My Favorite Musical CDs

Yet another snow day in Seattle. And I slept in again so I’m bringing you yet another late-morning blogpost. Man, I just miss the rain. Anyways, let’s get into the blogpost. So, today I thought that I’d bring you a list of my favorite Musical Cast Recordings. Some Cast Recordings are better than others, let’s just face it. And I thought that I’d give you a list of some of my favorites… so the ones that never seem to leave my CD player. Achtung, fertig, los!

· ELISABETH (Wien, 2012) – I know that a lot of people’s favorite Sisi / Death pairing is Pia Douwes and Uwe Kröger. And, don’t get me wrong, I love them. But my personal favorite cast? That’d have to be the one that’s featured on this CD: Annemieke Van Dam as Sisi and Mark Seibert as Death. There’s just something so wonderfully epic about this recording. It’s so awesome. The listening experience is great. Mark Seibert’s got a really strong voice and Annemieke Van Dam brings this really sweet air to Sisi and it’s wonderful. The recording was done during live shows so it’s an amazing listening experience because some of the energy of the show transfers to your living room. So, if you’re interested in listening to ELISABETH, this is the cast recording that I would personally recommend.

· SCHIKANEDER (Wien, 2016) – So this just recently came out and I love, love, love it. Stephen Schwartz has done it yet again, my friends. And Mark Seibert is also in this one as Emanuel Schikaneder and he does an amazing job. Seriously, this guy has to be my favorite German musical theatre actor.

· LES MISÉRABLES (Tour, 2010) – This is the one with John Owen-Jones as Jean Valjean and Earl Carpenter as Javert. They’re my favorite Valjean / Javert casting and I think that they do a splendid job. This recording is also from live performances so it makes for a really great listening experience. I’ve only had this CD for about a year now –my mom bought it for my birthday—but it is easily one of my most-listened to CDs. I absolutely adore it.

· LES MISÉRABLES (International) – This is one of the most amazing casts that I have ever heard for well… anything. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names of any of the actors except for Anthony Warlow who played Enjolras (he’s great). Nonetheless, tough, the power in every actor’s voice is absolutely amazing and I highly recommend this one.

· DAS PHANTOM DER OPER (Hamburg) – I can’t remember the actors who sing in this version but seriously, this recording is amazing. I grew up listening to this and it greatly helped me in my German-learning. Even if you’re not a German speaker, I think that you can probably find appreciation for this recording. It’s awesome.

· EL FANTASMA DE LA OPERA (Mexico, 1999) – I don’t understand much Spanish—little to none if I’m to be completely honest—but this cast recording is awesome to listen to. I just really like it. My dad’s actually told me that this is probably his favorite cast recording of PHANTOM to just listen to (he doesn’t understand any Spanish). It’s just really nice to listen to and I really enjoy it.

· BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Broadway) – Man, I remember the day that I got this CD in the mail. I was so, so, happy. It’s just amazing. It’s absolutely phenomenal. The songs are absolutely wonderful and it’s a must-have whenever I go on a road trip. It’s great because the whole family knows and loves all of the songs so it can be like a singalong… if you’re into that sort of thing (which I am).

· WICKED (Germany) – So, again, we have a cast recording with Mark Seibert making an appearance on this list. I’m telling you, there is not much that this guy can’t do with his voice. We went from ELISABETH in which he played Death, to SCHIKANEDER, in which he plays Emanuel Schikaneder (the music is very Mozart-esque. So… very classical) to WICKED, in which he played Fiyero. Yep. Crazy. Anyways, this is the cast recording that introduced me to WICKED so it’ll always have a place in my heart.

· WICKED (Broadway) – This Broadway recording of WICKED is pretty great. This CD was in my CD player every morning throughout my high school life. I remember listening to “Dancing Through Life” every morning just to get me waking up. Man… I was weird back then… but at the same time, why don’t I do that anymore?

· JEKYLL & HYDE (Original Concept Recording) – Anthony Warlow is quite possibly one of the greatest singers that I have ever heard. And a lot of the reason that I cite for that is this CD. He’s awesome as both Jekyll and Hyde and this might be one of the best CDs that I have in my collection. Seriously, I never tire of it. And the music is awesome. Goodness’s sake… I need to listen to this again.

· A TALE OF TWO CITIES (International Studio Recording) – I love, love, love this CD. Every actor is awesome. Every song is amazing. It’s only a pity that this show isn’t still running on Broadway because I want to see it. I really, really want to see it. Not to mention that I cry just listening to this CD because it’s so drop-dead sad.

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So, that’s it for me! What are some of your favorite CDs that you have in your collection? Tschüss! 

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14 thoughts on “My Favorite Musical CDs

  1. I never really thought about favorite musicals CDs in a way. I also love the Original Broadway of Wicked. At the same time, love the Original Broadway of Newsies, South Pacific, Les Mis, Rent and Phantom of the Opera. Love the revival Broadway of Pippin. I am a fan of the movie cast of Sound of Music.

