Very great music!
Good, But Doesn't Measure Up to the Originial
Okay, I'm biased. I was in an OB version back in the late 70s and "learned" from the original (Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch, et al) and to me the orginial will always be the standard. The 'revival' version just doesn't seem to have the emotion or care of the craft of the 1970 edition. Having said that, and qualifying my opinion as being an 'old codger': if I wasn't as intimately familiar with the original, the revival version would be out of this world. It's good - it's VERY good - but just not AS good.
VARIES YOUR DAYS!
Dude, make sure you watch the recording of the Broadway show as well. Raul Esparza will rock your socks so hard core you'll cry and be moved and feel alive.
I saw the show and thoroughly enjoyed it. Raul Esparza is a talented performer w/ a thrilling voice. I think it's modern instrumental feel gives the album a nice edge. Wonderful and a must have.
A Wonderful Recording
This is a simply devine recording of a wonderful revivial of a marvelous show. After having watched to film of the revival many times I decided to buy the recording of it. It is great. The only problem with it is is that it does lose some of the spark of a live performance, but what recording doesn't? The added dialouge tracks can be annoying when they pop up in your shuffle, but they provide explanation when listening to the recording in full. Do buy!
John Doyle does an amazing job with another of Sondheim's prime musicals. Personally, I prefer this show to the Sweeney Todd revival.
Raul Esparza is perfect as Bobby. His solo performances ("Someone is Waiting," "Marry Me a Little," and especially "Being Alive") are what truly makes the show, save the slightly out-of-place falsetto ending of "Someone Is Waiting", but no matter.
In addition, Barbara Walsh and Heather Laws were great choices for the roles of JoAnne and Amy respectively. Walsh's intensity in her rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch" rivals that of Elaine Stritch, which is by no means an easy feat. Laws shines in her frantic rendition of "Getting Married Today," she was skittish and adorable without pushing the song to the brink of unintelligibility.
Also, I believe that John Doyle's signature actor-musician ensemble was perfectly tailored to this show. The orchestrations in this show also do not seem thin, as they did sometimes in his production of Sweeney Todd.
All in all, it's a great production. I would wholly recommend purchasing this album.
I love Company, But Not This One
Having loved "Company" since it's original production, I've memorized the songs. When I heard that PBS was to air the 2006 production, a Tony winner, I was thrilled. I got the DVR fired up, waited in breathless anticipation. What a disappointment.
Mr. Doyle's "no musicians" gimmick has run it's course. Clearly, Sondheim strongly disagrees with my opinion, since Doyle is directing Sondheim's new musical.
I fear that seeing the show in person wouldn't have helped. The characters were so unlikable that I was puzzled why Bobby was friends with any of them. The music was regrettably reduced to minimalist versions and even the costumes were ugly. I tried to picture Elaine Stritch's Joanne walking around the stage pinging on a triangle, and just couldn't do it. Stritch managed to make Joanne compelling in a snarky, truth-telling way. The 2006 Joanne was simply strident.
I recommend that fans of Company get a copy of the documentary that Pennebaker did of the recording session for the first cast recording. It's thrilling.
If I haven't made myself clear, I hate this show. I shudder to think what John Doyle could do to Assassins--Henry Giteau playing a clarinet as he climbs the steps to the gallows?
Omg I absolutely love the song being alive but i havnt really listened to the whole album.
My mom took me to see this show, and I was not very excited to see it because I knew nothing about it. This turned out to be one of the best shows I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of shows. Raul Esparza gave an amazing preformance. It had so much emotion and real-ness to it. The rest of the cast was amazing as well. Angel Desai's "Another Hundred People" was great and Barbara Walsh's "Ladies Who Lunch" was breathtaking...one of the best songs I have seen performed live. The whole ablum is one that should be in any broadway lovers music library. If I had to recomend one album from iTunes, this would be the one...
What Would We Do Without It?
To me, Sondheim is very inconsistant. Some of his shows are absolutely amazing, and some are ridiculous. Company definitely falls in the first category, and I'm so happy with this recording. The original Robert was a very weak singer in my opinion, and Raul is brilliant in the role. The ensemble is great, and the songs are wonderful. Being Alive is, of course, the best track, but the others are wonderful as well. The only slightly downside is that although I know it's central to the show, I'm not an enormous fan of the straight instrumental backgrounds. Overall, though, this is just amazing.