The Story So Far

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far is a four-CD box set of 82 recordings of music by the Broadway songwriter, with a running time just under five hours. It is far from the first compilation of Sondheim's work, or even the first box set, but it follows a pattern in such compilations and in box sets in general, in that the selection seems aimed at two different classes of potential purchasers, those general fans looking for a single omnibus collection of the best or most popular of an artist's efforts, and the aficionados primarily interested in rarities. Despite his renown, particularly among musical theater buffs, and a mantelpiece straining with Tony, Grammy, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far is a four-CD box set of 82 recordings of music by the Broadway songwriter, with a running time just under five hours. It is far from the first compilation of Sondheim's work, or even the first box set, but it follows a pattern in such compilations and in box sets in general, in that the selection seems aimed at two different classes of potential purchasers, those general fans looking for a single omnibus collection of the best or most popular of an artist's efforts, and the aficionados primarily interested in rarities. Despite his renown, particularly among musical theater buffs, and a mantelpiece straining with Tony, Grammy, and Academy Awards, Sondheim does not have a slew of "hits," as in, songs that have made the Top 40. Among his early efforts as a lyricist only, West Side Story with music by Leonard Bernstein generated such hits as "Somewhere" and "Tonight," and Johnny Mathis' recording of "Small World" from Gypsy with music by Jule Styne made the Top 20. Since then, only "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music produced a Top 40 hit for Judy Collins in 1975. Sondheim tends to downplay his lyrical collaborations, and they are typically underrepresented here, with only "Tonight" included. "Send in the Clowns" appears in the recording from the original Broadway cast album of A Little Night Music, sung by Glynis Johns, for whom it was written. Of course, fans have their favorites among Sondheim's large catalog, and his songs have been extensively performed and recorded outside their shows. But, like its many predecessors, this sampler of his work leaves out many of those favorites. Basically, its first three discs trace his career in the musical theater from 1957's West Side Story to a 2004 revised version of the 1974 musical The Frogs. Usually, two or three songs not necessarily the best-known from a show are excerpted, accompanied by songs cut from the scores, often performed in informal demonstration recordings, many of those by the composer himself. The fourth disc is given over almost entirely to obscurities, including music written for films. Thus, of 82 tracks, 33 are previously unreleased and 13 are sung by Sondheim himself. That's a selection and a proportion of rarities that will delight Sondheim fans, who may only wish the set was all rarities. For others, the collection may be more problematic, but then they are less likely to want to fork over the money for a box like this in the first place. Certainly, anyone encountering this music without previous knowledge would be amazed by its variety, from old-time show music to approximations of traditional Japanese music, with a lot of Western classical references thrown in, along with the consistently sparkling wit and seemingly endless verbal facility of the lyrics. And, if nothing else, the album boasts performances by a bevy of star performers including Carol Burnett, Barbara Cook, Hermione Gingold, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Madonna, Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Zero Mostel, Mandy Patinkin, Anthony Perkins, Bernadette Peters, Jane Powell, Lee Remick, Chita Rivera, Elaine Stritch, and Mel Tormé. All are given powerful material to interpret. At the end, one may only ask what, if this is, as the producers say, only "the story so far," they expect still to come from the songwriter, who was 78 years old on the day this album was released. Even given that one of the set's final songs is called "More," what is here seems like more than enough already, even if it is less than what it could have been.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/2008
  • Label: Masterworks
  • UPC: 827969425527
  • Catalog Number: 94255
  • Sales rank: 42,839


Disc 1
  1. 1 America, song (from "West Side Story") (4:35)
  2. 2 Tonight, song (from "West Side Story") (3:55)
  3. 3 Gee, Officer Krupke (4:07)
  4. 4 Everything's Coming Up Roses (3:11)
  5. 5 Comedy Tonight (5:02)
  6. 6 Everybody Ought To Have A Maid (3:08)
  7. 7 There's Something About A War (4:16)
  8. 8 Don't Laugh (5:28)
  9. 9 Anyone Can Whistle (from Anyone Can Whistle) (3:40)
