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Finian's Rainbow (Irish Repertory Theatre Cast Recording)

Burton Lane, E.Y. Harburg
Finian's Rainbow (Irish Repertory Theatre Cast Recording)

$12.99

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"Minimalist accompaniement can be lovely, especially when it allows a performer to shine, but it can also be a detriment. And in the case of this recording of 1947's FINIAN'S RAINBOW, it's hard not to pine for a full, luscious orchestra instead of a pair of pianists (no matter how good they are). Oh well. At least we are lucky to get the lyrics, a superb cast and the most complete recording of Yip Harburg and Burton Lane's score to date. The plot is convoluted and long on whimsy (yes, there is a leprechaun and a pot o' gold) but lefty Harburg's book and lyrics also bemoan "the folly of racism," as he put it in a note about the show. The cast rises to the occasion. Ever-lovely Melissa Errico has such a crystalline soprano (complete with Irish brogue) that her renditions of "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" and "Look to the Rainbow" raise goosebumps. Overall, the cast does great by the surprisingly imaginative score--"The Begat" is appropriately rollicking for instance. This CD is, indeed, 'Something sweet,/Something sort of grand-ish.' "--Elisabeth Vincentelli