re: The joy of a first listen -- and comparing his gifts to Hart, Porter, Sondheim, Lerner...
Posted by: keikekaze 11:03 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

And would you be comfortable saying that Hammerstein II was the best of his era?


Absolutely. Hammerstein was the greatest Broadway lyricist of the 20th century, bar none. Hammerstein's unique genius lay in his mastery of simplicity--simplicity being the hardest thing in the arts to pull off convincingly. Anybody with a sufficient education, broad experience, and verbal facility can write "clever" until the cows come home--as many have done, brilliantly. And Hammerstein could write clever too, when he felt like it (and he did it just often enough to prove that he could do it at will). But it takes a peerless genius to write

Edelweiss, edelweiss,
Every morning you greet me.
Small and white, clean and bright,
You look happy to meet me.

Blossom of snow, May you bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow forever.
Edelweiss, edelweiss,
Bless my homeland forever.
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Previous: The joy of a first listen -- and comparing his gifts to Hart, Porter, Sondheim, Lerner... - GrumpyMorningBoy 01:15 pm EDT 04/17/24
Next: re: The joy of a first listen -- and comparing his gifts to Hart, Porter, Sondheim, Lerner... - Chromolume 11:45 pm EDT 04/17/24
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