But which recording to buy? There, it gets a bit more complicated. Each of the four English-language recordings has its own strengths and weaknesses.
The first thing that must be said about this live concert double CD is that it's far inferior to the video. In fact, the sound is quieter for some reason on the CD than on the video. The video adds a lot in other ways as well, especially from the wonderfully expressive Phillip Quast (Javert) and dimpled, hilariously lovestruck Michael Ball (Marius). If you have an option, get the video.
That aside, this CD is a great addition to Les Mis lore and an excellent all-around performance. The music is splendid (although incomplete), and the vocalists are all very good - some are better than others. In a galaxy of theatre stars, Quast steals the night with a touching and complex portrayal of the police inspector who hounds Javert. His "Stars" shines so brightly that it eclipses the other dozen or so memorable ballads, even Colm Wilkinson's show-stopper "Bring Him Home".Read more ›
Miss Salonga's interpretation of Eponine is particularly impressive - very empathetic and appropriate (given all that Eponine has experienced, the right degree of bitterness interspersed with the frustrated love that permeates through the character 'shines' through), and her voice is just so amazing!
The other members of the cast are equally impressive.
Get this and the complete recording and you have all the Les Miserables CDs that you need for your lifetime.
My one real complaint is the casting of Enjolras. Anthony Warlow is without a doubt, the most powerful, convincing Enjolras there ever was and ever will be! For the reason of Enjolras only I prefer the Complete International Symphonic Cast Recording. Michael Ball and Philip Quast both turn in other stunning performances in the CSR. However, I much prefer Salonga over Shimada. I guess its all a matter of opinion, but the TAC is missing my ANTHONY WARLOW!!
I can relate to what one reviewer said about the amazing Lea Salonga. Read more