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Command Performance by Richard Rodgers

Command Performance by Richard Rodgers

Album Review

The music of Richard Rodgers has worked its way into the general consciousness of American popular music to such an extent that it almost seems spontaneously generated; arguably, no civilized person has missed contact with some part The Sound of Music, but even some listeners devoted to American Musical Theater remain inexplicably incurious as to the man himself. We do not extend to Rodgers the same fascination that we have, for example, with George Gershwin, who died so young, or with Irving Berlin, who lived so long. Yet in Salzburg, they have opened a museum to The Sound of Music, and many experts agree that this work is the greatest musical of all time. Certainly, others with music written by him — Babes in Arms, Oklahoma, South Pacific and The King and I — would place very highly in any ranking of great musicals one could conceive.

Harbinger’s Command Performance is about the first package in any format — tape, LP, or disc — to concentrate solely on Rodgers as a performer. Command Performance skims the various, scant groups of recordings retaining Rodgers pianism, conducting, alleged singing, and commentary,…

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