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RIP Stephen Sondheim


Disco Stu
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Man, what a loss.  The last truly great American theater composer.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/26/theater/stephen-sondheim-dead.html

 

Two of my favorite performances of two of my favorite Sondheim songs

 

 

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The last of the giants are beginning to leave us :(

 

The original 1973 Broadway cast album of A Little Night Music is what made me fall in love with Sondheim and will always be his musical that's closest to my heart.

 

 

But my God, "Ladies Who Lunch" (and Company generally) is amazing.

 

Quote

So here's to the girls on the go
Everybody tries
Look into their eyes
And you'll see what they know
Everybody dies

 

*weeps uncontrollably*

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Sorry to hear it. I'm not terribly familiar with his work other than SWEENEY TODD (and only through Burton's excellent film), but I should check out more.

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I am not immensely familiar with his work either. I don't listen to watch a lot of musical theater but I read about it and just on the basis of that it has to be said this man was a monument, a titan of the musical theater industry. Surely one of the top 5 or top 10 most important people in the entire history of the medium. His contribution is legitimately immense.

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Huge musical theatre fan. Even though I always gravitated to the more pop-oriented composers, nevertheless I loved and respected the hell out of Stephen Sondheim. Musical theatre has benefited enormously from his existence and contributions. But more than anything, it’s another sad reminder that eventually all of our heroes will pass. The older I get, the more I have to realize that eventually it’ll happen to them all. 

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There was a whole generation of Jewish composers, librettists, choreographers, responsible for almost all the successful post-war musicicals ( most, but not all, Gay men)*

 

I'm not sure exactly why this happened but It's a unique aspect of our cultural history that will never happen again.

 

Truly and end of an era.

 

 

* Richard Rogers is the most prominent Gentile composer

 

😞

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On 27/11/2021 at 10:44 AM, Thor said:

 SWEENEY TODD ( Burton's excellent film)

 

Amazing indeed! A movie that is almost all about expression and should be viewed like that in order to be fully immersed. A big budget art film.

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As a french canadian, even If I can really understand all the subtility of Sondheim language, I feel this is a tremendous loss for american culture... and well, I live in America.

 

"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. ..."

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17 hours ago, Bespin said:

As a french canadian, even If I can really understand all the subtility of Sondheim language, I feel this is a tremendous loss for american culture... and well, I live in America.

 

"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. ..."

 

More red... And a little more red.. .

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To be honest, while it definitely was the first Sondheim song that I liked as a kid, 'Send In The Clowns' is the only one I don't need to hear anymore. 

 

sad-clown-crying-paint-by-number.jpg

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5 hours ago, AC1 said:

To be honest, while it definitely was the first Sondheim song that I liked as a kid, 'Send In The Clowns' is the only one I don't need to hear anymore.

 

For years I've been complaining when a radio station says "We play ALLLLL the hits of the 70's!" that if you don't play Send in the Clowns, King Tut, and Star Wars that you're not playing all the hits. It was a weird decade.

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No-one sings Send In The Clowns like Glynis Johns. She completely nails the "lost it" quality, that Desiree has.

Anyone who sings it like it's some great rollicking ballad, has got it all arse-over-tit. It's a lament to lost talent, a lost time, and to lost love.

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The version of A Little Night Music that we saw earlier in the year in Leeds was absolutely sensational. It had a proper orchestra (about 25/30 players, certainly far bigger than your usual musical pit band). I can’t remember who was in the role to sing Send in the Clowns, but their performance nailed it, with a “lost the plot” type reading (but not over the top) compared to the more wistful performances  You tend to get from mainstream artists who aren’t actually singing in character.

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Understandably (because it’s much easier to write about) most of the tributes written to Sondheim have focused on his lyrics.  Here is a wonderful tribute to his music by the composer Nico Muhly 

 

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2021/december/twinkle-and-shimmer-and-buzz

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