Stephen Sondheim: Finishing the Hat; and Mark Eden Horowitz: Sondheim on Music

Backstage promenade with Stephen Sondheim

Michael Morley

 

Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954–1981), with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes
by Stephen Sondheim
Virgin Books, $69.95 hb, 472 pp, 9780753522585

 

Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions, Second Edition
by Mark Eden Horowitz
Scarecrow Press, £31.95 hb, 568 pp, 9780810874367

 

Given Stephen Sondheim’s well-known fondness for verbal games and puzzles (as a diversion from his day job, he has devised crossword puzzles for the New York Times), it seems appropriate to begin this review with a short quiz based on some of the ‘attendant comments and grudges’ referred to in the subtitle of, and dotted throughout, Finishing the Hat. Match the author’s critical judgements to the selected lyricists listed below:

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Published in May 2011 no. 331
Michael Morley

Michael Morley

Michael Morley is Emeritus Professor of Drama at Flinders University. He has written theatre and music reviews and articles for a variety of publications, including Theatre Australia, the National Times, The Australian, the Australian Financial Review, Opera News (New York), the Kurt Weill Newsletter, the Sondheim Review, the Adelaide Review, and Australian Book Review. He has also contributed translations for the English edition of the collected poems of Alfred Brendel.

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