|The Original French Cast was the first version of LM that was recorded to my knowledge. So, expect many "changes" in the music/lyrics.
|This is one of my favourite recordings for a great many reasons.
First things first, for some people the OFC (Original French Cast) is hard to get use to, because it is a rough version of Les Miserables. Some of the songs are very late 70's (paticularly Les Amis De L'ABC). And some of the songs are very "out of place" (L'Air De La Misere which sounds very much like the modern On My Own). And finally, many songs are "missing" or "added".
People buying this recording for another verion of On My Own will be highly disappointed to find out that it doesn't exist in this recording. The tune of On My Own is in L'Air De La Misere, but Fantine sings it instead of Eponine. Eponine's lament song is L'Un Vers L'Autre in the OFC.
In some aspects this recording is much closer to the novel than the current version of LM. Now, Marius' grandfather does not exist or play a role in the musical. In the OFC he does exist; he just doesn't play a major role. Also, the finale ends with Valjean's death and has no uplifting song with the students singing of tomorrow comming. He just dies and the curtain closes. So, it is a bit more depressing.
However, if that depresses you and there seems to be no point in getting a depressing recording that doesn't have Michael Ball, Phillip Quast, Frances Ruffelle, etc... you'll be happy to know that the actor Michel Sardou (who plays Enjolras) makes up for the lack of uplifting music and "big names" in Les Miserables. His voice and passion in A La Volonte du Peuple (Do You Hear the People Sing?) is just to die for so to speak. What is nice is that in the OFC, this song is basically a solo for Enjolras so you get to hear more of Michel Sardou than any other Enjolras. Remember, this is all of my opinion. I personally melt for this man.
The rest of the actors shouldn't be swept aside either. I love them all dearly, the one exception may be the role of Javert who sounds as if he's PMSing durring Dites-moi Ce Qui Se Passe. Yet, he does have a good strong voice and some people enjoy his interpretation of Javert.
Marie, as Eponine, does a very sweet job of portraying Eponine. Unlike some Eponines, I feel more compassionate for her because it doesn't sound as if she's whining, but more like sorrowful. Her solo song (L'Un Vers L'Autre) doesn't have as many bells and whistles as On My Own, but it's beautiful none the less.
Gavroche also has a nice solo. For those who've read the novel and know of his diddy about Voltaire and Rousseau, will be happy to hear that the song is in the OFC in full form. I do have one warning for you, La Morte De Gavroche is very emotional for some people. A few friends of mine cannot listen to it with out crying. ):
On a whole, this recording is a must for any LM fan or a fan of French music. It is well done and put together. Sure, it has it's flubs and signs of age (there seems to be a disco ball hanging in the cafe durring Les Amis De l'ABC), but the creators had to start from somewhere. Enjoy! (: