Pleasant overall, with some invaluable rarities
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The best moments from this umpteenth collection of music by Broadway supercomposer Stephen Sondheim are the (remarkably dissimilar) selections from 1990's "Dick Tracy" and the obscure 1960's TV musical "Evening Primrose," some of which have never before been recorded. Other items are less memorable, including some regrettable disco/80's pop pastiches from "Singing Out Loud" and "The Birdcage." The selections from "A Little Night Music" and "Stavisky" received sharper performances in the original soundtrack recordings ("The Glamorous Life" can be found appended to the newly remastered Sony/Columbia recording of "Night Music"s original cast; the complete soundtrack to "Stavisky" is available packaged with the must-have 1985 concert recording of "Follies."). This CD should be invaluable to avid Sondheim collectors for the "Primrose" numbers, dynamically sung by Gary Beach and Liz Callaway. Those less fanatic will probably find this a pleasant and workmanlike, but not particularly outstanding recording."
What can you lose?
efrex | New York, NY USA | 01/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sondheim's little-known work for the big and small screen get presented in this enjoyable compilation. Fans of Sondheim's stage work might be extremely surprised to find the master trying his hand at several pop-flavored tunes. Gary Beach and Liz Callaway do a magnificent job with the four songs from "Evening Primrose" (and is my preference over Mandy Patinkin's over-hysterical rendition with Bernadette Peters), with particular beauty found in the stunning duet "When?" Sondheim even tries the cheesy disco thing, with "It Takes All Kinds", cut from "The Birdcage". A more thrilling piece of ear candy has never been heard. Although the movie version of "Glamorous Life" can be heard on one or two other compilations and the movie soundtrack, this is one of the best.I wish the album was truly comprehensive (tracks which have gotten more exposure, such as "Sooner or Later" "Can That Boy Foxtrot" and "Water Under the Bridge" are omitted), but the gems it contains more than compensates. An important album in any Sondheim fan's collection"