Pianist Anthony de Mare presents a new 3-CD set of 36 songs by legendary composer Stephen Sondheim — arranged and reimagined by some of the world’s most exciting contemporary composers.
De Mare, a renowned champion of contemporary music, invited 36 composers from a wide variety of musical backgrounds — contemporary classical, jazz, pop, film and theatre — to ‘re-imagine’ a song of their choice by Stephen Sondheim as a solo piano piece. The recording sessions for this spanned a four-year period and resulted in a remarkable compendium of new music.
“I created this project,” says Anthony De Mare, “because I wanted to show Sondheim’s influence on composers of many different genres and also to enhance and add to the piano repertoire with a whole new body of work
Composer Stephen Sondheim, overwhelmingly endorsed the project, commenting “I was flattered and intrigued. Over the years I’ve heard songs of mine harmonized differently, and I’ve also heard arrangers change one note and completely kill the harmony. But the pieces [here] are by serious composers, not arrangers. Nearly all of them totally surprised me, taking approaches that would never have occurred to me – very few of these re-imaginings are built like a song. They’re much more free-floating, there’s much more of a fantasia about them.”
The repertoire includes pieces from such shows A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday In The Park With George, Into The Woods, Assassins, and Passion.
In conjunction with this album release, Anthony de Mare will perform the “Re-imaginings” in concert this fall. Performances will feature “selections” from the Liaisons album at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA (September 18) and a performance of all 36 piano works – split up over three concerts in New York at Birdland (September 24), The Sheen Center (October 22) and Symphony Space (November 19).
Re-Imagining Sondheim from The Piano
Songs of Stephen Sondheim re-imagined by 36 contemporary composers including William Bolcom, Nico Mulhy, Steve Reich, Jason Robert Brown, Duncan Sheik, Wynton Marsalis, Fred Hersch, Jake Heggie, Frederic Rzewski, David Shire, Ricky Ian Gordon, Gabriel Kahane, Thomas Newman and many more.
Anthony de Mare, piano