Terry Teachout, the Wall Street Journal’s music/drama critic, has crafted an extraordinarily well-written tribute to Cy Walter’s artistry which also heralds the timely Cy Walter Centennial release of Harbinger Records’ two-CD set, Cy Walter: Sublimities, Vols. 1 and 2 (available for purchase on Amazon). Terry’s lyrical prose applauds Cy’s musical genius and seeks to ensure that many more people discover and enjoy it. The article appears directly below, but you may need to wait a few moments for it to appear while the site loads the image.
For an excellent 23 December 2015 review of these Sublimities CDs by author Frank Behrens which appeared in the Brattleboro, Vermont Reformer newspaper, visit http://www.reformer.com/ovation/ci_29304321/keyboard-artistry-cy-walter . And a 21 March 2016 review by film critic Leonard Maltin may also be enjoyed at http://leonardmaltin.com/a-jazz-approach-to-vertigo/.
I’ve just put up a new file of my playing an arrangement by Cy Walter of a Richard Rodgers song, “Isn’t It Romantic?”. Cy Walter was an amazing piano stylist of the 40’s and 50’s and played the best lounge rooms in the New York hotels. His technique was astonishing, yet never let the melody be washed away by improvisation or over-embellishment. I sometimes think of him as the Rachmaninoff of the cocktail pianists. Enjoy!
Previously-Unreleased Cy Walter and Stan Freeman Performance of Stephen Sondheim’s “I Must Be Dreaming” released on 30 September 2008 and now in stores.
Sony BMG Masterworks is proud to announce the release of Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far, a comprehensive four CD box set with a playing time of over four and a half hours devoted to the entire career of the legendary Broadway songwriter. The box, the first of its kind, was released September 30, 2008.
For more information and track listing check out the American Theater Web.
In the new issue of the Dramatists Guild Quarterly, Craig Carnelia, asks Stephen Sondheim: “What was the first moment you saw something of yours really work in a theater?”
SS: It must have been in college. This is not really the answer to your question, but if you said to me, ‘What’s your first emotional memory of hearing something you’d written?’ I’d reply that I wrote a song in college called ‘I Must Be Dreaming,’ a love song, for an adaptation of BEGGAR ON HORSEBACK. My father often went to the Barbary Room to hear Cy Walters and Stan Freeman play two pianos. He got a copy of the song to them, and they played it on WNEW, and I heard the broadcast. I was all alone. I went up to the Hammersteins’, a five-story townhouse between 5th and Madison. The house was empty, and this was the hilarious neurotic thing I did: I was there all alone, and I turned on the radio and I sat under a table to listen to it. I don’t think we need to go any farther into the psychological implications of that, but I sat under the table and felt so proud. That’s what I remember. I still have a recording of that broadcast.