Sweeney Todd [Original Broadway Cast] [Bonus Tracks]

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Having adapted Ingmar Bergman to the musical theater with A Little Night Music (1973), then traveled to Japan with Admiral Perry in Pacific Overtures (1976), composer Stephen Sondheim remained in the 19th century for his next Broadway musical, Sweeney Todd. It was arguably his most ambitious work yet, and one of his most controversial. For its subject matter, the show looked to Christopher Bond's 1973 play, itself based on the 1847 melodrama The String of Pearls by George Dibdin Pitt. The story concerns a London barber unjustly exiled so that an evil judge can have his way with the barber's wife. Years later, the barber returns, maddened with a desire for revenge, to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Having adapted Ingmar Bergman to the musical theater with A Little Night Music (1973), then traveled to Japan with Admiral Perry in Pacific Overtures (1976), composer Stephen Sondheim remained in the 19th century for his next Broadway musical, Sweeney Todd. It was arguably his most ambitious work yet, and one of his most controversial. For its subject matter, the show looked to Christopher Bond's 1973 play, itself based on the 1847 melodrama The String of Pearls by George Dibdin Pitt. The story concerns a London barber unjustly exiled so that an evil judge can have his way with the barber's wife. Years later, the barber returns, maddened with a desire for revenge, to begin slicing the throats of his customers on his way to killing the judge. As if that weren't enough, he allows his neighbor to cook the remains into meat pies. It's Grand Guignol, of course, and, accompanying the script by Hugh Wheeler, Sondheim wrote an extensive score that did not stint on the horrific aspects, even as it was full of lavish music and lovely melodies, with the two sometimes placed in ironic juxtaposition. For example, in the third of three different songs called "Johanna," Todd sings movingly of his love for his daughter while dispatching a series of victims with his razor. To say that the work requires a sense of gallows humor is an understatement. One of the wittiest numbers, "A Little Priest," finds Todd and his neighbor, Mrs. Lovett, comparing the qualities of various types of people as potential meals. Todd's mad outlook is best expressed in one of Sondheim's typically sharp couplets: "The lives of the wicked should be made brief/For the rest of us, death will be a relief." His conclusion: "We all deserve to die." Of course, Shakespeare was known to litter the stage with corpses, too, on occasion, but Sondheim and Wheeler were deliberately using an extreme genre to make points about the Industrial Revolution and, God help us, the world in general. They were assisted by an outstanding cast in the initial Broadway production, with Len Cariou expressing Todd's darkness and fatalistic humor, while Angela Lansbury, employing a broad Cockney accent, lent Mrs. Lovett a ghastly mirth. Along with the other performers, they managed the never-easy task of getting out Sondheim's often wordy lyrics and making the jokes land along with the more moving passages. Sweeney Todd was the closest Sondheim had yet come to an outright opera, and this first recording, even with a limited orchestra, gave a sense that it might prove his most lasting work. The opera connection becomes overt in the two bonus tracks added to the 2007 reissue, both taken from Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall, an album based on a 1992 benefit concert. In "Symphonic Sondheim: Sweeney Todd," with an orchestration by Don Sebesky, themes from Sweeney Todd are intermingled with a performance of the first "Johanna" song (first line: "I feel you, Johanna") sung by tenor Jerry Hadley and "Pretty Women" by baritones Eugene Perry and Herbert Perry. Soprano Harolyn Blackwell then gives a sense of what "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" would sound like on an opera stage. (The brief hidden track that follows is one of the "Parlor Songs," rendered by a woman who sounds suspiciously like Julie Andrews).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/20/2007
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 828766863925
  • Catalog Number: 68639
  • Sales rank: 11,022

