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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best, June 28, 2005
By 
RVR "Theater Geek" (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
First, to the person who criticizes the recording b/c of "Broadway Baby." Daisy Egan (who sings in in this recording) sounds like she's 10 becuase she IS young. She had just appeared on Braodway in Secret Garden and won a Tony for it. It's a joke...Broadway BABY...hello, it's a joke.

In a compilation of songs like this you're always going to have tracks that you prefer over others, but the majority of the renditions in this CD are great. This is simply one of the best collections of Sondheim out there. You get interpretations that span from "classical" (Green Finch), to bordering on insane (Anything Twice). This is to demonstrate how versatile this composer really is.

In my opinion, some of the best renditions are "Not a Day Goes By," "Anyone Can Whistle", "Girls Upstairs Medley," "Losing My Mind/Drive a Person Crazy," and "Weekend inthe Country." Makes me wish I had been there to witness it first hand.

If you love Sondheim and enjoy hearing Broadway performers, get this CD. A great recording.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Celebration" is not strong enough a word, April 29, 2003
This review is by Crosley.
I have been a major Sondheim fan for quite some time, and I finally obtained a copy of this album. I was blown away by the excellent cast and phenomenal selection of music. It is obvious how much work went into this production, considering that this is the live recording of a one time show, and it's flawless. The songs cover all of his shows with the exception of "Passion," which was released 3 years after this show. Also, the shows for which he wrote only lyrics are ommited, like West Side Story, Gypsy, etc. Thus, you can find material from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Merrily we Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins.
There are two striking things about this CD (besides the music and performers themselves). First of all, some of the songs are completely stylistically reworked. The most obvious are "Good Thing Going" and "I Never do Anything Twice." Both are traditionally very ballady with a piano accompaniment, but here they have been redone as jazzy tunes. The result is excellent. Such reworkings demonstrate that Sondheim writes music for virtually any style, and in these cases, across several styles. It's a great example of his variety. The other interesting thing is how many songs have overlapping melodies of songs from different shows. Case in point, "Our Time" and "No one is Alone" are sung seperately by the Harlem Boys Choir and Betty Buckley (the original Grizabella in Webber's atrocious "CATS," although Buckley was excellent) respectively, and then combined. Putting these two songs together offer different meanings to each, and the music is only enhanced. Another example, the trio of "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," "Love, I Hear," and "Live Alone and Like It" are sung in that order, and then the latter two are combined. Again, the meanings of the songs change, this time in an almost narrative style, and offering different takes on love in the same montage. Lastly (at least for this review, there are more), Dorothy Laudon's (the original Ms. Hannigan in Annie) combination of "Losing my Mind" and "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" is brilliant. Those who are familiar with these songs will wonder how exactly they fit, but trust me, they do. She swtiches back and forth between melodies to create a number that starts poignant and beautiful, and soon moves to become uproariously funny. Both the song reworkings and overlapping melodies of unrelated songs are all for the better.
I recommend this recording to anyone wanting to get better acquainted with some of Sondheim's best work, or those already familiar who want to hear a tour de force of phenomenal music. It has been said that Sondheim is a masterful lyricist (which he is), but lacks real talent for music. This CD is the final proof that such critics are wrong. His music may take a few listenings to get into, contrary to Webber or Wildhorn, but unlike those two, he doesn't cater to the audience. He challenges them to think outside of traditional musical theater in a glorious repertoise of shows that reach for a smarter, more sophisticated form.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Symphonic qualities of Sondheim awaken... as well as jazz, June 3, 1999
By A Customer
The American Theater Orchestra bestows awesome passion and cleverness onto Sondheim's most loved showstoppers. The overtures of the ominous Sweeney Todd and the wacky Comedy Tonight are rediscovered-- through symphony-- as having more depth and energy than ever before. Madeline Kahn's neurotic, petrified Getting Married Today is the funniest, most sincere version I've heard. Patti Lupone's Being Alive and Jerry Hadley's Johanna are of pristine quality, as is Bernadette Peters' Not a Day Goes By. The Tonics and BETTY each offer very different jazz renditions-- of Good Thing Going and I Never Do Anything Twice, respectively-- exemplifying how jazzy Sondheim truly is. An added treat is the opening monologue of the hysterical Bill Irwin, plus, his "duet" with Karen Ziemba in Sooner or Later. This collection is a MUST for anyone who is a true Sondheim enthusiast-- and especially for those who wish to entice newcomers to Sondheim.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A maginificent evening, a magnificent album, December 16, 2001
There's something to be said for the first concert you ever see at Carnegie Hall. I was fortunate enough to have this be my first. This entire evening was devoted to his genius and the performers did not disappoint.
This wonderful double CD shows off the best and brightest of the musical theatre composer and it is, as one person put it, "an embarassment of riches." With songs from his finest works done in amazing arrangements (listen to that harmony in "We Had a Good Thing Going"!) combined with fabulous performers this is a Sondheim lovers delight.
My favorite song is, without a doubt, Dorothy Louden and her wonderful medley of "Losing My Mind" into "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" followed very closely by the recently departed Madeline Kahn singing "Getting Married Today."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful double album of a wonderful show, December 28, 2000
This is a terrific double cd set of the famous celebration at Carnegie Hall in salute to Stephen Sondheim. If you weren't one of the lucky people to be in attendance that night, then this album will make you feel like you were. And the booklet, 52 pages long, is wonderful. It has colour photos of that night plus all the lyrics and a 4 page essay. Very in-depth. And this celebration just focused on the material for which he wrote both the music and the lyrics, which is why you won't find any "West Side Story" and others, featured here. But what you will find is a huge assortment of wonderful music and songs. And just look at the stars who perform them. Anyone who loves Sondheim's music will love this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, lousy metadata, April 23, 2012
This review is from: Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall (MP3 Music)
This is a must-own for any Sondheim fan. Skip the single-disc "Highlights" package and buy the full thing. Every performance is top-notch (except for Liza Minelli butchering "Water Under the Bridge" and "Back in Business", but that's just my opinion--YMMV).

