Bitter Sweet is’ possibly Noel Coward’s best known work and is considered his finest by many. Whether it is an operetta, that was what Coward called it; or a musical is open to debate but what we have is a dramatically romantic piece, beautifully crafted and filled with a rich score which introduced such memorable songs like “I’ll See You Again”, “If Love Were All”, “Dear Little Café”, “Kiss Me” and “Zigeuner”.
‘Bitter Sweet’ opened in London in July 1929 at His Majesty’s theatre where it ran for 697 performances. Peggy Wood and George Metaxa starred. The New York production opened 4 months later with Evelyn Laye in the leading role. The success of the show in London led to a production in French presented in Paris a year later starring Jane Marnac.
The popular numbers were recorded on 78s from the London and Paris productions. Evelyn Laye recorded two songs from the show when she returned to London but as these were recorded in pre LP days fans had to wait until 1958 before the first Bitter Sweet LP was issued in both mono and stereo versions. Although not complete, the eleven tracks offered listeners the opportunity to enjoy the score in an enhanced recording. The studio cast version was headed by Vanessa Lee and Roberto Cardinali.
This CD release features the stereo recordings from the 1958 LP and the major hit songs performed by the three leading ladies – Peggy Wood, Evelyn Laye and Jane Marnac – recorded almost 30 years earlier. To complete this revisit to Bitter Sweet we have also included the Master himself singing “I’ll See You Again”.