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Sings Sondheim
Mandy Patinkin
Sings Sondheim
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

Recorded live at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, this double CD is one heck of an extensive tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Backed only by Paul Ford on piano, Mandy Patinkin gets through nearly three dozen songs pen...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Mandy Patinkin
Title: Sings Sondheim
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Nonesuch
Release Date: 10/29/2002
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Easy Listening, Vocal Pop, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 075597969023

Recorded live at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, this double CD is one heck of an extensive tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Backed only by Paul Ford on piano, Mandy Patinkin gets through nearly three dozen songs penned by the Broadway master. Some are obvious (excerpts from Sunday in the Park with George, in which the singer created the title role), others less so ("If You Can Find Me I'm Here" from Evening Primrose). Patinkin is often mocked for his shivering falsetto, but here, it's actually when his voice explores a lower register that it falters. What's more interesting is when he tackles songs usually sung by women, such as Follies' "Broadway Baby" and Company's "Another Hundred People" and "You Could Drive a Person Crazy"--the latter hammed up so much that you can hear the chewing of the scenery. A distinctively mannered interpreter, Patinkin remains an acquired taste, but fans of his will be in heaven with this set. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

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CD Reviews

I thought that this would be great. . .
Dr. Ira M. Sheskin | Cooper City, FL USA | 12/07/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I love Stephen Sondheim + I love Mandy Patinkin = I should love this CD. Unfortunately, the best descriptive adjective that I can come up with is "unacceptable." The central problem is that there are absolutly no transitions in between songs. He goes from the last note to the first note of adjacent songs as though they were one. I thought perhaps this was to save time at the concert and on the CD, but the longer I listened the more I became convinced Mandy was just trying to show off. "Look everyone, I can sing for an hour without stopping even for applause!"By blending the songs, Mandy ruins their meaning. A short pause in between each in order to introduce and set a mood would have been sufficient. Sondheim's songs span a large range of emotion and topic. Why would anyone try to sing any two Sondheim songs as though they were one, not to mention two CDs of them? Additionally, Mandy Patinkin's voice is not as good as I am used to. This may be because it is a live recording, but more likely this problem goes back to my central concern.I don't want to give the impression that this CD is without merrit. Two stars is hight than the one that I could have given it. By buying this CD, you will be able to hear many familiar Sondheim songs sung with a different interpretation (I suppose) and some previously unrecorded songs. Mandy does have some amazing (perhaps read self-indulgent?) moments. My best suggestion is that if you want to hear great Sondheim, get a copy of Sweeny Todd. If you want to hear great Mandy, get a copy of The Wild Party."
Wish I could have been at this concert!
Arlene | North Carolina | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Imagine singing your heart out for almost 2 hours with only an upright piano for accompaniment and a few well-deserved breaks for thunderous applause. This is the back drop for Mandy Patinkin's love letter to Sondheim. Several of the songs have been recorded previously by Patinkin (Lesson #8; When?; Someone Is Waiting; Finishing the Hat; If You Can Find Me, I'm Here; Beautiful; Sunday...), but not as simply and beautifully as this. Patinkin is at his animated and artistic best in front of a live audience. Wish I could have been at this concert, but I am happily content with this masterful 2-disc CD."
It's alright
Eric L. Magnus | Olathe, KS USA | 11/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not a "Mandy-head", but neither do I hate his style of singing. I've always admired Mandy's passion for music, and this generous two-disc set is no exception. The only disc of Patinkin's I cannot bear to listen to is "Mamaloshen" provides the worst possibly opportunity for Mandy to overindulge in oversinging. As with every other disc, Mandy's song choice is impeccable, and I can't argue with most of his interpretive choices...although I've never understood why he feels the need to scream and shout so much. My only questions about this particular recording are...Why this particular order of songs? Why the medley format? I'm not sure I understand how the struture related to Sondheim's career, or indeed, what it was attempting to indicate. There were no songs chosen that were written after "Dick Tracy"...nothing from 1991-2002. Reason? I don't know.Mandy's voice sounds very odd in the first half of the first act. It has an odd wobble in it, as if he isn't quite in control of his instrument. It sound like the voice of a much, much older man. Once he finally belts, (I think it is on the song "Finishing the Hat") it seems as if all the vocal adhesions are broken and his voice is finally warmed up enough to control. Did he not warm up properly before the show? Why would Nonesuch accept this second rate sound in the first half of this concert? I hesitantly recommend this set to Sondheim fans...Patinkin fans will buy it anyway. It is really an individual choice as to whether or not to buy this one. But this would not be my choice of a quintessential overview of Sondheim's work. Paul Ford on piano is, as always, the unsung hero of Patinkin's recordings. He is a master at following the always unpredictable performances of Patinkin."