How Sondheim Found His Sound

How Sondheim Found His Sound

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a€œSteve Swaynea€™s How Sondheim Found His Sound is a fascinating treatment and remarkable analysis of Americaa€™s greatest playwright in song. His marvelous text goes a long way toward placing Stephen Sondheim among the towering artists of the late twentieth century!a€ a€”Cornel West, Princeton University a€œSondheima€™s career and music have never been so skillfully dissected, examined, and put in context. With its focus on his work as composer, this book is surprising and welcome.a€ a€”Theodore S. Chapin, President and Executive Director, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization a€œ. . . an intriguing a€˜biographya€™ of the songwritera€™s style. . . . Swayne is to be congratulated for taking the study of this unique composer/lyricist into hitherto unnavigated waters.a€ a€”Stage Directions a€œThe research is voluminous, as are the artistry and perceptiveness. Swayne has lived richly within the world of Sondheima€™s music.a€ a€”Richard Crawford, author of Americaa€™s Musical Life: A History a€œAmid the ever-more-crowded bookshelf of writings on Sondheim, Swaynea€™s analysis of Sondheima€™s development as a composer stands up as a unique and worthy study. . . . For the Sondheim aficionados, there are new ideas and new information, and for others, Swaynea€™s How Sondheim Found His Sound will provide an intriguing introduction into the mind of arguably the greatest and most influential living Broadway composer.a€ a€” a€œWhat a fascinating book, full of insights large and small. An impressive analysis and summary of Sondheima€™s many sources of inspiration. All fans of the composer and lovers of Broadway in general will treasure and frequently refer to Swaynea€™s work.a€ a€”Tom Riis, Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology and Director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado Stephen Sondheim has made it clear that he considers himself a a€œplaywright in song.a€ How he arrived at this unique appellation is the subject of How Sondheim Found His Sounda€”an absorbing study of the multitudinous influences on Sondheima€™s work. Taking Sondheima€™s own comments and music as a starting point, author Steve Swayne offers a biography of the artista€™s style, pulling aside the curtain on Sondheima€™s creative universe to reveal the many influencesa€”from classical music to theater to filma€”that have established Sondheim as one of the greatest dramatic composers of the twentieth century.82 He was indebted to the music of Stravinsky and used aquot;things like The Firebirdaquot; to accompany silent films.83 Resnais also drew ... I think that if you analyzed Hiroshima with a diagram on graph paper you would witness something close to a quartet. ... in the 1960s, he would have come across these references to musicality, and not only from Resnaisa#39;s lips (found in Armesa#39;s 1968 book on Resnais).

Title:How Sondheim Found His Sound
Author: Steve Swayne
Publisher:University of Michigan Press - 2007

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