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Stephen Sondheim

Biography

Born: March 22, 1930; New York, NY  
According to most critics and theater historians, Stephen Sondheim (born 1930) stands among Broadway show composers and lyricists not only as the greatest of his generation but also as the only great one of his generation. Observers may debate why Broadway failed to produce consistently great writers to follow the Rodgers and Hammersteins and Lerner and Loewes of the 1940s and 1950s, but the fact remains that Sondheim clearly ranks with such Read more masters, and even with Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and other masters of the century's first half.

Sondheim became a protege of Hammerstein's after befriending the lyricist's son in school, but he got his first big break when he was hired to adapt Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story (1957). That show turned out to be one of the biggest hits and most memorable works of its time, and it brought many proposals for text-writing Sondheim's way --though he had always wanted to write music as well. Nevertheless, he worked with Jule Styne on Gypsy (1959), another enormous hit, and would later agree to collaborate with Richard Rodgers on the unsuccessful Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965).

Before that, however, Sondheim scored his first success as both composer and lyricist with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). It was his last hit until Company (1970), a show about contemporary life and mores that did much to revolutionize the Broadway musical and, as many of Hammerstein's 50 shows had, move it more toward serious and exotic subjects. Since that time, Sondheim's shows have been amazingly daring in terms of subject matter, with unusual musical ideas and stunningly original lyrics. But they have not always been big hits, and have marked a time in theater when Broadway show music became a marginalized art form in terms of popular culture.

