [12/1990]
Works on This Recording
Nymph Errant by Cole Porter
Emile Belcourt (Tenor),
Kaye Ballard (Voice),
Maureen McGovern (Soprano),
Lorna Dallas (Voice)
Stephen Hill Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1933; USA
Date of Recording: 05/1989
Venue: Live London
Length: 77 Minutes 54 Secs.
Notes: Orchestrated: Jim Tyler & Michael Gibson
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