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Jane Eyre Soundtrack Import, Cast Recording, Soundtrack

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Movie Soundtrack
  • Composer: Gordon Paul
  • Audio CD (Jan. 24 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Cast Recording, Soundtrack
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B000051Y31
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
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1. The Orphan
2. Children of God
3. Forgiveness
4. The Graveyard
5. Sweet Liberty
6. Secrets of the House
7. Act One: Perfectly Nice - Original Broadway Cast
8. Act One: As Good As You - Original Broadway Cast
9. Secret Soul
10. Finer Things
11. The Pledge
12. Sirens
13. Things Beyond This Earth
14. Painting Her Portrait
15. In the Light of the Virgin Morning
16. The Gypsy
17. The Proposal
18. Slip of a Girl
19. Sirens (Reprise)
20. Farewell, Good Angel
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Description


Here's another to join the parade of page-to-stage musicals inspired by 19th-century fiction. This ambitious adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's haunting classic Jane Eyre for the musical theater seems to be part of a trend represented most famously by Les Misérables. It also reflects the increasing pressure to schedule an original cast recording release as close as possible to a new show's Broadway opening: in this case, in fact, the CD was both recorded and released prior to the show's opening in December 2000 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. But what's most significant for the artistic character of Jane Eyre: The Musical is found in yet another pattern: like a number of his colleagues, composer-lyricist Paul Gordon comes to the project from a pop music industry background (best known for his hit "Friends and Lovers"). And quite a few of the show's numbers benefit from Gordon's catchy craftwork, weaving melodies that are clearly destined to be whistled long past curtain. Yet the effect is sometimes too facile, not diving as deep as we would like into the emotional predicaments of Brontë's characters. You begin to crave a more deftly defined and imagined variety of sound worlds (especially for the darker aspects of Thornfield Hall) than what is hinted at. Gordon doesn't forge any new paths, but his melodic fluency does have its moments of payoff--especially in the moving final duet "Brave Enough for Love," which is also strong enough to stand on its own.

Gordon's predilections as a would-be son of Sondheim are nevertheless clear, and he's telescoped the story into mostly effective lyrics, with some thoughtful juxtapositions of material. Most importantly, he understands that this is more than a Gothic romance, foregrounding the central message of forgiveness that Jane learns as a girl. He attempts to explore the injured sense of self shared by both Jane and Rochester and sets them on a painful, mutual voyage of discovery.

The creative team also includes the veteran duo John Caird (book and direction) and John Napier (scenic design), who have collaborated on such epics as Les Mis and Nicholas Nickleby (not to mention the Las Vegas Siegfried and Roy extravaganza). And the show's creators seem to share a vision geared toward the more operatic end of the spectrum (it was opera composers, after all, who early on claimed 19th-century Gothic fiction for the stage, as in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor), with an actual parody of coloratura in one showstopper ("The Finer Things") given to Blanche Ingram. Fortunately, the two principals have large, richly expressive voices to encompass the large, complicated emotions of these characters. Marla Schaffel singswith unusual beauty and brings dimension to her Jane, while James Barbour (whose resumé includes Beauty and the Beast) is never really threatening as Rochester, but rather a tortured soul who is sweet-voiced even at his most cynical. Mary Stout is a stitch as the blustery Mrs. Fairfax. While the show has already undergone a lengthy evolution from its very first workshops, the viability of its final, fully staged realization has yet to be determined. But this cast recording conveys an authentic sense of the musical's atmosphere and emotional scope. --Thomas May

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This musical can easily be placed right up there with such musicals as 'Miss Saigon' and 'Les Miserables' in terms of its passion and beauty. While there have been no less than five other musical adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's classic, this doubtless stands out as one that is a work of pure elegance. It is dark, moving, and mystifying, a deserving production that could have easily won the Tony award for best musical should there not have been several technicalities preventing that from happening.
While I had never heard Paul Gordon's music before, needless to say I was astounded with this masterpiece. The lyrics are haunting and the melodies perfectly attuned to the gothic atmosphere of 'Jane Eyre.' I would never have attributed the word "pop" to this kind of music; it has no teeny bopperish feel to it, although you will be left humming or singing the tunes yourself once you've gone through the record. It truly is comparable to the work Soundheim and even Lloyd Webber.
Besides the breathtaking, soaring melodies, however, it is undoubtedly Marla Schaffel and James Barbour (of 'Beauty and the Beast' fame) who bring 'Jane Eyre' to life. Schaffel's quiet but headstrong Jane brings Bronte's character to vivid reality with her beautiful, fresh voice, and Barbour's Rochester is a brooding baritone who grounds the entire score together. It is an amazing pleasure to simply hear the two sing--the chemistry between them is alive even on this recording. Schaffel is a stark contrast to Barbour in terms of voice timbre, and that only heightens the feeling of romance between Jane and Rochester--the quiet, smart governess and the brooding, passionate master.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a beautiful CD that I heard only as background music for a while and wasn't too impressed with until I borrowed it from a friend and actually sat down to read through the lyrics with the music. I was quite pleased. The music is catchy, but not shallow, and the musical captures a lot of the personality of the novel.
While not retelling the story in its fullest depth, the musical portrays an aspect that cannot be depicted in the movies or always appreciated in the writing. It takes the music itself to spin certain pictures. The vocals and instrumental interpretation work well together to accomplish this.
My favorite tracks are those depicting the inner struggle of the character--and there are plenty of those! Sirens is probably my favorite for the sheer passion of the music, but there are poignant little musical phrases that jump out at you from several tracks.
I highly recommend this CD to anyone who likes Jane Eyre and musicals in general.
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Format: Audio CD
One might expect from such an epic story a beautiful and imagionative score... I know I did. But I feel that the show was a quick shot at a hit (a shot that failed). I do make it a point that when ever I purchase a new cast recording to sit and listen to the entire album, reading along with the libretto, as to better understand the plot. And though I tried to "get into it," I find the score to be simplistic and repetative, though there are a few songs that are catching. The lyrics are not at all comparitive in quality or sophistocation to the classic novel, as one could only hope for in the musical adaptation. In fact, the lyrics are quite childish-I've heard better music in badly-scripted children's theatre plays. I would not discourage you from buying the recording; I am still glad that I have added it to my collection, it's just not my favorite. Not at all.
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Format: Audio CD
Being a huge fan of the book, I looked around desperately for anything that had to do with Jane Eyre. From watching different versions of the movie, to getting this cd. Regretfully, I did not see the musical onstage, but the beautifully worded lyrics, and enchanting music makes it seem as if I was actually there. Marla Schaffel brings out Jane's pain as if it were your own, and James Barbour makes you fall in love with Edward Rochestor with his amazing voice. Jane Eyre is a gem to any cd collection, and definitly worth my money to hear. Now get of that computer and go buy it!!!!!
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