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SOUND OF MUSIC, THE: SOUNDTRACK

"Austrian hilltops and songs of Maria

Word plays on solfege that start Do a deer

Romantic melodies backed up with strings

These are a few of our favourite things . . .

All of us except Christopher Plummer, that is, who reputedly dubbed the most successful film of his career The Sound of Mucus. Rather uncharitable. Unless you subscribe to the theory that he was misheard whilst munching over breakfast – just what is it with the sound of muesli?

Whatever the opinion of the man who played the barren-faced Baron with the latently warm heart, it’s thirty five years since the hills first throbbed with the pure tones of Julie Andrews, and the world is still singing along.

In the years of 1964/65 Andrews burst onto silver screens like a pocketful of sun that made My Fair Lady seem dark and acerbic. And not just because Audrey Hepburn, turned down the role of Maria two years before.

It was a time when Oscars were drawn to musicals like sailors to The Sirens. Andrews nabbed Best Actress as Mary Poppins, her first major screen role, and Paramount realised that a magical musical nanny was bound to be a success as a musical nun-cum-governess.

The sweet register of Andrew’s phrasing and personality was a winner from Robert Wise’s opening aerial shot (it worked for the director in West Side Story… and when you’re on a good thing…). But it’s the R&H music that is the key to the incredibly enduring success. If you’re going to write a musical called the Sound of Music, set in Salzburg (birthplace of Mozart), you’d better come up with a dandy bunch of tunes. And of course they did.

Of the two discs in this selection, the first is the same as the original soundtrack release, and the second includes the bits it omitted plus a couple of extra goodies. The orchestral extensions of the songs are at least as great a pleasure as the songs themselves, and there is also a ten-minute Richard Rodgers discourse, full of charming homilies about his work and attitude and modus operandi. Much like his music, it’s chockers with charm and devoid of intellectual pretence.

Everyone knows the songs here: they’re your cup of tea with jam and bread, or they’re not. If they are, you’ll be more than pleased with the comprehensive nature of this collector’s addition. If not, well you’re in a minority; but you could always send some fan mail to C. Plummer. Scribble it on the back of a hankie."
Brad Green

Published May 3, 2001

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SOUNDTRACK CLIPS:
Do-Re-Mi
- Maria and the Children
The Grand Waltz - Orchestra

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TITLE: The Sound Of Music (35th Anniversary Collector’s Edition)

ID: 7863 67972 2

BMG

MUSIC/LYRICS BY: Rodgers and Hammerstein

CONDUCTOR: Irwin Kostal

FEATURED PERFORMERS:
Julie Andrews, Bill Lee (singing voice for Christopher Plummer), Margery McKay (singing voice for Peggy Wood), Charmian Carr, Richard Rodgers

TRACKS (disc 1): 16

TRACKS (disc 2): 15

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