An update on recent releases: ANYTHING GOES. Lincoln Center Theater production. (RCA Victor, digital, 1 CD, 7769-2-RC, 53 min.) - The newest Broadway production of this Cole Porter musical features Patti LuPone in the role originated by Ethel Merman. She is ably partnered by Howard McGillin (as love-interest Billy Crocker) and the droll Bill McCutcheon (as comic gangster Moonface Martin). It's a jovial romp, especially well conducted by Edward Strauss, and the album captures a good sense of the show, which is still playing at New York's Lincoln Center. THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Frederica von Stade, Eileen Farrell, Haken Hagegard. Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel. (Telarc, digital, 1 CD, CD-80162, 70 min.) - Casting recordings for popular Broadway shows with opera stars doesn't usually produce commendable results. But this TELARC recording is enchanting - handsomely sung, well interpreted, lavishly played (by the Cincinnati Pops), and carefully recorded. Von Stade is a fetching, delightful Maria; Hagegard does nicely as von Trapp; and Eileen Farrell nearly steals the show as the Mother Abbess in ``Climb Every Mountain.'' The set crackles with charm and a nice theatricality. It's a model of how this sort of thing should be done!
UTE LEMPER SINGS KURT WEILL. RIAS Berlin Kammerensemble, John Mauceri, conductor. (London, digital, 1 CD, 425 204-2, 51 min.) - Ute Lemper is a genuine contemporary cabaret performer, which means that her voice is attractive but not powerful and she can range interpretively from the incisive to the gallingly bland. But at her best, as heard on most of this release, she gives Weill's music the needed bite and edge and her singing is always irresistibly beautiful.