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      1. Pippin is wonderful. The revival album of Pippin is even more incredible than the original broadway. The revival has a more playful and energetic feeling to it due to the circus elements

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      2. I agree. There’s just something so amazing about the production value of the revival production and I think that it’s great that they were able to add in all of the circus elements! It really iust brings the story to life

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      3. The circus elements are one of the biggest reasons why I love Pippin. I got introduced to Pippin through listening to “Corner of the Sky” when my parents had me listen to the song. Automatically, I knew I just had to see the stage show eventually. Pippin was the most unexpected show to see in 2015. Mom got tickets for us the week before and there was only one day left with two seats together. Coming into Pippin, all I knew was “Corner of the Sky” and what the show was about because that one song explains the story. One thing that is fascinating is that the leading player actually opens it up. I was extremely impressed with the portrayal of the leading player in the cast that I saw and she was an understudy. I loved all the different circus elements and loved how during “No Time At All”, we were asked to sing along during the chorus.

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      4. Pippin is absolutely unique and wonderful! So glad that Broadway allowed the circus elements because in the past their safety regulations have been a bit troublesome! I will never forget the first time I first saw Pippin. It was a theatre experience that I will never, ever forget

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      5. My mom and I has not one but four incredible musical experiences together. The first was in 2006 and that was Wicked on Broadway and there are not vivid memories of that, but the impact of seeing Wicked in New York clearly shows throughout all the years I have seen.

        Than mom and I saw Phantom of the Opera in 2014 in Greenville. I wanted to see Phantom since falling in love with the songs. I almost cried during that night. Mom told me I was spellbound from start to finish.

        Than of course there is Pippin and that was the spectacle-filled of 2015. Its story is so universal and unique in the whole circus nature of it.

        Well, what really made 2015 special was seeing Les Mis in the West End with my mom. We were nine rows back from the stage. It took a while to let it really sink in that I was living my dream. When I first saw the theatre, still thought it was something out of a dream. But the moment the show began and I heard those first notes, I knew it was going to be more than expected. Of all the casts I saw, which were the movie cast, the 25th anniversary concert cast, my community college production, and the 2015 West End Cast with Adam Bayjou as Valjean, the West End cast was the best cast by far.

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      6. That’s awesome! My mom and I went to see Phantom and Les Miz together but I went to see Pippin with a friend of mine who didn’t know anything about the show. One of my favorite theatre experiences was Starlight Express. The fact that all of the actors are on roller skates is super awesome. But my favorite theat experience has to have been Les Miz last year. It was absolutely amazing

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      7. Just seeing Les Mis in London was so special. It sort of went full circle with Les Mis. To see Wicked on Broadway with my mom and to end up seeing Les Mis with my mom on the West End. My top two favorite musicals seeing in two of the biggest theatre districts with my mom was quite special. Just like me, my mom also really loves musicals.

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      8. I love going to see musicals with my mom. My dad goes with me sometimes but he prefers to stay in Seattle so he only goes to see touring productions with me. I really want to see Les Miz in London eventually but I don’t know if that’ll ever happen (at least not any time soon). There are so many shows that I want to see so badly

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  2. Is the Wien CD of Elisabeth the Tourneecast one? If so, that’s the one I’ve listened to on Spotify. I love Mark as der Tod but I personally prefer Pia Douwes & Uwe Kröger. Annemieke wasn’t too bad as Sisi, but I felt sometimes she came across as too sweet, where I imagine her character to be stronger and maybe even darker.

    Yay for mentioning the Wicked German cast recording, it’s so underrated. Willemijn Verkaik is my favorite Elphaba and her voice is gorgeous! Frei und Schwerelos is probably my favorite track, but they’re all great.

    My favorite version of Phantom would be the 25th anniversary concert cast, Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo were so fantastic and their chemistry was just to die for.

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    1. Yeah, Wien is the tour cast with Annemieke and Mark! I think I prefer Pia as Sisi to Annemieke for some songs like “Ich Gehör Nur Mir” because, like you said, Pia plays a bit of a stronger Sisi though I kind of like seeing the sweeter Sisi that Annemieke portrays as well. I think I prefer Uwe to Mark in “Der Schleiet Fällt” depending on the recording / video but overall, I prefer Mark for songs like “Der Letzte Tanz” and “Die Schatten Werden Länger” because I feel like his voice is a little stronger than Uwe’s. I think that my strong attachment to Annemieke and Mark comes from the fact that they were the first cast I was introduced to.
      The Wicked German cast recording is absolutely phenomenal–I absolutely love Willemijn as Elphie as well!
      It took me a little while to come around to liking the 25th Anniversary cast of Phantom because they were quite a bit different but now I do quite like it now! I agree that the acting is pretty awesome! I don’t actually have the CD for this one but I have the DVD and love watching it!

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      1. Yes Annemieke is not bad at all! I didn’t like her voice very much at first (mostly because it was so different from Pia and Willemijn’s, who were the first Elisabeths I listened to) but it’s definitely grown on me, and now I enjoy listening to her lol. She was great as Guinevere in the Artus Excalibur musical too.

        This is going to sound weird but I think Mark looks better than Uwe 😛 But I really like Uwe’s portrayal of der Tod because his was scarier/darker. But both of them have great voices.

        Ooh 25th Phantom was the first I saw so it’s definitely very special to me haha. It was what got me interested in Phantom. I actually have the CD signed by Ramin Karimloo 😀

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      2. Oh, wow! That’s so cool! Man, I wish that I had a signed CD by Ramin! That’s awesome! Michael Crawford was the first Phantom I listened to and he’ll always be one of my favorites because of that so I definitely get what you’re saying about the 25th Anniversary!

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