  10. 10 A Parade in Town (3:10)
  11. 11 A Hero Is Coming (2:44)
  12. 12 This Week, Americans (2:32)
  13. 13 Perhaps (2:32)
  14. 14 Everybody Loves Leona (2:46)
  15. 15 The Boy From... (2:37)
  16. 16 (If You Can Find Me) I'm Here (3:32)
  17. 17 Arts and Crafts (1:17)
  18. 18 I remember (from "Evening Primrose") (3:58)
  19. 19 When? (5:00)
  20. 20 Take Me to the World (4:38)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Another hundred people, song (from Company) (2:44)
  2. 2 The Ladies Who Lunch (4:29)
  3. 3 Being alive, song (from Company) (4:51)
  4. 4 Happily Ever After (3:59)
  5. 5 Waiting for the girls upstairs, song (from Follies) (5:42)
  6. 6 Broadway Baby (3:51)
  7. 7 Losing my mind, song (from Follies) (4:17)
  8. 8 I'm Still Here (5:41)
  9. 9 Can That Boy Foxtrot! (cut from Follies) (2:47)
  10. 10 The Miller's son, song (from A Little Night Music) (4:28)
  11. 11 Liaisons (5:06)
  12. 12 Send in the Clowns (from the musical "A Little Night Music") (3:28)
  13. 13 Night Waltz (Love Takes Time) (4:04)
  14. 14 Silly People (2:19)
  15. 15 Not Quite Night (1:36)
  16. 16 Welcome To Kanagawa (3:46)
  17. 17 Pretty lady, song (from Pacific Overtures) (2:57)
  18. 18 Prayers (3:48)
  19. 19 There Is No Other Way (4:35)
Disc 3
  1. 1 The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd (3:35)
  2. 2 Green finch and linnet bird, song (from Sweeney Todd) (2:38)
  3. 3 A Little Priest (7:16)
  4. 4 The Worst Pies In London (2:49)
  5. 5 Not a day goes by, song (from Merrily We Roll Along) (2:22)
  6. 6 Old friends, song (from Merrily We Roll Along) (4:43)
  7. 7 Finishing The Hat (3:25)
  8. 8 Agony (2:29)
  9. 9 Children will listen, song (from Into the Woods) (5:11)
  10. 10 Have To Give Her Someone (0:36)
  11. 11 Interesting Questions (1:14)
  12. 12 Second Midnight (5:52)
  13. 13 Everybody's Got The Right (6:03)
  14. 14 The Ballad Of Booth (9:26)
  15. 15 Happiness (5:12)
  16. 16 I Wish I Could Forget You (3:23)
  17. 17 Bounce (4:06)
  18. 18 Isn't He Something! (3:15)
  19. 19 Invocation and Instructions to the Audience (3:47)
Disc 4
  1. 1 I Must Be Dreaming, song (from All That Glitters) (2:51)
  2. 2 The Two Of You (added to Side By Side By Sondheim) (2:41)
  3. 3 Class (5:08)
  4. 4 Love's a bond, song (from Saturday Night) (1:42)
  5. 5 In the movies, song (from Saturday Night) (6:09)
  6. 6 I'm All For You (2:36)
  7. 7 They Ask Me Why I Believe In You (2:39)
  8. 8 Incidental Music a) Cue #3 / b) Cue #4 / c) Cue #7 / d) Cue #13 (5:40)
  9. 9 Truly Content (for the one-act musical Passionella) (3:27)
  10. 10 No, Mary Ann (written for an unproduced film, "The Thing of It Is") (1:45)
  11. 11 Incidental Music a) Cue#3 / b) Cue#4 (4:45)
  12. 12 Theme (2:10)
  13. 13 Auto Show (1:29)
  14. 14 Arlette By Night (3:16)
  15. 15 Operetta (1:36)
  16. 16 Theme (European Version) (2:45)
  17. 17 I never do anything twice, song (for the film Seven Percent Solution) (1:43)
  18. 18 Goodbye for now, song (for the film score "Reds") (4:51)
  19. 19 Sooner or later, song (for the film "Dick Tracy") (3:21)
  20. 20 Live alone and like it, song (for the film "Dick Tracy") (1:48)
  21. 21 What can you lose?, song (for the film "Dick Tracy") (2:10)
  22. 22 Back in business, song (from the film "Dick Tracy") (2:09)
  23. 23 More, song (for the film "Dick Tracy") (4:10)
  24. 24 Water Under The Bridge (5:23)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stephen Sondheim Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Barbara Cook Vocals
Ethel Merman Vocals
Liza Minnelli Vocals
Mandy Patinkin Vocals
Claude Bolling Vocals
Janis Siegel Vocals
Mel Tormé Vocals
Cheryl Bentyne Vocals
Lorraine Feather Vocals
Stan Freeman Vocals
Jean-Pierre Rampal Vocals
Billy Stritch Vocals
Bernadette Peters Vocals
Elaine Stritch Vocals
Dean Jones Vocals
Carol Lawrence Vocals
Jane Powell Vocals
Carol Burnett Vocals
Ettore Stratta Conductor
Len Cariou Vocals
Hermione Gingold Vocals
Victor Garber Vocals
Lee Remick Vocals
Patrick Cassidy Vocals
New York Philharmonic Performing Ensemble
Stephen Collins Vocals
Patti LuPone Vocals
David Caddick Conductor
Jack Cassidy Vocals
Madonna Vocals
Paul Gemignani Percussion, Conductor
Annie Golden Vocals
Herbert Greene Conductor
Zero Mostel Vocals
Milton Rosenstock Conductor
Jonathan Tunick Conductor
Cy Walter Vocals
Liz Callaway Vocals
Nathan Lane Vocals
Angela Lansbury Vocals
Rose Marie Jun Vocals
Michael Rupert Vocals
Lee Wilkof Vocals
The American Theatre Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Marin Mazzie Vocals
Maureen Moore Vocals
Michael Cerveris Vocals
Marilyn Cooper Vocals
Pamela Myers Vocals
Norman Paris Conductor
Harold Prince Narrator
Carlo Savina Conductor
Linda Lavin Vocals
George Hearn Vocals
Carol Bruce Vocals
Max Goberman Conductor
Frederick Dvonch Conductor
Scott Frankel Conductor
Chita Rivera Vocals
