4 And More Music

Dearest Enemy: An American Musical Comedy

Dearest Enemy: An American Musical Comedy

Beechey / Criswell / Cleverton / O’Reilly

New World Records
0093228074922 | NW 80749 | 2CD
The composer perhaps most influenced by Victor Herbert and Jerome Kern was Richard Rodgers (1902–
1979), who acknowledged his affection for Kern’s shows with Bolton and Wodehouse. His score for Dearest
Enemy, his first Broadway success, is clearly influenced by Kern’s graceful way with a good melody. Dearest
Enemy, written with lyricist Lorenz Hart (1895–1943) and book writer Herbert Fields (1897–1958) opened on
September 18, 1925. It displays the young composer’s synthesis of Victor Herbert, Rudolf Friml, Sigmund
Romberg and other writers of the day. Rodgers’ work with Lorenz Hart covered a wide range, from the
sophisticated innocence of Babes in Arms (1937) to adaptations of Mark Twain, Shakespeare and the sleazy
showbiz world of John O’Hara’s Pal Joey (1940). Dearest Enemy is a romantic score by the composer who
would write Carousel twenty years later and shows how the third generation of composers for Broadway
helped to make the transition from operetta to musical theater.
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Book by Herbert Fields
Original orchestrations by Emil Gerstenberger and Harold Sanford
Reconstruction and additional orchestrations by Larry Moore
Of related interest:
Rodgers & Hart—Babes in Arms
Jerome Kern—Sitting Pretty [2 CDs]
Victor Herbert—Eileen [2 CDs]