Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Stephen Sondheim, Alexis Smith, Anthony Perkins|
Sondheim Evening: A Musical Tribute (1973 Concert Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Affectionately referred to as the "Scrabble album" for its playful cover art, Sondheim Evening: A Musical Tribute was the first of many tribute albums celebrating the music of Broadway's greatest modern composer, Stephen S... more »
Affectionately referred to as the "Scrabble album" for its playful cover art, Sondheim Evening: A Musical Tribute was the first of many tribute albums celebrating the music of Broadway's greatest modern composer, Stephen Sondheim. In 1973, however, he was still a relative newcomer whose work as a lyricist was more celebrated than his early efforts as a composer, which included Company and Follies. Accordingly, this tribute deviates from later efforts by including a few songs for which he only provided lyrics, but somewhat surprisingly, it also sets a trend by unearthing rarely heard selections--from Saturday Night and Evening Primrose--as well as songs cut from various shows, including A Little Night Music, which had just premiered a few weeks earlier). And that cast! Members of the original companies--including Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Dorothy Collins, Alexis Smith, and Donna McKechnie, just to name a few--as well as Sondheim himself singing "Anyone Can Whistle" from the piano. Obviously, later tribute albums have more material to work with and similar all-star rosters (though they sometimes resort to gimmicks such as men singing women's songs), but this one has yet to be topped. --David Horiuchi
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Member CD Reviews
Stan T. from CHEEKTOWAGA, NY
Reviewed on 10/13/2011...
A very enjoyable Sondheim cd with ab all star cast. Who could ask for more?
A Great Collection of early Sondheim material
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This concert was recorded live at the Shubert theatre in New York in March of 1973 - just a few weeks after A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC had opened. Being a live recording there are some technical drawbacks - hence 4 stars instead of 5 - but the electicity generated by the performers and the event have never been matched by any subsequent Sondheim concert. Among the highlights: -Nancy Walker's definative performance of "I'm Still Here."-Ethel Shutta recreating her showstopping "Broadway Baby" which was abridged on the FOLLIES cast album-Jack Cassidy and Susan Browning in a premiere recording of "So Many people" from the unproduced SATURDAY NIGHT-Larry Kert offering both "Happily Ever After" and its replacement "Being Alive" from COMPANY.-A half-dozen songs that had not been heard because they were dropped from shows before opening night or left off teh cast albums.-Angela Lansbury recreating two of her big numbers from the ill-fated ANYONE CAN WHISTLE-and, a grand finale where Sondheim himself sings (?) the title song from WHISTLE.A useful overview of some of his best work (to 1973 at least) enlived by some steller performances. The original 2 LP set had been out-of-print for many years fetching $85 a copy at collector shops. RCA's CD edition restores some addional material left off the Lp and is a great bargain!"
A must have for Sondheim fans!
ShowTunes | Aurora, CO United States | 01/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Aside from featuring a song ("Two Fairy Tales") that appears on no other tribute/compilation CD that I'm aware of, and several other rarely performed tunes, this tribute has another significant feature: All the singers appeared in, or were intended to appear in, original Sondheim productions, so the net effect is to provide some tantalizing examples of how these songs sounded live on stage by their original singers. There are so many treasures on this CD! Examples: If you doubted that Beth Howland owns "Getting Married Today," this rendition will put your doubts to rest; she actually sings it faster than on the OBR of Company! Similarly, while there have been plenty of decent renditions of "Broadway Baby," Ethel Shutta proves why she was the first (and best). Nancy Walker's "I'm Still Here" ranks with the greatest versions of this song. And what a joy it is to hear Angela Lansbury, by this time an experienced musical thespian, singing songs from Anyone Can Whistle with considerable assurance.One small complaint I have is that while the cast of the then-current A Little Night Music appears, none of them sings any songs on their own; they merely provide part of the chorus (and Hermione Gingold was one of the "Beautiful Girls). As I am a Len Cariou fan, I was disappointed that I didn't get to hear him live. Still, this is a sensational collection that should delight both Sondheim fans and musical theatre fans in general."