This sumptuous recording highlights the power of music in terms of storytelling.
Recorded at the Theatre Royal Dury Lane, this gorgeously put together album features three symphonic suites composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber – one each for The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Sunset Boulevard and showcases the music in a beautifully clear way.
Performed by an 81 piece orchestra, capably and warmly conducted by Simon Lee, it is an album that is a real treat to listen to whether you are a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber or not. The power of this recording lies in the way in which it highlights the drama and storytelling that can be found by simply experiencing the composer’s work in this way.
Yes perhaps it is slightly easier if you are familiar with the musicals and certain sections of each suite you can pick out certain scenes from the show, but even if you aren’t you can certainly use your imagination to explore the story that lies behind the music. It feels like you are really taken on a musical journey.
The Evita symphonic suite is filled with depth and variety that takes the listener on an emotionally deep journey with hints of drama and power that is mesmerising to sit back and listen to. This is then taken to the next level with the Sunset Boulevard suite that has certainly a stronger sense of theatricality and trying to convey the story at the centre of it, while The Phantom of the Opera suite manages to combine all of the elements explored through Evita and Sunset Boulevard together into a stunning finale.
This is an album that feels like an emotional musical journey, with the orchestra really paying great attention to the details of each composition – thanks to Simon Lee’s thoughtful conducting. Each note has a great richness to it that keeps the listener thoroughly invested in what is coming next.
Each of the arrangements have clearly been thoughtfully put together to ensure that the quality of the recording is of the highest and consistent standard. Having recorded it at a theatre also makes it feel like a celebration of musical theatre and acknowledgement of just how tough for musicians the last nearly two years have been without being able to perform to live audiences.
As a whole, the record is a classy, warm and fabulous celebration of music, theatre and musicians. It is a real treat to listen to.
By Emma Clarendon
Symphonic Suites is available to buy and download now.