Nevertheless, Sondheim's shows of the 1970s and 1980s are benchmarks of the genre: Follies (1971) brought together aging Follies girls for a look at American middle age; A Little Night Music (1973) is based on Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night and contains Sondheim's sole hit song, "Send in the Clowns"; Pacific Overtures (1976) ambitiously took on the subject of Japanese-American relations; Sweeney Todd (1979) was an operetta based on the British grand guignol tale of a murderous barber; Sunday in the Park with George (1984) was a biography of impressionist painter Georges Seurat; and Into the Woods (1987) wove together children's fairy tales with the theories of psychologist Bruno Bettelheim. At this writing, Sondheim's latest show is Assassins (1991), a short piece about presidential killers. In recent years, he has turned more to films, writing songs for Madonna in Dick Tracy in 1990 and reportedly working on an original movie musical. Read less
Browse 76-100 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Sondheim: Into The Woods / 2002 Broadway Cast
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79686 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Gregg Edelman,  John McMartin,  Vanessa Williams
    On sale! $28.96
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  • 77.
    Captured! / The Bassoon Brothers
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 875 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Traditional,  Nino Rota,  Arthur Sullivan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bassoon Brothers
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  • 78.
    Rarities Of Piano Music At Schloss Vor Husum (2000)
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 559 Release Date: 11/14/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Medtner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Stephen Sondheim,  Frederick Holländer  ... 
    Performer:  Hamish Milne,  Konstantin Scherbakov,  Marc-André Hamelin,  Jody Karin Applebaum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tal & Groethuysen Duo
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  • 79.
    Gala Night / Kasarova, Falk, Southwest German Radio Orchestra
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93020 Release Date: 08/28/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Harold Arlen  ... 
    Performer:  David Johnson,  Patricia Nessi,  Lars Lettner,  Ewa Podles  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Falk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern
    CD not available
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  • 80.
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 559 Release Date: 08/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Medtner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Stephen Sondheim,  Frederick Holländer  ... 
    Performer:  Hamish Milne,  Konstantin Scherbakov,  Jody Karin Applebaum,  Marc-André Hamelin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tal & Groethuysen Duo
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  • 81.
    Sondheim: Follies In Concert / Cook, Remick, Patinkin, Hearn
    Label: Image Entertainment   Catalog: 1042 Release Date: 07/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Mandy Patinkin,  Barbara Cook,  Lee Remick,  George Hearn  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Gemignani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 82.
    Eloquence - American Classics - Copland, Etc / Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468156 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Henry Mancini,  John T. Williams,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 83.
    Evelyn Lear - The Art Of The Recital
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1195 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Monro,  Stephen Sondheim,  Carl Zeller,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Evelyn Lear,  Martin Katz
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  • 84.
    Continuum / Matt Tropman
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 279 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Sam Pilafian,  David Gillingham,  Ermano Picchi  ... 
    Performer:  Matt Tropman,  Dom Moio,  Alice Mikolajewski
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  • 85.
    Manhattan Echoes / Campbell, Dinovi, Et Al
    Label: Marquis   Catalog: 267 Release Date: 11/09/2000  
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim,  Leonard Bernstein,  Michel Legrand,  Hoagy Carmichael
    Performer:  Gene DiNovi,  James Campbell,  Dave Young
    CD not available
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  • 86.
    A Very Special Album / Assad, Starobin, Isaac, Et Al
    Label: Gha   Catalog: 126045 Release Date: 03/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Francisco Tarrega,  Raphael Fays,  Roland Dyens  ... 
    Performer:  Odair Assad,  Sérgio Assad,  Wang Yameng,  Raphael Fays  ... 
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  • 87.
    Angelika Kirchschlager - When Night Falls
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64498 Release Date: 11/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim,  Richard Rodgers,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Angelika Kirchschlager,  John Williams,  Helmut Deutsch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Metropolitan Ensemble
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  • 88.
    Sondheim: Sunday In The Park With George / Original Broadway Cast
    Label: Image Entertainment   Catalog: 4586 Release Date: 03/23/1999  
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Charles Kimbrough,  Dana Ivey,  Mandy Patinkin,  Bernadette Peters  ... 
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 89.
    Sondheim: Follies / 1998 Cast
    Label: Tvt   Catalog: 1030 Release Date: 10/27/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Tony Roberts,  Dee Hoty,  Ann Miller,  Donna McKechnie  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 90.
    Sondheim: Merrily We Roll Along
    Label: Jay Records   Catalog: 1245 Release Date: 03/11/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    On sale! $38.98
    CD: $34.99
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  • 91.
    Tenors On Tour / Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62886 Release Date: 03/04/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Eldo Di Lazzaro,  Arturo Buzzi-Peccia,  Cesare Andrea Bixio  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andrea Griminelli,  Peter Hofmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Luis Cobos,  Emerson Buckley,  Roland Heck,  Richard Österreicher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 92.
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 1185 Release Date: 10/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Mark Heller,  Alfred Heller
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  • 93.
    Sondheim: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum / 1996 Broadway Cast
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 52223 Release Date: 06/25/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Nathan Lane,  Cris Groenendaal,  Mary Testa,  Mark Linn-Baker  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 94.
    Leading Man - The Best Of Broadway / Thomas Hampson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55249 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerome Kern,  Claude-Michel Schönberg,  Richard Rodgers,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  John Raitt
    Conductor:  Paul Gemignani
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  • 95.
    Sondheim: Follies Highlights / 1987 London Cast
    Label: First Night   Catalog: 6019 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    On sale! $26.98
    CD: $23.99
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  • 96.
    1812 / The Swingle Singers
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 45134 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  King VIII Henry,  Paul McCartney,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swingle Singers
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 97.
    Stairway To The Stars / Tom Hazleton
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 77006 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Leo Robin,  Irving Berlin,  Ray Noble  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hazleton
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  • 98.
    Brass On Broadway / Canadian Brass
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442133 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Frank Loesser,  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Richard Rodgers  ... 
    Performer:  Ronald Romm,  Charles Daellenbach,  David Ohanian,  Frederic Mills  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass
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  • 99.
    City Of Strangers / Ute Lemper
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444400 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Kosma,  Harriet Zinnes,  Hanns Eisler,  Wal Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Ute Lemper
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  • 100.
    Insalata / I Fagiolini
    Label: Metronome   Catalog: 1004 Release Date: 08/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolas Gombert,  Mateo Flecha,  Sigismondo D'India,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Fagiolini
    On sale! $18.98
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