CD Review ‘The Sound of Music–50th Anniversary Edition’

sound of music 50th

What keeps a hit movie going strong after half a century? How about strong songs, story, cast, performances, settings and spirit?

Those are a few of my favorite things about 1965’s film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, perhaps the most beloved movie musical in history.

For this anniversary year, its tale of an Austrian family finding a new mother in a nun-in-training governess (Julie Andrews) while singing their hearts out amid the Nazi takeover prior to World War II is getting a 50th Anniversary Edition on CD, as well as a two-disc vinyl set. Both are due March 10 from Legacy.

What’s new? That starts with a dozen extended tracks, largely via expanded orchestral cues. The disc also collects all of the film’s vocal performances on one CD for the first time, and it sports a new intro and liner notes involving Andrews, as well as rare illustrations and photos.

Andrews relates in the liners that “probably my favorite song” in the film is Edelweiss, and she wishes it had been hers to sing. (Lady Gaga took care of that by briefly including it her Sound of Music medley for the Oscars.) Andrews did later sing Edelweiss in concerts and considers its heartfelt message about loving one’s homeland to be universal. I agree.

In fact, love is at the heart of The Sound of Music — love of country, love of family, love of music, love of nature’s beauty and love of a man and a woman. I think that’s essentially why this lovely film has endured.

Its soundtrack certainly has. In its initial release it stayed on Billboard’s record charts for 233 weeks. Now 50 years later, one of my favorite things is back. 

— Bruce Westbrook

 

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