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#3173457 11/26/21 05:13 PM
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Sometimes, I wondered what West Side Story would have sounded like if Sondheim had been both composer and lyricist..........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Sometimes, I wondered what West Side Story would have sounded like if Sondheim had been both composer and lyricist..........
I seriously doubt it would have been as effective, timeless or memorable as the version composed by Bernstein.

A talented young woman (music classmate) who I frequently accompanied in college appeared in the original Broadway production of Sondheim's "Follies" (playing Young Sally). I saw the Broadway production in 1971 and was blown away by it. Sondheim was a true musical theater giant. RIP


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Originally Posted by Carey
I seriously doubt it would have been as effective, timeless or memorable as the version composed by Bernstein.

Agree completely.
Notwithstanding:

Quote
....Sondheim was a true musical theater giant. RIP

He was. But not all his music was as 'catchy' or readily 'enjoyable' as Bernstein's. We might also say not as "accessible."
Much of Sondheim's music, to me, is more like "Wow, that's so interesting and so creative and so wow" -- than "It's a thing I want to hear a lot." I mean, I do want to hear it, but not necessarily a lot lot. And I suspect that for most people, it's more so.

No slam on Sondheim. After all I might say the same of, for example, late Beethoven as compared to a lot else.

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Engaged and productive until the end. Talk about a life well lived. thumb thumb


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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Carey
....Sondheim was a true musical theater giant. RIP
He was. But not all his music was as 'catchy' or readily 'enjoyable' as Bernstein's. We might also say not as "accessible."
Much of Sondheim's music, to me, is more like "Wow, that's so interesting and so creative and so wow" -- than "It's a thing I want to hear a lot." I mean, I do want to hear it, but not necessarily a lot lot. And I suspect that for most people, it's more so.
No slam on Sondheim. After all I might say the same of, for example, late Beethoven as compared to a lot else.
Agree !!! smile


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Carey
....Sondheim was a true musical theater giant. RIP
He was. But not all his music was as 'catchy' or readily 'enjoyable' as Bernstein's. We might also say not as "accessible."
Much of Sondheim's music, to me, is more like "Wow, that's so interesting and so creative and so wow" -- than "It's a thing I want to hear a lot." I mean, I do want to hear it, but not necessarily a lot lot. And I suspect that for most people, it's more so.
No slam on Sondheim. After all I might say the same of, for example, late Beethoven as compared to a lot else.
Agree !!! smile
I don't agree, and I've played many of his songs.

Although some of his songs fit the above description, I think many are instantly appealing, highly accessible, and fit the description that one wants to hear them a lot. They do tend to be more sophisticated both in terms of the words and music than many other composers from the last 50 years.

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The Labeque sisters played "Maria" as an encore at Severance last night. I doubt there was a dry eye in the house.


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Here is his biggest hit song, in a piano arrangement:


However, I don't think it works well as a piano solo, so let's all sing.....


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Here is his biggest hit song, in a piano arrangement:


However, I don't think it works well as a piano solo, so let's all sing.....
That's a very poor arrangement and horrible performance. Benjamin Grosvenor played the standard published piano solo version as an encore very recently and it sounds quite nice.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by bennevis
Here is his biggest hit song, in a piano arrangement:


However, I don't think it works well as a piano solo, so let's all sing.....
That's a very poor arrangement and horrible performance. Benjamin Grosvenor played the standard published piano solo version as an encore very recently and it sounds quite nice.
Whose arrangement?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by bennevis
Here is his biggest hit song, in a piano arrangement:


However, I don't think it works well as a piano solo, so let's all sing.....
That's a very poor arrangement and horrible performance. Benjamin Grosvenor played the standard published piano solo version as an encore very recently and it sounds quite nice.
Whose arrangement?
I think it's the "standard" one in E flat that generally appears in collections of Sondheim's music. I don't think any arranger is listed.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think it's the "standard" one in E flat that generally appears in collections of Sondheim's music. I don't think any arranger is listed.
I have the song (vocals + piano + chord symbols) version in E flat, in a big book of Broadway songs, but even that is not quite what the composer himself is playing in the video (and his is in E major). There are other YT videos on solo piano, most of them billed as "piano covers", and in various keys.

Basically, all of them are arrangements, just like all such songs composed for musicals.


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Plover
Can you post a link to the Grosvener performance?


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No One is Alone from Into the Woods strikes me as his best song. Hey, that’s my opinion. I saw Amy Adams sing it in a Shakespeare in the Park production in NYC back in 2012.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Plover
Can you post a link to the Grosvener performance?
Unfortunately, it only appeared on my Facebook page so I probably can't see it again and post it. But I'll check Grosvenor's FB page.

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Here is Grosvenor playing Send in the Clowns as an encore:
https://www.facebook.com/GrosvenorPiano/videos/446224523566084/

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Originally Posted by LarryK
No One is Alone from Into the Woods strikes me as his best song. Hey, that’s my opinion. I saw Amy Adams sing it in a Shakespeare in the Park production in NYC back in 2012.

You might like Fred Hersch's amazing published cover for that song:

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Thanks Plover— lovely tribute 😊


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