Sunday, 15 December 2013

My Favourite Musicals


 
I went to see The Lion King musical  by Elton John & Tim Rice) recently, which was very good and great effects and all.  I was asked what my favourite ever musical is. I answered Westside Story (composed by Leonard Bernstein) which I do love for its energy and songs. But later I thought my top musical may be Cabaret (composed by John Kander)  I saw the film of the Cabaret musical in 1972.


I grew up playing musicals on piano – from The Mikado, South Pacific to the Sound of Music – which I loved to sing.  Most of these musicals were composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. 
Gilbert and Sullivan wrote some of the best musicals which were great fun to play and which I saw on stage several times. 
In more recent times the biggest stage musicals have been composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and I saw The Phantom of the Opera in Edinburgh’s playhouse which was a top rate musical with wonderful songs.  


Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to The New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."
Richard Rodgers was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music down to the present day, and have an enduring broad appeal. Rodgers was the first person to win the top show business awards in television, recording, movies and Broadway—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony – an EGOT.
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and the composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900). The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado are among the best known.  Gilbert, who wrote the words, created fanciful "topsy-turvy" worlds for these operas where each absurdity is taken to its logical conclusion—fairies rub elbows with British lords, flirting is a capital offence, gondoliers ascend to the monarchy, and pirates turn out to be noblemen who have gone wrong. Sullivan, six years Gilbert's junior, composed the music, contributing memorable melodies that could convey both humour and pathos. 
Andrew Lloyd Webber, is a British composer and impresario of musical theatre.  Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals and he has won 7 Tony Awards, 3 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, 14 Ivor Novello Awards, 7 Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" and "You Must Love Me" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats