Film When was the first time you heard the music of The Sound of Music? On the list of cultural artifacts which have just been there, either after the original stage production in 1959, or the ubiquitous film which I'm still astonished to notice was only made nine years before I was born which in modern terms means that the distance between now and the third Star Wars prequel is longer. In those terms The Matrix is ancient history. Just when I think I'm keeping up with the modern world and its things, I'm reminded of just how old I am in relative terms.
Anyway, the film was not the first time I heard this music. The first time I heard this music was on a vinyl recording released by Music for Pleasure in 1967 starring Anne Rogers and Patricia Routledge, the details for which you can see on Discogs. Goodness knows where it came from though I suspect it was amongst the records my parents bought before I was born and which I was allowed to explore from a very early age and played on the portable record player my Dad was given for Christmas as a child himself (which was something along these lines but even older and bought in Woolworths).
Find above Routledge's version of Climb Ev'ry Mountain from that very disc and it sounds every bit as rich as I remember it, aided by the crackle of the original vinyl making it sound like it's of the past in a way a digitally remastered version simply wouldn't. Just as I find the whole concept of releasing new music, designed for digital, on analogue a bit strange, music originally designed for analogue, never, ever does sound right on CD, unless, as I've heard sometimes, the original tape masters of a thing have been lost and the record has been master from the vinyl, crackle intact.
My first viewing of the film would have been coloured by the fact that none of the songs sounded quite right, at least to me, the concept of there being different versions, of stage and on film, not quite graspable yet. The BBC Genome reminds us the premiere was on Christmas Day in 1978 which would have been much too soon for me to have noticed so perhaps it was one of the later candidates the film becoming a near annual fixture, broadcasting the BBC on New Year's Day this year (which I ignored admittedly in favour of the superb live version on ITV).
Eventually, this LP having receded into the past, the so called "right" version now is the film and it's Julie Andrews I hear or as is the case with this song Peggy Wood which means if I was to revisit this Music For Pleasure recording my relationship to it would be in reverse, approaching it as the "wrong" version. But now I'm attuned to the idea that singers have different voices, orchestras have different approaches and that none of them are necessarily wrong. It's all a matter of taste. Nevertheless, it's still the film version I return to if I'm in the mood for "Do-Re-Mi".