5.0 out of 5 stars Children and Art
One of the many points made by Sondheim and Lapine with this show is that very often wonderful works of art are not fully appreciated in their time. Georges Seurat, we are told, devoted his brief lifetime to his art. He never sold a painting in his lifetime. Today his celebrated masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" hangs in the Art...
Published on Jan 27 2004 by Mark Andrew Lawrence
3.0 out of 5 stars Works better as a movie/show.
Like most of Sondheim's works, "Sunday" works best when seeing it live. It's just too long of a recording. The songs aren't that distinct so it gets boring after a while. The only reason why I am giving this 3 stars is because of the cast. They're amazing in the film and singing, but the songs like most of Sondheim's musicals just don't fit in the traditional...
Published on Dec 31 2003
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5.0 out of 5 stars Children and Art,
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)One of the many points made by Sondheim and Lapine with this show is that very often wonderful works of art are not fully appreciated in their time. Georges Seurat, we are told, devoted his brief lifetime to his art. He never sold a painting in his lifetime. Today his celebrated masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" hangs in the Art Instritute of Chicago drawing visitors from all over the world.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE is a unique theatrical piece. It has baffled some audiences, and bored others. But viewers that stay with it are rewarded many times over. Don't be upset if you don't get it the first time through. Most of the Broadway theatre critics didn't get it at first. One critc did: Frank Rick of the all-too-powerful New York Times. His enthusaistic support kept the show running and in time most of the other reviewers reversed (or at least "clarified") their opinions and SUNDAY was given the Pulitzer Prize from drama in 1985. It achieved popular success and lives on now in both this splendid original cast disc and on home video as taped live in the theatre with the original cast members.
The score begins with a few simple chords. As the first act progresses, more colors are added to the music until with the first act finale the entire cast breaks into full harmony as the painting is completed. This is brilliant composition...way beyond simplistic Broadway show tunes in 2/4 time. In many ways SUNDAY is a chamber opera, and perhaps it belongs in an opera house instead of commercial Broadway theatre.
The second act offers in quick succession some of Sondheim's most achingly beautiful songs: "Children and Art" and "Move On" as well as a fascinating meditation of art vs. commerce in "Putting it Together."
Bernadette Peters finally got a chance to show she could really act with this show, after years of beng wasted in second rate films. Her Dot goes through a range of emotions..annoyance, frustration, hurt, anger, acceptance and ultimately understanding. "Artists are bizarre" she sings in the opening number but by the end she is pleading with George to "give us more to see." In Act Two as a 98 year old grandmother, she uses a husky breathless voice that seeps wisdom: "There are only two worthwhile things to leave behind when you depart this world: Children and art."
As the troubled artist, Mandy Patinkin brings remarkable (for him) restraint and sings his big aria "Finishing the Hat" with pure passion. He also uses his voice to great comic effect mimicking a converstion between two dogs he is busily sketching in "The Day off."
The rest of the cast is all first rate, though except for a few lines here and there none of them are given solo numbers. Charles Kimbrough (later on Tv's MURPHEY BROWN) and Brent Spiner (STAR TREK TNG's Data) are heard briefly.
The recording -one of the very first all digital cast albums - easily shows off the advantages of the then new system: Stitched together from many different takes over a two day recording session, the disc sounds seamless with the performance specially tailored to create for the ars alone what is aftre all a highly visual production on stage. The booklet contains a detailed synopsis and a full libretto for those wishing to follow along.
It is probably best to follow along the first few times you listen to this score. On average it takes 3-4 listens for most people to fully appreciate the many subtle details...but suddenly that moment of clarity happens, and SUNDAY moves from being a curious piece to one of your favourite shows!
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful Score. Ever.,
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)This is Sondheim's masterpiece, in my opinion. Sweeney Todd is usually hailed as his masterpiece, and i can understand that. It appeals to a wider range of people. But this is for a select audience. It has a very intelectual message, and a score to match. But you do not have to be an intelectual to understand it and enjoy it It just takes many listens to let it asorb you. Notice the "dots" of music. But this is not a boring score, quite the contrary. Notice how fast the music and lyrics move. One problem with this recording. The quiet moments are too quiet. They should have been mastered at a higher volume. This quickly becomes a nuisance, because you find yourself turning the volume up, and then down at the loud parts. This is very prevelent in the number "It's Hot Up Here". Still this is a great recording, and deserves the five stars. Also, this is the perfect companion to the Dvd, so check that out too.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim's Masterpiece,
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)Though not the most popular or well-known of Sondhieim's musicals, "A Sunday in the Park With George" could easily be considered his finest work. The Pulitzer Prize winning play, inspired by Georges Seurat's beautiful painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," contains haunting melodies and intellectually un-matched lyrics.
As far as the cast shows, the stand-outs are, unpredictably, Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin. Peters is wonderful in anything she does, but this score not only shows off her range as a singer but as an actress. Never before has she given a stronger performance.
Patinkin, though a weaker actor in film, shines more than ever. His stunning tenor voice pierces the heart, and evokes emotion never seen in a piece of musical theatre.
Sunday in the Park with George is not for everyone, however. With long, repetitive tracks and very little humor, the play is a piece to think about for days. You won't regret buying this - it's truly Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece.
4.0 out of 5 stars ~Pretty Good Musical- Worth Your Money~,
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)This is a very interesting musical, and it definetly is not easy listening. It is more of an intellectual musical. Mandy & Bernadette shine as the leads, and their chemistry is definetly tangible. The only problem is that it is somewhat confusing if you don't see the DVD, and Mandy sometimes gets a little TOO into his character. His most irritating moment is when he uses his "dog voices." When I hear them, I feel like throwing the CD player against the wall. But other than that, it is good. I would definently recommend purchasing the DVD, which clearly will clear up confusion.
4.0 out of 5 stars A stirring haunting contempoaray piece!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)When first asking for this CD for Christmas I wasn't sure what I was going to get, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was much more of a smaller show than Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods, but that dosen't mean it was worse in any ways! In the first song we\[3 Dot (a funny and exceptional Bernadette Peters) complaining about how There are worse things than standing by a river being painted on a Sunday with by her lover George (Mandy Patinkin), who is occasionaly too over the top, and other times sounding like he dosn't want to be there. But overall he gives a good solid performance and sounds especially good in "Color and Light"
Other songs: Jules and Yvonne's criticizing of a painting (No Life) The Day off (where Patinkin plays two outlandish sounding dogs). Finishing the hat is a nice ballad for Patinkin who sings it well. Next, is we Do not belong together hearbreakingly sad eters's wonderful vocal ability. hauntinglyeautiful" sung between George and the Old Lady. Next song, Sunday a beautiful harmonious song sung by the company. Act II begins 100 years later with3
0's a funny,interesting song, about how the people in Georges painting want to move around. Children and Art sung between Marie (young George's Grandmother) and George, it's beautiful and brings goosebumps to hear Peter's beautiful voice. Finally (Move on) a chilling and lovely duet between Dot and George. Sondheim perfectly weaves back and forth. it's a stunning musicalwith great values
3.0 out of 5 stars Works better as a movie/show.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)Like most of Sondheim's works, "Sunday" works best when seeing it live. It's just too long of a recording. The songs aren't that distinct so it gets boring after a while. The only reason why I am giving this 3 stars is because of the cast. They're amazing in the film and singing, but the songs like most of Sondheim's musicals just don't fit in the traditional broadway scene. I really think "Into The Woods" is his best show. Only buy this if you are a die-hard Sondheim fan. I regret buying this becuause it just doesn't match "Into The Woods." Bernadette Peters is once again fabulous but I really reccomend getting a different recording. If you like more musicals such as "Cabaret" and "Chicago" like me this is not for you.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the masters finest scores.,
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)I fell in love with this score the first time I heard it. I'm a musical theatre nut (as well as a Sondheim nut), so I'd heard all of Sondheim's previous scores (and love them - unreasonably). However, nothing prepared me for this totally original and haunting score. Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin are two of the modern musical theatre's greatest stars, but neither will ever be associated with a finer score than this. The two shine in "Color and Light," "We Do Not Belong Together" and, especially, "Move On." There is so much to acknowledge and praise. Michael Starobin's orchestrations, that wonderful French horn, the choral performance of "Sunday," the tour-de-force which is the opening number, Patinkin's heartwrenching "Finishing the Hat." Not only did this piece deserve the Pulitzer Prize it won for Drama, it should have won in the music category as well. Tremendous achievement.
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex, yet gorgeous score,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)I rented the dvd after seeing "Into the Woods" and becoming enamoured with it. I quickly saught out to see "Sunday in the Park with George", the first collaboration between Sondheim and Lapine.
Now let me get this off first, I'm a huge Sondheim fan, so I can expect something along the lines of this, but for the casual theatre fan, not knowing too much about Sondheim, this could really turn you away from it. I recommend trying some of his other shows before considering this cd and even then try and watch the dvd of it first, as even I probably wouldn't have liked this as much without having seen it.
I liked the dvd, it was pretty good, a few noteworthy songs, nothing more. The play itself was great, I gained new found respect for Mandy Patinkin, and was already in love with Bernadette Peters.
I, for some reason, bought the cd, if only for the beautiful "Sunday". What I got was so much more, you can watch the play, but afterwards, to truly appreciate the music, and especially the lyrics, you must own the cd.
I found myself listening to every song on the entire cd, over and over again. Some of the most amazing songs, though every song is a gem, are "Move On", "Children and Art","Finishing the Hat", "We Do Not Belong Together", and of course "Sunday".
If you've seen the play, you owe it to yourself and to amazing music, to own this. If you haven't seen the play, you might want to steer clear of this untill you do.
3.0 out of 5 stars Wildly self-aggrandizing,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)The central thesis of Stephen Sondheim's SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE is that artists have a high and lonely destiny they must obey, and even if this causes them to run roughshod over those around them they're still completely justified because in the end they produce Great Art. You can easily see why this incredibly simplistic and self-justifying theme has made this show perhaps the favorite of Sondheim's shows among actors and other artistic types who think he can do no wrong. For the rest of us who find such Ayn Randesque nonsense utter claptrap, however, it's all a bit hard to take, and things are worsened considerably in this original Broadway recording by having Mandy Patinkin, that most excruciatingly insufferable and pompous of all musical singers, give voice to Sondheim and James Lapine's worst ideas.
All the same, however, this recording does have its great compensatory delights: one of Bernadette Peters's best performances as Georges Seurat's mistress Dot; a superb and very funny supporting cast; and an absolutely splendid score. Some of the songs are among Sondheim's most beautiful and moving, including "Putting it Together," "We Do Not Belong Together," and the magnificent act-one closing number "Sunday."
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance,
By A Customer
This review is from: Sunday In The Park With George (Audio CD)if you want to be in awe of a sheer genius and feel enlightened, then i highly reccommend the purchase of this CD. however, if you want to go one step further, than by the video. it only further enriches this entire musical experience (and the performances are wonderful)
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Sunday In The Park With George by Stephen Sondheim (Audio CD - 1984)
CDN$ 24.99 CDN$ 15.95