Studio Cast (1953)
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There are some oddities on this recording.
There are at least two notable lyric errors, which may have been the result of errors in the score.
In "I Had Twins," an unidentifed soloist, playing Aegeon, sings "far Samoa" instead of "far-off Samos." "Samos" is meant to be pronounced to rhyme with "ignoramus."
In "Dear Old Syracuse," Jack Cassidy sings "home" when he should have sung "Rome," so he ends up singing "You can keep your Athens, you can keep your home / I'm a home-town fellow and I pine for home," rather than "You can keep your Athens, you can keep your Rome / I'm a home-town fellow and I pine for home."
Did He Have Twins or Did I Have Twins?
Anther oddity is that the title of the first song (after the overture) is listed as "He Had Twins," even though the lyric has been changed so that it is sung "I Had Twins." This change of lyric would later be made in the 1963 Off-Broadway revision of the show, and the title was changed accordingly. We have therefore listed the title here as "I Had Twins," even though it seems not to have been listed that way on any issue of the recording.
Who's That Courtesan?
In the booklet accompanying the CD issue, Bibi Osterwald is listed as playing Luce and the Courtesan, and the plot synopsis in the booklet suggests that the Courtesan sings "Oh, Diogenes." This aligns with a change made in the 1963 Off-Broadway revision, where the song was taken from Luce (who sang it in the original production) and given to the Courtesan, but this recording was made 10 years before that. We have listed Osterwald as playing Luce and the Courtesan, following the CD booklet's listing, and we have similarly listed the Courtesan singing "Oh, Diogenes" in our track list, but it may be that these listings were not on any issue of the recording before the CD.
The recording uses orchestrations that seem based on the originals by Hans Spialek, but do diverge from them to varying degrees in some places. Most notably, "This Can't Be Love" is given a jazzy, pop-style arrangement very much at odds with the more lyrical original. It has been said that Richard Rodgers hated the arrangement when he heard the recording, but we have found no source for this so it may not be true. In the 1963 Off-Broadway revival and the London revival later that year, which was based on the Off-Broadway revival but had new orchestrations for a larger ensemble, the song was arranged and orchestrated in ways that were closer to the original presentation in 1938. This does suggest that Rodgers did prefer the song to be performed in a gentler, more lyrical style.