Pick the Tonys with Talkin' Broadway


re: The joy of a first listen -- and comparing his gifts to Hart, Porter, Sondheim, Lerner...
Posted by: AlanScott 05:24 pm EDT 04/17/24
In reply to: The joy of a first listen -- and comparing his gifts to Hart, Porter, Sondheim, Lerner... - GrumpyMorningBoy 01:15 pm EDT 04/17/24

"But compare to Sondheim, who -- when he isn't being showy ('The Story of Lucy and Jessie'), often wrote so brilliantly that the average listener couldn't possibly pick up on all the wordsmithing that went in."

Lyrics do fly by in the theatre, and I think we shouldn't be aware of all the wordsmithing that went into a lyric. In the best lyrics, art conceals the art. At least sometimes.

FWIW, starting with Pacific Overtures (and with the exception of Assassins), the first time I heard every new Sondheim score was in the theatre, and I never felt that the words were flying by too fast or were too complex to be taken in on first hearing. Of course, in counterpoint sections, you can't hear every lyric. I don't think that's what you meant by not picking up on the wordsmithing, but I wanted to mention it.
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