Roberta (Full Score on 2 CDs) Jerome Kern/Otto Harbach


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Roberta, a musical comedy by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, which opened at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre in November 1933, was intended to follow a similar structure of his two previous musicals, The Cat And The Fiddle (1931) and Music In The Air (1932). These musicals were chic, sophisticated tapestries of dialogue, song, and dance interwoven with nearly continuous underscoring. Based on Alice Duer Miller’s novel, Gowns By Roberta, the musical is a romantic coming-of-age comedy about a young American’s growth from naïve college athlete to sophisticated owner of his Great-aunt Minnie’s Parisian fashion house. Like The Cat and The Fiddle, which had been set in Brussels, Roberta presents a comedic clash between Old World Europe and brash New World America Likewise, the wonderful Kern score contrasts such haunting songs as “The Touch Of your Hand” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” with the brassy “I’ll Be Hard to Handle” and “Let’s Begin.” Conducted by Rob Berman, one of Broadway’s finest musical directors, the cast includes West End, Broadway, and opera stars Kim Criswell, Annalene Beechey, Jason Graae, and Diana Montague. There have been previous recordings of the songs from Roberta, but this is the first recording of the complete score in its original orchestrations by Kern’s orchestrator-of-choice, Robert Russell Bennett. 


Disc: 1 


1. Let’s Begin 

2. Lindy Hop 

3. Madrigal 

4. You’re Devastating 

5. Dialogue 1 

6. Finaletto 

7. Dialogue 2 

8. You’re Devastating: Stephanie’s Reprise 

9. Dialogue 3 

10. Yesterdays 

11. Dialogue 4 

12. Dialogue 5 

13. Something Had to Happen 

14. Rhapsody in Prose 

15. Dialogue 6 

16. The Touch of Your Hand 

17. Scene and Trio 

18. Scene and Sidonie’s Reprise 

19. Opening of Scene 4 

20. Fashion Show 

21. I’ll Be Hard To Handle 

22. Yesterdays Dance 

23. Act One Finale 


Disc: 2 


1. Entr’Acte 

2. Hot Spot 

3. Dialogue 7 

4. Scene: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 

5. Dialogue 8 

6. Let’s Begin: Reprise 1 

7. Dance Scene 

8. Dialogue 9 

9. Something Had to Happen: Reprise 

10. Dialogue 10 

11. Let’s Begin: Reprise 2 and Sewing Dept. Dance 

12. Don’t Ask Me Not to Sing 

13. The Touch of Your Hand: Party Performance 

14. Scene Change 

15. Wardrobe Scene 

16. Clementina 

17. Reprises: I’ll Be Hard to Handle & Let’s Begin 

18. Finale Ultimo 

19. Appendix: Armful of Trouble 

20. Appendix: I Won’t Dance 

21. Appendix: Lovely to Look At 

22. Exit Music 

23. Song: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 

Additional information


Jerome Kern


Otto Harbach


Jerome Kern




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