Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions

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Scarecrow Press, Sep 20, 2010 - Music - 584 pages
5 Reviews
Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as the most important composer and lyricist of musical theater in the second half of the 20th century. Celebrating his 80th birthday, this new edition of Sondheim on Music finds him in these guided interviews expounding in great depth and detail on his craft. As a natural teacher, thoughtful and opinionated, Sondheim discusses the art of musical composition, lyric writing, the collaborative process of musical theater, and how he thinks about his own work.

Where the first edition focused particularly on six shows—Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and Pacific Overtures—this second edition presents a new chapter that discusses Sondheim's entire career. Several shows that were not discussed previously are explored here, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Merrily We Roll Along, Company, Follies, Anyone Can Whistle, and A Little Night Music, as well as thoughts about the recent film adaptation of Sweeney Todd. The book also features an entire chapter on Bounce: the previous incarnation of his latest musical, Road Show. In addition to Sondheim's list of "Songs I Wish I'd Written," the songlisting and discography has been greatly expanded and updated to include all works composed and recorded over the last six years.

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Review: Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions

User Review  - Bob - Goodreads

Fascinating; I couldn't put it down. Only complaint is that there's so much space spent on Horowitz asking Sondheim to decipher his drafts... which only sometimes leads to something interesting. Plus, I don't know that I'm ever going to make use of the extensive song listing in the back. Read full review

Review: Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions

User Review  - Blanche - Goodreads

A beautiful series of interviews with Sondheim, providing invaluable insights into the work of the greatest musical theatre composer of the 20th century. A must-read for anyone who has ever cared about Sondheim. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Mark Eden Horowitz is Senior Music Specialist at the Library of Congress where he has worked as archivist for the collections of manuscripts and papers of Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Vernon Duke, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jonathan Larson, Jascha Heifetz, Jerome Kern, Frederick Loewe, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and Vincent Youmans, among others. He has taught courses in musical theater and Sondheim at Georgetown University and is Contributing Editor to The Sondheim Review.

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