Harold Hastings Conductor
Sam Pottle Conductor
D. Jamin-Bartlett Vocals
Eddie Korbich Vocals
Howard McGillin Vocals
William Parry Vocals
Daisy Prince Vocals
Gedde Watanabe Vocals
Robert Westenberg Vocals
Ann Morrison Vocals
Chuck Wagner Vocals
Arte Johnson Vocals
Roger Bart Vocals
George Lee Andrews Vocals
Hank Brunjes Vocals
Grover Dale Vocals
Tony Mordente Vocals
Eddie Roll Vocals
David Winters Vocals
John Cameron Mitchell Vocals
Sarah Rice Vocals
Kim Crosby Vocals
Debra Monk Vocals
Jonathan Hadary Vocals
Greg Germann Vocals
Marcus Olson Vocals
Donna Murphy Vocals
Glynis Johns Vocals
Terrence Mann Vocals
Larry Kerr Vocals
Sarah Stanley Vocals
John Barrow French Horn
Lonny Price Vocals
Richard Kind Vocals
Christopher Durang Vocals
Jim Walton Vocals
All That Glitters Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Régine Vocals
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Anthony Perkins Vocals
Sweeney Todd Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Saturday Night Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Company Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Merrily We Roll Along Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Bounce Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Mako Vocals
Hal Hastings Conductor
Do I Hear A Waltz? Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Jere Shea Vocals
Timm Fujii Vocals
West Side Story Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Passion Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Gregory Paul German Vocals
Sunday in the Park Cast Ensemble Performing Ensemble
Daniel Troob Piano
Gypsy Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Sweeney Todd Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Pacific Overtures pit orchestra Performing Ensemble
The Mad Show Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Into The Woods Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Frogs Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Frogs Greek Chorus Choir, Chorus
Assassins Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Company Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Into the Woods Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
West Side Story Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Jim Walton Vocals
Chuck Wagner Vocals
Ernest Harada Vocals
Anyone Can Whistle Orchestra Performing Ensemble
A Little Night Music Pit Orchestra Choir, Chorus, Performing Ensemble
Anyone Can Whistle Cast Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Jacques Mercier Conductor
Stan Stanley Vocals
Patrick Kinser-Lau Vocals
Mark Hsu Syers Vocals
Leslie Watanabe Vocals
Charmian Carr Vocals
Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Composer
Stephen Sondheim Composer, Lyricist, Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Michael Feinstein Author
Mandy Patinkin Author
Jeremy Lubbock Arranger
Matt Kelly Tape Research
Richard Rodgers Composer
Julie Andrews Author
Mary Rodgers Composer
Victor Garber Author
Steven Berkowitz Executive Producer
Patti LuPone Author
Don Sebesky Orchestration
Paul Gemignani Author
Robert Hurwitz Producer
Dick Jones Producer
Matthew Kelly Tape Research
Tommy Krasker Producer
Goddard Lieberson Producer
Phil Ramone Producer
David Rubinson Producer
Jay David Saks Producer
Jule Styne Composer
Jonathan Tunick Orchestration
Shirley Walker Arranger
Andy Wiswell Producer
Nathan Lane Book
Thomas Z. Shepard Producer
John Weidman Book
Warren Beatty Screenplay
James Lapine Book
Nicholas Meyer Screenplay
Jim Tyler Arranger
Mike Kull Tape Research
Hugh Wheeler Book
Hal Prince Liner Notes
Arthur Laurents Book, Playwright
Burt Shevelove Book
Julius Epstein Book
Larry Gelbart Book
David Robinson Producer
Laura Benanti Author
Willie Gilbert Book
Jack Weinstock Book
Alex Miller Management
Jimmy Cash Screenplay
Laura Kszan Product Development
Judi Dench Author
Steve Berkowitz Executive Producer
Frank Rich Author
Stan Hart Book
Lonny Price Author
Elizabeth A. Wright Product Development
George Furth Book
Jules Feiffer Book
William Goldman Screenplay
Jorge Semprun Screenplay
Mark Eden Horowitz Liner Notes
Nicolas Meyer Screenplay
Maria P. Marulanda Art Direction
Ted Chapin Author
Anthony Dominick Benedetto Author
Jack Jr. Epps Screenplay
Jim Cash Screenplay
Larry Siegel Book
Trevor Griffiths Screenplay
Alex Miller Management
Dick Jones Producer
Elizabeth A. Wright Product Development
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Stephen Sondheim The Story So Far...

    If you love Sondheim, you'll be thrilled with this purchase! It's a wonderful compilation of his hit songs from past shows, movies or other ventures. The CD's also features a booklet with the words, so if you are unfamiliar and want to follow along, you can. This is also a great way to expose a young thespian to Sondheim.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews