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A Stephen Sondheim Evening

Stephen Sondheim

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Album Review

Stephen Sondheim must be one of the most anthologized Broadway composers, his shows having been cannibalized into several revues, re-conceived musicals, and concert performances. This is a particularly good one. It is a concert featuring a cast of eight, among them Cris Groenendaal, Bob Gunton, George Hearn, and Angela Lansbury, recorded in 1983 and featuring songs written for shows ranging from Sondheim's unproduced first effort, Saturday Night, to what was then his latest, Merrily We Roll Along. Particularly notable are the songs cut from shows, such as "There's Something About a War" from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The composer himself turns up toward the end to play piano for Lansbury on "Send in the Clowns" and help sing "Old Friends." [The original two-LP set released in 1983 (CBL2-4745) contained 21 selections. When the album was released on CD in 1994 (09026-61174-2), two songs, "Fear No More" and "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," were cut to keep the time down to the limits of one CD.]

Biography

Born: 22 March 1930 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Stephen Sondheim was the most highly regarded composer/lyricist for the musical theater in his generation. Having his first musical produced on Broadway in 1957 and his 14th in 1994, he straddled two eras. The broadly popular musical theater of his early years gradually became a more insular art form, addressing a smaller, more dedicated, more serious audience. This jibed perfectly with the composer's own tendencies. In a sense, he was to the world of show tunes what Bob Dylan was to that of pop...
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A Stephen Sondheim Evening, Stephen Sondheim
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