Sondheim: Into the Woods [Original Cast Recording]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
With Into the Woods, songwriter Stephen Sondheim and librettist/director James Lapine retold a group of children's stories in an intricate, moving way that worked on many levels. In the show, which opened on Broadway on November 5, 1987, and ran 764 performances before closing on September 3, 1989 making it Sondheim's most popular work in 25 years, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and other familiar fairy tale characters, joined by a few newly invented ones, engage in interrelated adventures. Sondheim and Lapine's interpretation is informed by child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim's book The Uses of Enchantment, and they not only retain some of the gorier ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
With Into the Woods, songwriter Stephen Sondheim and librettist/director James Lapine retold a group of children's stories in an intricate, moving way that worked on many levels. In the show, which opened on Broadway on November 5, 1987, and ran 764 performances before closing on September 3, 1989 making it Sondheim's most popular work in 25 years, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and other familiar fairy tale characters, joined by a few newly invented ones, engage in interrelated adventures. Sondheim and Lapine's interpretation is informed by child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim's book The Uses of Enchantment, and they not only retain some of the gorier aspects of the original tales, but also add adult complexities. Sondheim's score for Into the Woods is one of his most tuneful, and slyly acknowledges the melodic simplicity of the Disney movie versions of some of these fairy tales, but his lyrics are typically witty and, not infrequently, employ tongue twisters. Song highlights include Cinderella's "On the Steps of the Palace"; the two versions of "Agony," sung by two princes; and "Hello, Little Girl," sung to Little Red Riding Hood by the Wolf. An ensemble cast led by Bernadette Peters as a witch navigates those words well. Particularly impressive are Danielle Ferland as Little Red Riding Hood; Robert Westenberg, who plays both the Wolf and Cinderella's Prince; and Tony winner Joanna Gleason. Into the Woods succeeded in enchanting children some of whom, it must be admitted, probably could have left after the deceptive "happy ending" that closed the first act along with adults who understood the grown-up references. Recorded at a time when the advent of CDs was expanding the previous length limitations of albums, the original Broadway cast recording used its 69-minute running time to give a good sense of the show as a whole rather than being just a collection of musical highlights.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/31/2011
  • Label: Masterworks
  • UPC: 886979025622
  • Catalog Number: 790256
  • Sales rank: 2,357

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bernadette Peters Vocals
Gloria Agostini Harp
Karl Bargen Viola
John Beal Bass
John Campo Bassoon
Laura Corcos Violin
Eileen Folson Cello
Paul Gemignani Musical Direction
Lowell Hershey Trumpet
Jean Ingraham Violin
John Moses Clarinet
Marilyn Reynolds Violin, Concert Mistress
Adrienne Wilcox Percussion
Wilmer Wise Trumpet
Lauren Mitchell Vocals
Joy Franz Vocals
Philip Hoffman Vocals
Maureen Moore Vocals
Maxine Roach Viola
Chip Zien Vocals
Scott Frankel Keyboards
Richard Hagen Horn
Edmund Lyndeck Vocals
Robert Westenberg Vocals
Robert Ayers Percussion
Barbara Bryne Vocals
Pamela Winslow Vocals
Merle Louise Vocals
John Cameron Mitchell Vocals
Kim Crosby Vocals
Danielle Ferland Vocals
Joanna Gleason Vocals
Tom Aldredge Vocals, Narrator
Maureen Davis Vocals
Kay McClelland Vocals
Jean Kelly Vocals
Lesley Scott Flute, Piccolo
Paul Ford Keyboards
Chuck Wagner Vocals
Ronald Sell Horn
Ben Wright Vocals
Technical Credits
Stephen Sondheim Composer, Text
Didier C. Deutsch Reissue Producer
Paul Goodman Engineer
Matthew Kelly Tape Research
Frank Rodriguez Engineering
Jay David Saks Producer
Jonathan Tunick Orchestration
James Lapine Director, Book
Anthony Salvatore Engineer
Richard Jay-Alexander Liner Notes
Glenn Korman Tape Research
Karl E. Held Producer
Darcy M. Proper Reissue Producer, Mastering
Elisabeth Ladwig Graphic Design
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