Since the English-language version of the musical Les Misérables opened in London in 1985, there have been a number of recordings; this one features the cast of the 25th anniversary London revival production, with John Owen-Jones starring as the Job-like Jean Valjean and featuring Earl Carpenter as his nemesis Javert, Madalena Alberto as Fantine ("I Dreamed a Dream"), Katie Hall as the grown-up Cosette, Rosalind James as Eponine ("On My Own"), and Gareth Gates as Marius. On this live recording, the cast seems a bit overexcited at the outset, but they settle down into a professional performance over the course of the long running time. The show has not changed much over the years, making any new recording essentially redundant. This is not the only one drawn from a live performance, but such recordings have the odd aspect of loud cheering, which disrupts the grandly tragic intentions of the piece. Still, the album serves as a souvenir of a work that has held up over a quarter-century and seems likely to do so in the future.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2