Eine Kleine Sondheim

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday… on a Tuesday, bumped up so we can pay tribute to musical theatre icon Stephen Sondheim, the most influential Broadway composer from the latter half of the twentieth century. He passed away last week at the age of 91, and while I know I don’t need to eulogize him to this crowd, I couldn’t pass up the chance to celebrate his work, just as we have with Company (1970), Sunday In The Park With George (1984), etc.

So, in honor of this unparalleled genius, I want to share — with subscribers who comment below to alert me of their educational, private, non-commercial interest — access to three rare audio recordings from productions of one of my favorite Sondheim scores: A Little Night Music (1973). The first, of course, is from opening night of the Original Broadway Production. Here’s Glynis Johns with Len Cariou in “You Must Meet My Wife.”

The second recording comes from the first national tour, which starred Jean Simmons and included Margaret Hamilton as Madame Armfeldt. Here’s the witch herself with “Liaisons.”

And, lastly, I have an untracked audio from the most recent major production — the 2009 Broadway revival. This comes from a few performances in fall 2010, when Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch had replaced Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, respectively. Here’s Peters with one of Sondheim’s most well-known songs, “Send In The Clowns.”

 

 

Thank you for everything, Stephen Sondheim! 

 

 

Come back next week for another Wildcard! And stay tuned tomorrow for Family Ties!

20 thoughts on “Eine Kleine Sondheim

  1. Hello, Jackson. I do have an educational, private, non-commercial interest in these recordings. Thanks again for all you do to make these available. Reed

  2. A Little Night Music was the first Sondheim show that I saw on Broadway. I’ve been a fan ever since. Jackson, I would love to hear these three recordings of ‘ Night Music.

  3. I’d be interested in this music. BTW, you may not know that Mr. Sondheim also has a connection to sitcoms, as early in his career, he was a sitcom writer and wrote or co-wrote 6 episodes of TOPPER back in 1954. From what I read, he wrote just long enough to make money to go back to NYC and musicals.

    • Hi, Jon! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I have emailed you at your yahoo address.

      Also, yes, of course I am aware of Sondheim’s sitcom experience. I have all 11 episodes he cowrote of TOPPER, which has been referenced here several times in the past. https://jacksonupperco.com/?s=%22topper%22&submit=Search

      Interestingly, Sondheim’s sitcom connection doesn’t end there though. Did you know the germ of the idea for INTO THE WOODS began as a proposed TV special featuring the intertwining of various classic sitcom characters — Ralph Kramden, Lucy Ricardo, Archie Bunker, etc.? Evidently he remained fascinated by this form well into the 1980s…

  4. A Little Night Music was my gateway to Sondheim. When I was young, I knew West Side Story, Gypsy, and Forum, but apart from Bernstein, I didn’t really associate composer names with them. Then I checked out ALNM from the library and one song in, I’m thinking, “Who is this guy? He might be a genius.” (Spoiler alert: He was). And so began a lifelong affair with the music of Stephen Sondheim. I never met him, but I grieved this week like he was a family member. Scheduling another deep dive into all of his works this winter.

  5. Hi Jackson
    I would love to hear the 3 audios of Stephen Sondheim”s “A Little Night Music”. His musicals have always left a lasting impression. I was lucky enough to see live performance of this musical plus ” Sweeney Todd”, “Pacific Overtures” , and “Sunday in the Park” when they were first on tour. All of his shows are part of my original cast collection.

    Thanks.
    Donna

  6. Thank you for shining your spotlight on Mr. Sondheim, Jackson. It broke my heart to hear of his passing. His body may be gone but what he left behind will always be a part of my life. He was a truly remarkable man! When I was in New York in 1973 with The Pilgrim’s Progress, I got to see A Little Night Music at the Shubert. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life! One of my facebook friends is Laurence Guittard, so it will be a thrill to hear him and the rest of the cast once again! Thank You Again!

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