Garry Marshall

Stephen Sondheim, experimenter. Listen to 'Pacific Overtures' and 'Forum'

Stephen Sondheim, experimenter. Listen to 'Pacific Overtures' and 'Forum'

Stephen Sondheim’s music has become so familiar that it’s easy to forget how experimental it is.

As two of the lyricist-composer’s scores are performed live in Los Angeles, listeners can renew an appreciation for his willingness to break rules as he developed distinct sounds for projects literally worlds apart in location, time period and subject matter. In the early-career “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” from 1962, he delivers vaudeville-like novelty numbers for a comedy written in the style of ancient Rome. For “Pacific Overtures” from 1976, he adopts the airy, minor-mode sounds of traditional Japanese music to accompany a piece about that nation’s reaction to the...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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