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Elaine Paige, Jonathan Pryce, Nadia Strahan, Liliane Montevecchi, Anita Dobson,
Nine - 1992 London Concert Cast

Back on the show-and-tell train, another album I picked up in London that no-so-coincidentally features Elaine Paige is the 1992 concert production of Nine.

This is an interesting recording for several reasons. First, even though it’s a cast recording from a concert production, it’s not a live album. The performers from the one-night-only concert were reassembled in the studio to record the album. Second, the orchestra and chorus is HUGE - 165 voices in the cast! - which makes the score sound great, for the most part. There’s a unique take on the overture, in that it includes male voices (although there’s a bonus track of the original, all-female arrangement). And apparently the score was cut down a bit for the concert, but those lost pieces were restored for the album. Finally, Elaine Paige wasn’t actually part of the concert at all! Sarah Brightman had been announced for the part, but last minute complications around recording the theme for the ‘92 Olympics required her to pull out of the concert. Elizabeth Sastre stepped in for the concert, but they must have wanted a bigger name for the album.

A single-disc highlights album had been available in the US for many years as part of a licensing deal RCA had with TER, which meant the two-disc complete set was only available as an import. I believe now that the RCA license has expired, you can get the full recording in the US. But I had held out so long (due to my general disdain for highlights albums), it made sense to buy this in London.

Jonathan Pryce plays Guido in this production. 

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