Search - Stephen Sondheim, Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell :: The Frogs / Evening Primrose (2001 Studio Cast)

The Frogs / Evening Primrose (2001 Studio Cast)
Stephen Sondheim, Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell
The Frogs / Evening Primrose (2001 Studio Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

No Description Available. Genre: Original Cast Recordings Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 16-OCT-2001


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CD Details

All Artists: Stephen Sondheim, Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell
Title: The Frogs / Evening Primrose (2001 Studio Cast)
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Nonesuch
Release Date: 10/16/2001
Album Type: Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Musicals, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075597963823, 081227786069, 603497137060


Product Description
No Description Available.
Genre: Original Cast Recordings
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 16-OCT-2001

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CD Reviews

A curious pickle
M. Board | UK | 02/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I know and adore the Aristophanes play and am a huge fan of Sondheim. Overall, I would definitely recommend buying this recording if you're a fan of either writer!For the Sondheim buffs, this is a fantastic opportunity to get hold of two rather obscure Sondheim scores on CD - though there are pros and cons, I might just warn you. "The Frogs" (written sometime in the 70's) is mostly brilliant - not his most intricate work perhaps, but the frogs' chorus (about as far as you can get from McCartney!) is an INSPIRED rendering of frogsong, the "Hymnos: Evoe!" is a beautiful choral ode, and Nathan Lane turns in an admirable comic turn as a very put-upon Dionysus in "Instructions to the Audience". I agree with other reviewers that "Fear No More" falls a bit flat - a pity especially because it's set to one of Shakespeare's best songs. Perhaps evidence that Sondheim is more at home composing through-and-through, rather than to someone else's lyrics?"Evening Primrose" is a tricky one. This is Sondheim at an early formative stage (I think - don't quote me on this - this was between 'Forum' and 'Anyone Can Whistle') and he has yet to develop the soaring, powerful melodies that he conjures up in, say, "Sweeney Todd" or "Sunday in the Park". Personally I think it lacks spark but some people like the quieter numbers. Apparently there's a recording by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters - haven't heard it, but I can quite confidently say it's probably better as the male performer here seems to lack any enthusiasm.On the whole, however, I would urge purchase for "The Frogs" alone, since you won't find that score anywhere else and it's definitely worth it. You can't fault the choir and it contains some excellent writing by Sondheim. Go on! Treat yourself."Koooooo ... ax!"(Buy the CD and you'll get it ...)"
A major addition to the Sondheim discography
Alan | New York, NY | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Frogs" is here at last, and just stunning.The choral music that makes up most of the score is thrilling, rich, complex, sometimes bouncy but slightly ominous, sometimes sensuous, sometimes terribly melancholy. As another reviewer mentioned, there is one number that almost sounds like it could fit right in with the score of "Hair," of all things. But not quite, it's still Sondheim. Elsewhere, certain sections and phrases remind me of similar ones in "Into the Woods" and "Merrily We Roll Along." But mostly this is not only unlike any other Sondheim, there's probably nothing else quite like it in the work of any other Broadway composer.Jonathan Tunick's orchestrations are the best work he's done in a while. As opposed to "Saturday Night," where his work was a little disappointing, he's right at home here, with orchestrations that constantly prick the ear, creating gorgeous instrumental combinations.The choral and orchestral performances are very clean and elegant, perhap a bit too much so. More rowdiness might be welcome at certain points, but I'm not really complaining.The "name players" have relatively little to do. Nathan Lane delivers an intelligent, sensible performance, making Dionysus somewhat effete, but he doesn't sound very spontaneous and I get a little tired of his mannerisms. No matter, though. He's certainly acceptable. Brian Stokes Mitchell makes the most of his brief contributions. Davis Gaines, whose recent work I've thought was awful, delivers a stunning, wrenching performance of "Fear No More." Some people feel that he's giving another one of his over-the-top, vocally mannered performances, but I don't.And the "Evening Primrose" songs receive their best recording yet. With another superb set of Tunick orchestrations, fine conducting (the speedy tempo on "When?" is just what is needed for that song), and excellent performances by Neil Patrick Harris (much better here than he was in "Sweeney Todd") and Theresa McCarthy, what more do you need? If you're a Sondheim fan, probably not much. Although at only 46 minutes, I'm greedy for more. Wasn't there something more they could have put on this CD to fill it out? But this is the most enjoyable 46 minutes I've heard on any CD in a long while. Very highly recommended."
Alan | 10/19/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Been waiting more years than I care to say to hear a complete "Frogs," and now can see that it's true: we should be careful what we wish for.The lyrics are typically funny, sharp, and right on. But the music really lacks Sondheim's typical playfulness, zest, and passion. The choral stuff sounds like student work (not in the sense of being technically undercooked, obviously, but in the sense of being more academic than entertaining or moving--it feels straitjacketed, as if hemmed in by a too-conscious concern for getting it right rather than good), and the songs tend to be dirge-like, in contrast to the similar attempt at "period" stuff in Forum: almost all of which is ebulliant, frothy, and all that. Nathan Lane sounds fine, if a bit not fully in character, probably due to the nature of putting together a studio recording. But his Xanthias seems miscast - heroic rather than slave-like. Ah, well...As to Primrose; it's much more lively stuff, but a bit forced lyrically. Also, the girl sounds nice, but Neil Patrick Harris, in particular in the first number, sings with poor quality, raspy and whiny, and hasn't a clue about his character. He comes off like a kid in his High School's year end musical. And besides, we've already got a really nice Primrose with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. Wouldn't it have been nice, instead, to have a recording, as lovingly packaged, of the very entertaining stuff from Dick Tracy?"