Monday, December 19, 2005
My dvd of the Sondheim 75 Concert at the Hollywood Bowl arrived today. It is divine. In March I attended the two major Sondheim birthday events here in NYC - the 12+ hour Wall to Wall Sondheim marathon at Symphony Space and the Children & Art benefit concert. I didn't go to CA for the Hollywood bowl concert because my sister, niece & nephew were visiting from Texas (fair trade). This dvd is so fantastic that I almost feel like I was there. It is difficult to narrow down the words to describe the feelings I get from Sondheim's songs. Actually, Sondheim is all about words. He weaves profound words that convey love, hate, heartache, joy or humor so perfectly into gorgeous melodies that they easily bring tears or laughter. What is also clear is that the actors who have had the fortune to perform his work also love and respect him. The thing about Sondheim that really stands out that his songs are meant to be acted - the voice is not the key but merely the vehicle for the message. The foremost interpreter of Sondheim's work is Bernadette Peters. She acts the songs so perfectly that you feel as if she's conveying everything that you've ever felt. Her ability to bring you into the moment of the song cannot be matched. When she sings "Move On" or "Not a Day Goes By", she pulls you in to the very heart of the matter. Most of Bernadette's repertoire is by Sondheim. I have been fortunate to see Bernadette perform in Gypsy (lyrics by Sondheim) and a number of times in concert and it is always a fulfilling experience. Thank you, Bernadette and thank you, Mr. Sondheim.