Monday, August 11, 2014

Fiddler On The Roof (1971 Soundtrack)

This is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite CDs. I don't even know if I can describe how much I love this musical, but let's see if I can get a decent review done for you all. ;)

1. Prologue And Tradition & Main Titles - This song starts the musical off splendidly. I love every little bit that the fiddle plays (that high note at the end! :) and Tevye's narration is so funny! Sure, it's a little long, but you won't ever regret listening to it all. I don't think I can go a day now without snippets of Tradition playing through my head. If I had ten thumbs, they'd all be going up.... wow, that's a wonderful mental image. *cough*

2. Matchmaker - Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava sing about Yente the matchmaker finding them all matchless matches. This was pretty much the only song I knew from FotR before watching the musical (if knowing the first stanza can count as "knowing" it), and it is a big favorite in our house right now. Since Tevye's daughters add up to five, the exact same number of girls in *my* family, my dad thinks that his daughters need to learn this song to sing together. *grins*

3. If I Were a Rich Man - Tevye's iconic song, and a definite favorite. I don't know what more I can say about this song, save for the fact that I laugh every time Tevye sings about his wife looking like a rich man's wife... with a proper double chin. If you haven't heard this song yet, you're totally missing out. You *must* listen to this one!

4. Sabbath Prayer - Not a huge song in the musical, but the rich and haunting melody has put it high on my favorite list. Love.

5. To Life - Lazar Wolf and Tevye have come to an agreement - the betrothal of Tevye's daughter to Lazar himself - and it's time to celebrate! "To life, to life, la'chaim!" Very fun.

6. Miracle of Miracles - Motel the tailor is a poor man, but wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, God did what he thought was impossible. This "love" song doesn't have the feel that most love songs do, but I love it just the way it is. 

7. Tevye's Dream - How to convince your wife to agree to something you know she never will? Give her a detailed description of a pretend nightmare - that'll do the trick! This song isn't as famous as other songs from FotR, but it's still fun. My sisters and I joke that our dream role in a musical now is to play the people popping out from gravestones. "It's her husband! Fatal wedding!"

8. Wedding Procession - Instrumentals only, but still awesome. This is (one of) my younger sister's favorite songs, and she asks us to play it constantly so she can dance to it.

9. Sunrise, Sunset - One of the most popular songs from FotR, and it is by no means less popular in our house. It's pensive, beautiful, melancholy, serene, rich, etc. etc. Highly recommend. :)

10. Wedding Celebration/The Bottle Dance - Personally, this is probably one of the least-listened-to songs on this soundtrack for me. Although the music for the celebration and dance is really pretty, it's not as epic as the songs with words. Good, but not an absolute favorite, in my opinion. The bottle dance is cool to watch, but of course, you can't do that with a CD. 

11. First Act Finale - A rather dramatic instrumental piece that ends the first half of the musical. Despite the wedding just taking place, we learn that peaceful times are not in store for Tevye and his family. It's a powerful scene to watch, but not particularly a favorite just to listen to.

12. Entr'acte - Epic. It's a minute and forty-nine seconds of all the big songs from the first half. Who can't love entr'actes?

13. Do You Love Me? - "Golde, I'm asking you a question!" The lyrics in this song are sweet, but for some reason, they always make me laugh. "You're upset, you're worn down! Go inside, go lie down!" Tevye and Golde have been married for twenty-five years after their parents arranged the match. They first met on their wedding day, and yet, they learn that after twenty-five years, they really do love each other.

14. Far From the Home I Love - This is a sweet song sung by the second daughter, Hodel, as she's leaving to go meet her fiancee in Russia. Tevye doesn't want to give up his children, and the relationship he has with his daughters is so touching. Hodel doesn't have a particularly strong voice, but this song is still one of my favorites.

15. Chava Ballet Scene - "Little Chavala..." this is probably the prettiest scene in the movie to watch. And I'm a little disappointed because my DVD doesn't have the whole song. It cuts straight from Tzeitel being carried away to Chava. They skip all of Hodel in the middle. As second daughter, I shake my head. Anyway, the song is still beautiful, sung by Tevye as he contemplates the different paths his daughters have taken.

16. The Rejection Scene - If I were to pick a least favorite track on this CD, this would be it. It's a powerful scene between Tevye and Chava, so I can't complain, but there's no singing. The raw emotion they poured into this really is... wow, but I'd rather watch the scene than just hear it.

17. Anatevka - "Underfed, overworked Anatevka." What's so nice about a little bit of this or a little bit of that? Forced to leave their homes, the Jews sing about what they're leaving behind. Which... amounts to nothing much. I consider this the saddest song in the musical as Motel says to the Rabbi in the beginning of the track, "We've been waiting all our lives for Messiah. Wouldn't now be a good time to come?" But that's real! The Jews have no idea that He came, He died, He saved them, and He rose again, and they His own people! Truthfully, it breaks my heart.

18. Finale - A five star finish! What starts out as the familiar violin solo soon turns out in a full orchestra commemorating the opening melody from the musical. "TRADITION!"

19. Any Day Now - This is a deleted song from the film. I'm sad it didn't make the final cut, because this is one of my favorites! Yes, I tend to have a lot of favorites when it comes to FotR. *sheepish grin* This tune is catchy, and the words are so hopeful. Love.

By the way... just something interesting to note: while Jerry Bock was the man behind writing the musical, John Williams was the composer who put everything together for the film. I find it funny that the man we know for action films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and War Horse also worked on musicals. *grins* 

I have a feeling I should wait to post this until tomorrow, but I don't want to wait. Besides, it's only fitting that I should post a review of one of my absobloominglutely favorite CDs on my birthday. Yes, I'm justifying this.

God bless!


  1. Fiddler on the Roof has such a great soundtrack! Miracle of Miracles and Matchmaker are probably my favorites. I'm a big fan of the Original Broadway Cast Recording, which has a couple of really great songs that weren't in the movie.

  2. My best friend has ordered me to watch this movie. It is very high on my list.