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Sings Mostly Sondheim: Live at Carnegie Hall [Double CD, Live]

Barbara Cook, Malcolm Gets Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £14.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 July 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD, Live
  • Label: Drg Records
  • ASIN: B000059LFF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,225 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Everybody Says Don't
2. I Wonder What Became Of Me?
3. The Eagle and Me
4. I Had Myself a True Love
5. Into The Woods / Giants In The Sky - Malcolm Gets
6. Another Hundred People/So Many People - Malcolm Gets
7. Let's Face The Music And Dance/The Song Is You
8. Happiness
9. Loving You
10. You Could Drive a Person Crazy
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Buds Won't Bud
2. I Got Lost in His Arms
3. Something's Coming/Tonight - Malcolm Gets
4. Move On
5. Medley:
6. Ice Cream
7. Send in the Clowns
8. The Trolley Song
9. Not While I'm Around
10. Anyone Can Whistle

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Barbara: still strong after 50 years 24 Nov 2002
Format:Audio CD
If there is a better combination of talents that those of Barbara Cook and Steven Sondheim it would be hard to imagine. Cook is a legendary performer both in concert and on the Brodway stage, Sondheim is the defining force in modern American musicals. Both are sometimes imitated but never equalled. Here in this 2001 concert both are just over their 70th birthdays, but both sound fresh and original as they did when they were first coming to the attention of the world 50 years ago. In this concert Cook chooses carefully although any vocal defects there may be are well hidden; the sign of an intelligent and experienced performer. What does shine through is her continuing enthusiasm for the music and her legendary talent. The program features songs by Sondheim and also some he wishes he had written. Cook is joined by a young Malcolm Gets, a young but confident Sondheim interpreter who provides support in the duets and offers a few thoroughly enjoyable renditions of his own. Cook reminds us that this concert marked the 25th anniversary of her first appearance at Carnegie hall. Sadly that performance isn't available, but fans of Cook and Sondheim will be grateful that this one was captured for posterity. For those who want an introduction to either the composer or the performer they could hardly do better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
"Barbara Cook Sings Mostly Sondheim (Live at Carnegie Hall 2001)," a double CD album, comprises the complete critically-acclaimed live concert that was first heard in February, 2001, at Carnegie, beginning, as it does, with "Everybody Says Don't," and ending with "Anyone Can Whistle." It combines songs by the famous Broadway composer-lyricist, with others that he would have liked to have written, at least in part; and includes the guest appearance of Malcolm Gets. And it goes to prove once again the acuity of legendary Broadway director/producer Hal Prince's well-known remark that his favorite singers are "actors with voices....A musician who appreciates words, and has the taste, brains and quirky wit to make the most of these wonderful show tunes."

Cook, an Atlanta. Georgia, native, made her Broadway bones, and leapt to Tony award-winning stardom, as Marian the Librarian in the 1957 premiere production of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." She has continued her Broadway career, while, at the same time, carving out further careers in the worlds of concert and cabaret, and initiating the giving of greatly-esteemed master classes in voice: I've a friend, an aspiring singer, who was absolutely bowled over by being accepted for one of Ms. Cook's workshops.

The late Sheridan Morley, author of many greatly praised biographies of theatrical performers, once said, "I have been lucky enough to have been kicking around the New York and London cabaret world for about as long as Barbara Cook has, but I have only ever in my life heard two singers who could match her lyric for lyric: one was Mabel Mercer and the other was Judy Garland.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A misleading title ... 23 July 2003
By M. Board VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
I feel a bit of a Grinch for not liking this CD as much as I should, so first the good points ... I'd never heard her before, but Barbara Cook is absolutely sweet perfection, and she does some stunning versions of Sondheim classics on this CD. There's a lovely soft-shoe version of "You Could Drive A Person Crazy", and her "Losing My Mind" is heartbreaking.
Now, the bad comments ... it's really just nitpicking, but the CD is more "Half Sondheim" than "Mostly Sondheim". Personally I didn't much care for the non-Sondheim songs that were selected, but that's probably just my taste. The only other thing was, Malcolm Gets' contribution felt a little unwanted ... I don't think he has that good a voice, and his version of "Move On" didn't do Mandy Patinkin's original justice.
