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I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pippin revival's sound
Last Edit: DistantDrumming 12:47 am EST 01/18/21
Posted by: DistantDrumming 12:46 am EST 01/18/21
In reply to: "War is a Science" query re Pippin - peter3053 03:18 pm EST 01/17/21

I'm one of those people who goes on and on about the reduction of orchestras on Broadway. Lamenting the fact that it's now a thrilling surprise when a show has more than 20 musicians in the pit. But, Pippin is obviously a score that benefits from a leaner, muscular sound. Although a completely different kind of score, Chicago is another great example in which a medium-sized orchestra is perfect for the score. But when your orchestra is that size, every instrument counts and I remember finding the "sound" of the Pippin revival absolutely thrilling -- not a wasted instrument -- each had their role and when playing together they were electric. The other thing I found so striking about their sound was that the creative team sharpened and updated the show's the score's sound without losing the blood in its veins. More often than not, I find revivals of pop and/or rock influenced scores from the 60s and 70s update their orchestrations, arrangements or instrumentation in a way that anesthetizes their sounds. For example, compare revivals of Jesus Christ Superstar to the Original Broadway Cast Recording or the motion picture soundtrack -- and they sound so anemic and sanitized by comparison.

Somehow, Schwartz and his team managed to avoid this pitfall with the Pippin revival. I may be wrong, but it seems like Schwartz was quite involved in achieving the right sound -- you can see him at work in behind the scenes videos of the Pippin revival cast recording -- ensuring that rhythm section, for example, played with the swagger of a rock band.

Anyway, that's not why you rang. Personally, I enjoy the newer version of War Is A Science -- it amped up the humorous nature of the song.
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