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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Indisputably The Best

"In the world of American musicals Stephen Sondheim is indisputably the best, brightest and most influential talent to emerge during the last half-century. Even when his shows have been commercial flops, they are studied, revered and eventually reincarnated to critical hosannas. No other songwriter to date has challenged his eminence, and it seems unlikely that anyone will in his lifetime. It is even possible, if sadly so, that he may be remembered as the last of the giants in a genre that flourished in the 20th century and wilted in the 21st."
Ben Brantly (New York Times, April 24th, 2010)

2 comments:

  1. There are no really ambitious com-posers. But many disposers splitting the art of composition into single disciplines whose off-springs are thin and ever thinner genres. In the 19th century the difference between genres was mainly a difference of degree. In the 20th century difference led to fragmentation, absolute relativism and competion of organs which instead of being organic and interacting became polemic to each other.

    If someone writes a musical, where every 20 minutes occures an interruption with a funny commercial, we could hope that at least the opera buffa might have a come back.

    I would love to see an audience moved to tears by laughter if not emotion. Hopefully both.

    The problem is not so much one of librettists but of composers.

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  2. “…. in a genre that flourished in the 20th century and wilted in the 21st"

    Still it is very lively and has not been put into security containers as it is in the opera genre. 21th century is still very young and so is the use of new media-technologies in theatre.

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