Monday, June 06, 2005

Doin' the Friday Shuffle (on Monday)

Was out-of-pocket on Friday, so thought I'd kik off the week with the 'ol shuffle.

1) "Sunday in the Park with George," Stephen Sondheim (sung by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters), Sunday in the Park with George (Original Broadway Cast)
One of my favorite scores. This is the opening number, a witty take on the boredom of modeling, as George paints Dot. The moment when she escapes via fantasy, the dress she's in actually opening up on stage so that she can slip out and cavort, is a classic. The song also has sone great Sondheim speed-lyrics at the end.

2) "Duet, Jetzt, Schatzchen, jetzt sind wir allein" Beethoven, Fidelio
I have Fidelio, Beethoven's only opera, because we sang the "Prisoner's Chorus" in Glee Club in college and I wanted a version of the song. Not sure what this duet is about or its place in the story.

3) "I Wants to Stay Here," Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Porgy and Bess (Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong)
The three albums Ella and Louis did together are treasure troves of jazz singing. The Porgy set is actually my least favorite (too much full orchestra and too little jazz), although it has some wonderful moments.

4) "Rent," Jonathan Larson, Rent
The opening number from the musical. Not a bad little rock piece, probably one of the most overtly "rock" pieces in the whole show, actually.

5) "I'm Still Here," Stephen Sondheim (sung by Elaine Stritch), Elaine Stritch at Liberty
This one-woman show, which I did not see live, comes across great on CD. Stritch is a natural storytellr, and the weaving in of songs amidst the life stories is done exceedingly well. Her take here on the Sondheim classic is an all-time great, a master class in how one can sing the absolute hell out of a song without having a "pure" or "pretty" voice.

6) "Hollywood (Medley): That International Rag," Mandy Patinkin, Dress Casual
Brief (43 second) snippet of the song from a medley of old Hollywood standards.

7) "Ghosts of a Future Lost," Clint Mansell, Requiem for a Dream (Soundtrack)
I got this CD purely because I wanted the excellent music they used from it in the railer to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It's actually a pretty interesting score, string quartet material (performed by the Kronos Quartet) along with lots of synthesizer effects.

8) "Everybody Says Don't," Mandy Patinkin, Sings Sondheim
I love this song, and sing it all the time to my daughters. "Make just a ripple/come on be brave/this time a ripple/next time a wave." Indeed. And the greatest advice I can give them: "Sometimes you have to start small/climbing the tiniest wall/Maybe you're going to fall/But it's better than not starting at all."

9) "Night Fight," Tan Dun, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
One of my favorite scores of the last decade. This cut is a great little moody thing, with some driving percussion. Not your typical Hollowood "chase" music.

10) "Shabby Doll," Elvis Costello, Imperial Bedroom
Lesser Costello, for me, but still not a bad song by any means. Another example of sprightly Costello-pop off of Bedroom.

Until Whenever

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