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Prelude. The Ballad of Sweeny Todd: Attend The Tale Of Sweeny Todd - Len Cariou (3:35)
  2. 2 No Place Like London - Merle Louise (3:39)
  3. 3 The Barber And His Wife - Len Cariou (2:41)
  4. 4 The Worst Pies In London (2:26)
  5. 5 Poor Thing (3:28)
  6. 6 My Friends - Angela Lansbury (2:43)
  7. 7 The Ballad Of Sweeny Todd: Life Your Razor High, Sweeny! (0:55)
  8. 8 Green Finch And Linnet Bird (2:30)
  9. 9 Ah, Miss (2:23)
  10. 10 Johanna (1:58)
  11. 11 Pirelli's Miracle Elixir - Ken Jennings (3:50)
  12. 12 The Contest (5:11)
  13. 13 The Ballad Of Sweeny Todd: Sweeney Pondered And Sweeney Planned (0:31)
  14. 14 Wait (2:18)
  15. 15 The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd: His Hands Were Quick, His Fingers Strong (0:40)
  16. 16 Johanna (3:40)
  17. 17 Kiss Me! (1:31)
  18. 18 Ladies In Their Sensitivities (3:58)
  19. 19 Pretty Women - Edmund Lyndeck (4:39)
  20. 20 Epiphany - Angela Lansbury (3:18)
  21. 21 A Little Priest - Angela Lansbury (7:17)
Disc 2
  1. 1 God, That's Good! - Ken Jennings (6:28)
  2. 2 Johanna - Sarah Rice (5:29)
  3. 3 By The Sea - Angela Lansbury (3:33)
  4. 4 Wigmaker Sequence / The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd: Sweeney'd Waited Too Lo - Victor Garber (3:39)
  5. 5 Not While I'm Around (3:57)
  6. 6 Parlor Songs (3:35)
  7. 7 City On Fire! / Final Sequence - Sarah Rice (13:22)
  8. 8 The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd: Attend The Tale Of Sweeney Todd (2:57)
  9. 9 Sweeney Todd: Symphonic Suite (7:30)
  10. 10 Green finch and linnet bird, song (from Sweeney Todd) - Harolyn Blackwell (2:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jerry Hadley Vocals
Len Cariou Vocals
Victor Garber Vocals
Marin Alsop Track Performer
Julien Barber Track Performer
John Beal Track Performer
Joseph Bongiorno Track Performer
George "Funky" Brown Track Performer
Earl Chapin Track Performer
Joyce Flissler Track Performer
John Gale Track Performer
Judy Geist Track Performer
Paul Gemignani Conductor, Musical Direction
Harry Glickman Track Performer
Daryl Goldberg Track Performer
Max Hollander Concert Master
Batia Lieberman Track Performer
Charles McCracken Track Performer
Louann Montesi Track Performer
John Moses Track Performer
Harriet Orenstein Track Performer
Eugene Perry Vocals
Jim Pugh Track Performer
Les Scott Track Performer
Myra Segal Track Performer
Wilmer Wise Track Performer
Marilyn Wright Track Performer
Harolyn Blackwell Vocals
Angela Lansbury Vocals
James Pugh Track Performer
Julius Brand Track Performer
Dean Plank Track Performer
The American Theatre Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Betsy Joslyn Vocals
Robert Ousley Vocals
Clay Fullum Track Performer
Sidney Kaufman Track Performer
Skip Harris Vocals
Cris Groenendaal Vocals
Morris Lefkowitz Track Performer
Charles Millard Track Performer
Nick Cerrato Track Performer
Frank Kopyc Vocals
Edmund Lyndeck Vocals
Joaquín Romaguera Vocals
Maggie Task Vocals
Frederick King Track Performer
Robert Ayers Track Performer
Daniel Reed Track Performer
Merle Louise Vocals
Richard Warren Pugh Vocals
Beth Schwartz Track Performer
Ken Jennings Vocals
Carole Doscher Vocals
Sarah Rice Vocals
Jack Eric Williams Vocals
Herbert Perry Vocals
Lester Cantor Track Performer
Seymour Benstock Track Performer
Walter Charles Vocals
Duane Bodin Vocals
Nancy Eaton Vocals
Richard San Filippo Track Performer
Robert Henderson Vocals
Nancy Killmer Vocals
Jennie Hansen Koch Track Performer
Raymond Kunicki Track Performer
Spain Logue Vocals
Giulio Ruggiero Track Performer, Musician
Heather B. Withers Vocals
Jack Eric Williams Vocals
George Brown Track Performer
Martha Ihde Vocals
Sidney Kaufmann Track Performer
Mary-Pat Green Vocals
Jennie Hansen Koch Track Performer
Richard San Filippo Track Performer
Evalyn Steinbock Track Performer
Robert Henderson Vocals
Joe Bongiorno Track Performer
Kenneth Jennings Vocals
Technical Credits
Stephen Sondheim Composer, Lyricist
Didier C. Deutsch Reissue Producer
Don Sebesky Orchestration
Matthew Kelly Tape Research
Jay David Saks Producer
Jonathan Tunick Orchestration
Harold Prince Director
Thomas Z. Shepard Producer
Darcy Proper Reissue Producer
Anthony Salvatore Engineer
Martha Swope Cover Photo
Richard Jay-Alexander Liner Notes
Roxanne Slimak Art Direction
Glenn Korman Tape Research
Glenn Kormann Tape Research
Darcy M. Proper Reissue Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent

    Not for the faint of heart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I have always loved Sondheim plays, but Sweeney Todd has always been my favorite. The original cast recording is brilliant. It couldn't be better. Angela Lansbury steals the show (as well as the CD!)as Mrs. Lovett and Len Cariou is phenominal as the lead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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