I'm a hardened Sondheim nut, even purist, and I probably wouldn't have liked the 'other' songs unless they were by other giants like Porter or Gershwin or what have you. So, maybe I'm just a bit narrow-minded, or pernickety or whatever. Fact is, despite Barbara Cook's fantastic voice, I've only played this double-CD set once. But I'm still giving it four stars because I think most people will probably love it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the history books 11 May 2001
By Bruce Aguilar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What an inspired idea to have Barbara Cook sing Sondheim! The songs come alive in ways you wouldn't have imagined. Her voice pulls out every last drop of emotion and splays it all over the stage in all it's raw power. Simply incredible! I was unable to attend the actual concert, but this recording made me feel like I was right there. The power and truth of her preformance shines through, bringing you front and center in a most personal experience. Perhaps my favorite moments are Hard Hearted Hannah, which she milks for all it's comic intent, Happiness, a preformance that hits you right in the gut, and Send In The Clowns which has never sounded so tragic. Starting now, there are two definitive renditions of The Trolly Song. You thought only Garland could sing it? Well Barbara makes it sound as if it was written especially for her. Simply put, this is one for the history books.
On a side note, the packaging for the set is elegant, the best she's been given yet. I'm a stickler for presentation and it's just great to see this concert presented in such a top notch way. Malcom Gets guest stars and even duets on a few songs, but there is no questioning who is the star of this concert. Barbara Cook.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A musical treasure 23 Nov 2001
By Reviewer123 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There are a few, very few, singers who really know how to get the core of the meaning of a song and communicate it to you as if they were imparting a new discovery. Barbara Cook is one of these chosen few. She has always had (and to an astonishing degree she has maintained, at age 70) one of the finest and loveliest voices on Broadway and in popular music. She's also communicated depths of feeling even from her earliest recordings. As she has grown older her interpretative powers have deepened to the point where there is no other singer today who can communicate the truth of a song the way she does. Every song on this CD is choice. There is nothing one ever wants to skip, and plenty that one wants to linger over and come back to again and again. Cook's relaxed but confident version of "Everybody says don't" (more about the lady in the song and less about the singer than the excellent but egocentric Streisand version), her ambling "Eagle and me" and her touching "I wonder what became of me" are all gems. She especially excels on complicated Sondheim songs that are often reduced by less gifted singers to something unsubstantial: "Happiness", "Not a day goes by", "Loving you". She gives her own subtle, wry touch to "You could drive a person crazy". She does a surprising medley of three turn of the century songs, "Hard hearted Hanna", "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee", and "San Francisco". They are all marvelous, different as can be. "San Francisco" is a particular revelation: she sings it slowly and brings out all the longing in the words. As the melody shimmers, you can almost see the Golden Gate bridge.
Throughout the concert , Cook is beautifully supported by Wally Harper and John Beall. She and Harper are a treasure of a team, and the concert must be considered a triumph of their partnership, for Harper's accompaniment and musical vision have been an essential part of the magic of a Barbara Cook concert for her entire popular music career. Her vocal guest, Malcolm Gets, is for the most part a welcome addition: his "Giants in the Sky" and "Another hundred people/So many people" are warm and well-delivered, and his duet with Cook in "Move on" is touching. "Something's coming", with its slightly awkward spoken break and "Lets face the music and dance", which has some off-pitch moments, are not quite as successful.
The concert ending is utterly remarkable and illustrates not only Cook's versatility and willingness (still) to take emotional and musical risks, but also her complete command of the music she sings. First she teases the audience with the introduction to "Glitter and be gay", which she lets them know she is *not* going to sing. But then she follows by singing her trademark song, "Vanilla ice cream", fearlessly soaring to and sustaining the high B flat at the climax of the song, and sounding throughout like the dazzled, lovestruck shopgirl she played forty years earlier. She follows this with a version of "Send in the clowns" that could only be sung by a woman with her depth of experience - not a false note or emotion in the entire song, though the woman who is singing it is a world away from the "She loves me" shopgirl. For all the great versions that preceded it, you think to yourself, "I never heard it - all of it - until now." The combination of emotional nakedness and musical intelligence leaves you floored. As if the transition from "Vanilla ice cream" to "Send in the clowns" weren't challenge enough, Cook ends the main concert with a song completely identified (for good reason) with one of the greatest popular singers ever, Judy Garland. The song is written for a young girl who is falling in love for the first time and is so excited she can barely contain herself. Barbara Cook, at 70, sings "The Trolley Song" with a brio and effervescence a whole chorus of twenty year olds couldn't match. You feel the same giddiness and excitement you felt when you first heard the classic Garland version, and it's magic all over again. For encores, Cook gives us two beautiful and very mellow Sondheim songs, "Not while I'm around" (with Malcolm Gets) and a divine "Anyone can whistle", that allow us to exhale after the excitement of "The Trolley Song" and appreciate her again as the consummate interpreter she is. The disc is sprinkled throughout with her verbal wit and warmth, which are an integral part of the concert. For those who were fortunate enough to attend, this must have been the concert of a lifetime. The rest of us can be grateful to DRG for recording the concert, packaging it so beautifully and including every song and most of the between-song talking. We can also be grateful to Barbara Cook and Wally Harper for their generosity with their musical gifts and hope that they will keep making music for another 25 years.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing 13 May 2001
By RICHARD THOMAS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Bernstein considered Barbara Cook to be the premiere interpreter of American song, and that opinion is only re-affirmed after listening to this CD-set of songs from America's premiere song writer (along with some of his favorites). Brilliant! As Cook matures, she adds layers of nuance to songs that other singers can't begin to come close to, while retaining all the technical skill of her earlier days. Listen to her version of "Ice Cream" here and then from her first Carnegie Hall recital and you'll weep for joy...she nails that ending with all the gusto and perfection that she hit it with 25 years ago!!! Absolutely amazing...you can hear the audience leaping to their feet with joy, shouting "We love you Barbara,"...we sure do...all of us! I would have killed to have been at this concert, but the CD-set offers plenty of consolation and captures the spirit of the evening. Beautiful and interesting programming, perfect accompaniament, as expected from her veteran partner Wally Harper, it's all so good it just leaves you wanting more, more, more. Ms. Cook is perhaps the brightest star to illuminate a stage, and a song (any song she sings) in our lifetime.
Kudos also to Malcolm Gets for some stunning song-styling of his own...how come this guy isn't starring in a Broadway show??? Barbara chose him for a reason...TALENT! Their duets are wonderful..."Move On" from "Sunday in the Park With George" is breathtaking and far more captivating than the original cast recording.
Buy this album and enjoy it over and over again. For Cook fans the joy will be overwhelming. If this is your first taste, then thank your lucky stars...it doesn't get better than this.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, Barbara Cook gets better every year!! 13 May 2001
By Roy Wayne Shiflet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When I first received this album in the mail, I stopped working in my garden and got my portable CD player and listended to it with earphones. The voice, the acoustics, the sound was amazing. I particularly enjoyed the conversations between songs and wished for more. Malcolm Gets (sorry I never heard of him before) was also excellent, a wonderful voice for Sondheim. I couldn't wait for each new song, Ms Cook's rendition of "Send in the Clowns" was amazing, her voice just improves with age.
My only complaint with the album, was the ending and the obvious encores. I would like to have heard more audience reaction and conversation. (Listen to Judy's album, it seems it would go on and on. Of course then, maybe Barbara's would be a THREE CD set. Come to think if it................that's not a bad idea.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heavenly Diva struts her stuff 21 May 2001
By Dennis Clancy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Barbara Cook's first Carnegie Hall album was a musical bon bon. In 1980 she returned to the Hall with "Better with a Band". Now in 2001 we are given what may be her best concert. Cook and Sondheim are a wonderful match. "Losing My Mind" and "Send in the Clowns" are heartbreaking. Her version of "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" is a lot of fun and done with a lot of humor. She even does "Ice Cream" one of the signature songs from "She Loves Me." This is a difficult song to sing at best. Closing my eyes she sounds exactly like she did on the 1963 original cast album. Her talent is truly amazing. She is as strong now vocally as she was many years ago. Also appearing with her was Malcolm Gets. He had a few solos and some duets with Ms Cook. His sweet voice was a nice complement to hers. Cook also has a very warm easy style and a lot of humor. There is a generous amount of patter with the audience. She also shares some very amusing stories and tells them with great humor.
The packaging is top of the line. DRG did a wonderful job with this one. As Ms Cook related to her audience, " I was told this year marks my 50th anniversary of my Broadway debut." I only hope we have her for 50 more.
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