Compilation-arrangements that gather selections from Broadway musicals are a long-time staple of “pops” concerts everywhere, and for good reason: when they are done well, there’s a certain kind of charm to these compilations in their own right.
Robert Russell Bennett wrote a number of these arrangements, and his were some of the very best. This is because Bennett was a fine composer on his own, and it’s also because Bennett worked closely with many of the great Broadway composers in the first place. He wasn’t a composer who decided to try his hand at arranging these songs; he was the original arranger, and he was steeped in all that music. Bennett had his finger on the pulse of Broadway for decades, and that‘s why his concert arrangements make for such wonderful listening.
In my orchestra performing days, I only got to play one of Robert Russell Bennett’s compilation arrangements. I’m glad it was this one. The particular show it’s from has its problems, but the songs certainly aren’t one of them. Here is Robert Russell Bennett’s Selections from Camelot.