Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sound of Music 50th Anniversary

One of my favorite musicals of all time is the Sound of Music. I will confess that I know it best from the film version, but have seen it live on stage a few times - at a Dinner Theater, a community theater production, a high school performance. Did you know that this year that Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music marks it's 50th Anniversary. It premiered on Broadway on November 14, 1959, almost 6 years before the movie version I am so familiar with.

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary, they have released a special The Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Edition [CAST RECORDING]. In addition, there is a newly released pop-up book celebrating the Sound of Music. Since I am a huge fan of the Sound of Music and the soundtrack, when I was contacted about reviewing the album and receiving The Sound of Music Classical Collectible Pop-Up, I jumped at the opportunity.

As soon as I received it, I had my husband download the soundtrack through the link I was provided. I really enjoyed listening to it. The one thing though that quickly was evident, as I recall from seeing it live a few times, the soundtrack for the stage version and the film version are different. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when you are used to a certain set of songs, it is strange to not hear all of them and to hear other songs. I am also used to hearing Julie Andrews and the film cast sing many of these songs. The versions on the Soundtrack CD are wonderful and I found myself singing right along with the familiar songs. I think I could become very familiar with the other songs and be able to sing along with them as well (okay, not the bonus tracks in other languages - I'd have to know those languages to be able to sing along) . Of the songs that are new to me, an Ordinary Couple is perhaps my favorite.

In addition to the classic tracks from the original stage soundtrack there are also three bonus songs which include...

- From Switzerland: The Pratt Family which is a silly spoof of The Sound of Music created for and performed by Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett in 1962 on their TV special Julie and Carol Live at Carnegie Hall.

- Edelweiss sung in German.

- Sök dig till bergen by Tommy Körberg which is Climb Every Mountain sung in Swedish.

You can preview all of the songs through Amazon here.

In addition to the soundtrack, there is an amazing Pop-Up book that I was sent, based on the Sound of Music. The book is magnificent - the illustrations are well done and the pop ups are the most complex I have ever seen. On the first page, it features a twirling Marie by a stream in the mountains. On each page of the large pop up book, there are inset pages that also include small pop-ups. These insets have more of the story and include the lyrics to a number of the songs as well.

It is a book that I definitely have and will share with my daughter, as long as I am holding the book and she isn't touching. I would hate to see such an amazing book destroyed, like some of the other pop-up books we have at our house.

For Sound of Music fans, I think that both the soundtrack and the Pop-Up book would be great additions to your home library. You can purchase the soundtrack or download it as an MP3. Both the book and the soundtrack are found on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Borders and other retail locations.

I received no compensation for this post, but did receive a link to download the soundtrack for free and was sent a copy of The Sound of Music Pop-up book to review and share with my family.