This budget-priced, abridged version of the original London cast recording of The Sound of Music is for music fans without much money to spend but a desire to have a copy of the score to the show. With a run of 2,385 performances, the original London production of The Sound of Music, which opened on May 18, 1961, was the most successful Broadway musical import in British history up to that time. This seemed to be due entirely to the show itself, as opposed to the particular production or cast. Jean Bayless as Maria was much more prim and proper -- more British, that is -- than her Broadway counterpart, Mary Martin, yet with none of the warmth of the eventual film portrayal by another British performer, Julie Andrews. Roger Dann was only adequate as Captain von Trapp. Opera star Constance Shacklock was the show's standout, singing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain." (The abridgement eliminates Eunice Gayson's Elsa from consideration.) The music remains impressive, but the only reason to buy this version of it is price.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann