Jason Robert Brown, Duncan Sheik, Wynton Marsalis Re-Imagine Sondheim Songs on New 3-CD Set

News   Jason Robert Brown, Duncan Sheik, Wynton Marsalis Re-Imagine Sondheim Songs on New 3-CD Set "Liaisons Re-Imagining Sondheim from The Piano," pianist Anthony de Mare's new three-CD set of 36 Stephen Sondheim songs, arranged and reimagined by a host of contemporary composers, will be released Sept. 25 by ECM.

Among the composers featured are 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 and Thomas Newman.

“I created this project,” De Mare said in a statement, “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."

About the project composer-lyricist Sondheim's stated, “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 release, 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 (Sept. 18) and a performance of all 36 piano works - split up over three concerts in New York at Birdland (Sept. 24), The Sheen Center (Oct. 22) and Symphony Space (Nov. 19). Click here for sound clips and additional information.

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