By Michael Gioia
29 Jan 2014
The five volumes of the series present 128 songs from 26 shows or films. There is a different contents list for each volume: Soprano, Belter/Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone/Bass and Duets.
According to press notes, "Songs appear in original keys, categorized by voice type. (The Duets volume is all original keys.) There are also appropriate and practical transpositions of Sondheim standards, almost all of which appear in print for the first time. This deep and generous selection, from this amazing body of work, includes the most famous Sondheim songs as well as rarities."
Highlights include the original duet version of "Take Me to the World" and new solo editions of "Old Friends," "Getting Married Today," "I've Got You to Lean On," "More" and "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid." Barbara Cook's keys from the 1985 Follies in Concert for "Losing My Mind" and "In Buddy's Eyes" appear in print for the first time in the Soprano volume.
Sondheim's "Author's Notes" (about songs cut from shows) are included, and editor Richard Walters has included extensive introductory material, with historical and plot information about each song and show.