Sunday, April 19, 2015

Los Miserables [2011]

Yeah. Me and my Dad are becoming weirdos who own a billion different Les Mis recordings. Actually, we already are weirdos, but we've all got our things we like. Some people like Star Wars, other people like Lord of the Rings, and we at Spilled Ink like Les Miserables.
Anyway, my Dad got this CD for Christmas from Mom, and it's in Spanish!
So! This is from 2011 (as you might have seen in the title, granted) and it ha the same orchestrations as the 25th anniversary concert. The conducting is a little fast, and there are songs that were previously somewhere around Moderato that are now done at a brisk Allegretto. I could go here or there on the tempos and orchestrations. I don't mind the faster tempos, and in most of the songs, the orchestrations are really beautiful! The only song who's instrumentals I didn't really like were Javert's Suicide. It doesn't sound as dramatic or intense to me. But you know, it's a matter of taste I guess. :)
 Standout songs for me would be Estrellas (Stars), Sale el Sol (One Day More) and Solo Para Mi (On My Own). The Prologue sounded really cool, the rhythm was uber emphasized, and the chorus members were really good.
I really dig the guy who played Jean Valjean in this recording. He was a terrific actor, and he hits the last note in Quien Soy Yo (Who Am I) very well. It sounds so excellent. I also like his version of Bring Him Home, or Salvalo. Either this song is growing on me, or he just did a really amazing job of it. All in all, this guy is really good! A little hammy in the Prologue, but that is to be expected I suppose. XD Maybe he was trying to come off as gruff and hardened or something.
Something I really like about this album is that the entire cast is really good, both singing and acting-wise. Usually there is at least one singer in a Cast Album that you don't like, but that's not the case here. Normally, I don't feel too partial to Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, but the version on this CD is majorly sad. Which means it was done right. XD Cosette has a very sweet voice, I liked her. Though um, she sounded a bit like (pardon my overactive imagination) a cartoon mouse! All through A Heart Full of Love, all I could see in my mind's eye was Marius holding a little girl mouse in a dress on his hand. XD
 Eponine was one of my favorites, I like her voice, and the attitude she lends to the character. She's very fiery, and in Solo Para Mi there are a few lines that sound a bit more sarcastic than in other languages. Fantine's actress did a good job with Sone Una Vida, the I Dreamed a Dream equivalent. Enjolras made me laugh at times because he was just so into it (adorably so in Sale El Sol), and his version of the Final Battle is very rousing. :)
Oh yeah, and how could I forget Javert? Well, he's really good. He was um, super hammy in Javert's Suicide though. Yikes. But even with that, his voice and acting (for the most part) was totally spot on!
So! I don't speak very good Spanish (despite the fact that I live in California and have Mexican Heritage :P), but I know that they were speaking Castilian Spanish, that is, European Spanish. The biggest difference between European Spanish and Latin American Spanish, to my ears at least, is that some of the words with 's' sounds are a little erm, lisped. Well, not lisped in the sense that everyone in Spain has a speech impediment, it's just the way the accents over there work. So 'Cielo' (heaven) becomes 'Thielo', and so forth. It just struck me as funny because I'm used to Latin American Spanish. XD
Anyway, one of the coolest things on this album is Sale El Sol. The cast is so good in that one, the orchestra is rocking, and the title is so righteous. Literally, Sale El Sol literally translates to 'The Sun Rises' or 'The Rising of the Sun'. But it's also an expression similar to 'You live to see another day'. SO awesome.

The Verdict: A+
For a terrific cast and neato instrumentals. :)
Favorite Song: Sale El Sol
Runners Up: Estrellas, Solo Para Mi, Quien Soy Yo

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