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Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)
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Author:  Apples2for10 [ Tue May 31, 2011 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

This thread is in the same vein as my R&H thread several yeard ago, only this time with Sondheim shows. List the best and worst music and lyrics of all the Sondheim songs you're familiar with.

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Best Music- Pretty Little Picture
Best Lyrics-Impossible
Worst Music- Love I Hear
Worst Lyrics- Lovely

ANYONE CAN WHISTLE
Best Music-Miracle Song
Best Lyrics- Come Play Wiz Me
Worst Music-See What It Gets You
Worst Lyrics- Everybody Says Don't

COMPANY
Best Music- You Can Drive a Person Crazy
Best Lyrics- Sorry-Grateful
Worst Music & Lyrics- Barcelona

FOLLIES
Best Music- Live Laugh Love
Best Lyrics- Story of Lucy and Jessie
Worst Music & Lyrics- Ah! Paris

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Best Music- Later
Best Lyrics- Remember
Worst Music- Liasons
Worst Lyrics- Perpetual Anticipation

SWEENEY TODD
Best Music- Wait
Best Lyrics- By the Sea
Worst Music- Wigmaker Sequence
Worst Lyrics- City on Fire

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
Best Music- Putting It Together
Best Lyrics- It's Hot Up Here
Worst Music & Lyrics- Finishing the Hat

INTO THE WOODS
Best Music- Hello Little Girl
Best Lyrics- No More
Worst Music & Lyrics- Our Little World

ASSASSINS
Best Music- Unworthy of Your Love
Best Lyrics- Ballad of Booth
Worst Music- Another National Anthem
Worst Lyrics- Gun Song

Author:  RainbowJude [ Tue May 31, 2011 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

I would love to see the reasoning behind some of these choices. Especially the ones that appear random and nonsensical. Without such explanations, a thread like this is pointless.

Author:  Apples2for10 [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

RainbowJude wrote:
I would love to see the reasoning behind some of these choices. Especially the ones that appear random and nonsensical. Without such explanations, a thread like this is pointless.


No problem, David! Just let me know which ones and I'll do my best to explain why I chose them.

Author:  Hans [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Apples2for10 wrote:
Just let me know which ones and I'll do my best to explain why I chose them.


I think I'd like the reason behind about every one of those choices, but naturally in particular Finishing the Hat.

SATURDAY NIGHT
best lyrics - A Moment With You
best music - What More Do I Need
worst lyrics - Montana Chem
worst music - Delighted, I'm Sure

FORUM
best lyrics - There's Something about a War.
best music - Comedy Tonight
worst lyrics - Farewell
worst music - The House of Marcus Lycus (the dances)

Anyone Can Whistle
best lyrics - Anyone Can Whistle
best music - Me and My Town
worst lyrics -
worst music -

Company
best lyrics -
best music -
worst lyrics -
worst music -

(I'm a bit busy, and will complete later)

Author:  RainbowJude [ Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Apples2for10 wrote:
Just let me know which ones and I'll do my best to explain why I chose them.

Hans wrote:
I think I'd like the reason behind about every one of those choices, but naturally in particular "Finishing the Hat".

Ditto, and not just the "worsts", the "bests" too!

Author:  Disney-Bway27 [ Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Some of these make me so sad (Wigmaker Sequence for Worst Music!? That's one of my favorite parts! It's gorgeous! And, naturally, Finishing the Hat, because that's just wrong). I'd like to do this eventually, but "worst" is such a strong term to use here, especially with Sondheim. In some cases, "weakest" might be the best term.

Author:  dolbinau [ Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Because the "Wigmaker Sequence" is from "Pretty Women" doesn't it then follow that there is a problem with the music of Pretty Women? lol.

Author:  Apples2for10 [ Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

dolbinau wrote:
Because the "Wigmaker Sequence" is from "Pretty Women" doesn't it then follow that there is a problem with the music of Pretty Women? lol.


No, because the piece of music in question is a prelude, and therefore I don't consider it a part of Pretty Women. I didn't even realize it was part of PW until you said something and I first heard the score in 2007.

