Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Adam Guettel, Todd Ellison, Audra McDonald|
Myths And Hymns (1998 Off-Broadway Cast, Originally Saturn Returns)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Until this disc, Adam Guettel was best known as the mastermind behind Floyd Collins, the gut-wrenching, boundary-breaking piece of musical theater that never gained the popularity it deserved. Myths & Hymns is another beas... more »
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Until this disc, Adam Guettel was best known as the mastermind behind Floyd Collins, the gut-wrenching, boundary-breaking piece of musical theater that never gained the popularity it deserved. Myths & Hymns is another beast altogether, though just as interesting. Guettel has created a song cycle based loosely on Greek mythology and lyrics he discovered in an antique hymnal. These 15 songs are a combination of art song and show tune, but all are interesting. "Icarus" is funky jazz in which the composer duets with Lawrence Clayton. "There's a Land" is transformed from a traditional hymnal into an upbeat romp à la "This Land Is Your Land." "At the Sounding" is an upbeat yet appropriate transition from the somber "Children of the Heavenly King." Joining Guettel on the vocal parts for these works are Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Theresa McCarthy, and a handful of other fine interpreters. Sublime and moving, Myths & Hymns is all about reflecting--to God, a lover, or oneself. And while Guettel's roots run deep into the Broadway tradition (he's the grandson of Richard Rodgers), he's thankfully not afraid of musical experimentation. A great, soulful disc. --Jason Verlinde
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An impressive sequel
acting4aliving | New York | 09/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very few people live up to the critical standards set in a field, nowhere as much as in musical theatre. The bar is continually set so high that most people are fortunate if they bump their forehead on it during the leap. Adam Guettel is one of those rare creators who not only flew over the bar on their first try, but stepped lightly over it as if over a stick on the ground with their second. Myths and Hymns maintains that unique sound which theatre afficionados are coming to find is all Guettel's, while venturing away from the bluegrass sound that permeated Floyd Collins. Here, synth programmed drum beats (Pegasus), country-tinged guitar (How Could I Lose You?), and simple, piano-driven ballads (Migratory V) combine to create a very theatrical experience outside the confines of a traditional book musical. The music is extraordinary (Hero and Leander ranks among my all-time favorite ballads and is easily my favorite for men) and the lyrics manage to tell small, self-contained tales of hope, love, longing and belonging. To know that these stories tell the personal tale of Guettel's earlier years only serves to make them that much more important and understandable. They ocassionally go a bit abstract (as in the prayer-like Migratory V) but they always enthrall. Guettel is, without a doubt, the greatest composer to never have a Broadway show. Someone give this man the money he needs to mount a show and establish himself as THE new important theatre composer."
A Soaring, Brilliant Album
Jason D. Witte | Kansas City, MO | 05/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After first discovering Guettel for myself when I bought "Floyd Collins", I was quite anxious to obtain "Myths and Hymns". I am happy to report that I am not disappointed at all -- in fact, I believe this album surpasses the brilliance of "Floyd Collins", despite the fact that it is a song-cycle and not a complete show. Guettel's music soars to the heavens in the brilliant "Saturn Returns" and "Icarus", gets playful in "Pegasus" and the delightful "Sisyphus", and turns romantic for "Hero and Leander" and "Awaiting You". Perhaps the most haunting is "Come to Jesus", which rattles around in my head and kept me awake on the night I first listened to the album. The songs have to grow on you: on first listening, I didn't much care for the songs, and was a bit disappointed. However, upon further listenings, my disappointment changed to great admiration and pleasure. One of the highlights of the album, for me, is to hear Guettel himself sing so many of the songs -- his voice is quite unique, and a joy to hear.All in all, this is one CD that a true connoisseur of musical theatre won't want to pass up. Since this is only Guettel's second album, I can only shiver with anticipation at what he might come up with next!"
A fine new voice in musical theater
gac1003 | 07/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Myths and Hymns" brings a fine new talent to musical theater. Adam Guettel has taken Greek myths and combined them with songs found in an old hymnal to create a unique cycle of songs ranging from funny ("Pegasus" and "There's A Land") to poignant ("Migratory V" and "Hero and Leander") to uplifting ("There's A Shout"). And, for this recording, we get to hear some of the original cast members from "Saturn Returns," the off-broadway show which featured the 16 tracks on this album. Theresa McCarthy, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter and Mandy Patinkin, to name a few.Some of my favorites are "Hero and Leandro" sung by Adam Guettel, "How Can I Lose You?" sung by Annie Golden and "Awaiting You" sung by Billy Porter. But, the entire album is filled with fantastic music and wonderful voices."