Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II

by Barbara CookBarbara Cook


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One of the reasons that Barbara Cook has been a success in her second career as a concert and nightclub singer, after a first career as a Broadway musical star, is, ironically, that she has so completely reinvented herself. She still sings show music, by and large, but unlike other stage veterans who have moved to the concert hall, she isn't still trying to perform those songs in character, at least, in the characters for which they were written. Rather, she has created (or revealed) her own unique persona, that of a warm, sincere, yet considered figure who renders the songs in a sympathetic, knowing manner. In this, she is aided and abetted by her accompanist, arranger, and producer Wally Harper, who also is not beholden to the original stage versions of the songs, and instead creates musical settings that, while commenting occasionally on the originals, shape and support Cook's vocal interpretations. These general remarks apply as well to her eighth solo album as they do to her first. On Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II, she presents her second tribute to a lyricist. (1993's Close as Pages in a Book featured the songs of Dorothy Fields). Lyricists don't usually get such showcases, but Hammerstein rewards the attention, his simple, direct, poetic words expressing a world view no matter what character is supposed to be singing them, no matter which composer he is complementing. Cook and Harper begin with the Oklahoma! opener "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" just as the original version did, a cappella. But from there, these takes are their own. Whether presenting the witty "The Gentlemen Is a Dope" and emphasizing the emotional turmoil over the wordplay, or taking "Edelweiss" in a more pop direction, Cook gives us her Oscar Hammerstein II, not the stage's, and the great wordsmith comes off all the better for it. The result is another Barbara Cook triumph.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/1997
Label: Drg
UPC: 0021471144826
catalogNumber: 91448
Rank: 167139


  1. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
  2. It's a Grand Night for Singing
  3. It Might as Well Be Spring
  4. The Surrey with the Fringe on Top
  5. This Nearly Was Mine
  6. I Won't Dance
  7. Don't Ever Leave Me/All the Things You Are
  8. The Gentleman Is a Dope
  9. Nobody Else But Me
  10. Why Do I Love You?
  11. Lover, Come Back to Me
  12. Can't Help Lovin' That Man/Bill
  13. Edelweiss

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barbara Cook   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jay Berliner   Guitar
Peter Matz   Performing Ensemble
David Nadien   Violin,Concert Master
Martin Agee   Violin
Lamar Alsop   Viola
Julien Barber   Viola
Belinda Whitney-Barratt   Violin
John Beal   Bass
Glenn Drewes   Trumpet
Harvey Estrin   Alto Saxophone
Paul Faulise   Trombone
Lawrence Feldman   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Barry Finclair   Violin
John Frosk   Trumpet
Jack Gale   Trombone
Jill Jaffe   Viola
Susan Jolles   Harp
Jeanne LeBlanc   Cello
Bob Millikan   Trumpet
Sharon Moe   French Horn
Eugene J. Moye   Cello
Lee Musiker   Piano
Suzanne Ornstein   Violin
Jim Pugh   Trombone
Matthew Raimondi   Violin
Clay Ruede   Cello
Mitsue Takayama   Viola
David Tofani   Tenor Saxophone
Mineko Yajima   Violin
Masako Yanagita   Violin
Ronald Zito   Drums
Lanny Paykin   Cello
Robert Ingliss   Oboe
Maura Giannini   Violin
Wally Harper   Conductor

Technical Credits

Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Peter Matz   Contributor
Jerome Kern   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Hugh Fordin   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Otto Harbach   Composer
Jeff Faville   Art Direction
Wally Harper   Arranger,Producer
Fred Miller   Engineer

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