Overture | Merrily We Roll Along (via theboywho-playedwithfire)
I keep meaning to post a track by track reaction to this album, but I think it’s clear that’s not going to happen. So let’s talk about the overture.
Although I still dearly miss the electric guitar, having read that Tunick reorchestrated the entire score from scratch (rather than simply tinkering with bits and pieces) somehow makes me feel better about the guitar’s omission.
I really love the swing band sound of the woodwinds here, which in my head is a nod to the time period of the play upon which the musical is based.
The tuba solo sounds better here than ever, although I wish the tuba was a little more forward in the mix. In general, there are some things I wish were mixed differently… (like you can barely hear the countermelody under the end of the “Good Thing Going” section) but that’s minor.
The piece that I still can’t get used to is at 3:25, when we have the “BOM BOM BOM” that was never in the overture before. I get that it’s covering the excision of “Rich and Happy,” but that transition was never so jarring in the previous version of the overture. Oh, that’s because in the previous revisions the overture ended before that part, bleeding into the opening song. It’s nice to have an ending again, even if it’s a little awkward getting there.
The saxes playing the upward licks under the brass in the “Old Friends” section doesn’t quite work for me. It’s just a bit too too, you know?
But over all, this is the best recording of the overture since the original.
(I just went back and listened to the York Theater recording and WOW was that taken faster than this one! And it’s got such a different feel… I like the swing feel of the newer one in place of the jazzier version of the York’s, but the York overture has this creepy violin thing happening underneath some parts that feels appropriately foreboding given the show that’s about to happen… I miss that. But yikes, in order to eliminate “Rich and Happy” and fade into the title song, they also eliminated “Old Friends” from the Overture, which just seems unforgivable to me.)