Notes and Editorial Reviews
"'Kiss Me, Kate'...still stands as one of the most ingeniously structured Broadway shows ever concocted. Its story neatly parallels the plot of "The Taming of the Shrew," with the backstage romantic shenanigans of an actor-producer and his co-star and ex-wife, who are appearing together in a musical version of the Shakespeare play.
The new recording (which includes six songs that were deleted before the show's Broadway opening), was supervised by John McGlinn, the conductor of the label's landmark recordings of the complete scores for "Show Boat" and "Anything Goes" with their original orchestrations. The "Kiss Me, Kate" cast features the soprano Josephine Barstow as Lilli Vanessi (who doubles as Katharine) and the baritone Thomas Hampson as Fred Graham (who also plays Petruchio). Their voices, which attain a comfortably dramatic blend, lend the recording a grandeur that is bolstered by the Ambrosian Chorus with the London Sinfonietta.
As in his recording of "Show Boat," Mr. McGlinn pushes his musical forces toward an operatic sweep while maintaining a rhythmic propulsion that keeps the mood playful and spirited.
Three of the six deleted songs -- "It Was Great Fun the First Time," "A Woman's Career" and "We Shall Never Be Younger," which are included in an appendix, are better-than-average Porter. "We Shall Never Be Younger," Lilli's bittersweet ballad (later replaced by "So in Love"), is first-rate."
-- Stephen Holden, New York Times [12/9/1990]