Author:  Apples2for10 [ Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

I'm not going to take the time to explain the reasons behind every choice because some of the reasons are too complex to articulate clearly and also because I'm entitled to my opinions and therefore I shouldn't have to stand trial just because your opinions are different than mine. Believe me, Sondheim will continue to be a pretentious diva whether my choices make sense to you or not.

However, I'm a sport, so I will explain my opinions on "Finishing the Hat". I will say that it is a colossal acheivement in songwriting, a challange for the performer, and an audience favorite. However, the context within the song does nothing for me. And I understand what George is saying: he's put so much focus on his work that he's neglecting his spouse and wasting away physically. I've been in the exact same position several times, but guess what? The song still does nothing for me!

Author:  Hans [ Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Apples2for10 wrote:
I'm not going to take the time to explain the reasons behind every choice because some of the reasons are too complex to articulate clearly and also because I'm entitled to my opinions and therefore I shouldn't have to stand trial just because your opinions are different than mine.


It's not about not being entitled to one's own opinions or having to stand trial. It's about making posts that are interesting to others. What do I care if you hate all sondheim and love Wildhorn passionately, even though my opinins are the complete opposite? Nothing. The interesting thing is why you do it, as that is something I can learn something from, about you or about the composer/lyricist in question.

Apples2for10 wrote:
Believe me, Sondheim will continue to be a pretentious diva whether my choices make sense to you or not.


As someone who care very much about Sondheim's work, I'm interested in hearing why you think he is a pretentious diva? In all interviews with him I've read or watched, he comes through as unusually humble and considerate about his collaborators, actors and audience, always crediting them for their efforts. He is even refusing to offend his living fellow lyricis collegues in his discussions of the craft of writing song texts, sparing the citicism for people who can no longer feel bad when he analyses their work, even though the analysis is totally balanced.

Author:  Apples2for10 [ Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Hans wrote:
As someone who care very much about Sondheim's work, I'm interested in hearing why you think he is a pretentious diva? In all interviews with him I've read or watched, he comes through as unusually humble and considerate about his collaborators, actors and audience, always crediting them for their efforts. He is even refusing to offend his living fellow lyricis collegues in his discussions of the craft of writing song texts, sparing the citicism for people who can no longer feel bad when he analyses their work, even though the analysis is totally balanced.


Re: his collaborators: For the most part, I agree that he has good things to say about the people he's worked with, with the exception of Richard Rodgers. Rodgers was difficult to work with in many respects, but I can't think of any reason for Sondheim to speak ill of Rodgers. Or maybe I've been reading the wrong sources; I'd love to be proved wrong. And just because he writes about certain composers that are passed away doesn't detract from the fact that he has very obnoxious things to say about them (even people like Oscar Hammerstein that he clamed to adore). I shudder to think what he would have written about Jerry Herman (the epitome of 'humble and considerate") if Herman had passed away prior to "Finishing The Hat" (the lyric collection, not the song).

Author:  Hans [ Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best/Worst by show (Sondheim)

Apples2for10 wrote:
And just because he writes about certain composers that are passed away doesn't detract from the fact that he has very obnoxious things to say about them (even people like Oscar Hammerstein that he clamed to adore.


I don't know what he's said about fellow composers, but I've read his book Finishging the Hat, where he discusses fellow lyric writers. I don't think he says obnoxious things about them. He is very critical towards their craft (which of course is the purpose of the book), being very harsh when he objects to their choices as well as giving much cedit where he admires their craft (which he often does where noone else has paid attention to the good details). And if you've read that book, you have seen that no lricist gets criticised harder than Sondheim himself. Hardly diva-like behaviour in my opinion.

Sondheim does claim to adore Hammerstein - as a person. That is of course totally different than being incapable of finding flaws in his work, as well as pointing them out in educational purpose.

Apples2for10 wrote:
I shudder to think what he would have written about Jerry Herman (the epitome of 'humble and considerate") if Herman had passed away prior to "Finishing The Hat" (the lyric collection, not the song).


So by and large you think Sondheim is a diva because of what you imagine he might have said about someone - which he anyway hasn't because he doesn't want to offend people? I think that is strange.

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