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  Sony Classical -
  SH 76662
  The Phantom of the Opera - OST
  Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Phantom of the Opera
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Reviews: 3

Review by lenw August 4, 2009 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Both the film and this disc lost some of the excitement of a live musical performance. There were only two contemporary films IMO that did a competent job of filming a musical - Moulin Rouge and Chicago. The score of course is beautiful and the performances good although not on a par with the original cast recording, especially Michael Crawford's performance. I don't know if there's an analog master of the original Broadway play, but it be very interesting to hear how that sounded in a high resolution format.

The music was re-recorded at Abbey Road Studios and so it should be a big improvement over the films sound. I found little in the album notes regarding audio recording/mixing equipment or techniques. I listened to the SACD stereo tracks and they were recorded too loud for playback at "live" listening levels without introducing hardness. The recording is also somewhat compressed because the organ and percussion in a musical score such as this should have more visceral impact. I'm not saying the low end is terrible - just not as good as a high resolution recording is capable of being. I also found some of the high frequency vocals and strings sounded harsh at times. The articulation is reasonable on most of the solos and duets, but less so with massed voices.

Overall not a bad recording, but a considerable distance from a demo disc.

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Review by sledge19 April 15, 2007 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Thanks to “Phantom of the Opera” - The Movie – we get to enjoy this soundtrack which also got released on SACD. At first I was a little bit skeptical about it and began to compare it to the well-known original cast recording from 1987 (with Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton), but very shortly stopped playing the “original” and stayed with the new SACD. Of course, the voices are different but nevertheless excellent.

The sound quality is just outstanding (Abbey Road Studios)! Easily noticable from the first track on and strikingly noticable when the (just few) short snippets from the original movie dialog are used: Movie recordings are not bad (Dolby Digital standard), but SACD is far superior. The multi-channels mix offers a full and clever usage of all 5 speakers, so much more than just ambiance for the rear speakers. The main voices are on the center speaker.

My absolute favorite (to my surprise) is “Masquerade”. Single voices, choir and full orchestra with a punch– what more can you ask for? This track is also an example for the great sound quality. Playing and listening to many good recordings and hardware, I have learned that only good recordings teamed up with good playback equipment can re-create a choir which consits of many individual voices. “Standard” equipment blends it to one single mass. Here, of course, the great resolution lets you hear the single individuals of the choir, creating an almost live-like experience on all five channels.

Negative points? If any, the title selection is limited, but the essential tracks are coverd.

The song from “Learn to be loney” sung by Minnie Driver is not bad, but does not really seem to fit in with the rest.

A must have for the musical lover! This SACD makes you wish for more musical recordings on SACD…wouldn’t it be great to have Les Miserables or the Disney musicals on SACD? Also a shame that SONY does not release more on SACD.

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Review by rammiepie May 23, 2011 (1 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Another outstanding multi~channel SACD from SONY. I am NOT a huge fan of Andrew Lloyd Weber but on occasion he delivers and for the most part Phantom of the Opera is a contemporary masterpiece (grand opera in abbreviated form, if you will). Amazon US is charging under $10 for this disc (new) and it should be in everyone's collection for those who remotely enjoy should the incredible blu~ray: for under $ can enjoy both.

The sonics are superb in both stereo and mch but the latter is outstanding.

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