Chess: Live From Royal Albert Hall Soundtrack (2CD)

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Chess: Live From Royal Albert Hall Soundtrack (2CD)

Release date: 06/16/2009

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Track Listings

Disc 1 (of 2)

1. Listen Prologue
2. Listen The Story Of Chess
3. Listen Merano/What A Scene!/What A Joy!
4. Listen Commie Newspapers
5. Listen Press Conference
6. Listen Molokov And Anatoly - Josh Groban
7. Listen Where I Want To Be - Josh Groban
8. Listen Difficult And Dangerous Times
9. Listen The Arbiter
10. Listen Hymn To Chess
11. Listen The Merchandisers
12. Listen Global TV Fanfare
13. Listen Chess Game #1
14. Listen The Arbiter (Reprise)
15. Listen Quartet (A Model Of Decorum And Tranquility)
16. Listen Florence And Molokov
17. Listen 1956 - Budapest Is Rising
18. Listen Nobody's Side
19. Listen Mountain Duet - Josh Groban & Idina Menzel
20. Listen Chess Game #2
21. Listen Florence Quits - Idina Menzel
22. Listen Pity The Child #1
23. Listen Embassy Lament - Idina Menzel
24. Listen Heaven Help My Heart - Idina Menzel
25. Listen Anatoly And The Press
26. Listen Anthem - Josh Groban

Disc 2 (of 2)

1. Listen Golden Bangkok
2. Listen One Night In Bangkok
3. Listen One More Opponent
4. Listen You And I - Josh Groban & Idina Menzel
5. Listen The Soviet Machine
6. Listen The Interview
7. Listen Someone Else's Story
8. Listen The Deal (No Deal)
9. Listen Pity The Child #2
10. Listen I Know Him So Well - Idina Menzel
11. Listen Talking Chess
12. Listen Endgame #1
13. Listen Endgame #2
14. Listen Endgame #3/Chess Game #3 - Josh Groban & Idina Menzel
15. Listen You And I (Reprise)
16. Listen Walter And Florence
17. Listen Anthem (Reprise)

About the Album

It might be argued that lyricist/librettist Tim Rice does not so much collaborate with composers as compete with them. His early successes with Andrew Lloyd Webber, notably Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, were content-heavy efforts with often wordy songs and complicated characters, and Lloyd Webber fled to the relative simplicity of practically libretto-free shows about cats and train engines, never again granting a lyricist co-billing with him. Rice had another set of complicated ideas for Chess, on which he worked with Benny Andersson and Bj¬Ěrn Ulvaeus, late of ABBA, setting two interlocking romantic triangles against the backdrop of world chess tournaments during the Cold War. The work was represented first by a 1984 concept album, followed by a successful 1986 London stage production that did not spawn a cast album and an unsuccessful 1988 Broadway stage production that did. All during this period, Rice and several directors tinkered with the plot, and the songwriters added and deleted songs. In 1994, a third recording appeared in Sweden taken from a concert production overseen by Andersson. Not surprisingly, this album, featuring Scandinavian singers singing in accented English, tilted more toward the music over Rice's lyrics and story. And not surprisingly, this 2008 London concert version overseen by Rice tilts the other way. The recording has been mixed so that the vocals are up front, making it much easier to understand what's going on and to comprehend Rice's witty, idiomatic lyrics. The leads include two stage veterans who both got their starts in Rent, Adam Pascal (also of Rice and Elton John's Aida) as the American chess champion Frederick Trumper and Idina Menzel (also of Wicked) as Florence Vassy, who begins with Frederick and then switches allegiance to the Soviet chess champion Anatoly Sergievsky. Anatoly is portrayed by classical crossover star Josh Groban. The part is really the starring role. (If Chess has a hero, Anatoly is it; Frederick isn't exactly a villain, but more of a troubled mercenary in the mold of Rice's Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar.) Groban has the vocal chops to handle the part, but not the dramatic ability. He croons his way through the songs and speaks his bits of dialogue woodenly. Thus, in this performance, Anatoly is upstaged over and over again by Frederick and Florence, if only because Pascal and Menzel are able to use their stage experience to inhabit their characters far more effectively. The plot has been tweaked yet again, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense. (Not only is the Soviet champion the hero, but, having defected to the West, he returns to the Soviet Union at the end, the sort of action that would have earned any real defector a one-way ticket to the gulag.) Yet this recording is an improvement over both the compromised Broadway album and the hard-to-follow Swedish one, making it the best version of Chess since the 1984 original. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
Artist: Various Artists
Studio Label: CD
Edited: No
Format: CD
Enhanced: No
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date:
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.27
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.44
UPC: 0009362497981

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