But here's the kicker: only buy this MP3 download album if you want to correct two discs' worth of tags. Sometimes I think MP3 vendors and/or record companies employ untrained marmots to fill in the tags on their MP3 downloads, because they are so frequently riddled with errors. And cast albums are the worst. In this case, not only are there misspellings galore--one performer (Herbert Perry) is given a completely different first name (Henry) on one track! And really, you don't need to credit the musical director (Paul Gemignani) on every track. And semicolons without spaces are non-standard name separators in Artist tags (forward slashes or commas with trailing spaces are the norm). So pretty much every track's Artist tag has to be fixed, if you care about such things (and most people I know who collect cast albums very much do care).

Spread the word. Every time you buy a downloadable cast album from any vendor and the tags are messed up, post a review complaining about it. The trend will not be reversed if they don't know we care.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Delightful, April 7, 2014
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Wonderful collection of performances by a terrific cast of Broadway entertainers. The 2-disks highlight the vast subject matter and range of Sondheim's creations - and don't even include the 20+ years that followed this concert. Just check the credits to see the dazzling array of artists and sources included. I cannot recommend this assortment highly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Addicted to Sondheim, December 7, 2013
By 
G. E. Melone "lit lover" (Katoomba, New South Wales Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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How can a Sondheim addict go past this one??? If you are a fan of Stephen, then you will love this album. [yes, I said album] because each song is like looking at a musical photo album...and when you hear: Send in the Clowns, or Being Alive, or Joanna, or You are not Alone, you will feel transported to the theatre and it will be as if you were watching the Sondheim story unfold before you. We get the odd occasional Sondheim production here down under, and I wish there were more.
I guess I'll have to be content with this album....second best, but only just
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4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasurable listen, February 14, 2012
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To listen to this is a really enjoyable experience. Both in the mix of performers, so many stars! and in the choice of music from so many shows there is nothing but pleasure. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars TRULY A CELEBRATION, March 20, 2011
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Taped the original show when it was TV, and played it for years. Video went blank suddenly; however, fortunately, this album came out, so I can close my eyes and visualize all the great performers. This double disc album is the definitive Sondheim... a must for collectors.
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