"Once in a lifetime - and only once - a picture comes along which cannot be compared to any other and to which no other can be compared. A picture which writes a new page in motion picture history. A picture which has such universal appeal that is a pure delight to Father, Mother, Children, Grandparents, and Grandchildren - it makes no difference who. You have made it - Mary Poppins" - Telegram from Samuel Goldwyn to Walt Disney, September 11, 1964
Okay, so I picked up my copy of the soundtrack Tuesday evening at Borders. It is so amazing! I can't stop listening to it. Everyone who loves Mary Poppins needs to go buy this soundtrack.
Absolutely beautiful. It's made of thin cardboard, with lots of great pictures on the inside and out. It opens up to reveal a cd on either side, plus a section in the middle that houses the book. The disc art is also great, with images of Mary and Bert on each disc. The book is about 40 pages long, including photos from the film, lyrics, explanations for the bonus tracks, and an essay entitled "The Poppins Project" written by Randy Thornton (the special edition restoration producer) on August 27, 2004.
Disc One - The Soundtrack
The first disc includes the complete soundtrack. Finally! I have wanted this for years. It is done in the style of some of the previous Disney animated feature soundtracks, where it includes all of the orchestration from the film along with the usual songs, and they all flow together very nicely. Irwin Kostal's orchestration work is beautiful, as he weaves together the Sherman Brother's melodies throughout the film. My personal favorite song from this film is "Feed the Birds", and this theme shows up beautifully now and again ("March Over the Rooftops", "Mr Banks is Discharged"). The disc even starts out with the 7 second "Buena Vista Fanfare", which is the music heard when the Buena Vista logo is shown at the beginning of the film. Another highlight is the Jolly Holiday sequence, where we hear the full intro to the song, plus the reprise, and the "Penguin Dance". Fantastic! (Also, the sound quality is superb- crystal clear!)
Disc Two - Bonus Material
The Mary Poppins Story Meetings
Tracks 1-21 are all one piece, an audio recording of a highlights from a series of meetings that took place April 5-10, 1961, between Mrs Travers, Richard and Robert Sherman, and Don DiGradi. It was after these meetings that Mrs Travers (the author of the books) decided to give Walt permission to do the film. Honestly, the audio is poor for this section so it's a bit difficult to follow, but thankfully the liner notes provide clear explanations as to what is being discussed for each track. This is more of a novelty, not something you would want to listen to over and over, but fascinating nonetheless.
Hollywood Spotlight Microphone
This is the highlight of the bonus disc. It is a 1964 interview with Julie Andrews, Dick van Dyke, the Sherman Brothers, and Irwin Kostal (conducted by Dick Tufeld). Some highlights include... Julie discussing the way she decided to play Mary, Dick revealing the challenges of playing Bert, Irwin talking about incorporating a vaudevillian English music hall flavor to the score, Julie talks about her "perfect pitch" singing ability, Dick talks about his flat singing (!), and the whole group talks about the meaning and signifigance behind "Feed the Birds"...
Perhaps most interesting is this: Dick Tufeld asks the group if they think Mary Poppins will ever become a Broadway musical:
Dick van Dyke: "Without a doubt!"
Julie Andrews: "But I don't see how it can! Because Mr Disney did so many incredible things in the picture which would be impossible on the stage."
Dick van Dyke: "Oh yes, but I'm almost sure that this is going to become a classic story...
Julie: "Oh I agree there...
Dick: "...and someday it'll be done in the theatre, I'm just sure of it!"
Julie: "...it's as classic as Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, any of them.
Dick: "or Peter Pan! I think it will be done on the stage. This is gonna make Mary Poppins as famous as The Wizard of Oz.
(Note: The Mary Poppins musical opens next month...)
The Sherman Brothers Reminisce About Their Work on Mary Poppins
This was recorded in Feb 1989, and has been featured on previous Poppins soundtrack CD's. This is an interesting exposition by the Sherman's about their experience of writing songs for the film.
When you toss disc 2 into your CD-Rom drive, you get access to a couple of special internet features, including a link to the website for the new musical ( http://www.marypoppinsthemusical.com
), and links to purchase other Mary Poppins related items, like the Karoake CD.
Well, what can I say? This is a fantastic way to enjoy Mary Poppins in anticipation of the DVD release. You should pick it up today!
Ik heb de CD in bestelling. Ik ben erg benieuwd!