Original Broadway Cast Recording

Golden Apple [Original Cast]

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John Latouche's and Jerome Moross' The Golden Apple had the distinction of being the first off-Broadway work ever to undergo a planned transfer to the Broadway stage -- there, despite rave reviews, it died a quick death, mostly because of misconceptions about its accessibility. Adapted from The Iliad and The Odyssey -- with the stories transposed to the early-20th century Pacific Northwest -- it was a charming, folksy, tuneful, subtly sophisticated, and brilliantly clever score that could have won over audiences had it lasted long enough to generate positive word of mouth, but that wasn't to be. All that's left, apart from some great reviews, is this cast album, recorded in 1954 and one of the most obscure releases of its kind in the RCA Victor catalog. The re-release is akin to a gift from heaven, and one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful listening experiences of its kind that one can have -- composer Jerome Moross, who later became immortalized as a film composer, here is trading in melodies that seem to parallel pieces such as Lerner & Loewe's "They Call the Wind Maria," and has a few tunes in here that later surface in more thoroughly realized versions as part of the score for The Big Country. This isn't the full score, sad to say -- the producers were obliged to cut both whole numbers and sections of many songs that were included in order to come up with a single LP release, but what is here is a delightful folk opera: unpretentious, playful, and accessible -- and ironically enough, if it were intact, it might be a great way to start teaching Homer today to grade-school students. The digital transfer is clean and sharp, and very crisp (it's not as though the master tape on this album ever had a serious workout), and the annotation is superb. And the vocal contributions, by Priscilla Gillette, Stephen Douglass, Kaye Ballard, Portia Nelson, et al., are priceless.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 0:57 Amazon
0:10 Amazon
3 0:58 Amazon
4 1:33 Amazon
5 1:17 Amazon
6 0:40 Amazon
7 2:25 Amazon
0:09 Amazon
9 2:12 Amazon
0:06 Amazon
11 1:48 Amazon
0:10 Amazon
13 6:54 Amazon
0:05 Amazon
15 3:34 Amazon
0:08 Amazon
17 2:29 Amazon
18 1:46 Amazon
0:12 Amazon
20 1:33 Amazon
21 0:05 Amazon
22 2:47 Amazon
23 0:06 Amazon
24 1:06 Amazon
25 0:11 Amazon
26 2:06 Amazon
27 1:53 Amazon
28 2:42 Amazon
29 2:35 Amazon
30 2:25 Amazon
31 0:08 Amazon
32 2:13 Amazon
33 0:38 Amazon
34 1:17 Amazon
35 1:30 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick