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Subject: Re: Renee Fleming - Broadway album
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 10 Jun 2018 18:31:13 +0000
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IMO, had he only wrtten the lyrics for Show Boat, Hammerstein would have been a great song writer. No one is perfect, but to imply he was less than one of the very greatest, is absurd.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2018 1:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Renee Fleming - Broadway album

Well, what shows from that era do still have a life? Rodgers and Hart,
the Gershwins, Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter--their pre-war work is
remembered mostly in individual songs and film scores. How many people
can name what musicals premiered "Begin the Beguine" or "Someone to
Watch Over Me"? (Jubilee and Oh, Kay, respectively). The shows that have
survived are the rare strong book musicals--Showboat, Of Thee I Sing,
the Boys from Syracuse--and of course Oklahoma and beyond.

By the way, by most objective standards, "All the Things You Are" is a
terrific song, and musically inventive and challenging for the singer.
It's been a popular jazz standard because of it's strong melody and
interesting chord changes.

As far as Hammerstein, I've always found his lyrics the weakest aspect
of his musical theater contributions--serviceable, but never the reason
to remember a show. I think his work as producer, creator and book
writer were far more important.

Rich

------ Original Message ------
From: "Jon Goldberg" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 6/10/2018 1:15:30 PM
Subject: Re: Renee Fleming - Broadway album

>Funny - Roberta hasn't had any significant life beyond its initial run
>either. Nor have any
>other Kern shows except Show Boat. But his songs live on, in an era
>where that was the
>point - the shows were generally much less important as an entity than
>the songs were.
>And yes indeed, such wonderful songs they were.
>
>As for Hammerstein - well yes, as much as I admire his writing, he does
>tend to veer into
>preciousness at times, especially with odd allusions to nature. I'm
>still not sure where he
>got the image of "a lark who is learning to pray" (except, of course,
>for the fact that the
>line is sung by a novitiate nun), or when hunky Lieutenant Cable, head
>over heels in lust,
>compares his strong arms to "a pair of birds that burst with song."
>
>One attribute of Hammerstein I love is when he gets dark or cynical -
>songs like "Lonely
>Room" or "The Gentleman Is A Dope" or "The Next Time It Happens," where
>his
>characters unavoidably reveal their vulnerabilities through their pain.
>
>
>On Sun, 10 Jun 2018 10:33:01 -0400, donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
>wrote:
>
>>Yes, the fact that it is Audio alone obviates every reference to
>>visual
>>antics,
>>yours as well as mine.  I have never succumbed to the purported
>>wonders
>>of "All The Things You Are".  It may have been the highlight of the
>>show,
>>but
>>of a show that seems to have had no life beyond the length of its
>>original
>>run.  The tune has a way of turning on people who normally have little
>>use
>>for popular music (I don't know what that says, but it says
>>something), and
>>the lyrics are Oscar on one of his rare pseudo-Wordworthian off days.
>>I'd
>>rather hear Renee Fleming sing any one, or all of the five great songs
>>that
>>Kern wrote for ROBERTA.:  The Touch of Your Hand, You're Devastating,
>>Yesterdays, Lovely To Look At, and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
>>
>>dtmk-------------------

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