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The revival cast recording (with Rebecca Luker) 
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Post Mas and Elsa Songs
Salome wrote:
you simply dont cut 2 of the only 3 good songs in the piece because of your personal opinion.


This isn't about personal opinion; it's about grounded textual analysis.

A new point. Casting the thematic, conceptual and narrative issues mentioned in my previous post aside for a moment, can the songs, when objectively assessed really be considered technically better than other songs in the score? Let's look at the songs technically for a second.

Musically, the harmonic progression is nothing more complex than anything else in the show. Even though "How Can Love Survive?" arguably begins with a more interesting choice of chords and note combinations, it settles into the same harmonic loop in the same way as all of the songs in the show do and, barring the musically interesting verse prior to the song proper, "No Way to Stop It" is little more than a series of scale runs. It terms of the lyrics, Hammerstein gives us his usual carefully constructed lines in terms of rhythm and metre but can't get away from some self-conscious rhymes in "How Can Love Survive?" Rodgers, in the marriage between music and lyrics, does a less than perfect job by bending words to fit his melody in a way that, when Andrew Lloyd Webber does it, gets people up on their soapboxes decrying the fact that he can't set lyrics to music. This is not the perfect blend of music and lyrics we see in "Edelweiss" or the technically skilled setting of lyrics to melody we see in "My Favourite Things".

Furthermore, the questioning irony that has to lace the Captain's performance in "No Way to Stop It" in order to make the scene that follows fall into place isn't explored musically. Music in a musical of this style should reveal sub-text; there is a gap between the truth of the action and the song.

So, to counter your argument, on what basis other than opinion should the songs be included in the light that (a) they don't serve the play dramatically and (b) they aren't impeccable technically? And on what basis other than opinion are they "2 of the only 3 good songs" given that their they are arguably flawed in terms of both conception and execution?

Later days
David

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Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:21 am
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you aqre looking at it as a musician not an actor or a director. its a play not a vocal concert.

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Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:38 am
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Post Reading
Salome wrote:
you are looking at it as a musician not an actor or a director. its a play not a vocal concert.


That's just a ridiculous statement. I never look at any musical purely from the perspective of musicianship and there's nothing to indicate that I'm looking at The Sound of Music as a "vocal concert" rather than a play. BUT... music is one of many active languages in musical; any director, actor, composer, lyricist, librettist or choreographer who ignores that, or who thinks that music is just there because a musical requires music, is a fool. Plain and simple.

In any case, my posts on this topic are completely focused on how these songs function dramatically - it takes very basic comprehensive skills to see that - and how these songs function dramatically is intrinsically related to how they are written as well as to their conception and placement. However, I'm not going to rehash the points related to that idea that I've already made in this thread unless I get a reasonable argument with solid justification that compels some kind of riposte or counter-argument. There's no purpose or pleasure in that.

Later days
David

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Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:40 am
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Max and Elsa
[quote="RainbowJude"][quote="Salome"]RainbowJude really doesn't understand that the Max/Elsa duets DO fit and are sadly missed if they are ever cut.[/quote]

On the contrary, RainbowJude really does understand the problem with the Max/Elsa duets. Emphasizing again that the songs have their own individual merits, he would like to point out that they turn the dramatic purpose of the show - to reveal that those who discover "the sound of music" in their lives are the people who survive and truly live rather than merely existing - into a lie.

Allowing Max and Elsa to sing, when it is clear that they do not possess "the sound of music" spiritually because of their blind materialism and apathetic politics, is simply poor judgment in terms of dramaturgy. No matter how good the songs are on their on terms - no matter how much of a respite they give us from the rest of the show - they do not support the super-objective of the play as a whole. They all but render it neutral.

The issue here is not "to cut or not to cut", because that option is not really on the table for any production of [i]The Sound of Music[/i]. The issue here is about textual analysis.

All things being said and done, the songs should have been cut at the outset: this isn't a Brechtian play where the music is meant to inspire critical engagement rather than dramatic involvement. But - to compensate for this - the rest of the score would have had to be considerably sharpened. However, the tight timeline against which, out of unfortunate necessity, the show was written didn't allow for for the kind of editing and revision that any show needs before it is frozen.

As such, [i]The Sound of Music[/i] will never be an artistic masterwork like [i]South Pacific[/i]. At the same time, given the context of its creation, it is almost ridiculous to expect it to be.

Later days
David[/quote]

Thank you once again for being fair and well-reasoned in your views about SOM. You're right that it may be a flawed masterwork, but it strikes such an emotional chord with many people across the world, myself included.


Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:31 pm
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Tony Winner
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Sound of Music might not be perfect but it doesn't make me love it any less!!!!!

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Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Recordings of THE SOUND OF MUSIC
RainbowJude wrote:
Mary Martin is a Broadway diva whose appeal I've never understood. Although the show was created for her, she is far too mature for the role and you can hear it.
Later days
David


Awwww poor Mary. While I ADORE her beyond belief I do understand why some people don't get her "star" status. My father, who is close to the business, said that Martin was the "Meg Ryan" of her day. That is when Meg Ryan was popular haha. She was America's sweetheart. She had a likeability that was unmatched. She also was a very good actress and had a wonderful voice.


Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:13 pm
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and Her son played the greatest character to ever grace a T.V. show.

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Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:15 pm
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I love the 1998 version the best, I like the West End with Connie Fisher but the 98 Broadway version is better and of course I love Julie Andrews.

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Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:17 pm
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Young Hoofer
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Post 
I'm not so fond of the 1998 Recording. I really like the 2006 West End recording though. But, aside from the movie version, I think the best Sound of Music recording is the 1981 version with Petula Clark. Now, that one is glorious! It was the first version to use "I Have Confidence" & "Something Good." I wasn't alive back then, but based on the recording that I have, I can tell you that the 1981 version of the show was very different. Maria is basically the star. The Captain is hardly featured at all in the recording. The Sound of Music reprise is not included in the recording, as well as the Sixteen Going on Seventeen Reprise, but I know they were in the show. Maria also sings most of "Something Good" and closes out the "So Long, Farewell" reprise. The Captain doesn't even sing "goodbye."

Anyway, the 1981 recording has a bunch of new orchestrations that haven't been used in any other version since then. The title song is dragged out and is up to 4 minutes long; "I Have Confidence" sounds different and Petula Clark sings it a lot more differently than Julie Andrews; the climax in Do Re Mi is slowed down; My Favorite Things sounds different and even sounds more like a Christmas tune; "How Can Love Survive" is at its best in this version. The Do Re Mi reprise is included in the recording, and the end of "Edelweiss" has some new orchestrations too. I think one of the first things that stands out about Petula Clark's performance is that she has a different style of singing. It almost sounds popish.

There are other things that are different, but they would be too long to list. I must say though, instead of "My Favorite Things" sung between Maria & the Mother Abbess, they both sing "A Bell Is No Bell," and it sounds just wonderful! "My Favorite Things" takes place in the bedroom, while "The Lonely Goatherd" takes place at a Fair and is sung by Maria, the children, and a pupeteer. "No Way To Stop It" is not even included in the whole show.


Fri May 01, 2009 4:09 pm
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