First produced on Broadway in 1956 and closed as a flop d’estime after 73 performances, Candide may someday gain its rightful place as the best of all possible Leonard Bernstein stage works. Exuberant, ambitious, and shamelessly eclectic, the score has gone through more trials than Voltaire’s troubled hero, whose story it tells. After the show’s Broadway demise, Lillian Hellman refused to change a jot of her leaden book; attempts to rework the piece resulted in a series of further disasters, culminating in Harold Prince’s 1982 monster overstaging for the New York City Opera. The good news on this December 1989 recording, which has Bernstein conducting his score for the first time, is that it wipes out 35 years of tampering by restoring more of the pristine score than has ever been played at one time. The middling news is that the new cast of opera luminaries — fresh-voiced Jerry Hadley as Candide, June Anderson as a prima donna Cunegonde, and veteran Wagnerian Christa Ludwig as an antic Old Lady (plus longtime Bernstein sidekick Adolph Green as the Voltaire stand-in, Dr. Pangloss) — doesn’t erase memories of the original-cast recording, with Barbara Cook’s delirious Cunegonde (still, praise be, available). And now the bad news: As on Deutsche Grammophon’s 1985 Bernstein-led West Side Story, the major liability is the maestro’s own conducting, which is pathetically unable to revive the romping high spirits that were his when Candide was new. B-
CandideFirst produced on Broadway in 1956 and closed as a flop d'estime after 73 performances, Candide may someday gain its rightful place as...CandideClassical, SoundtracksFirst produced on Broadway in 1956 and closed as a flop d'estime after 73 performances, Candide may someday gain its rightful place as...1991-10-11
Genre: Classical, Soundtracks; Lead Performers: Adolph Green, Jerry Hadley, June Anderson, Leonard Bernstein, Christa Ludwig; Producer (group): Deutsche Grammophon
Posted October 11 1991 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Star Wars' to screen in China for first time ever
- Art Garfunkel dings Paul Simon in new interview
- Dust off your crayons: Adult coloring books are here
- Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan had a 'Buffy' reunion
- Chris Pratt on being a sex symbol: 'Before, I was the sweaty guy who didn't give a s---'
- Munich Film Festival to honor Alexander Payne with retrospective
- George R.R. Martin reveals which religion inspired that 'Game of Thrones' cult
- Summer Movie Preview: 10 must-see documentaries
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Ellie Kemper, more faces of the 2015 Webby Awards
- George & Amal, the Rock, Anne Hathaway & More!