Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, Betty Buckley, Paul Gemignani|
Sondheim - A Celebration at Carnegie Hall (1992 Concert Cast)
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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Attention must be paid
efrex | New York, NY USA | 01/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This concert remains the epitome of what a tribute show should be... comprehensive (all of Sondheim's musical scores were explored), intriguing (new interpretations of old classics, such as Betty's riff on "I Never Do Anything Twice"), and entertaining (Daisy Eagan's "Broadway Baby" and Dorothy Loudon's turn on "Losing My Mind/You Could Drive a Person Crazy" are hysterical, as is Bill Irwin's stint).A stunning medley of "Our Time" and "Children Will Listen" by the Boy's Choir of Harlem and Betty Buckley, as well as an exquisite rendition of "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" by Harolyn Blackwell will leave sondheim devotees in tears.The recording quality is superb, leaving you wrapped up in the magic of a magnificent tribute to Broadway's greatest composer."
"Celebration" is not strong enough a word
Crosley and Kacergis | Atlanta, GA | 04/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review is by Crosley.I have been a major Sondheim fan for quite some time, and I finally obtained a copy of this album. I was blown away by the excellent cast and phenomenal selection of music. It is obvious how much work went into this production, considering that this is the live recording of a one time show, and it's flawless. The songs cover all of his shows with the exception of "Passion," which was released 3 years after this show. Also, the shows for which he wrote only lyrics are ommited, like West Side Story, Gypsy, etc. Thus, you can find material from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Merrily we Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins. There are two striking things about this CD (besides the music and performers themselves). First of all, some of the songs are completely stylistically reworked. The most obvious are "Good Thing Going" and "I Never do Anything Twice." Both are traditionally very ballady with a piano accompaniment, but here they have been redone as jazzy tunes. The result is excellent. Such reworkings demonstrate that Sondheim writes music for virtually any style, and in these cases, across several styles. It's a great example of his variety. The other interesting thing is how many songs have overlapping melodies of songs from different shows. Case in point, "Our Time" and "No one is Alone" are sung seperately by the Harlem Boys Choir and Betty Buckley (the original Grizabella in Webber's atrocious "CATS," although Buckley was excellent) respectively, and then combined. Putting these two songs together offer different meanings to each, and the music is only enhanced. Another example, the trio of "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," "Love, I Hear," and "Live Alone and Like It" are sung in that order, and then the latter two are combined. Again, the meanings of the songs change, this time in an almost narrative style, and offering different takes on love in the same montage. Lastly (at least for this review, there are more), Dorothy Laudon's (the original Ms. Hannigan in Annie) combination of "Losing my Mind" and "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" is brilliant. Those who are familiar with these songs will wonder how exactly they fit, but trust me, they do. She swtiches back and forth between melodies to create a number that starts poignant and beautiful, and soon moves to become uproariously funny. Both the song reworkings and overlapping melodies of unrelated songs are all for the better.I recommend this recording to anyone wanting to get better acquainted with some of Sondheim's best work, or those already familiar who want to hear a tour de force of phenomenal music. It has been said that Sondheim is a masterful lyricist (which he is), but lacks real talent for music. This CD is the final proof that such critics are wrong. His music may take a few listenings to get into, contrary to Webber or Wildhorn, but unlike those two, he doesn't cater to the audience. He challenges them to think outside of traditional musical theater in a glorious repertoise of shows that reach for a smarter, more sophisticated form."
Simply the Best
RVR | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 06/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, to the person who criticizes the recording b/c of "Broadway Baby." Daisy Egan (who sings in in this recording) sounds like she's 10 becuase she IS young. She had just appeared on Braodway in Secret Garden and won a Tony for it. It's a joke...Broadway BABY...hello, it's a joke.
In a compilation of songs like this you're always going to have tracks that you prefer over others, but the majority of the renditions in this CD are great. This is simply one of the best collections of Sondheim out there. You get interpretations that span from "classical" (Green Finch), to bordering on insane (Anything Twice). This is to demonstrate how versatile this composer really is.
In my opinion, some of the best renditions are "Not a Day Goes By," "Anyone Can Whistle", "Girls Upstairs Medley," "Losing My Mind/Drive a Person Crazy," and "Weekend inthe Country." Makes me wish I had been there to witness it first hand.
If you love Sondheim and enjoy hearing Broadway performers, get this CD. A great recording."