Sondheim 'Story So Far' Available 9/30; Includes Previously Unreleased Tracks

By: Aug. 12, 2008

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, will be released on Tuesday, September 30.  

The greatest Broadway composer-lyricist of his generation, Sondheim first came to public attention in 1957 with his lyrics for West Side Story (with music by Leonard Bernstein) and in 1959 with his lyrics for Gypsy (with music by Jule Styne). 

Subsequently, he wrote both music and lyrics for some of the most important and influential musicals ever produced on Broadway, including Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Passion.

Sondheim also wrote for films and television, most notably contributing scores to Alain Resnais' Stavisky and the Warren Beatty films, Reds and Dick Tracy as well as for the ABC Stage 67 TV special, "Evening Primrose".

Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far, featuring 81 tracks over four CDs, includes selections from Sondheim's 15 Broadway shows, film scores, TV specials and incidental music; it also includes a large number of demo recordings from his private collection of songs cut from his shows or written for aborted staged and film projects.  

Sondheim served as Executive Producer for Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far with Steve Berkowitz, head of A&R at Legacy Records. The set was prepared for release by veteran producers Didier C. Deutsch and Darcy M. Proper.

"For show buffs, this will be a treasure trove. I say that with no immodesty," Stephen Sondheim commented.  "True buffs love nothing more than demos, out-of-print and private recordings, particularly of cut songs and especially when sung by the composer. This compendium has all of the above and more, due to the enthusiasm and diligence of Didier Deutsch and archivist Peter E. Jones. Although I am listed as co-producer of this set, all the work and choices were theirs. On behalf of all us musical theater fanatics, I thank them both, not to mention Sony BMG, who have packaged these buried and not-so-buried nuggets with such care and lavish elegance."

Of particular interest to collectors and fans, the box includes 28 previously unreleased tracks and many rarities, including "Evening Primrose," the 1966 television musical starring Anthony Perkins and Charmain Carr and demo recordings from Saturday Night, the 1955 Broadway musical that would have marked Sondheim's debut as a composer-lyricist.

Other previously unreleased tracks include demo selections from Do I Hear a Waltz?; discarded songs from Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Pacific Overtures; songs for an intended TV production for Into the Woods in 1992; incidental music composed for the plays Invitation to a March and The Enclave; "I Never Do Anything Twice," written for the film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and the original film versions of the songs performed in Dick Tracy by Madonna and Mandy Patinkin.

Sondheim has received a total of eight Tony Awards, including a 2008 Tony for Lifetime Achievement, the Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award for Best Song, and the Kennedy Center Honor for Lifetime Achievement.   He is, in the words of Frank Rich in The New York Times, "the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater."

Actors and musicians associated with his works share similar views.  Paul Gemignani, music director for many Sondheim shows, says, "Sondheim is our Gershwin. With every song he writes he teaches you the art of great song writing. He also, with every notion, touches your heart and soul."  Jason Alexander (original cast of Merrily We Roll Along), opines "Stephen sees and hears and feels the world in ways that no one else ever will. Just as there are playwrights and there is Shakespeare – similarly, there are composers for the theater – and there is Stephen Sondheim."

Nathan Lane (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Frogs), states, "Sure, he's a genius, that's easy to say. What never changes is the surprising modesty, hard work and astonishing craftsmanship of a real man of the theatre. He's all about getting it right, with economy, wit and surprise." Mandy Patinkin (Sunday in the Park with George), states, "For me, Stephen's work is about turning the darkness into light. The battle, the fight, the games we play, to win that ever elusive freedom, to take the moment, to whistle, to be free!"  And Victor Garber (original casts of Sweeney Todd, Assassins) sums it up when he adds, "Stephen Sondheim is the reason I came to New York to pursue a career in the theatre."

In addition to the above, artists represented in the set include Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Barbara Cook, Dean Jones, Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, Madonna, Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Zero Mostel, Donna Murphy, Anthony Perkins, and Bernadette Peters, among others.
Presented in a lavish long box set, Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far features an introduction by Harold Prince, in-depth liner notes from Mark Horowitz, Senior Music Specialist from the Library of Congress, as well as personal notes from the songwriter himself on some of the selections from his personal sound archives.  It is profusely illustrated with pictures from the shows, the recording sessions and rare photographs from Sondheim's private collection.

Conjointly with the release of the box, Sony BMG will make available a free podcast series dedicated to Sondheim's career.  The podcasts, part of Sony's Masterworks Broadway series, will include interviews and intimate stories with Sondheim, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Hal Prince, Mandy Patinkin, Frank Rich, Laura Benanti and many other musical theater personalities, all discussing their experiences with Sondheim and his works.  The podcasts will be found on iTunes by searching Masterworks Broadway and on Sony BMG's website at

For more information on Stephen Sondheim: The Story So Far, visit:

RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz are labels of Sony BMG Masterworks.  For email updates and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz artists, promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit

(* - previously unreleased)

Disc One

West Side Story
"America" (Marilyn Cooper, Chita Rivera, Shark Girls)
"Tonight" (Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence)
"Gee, Officer Krupke" (Eddie Roll, Grover Dale, Hank Brunjes, Tony Mordante, David Winters, The Jets)

"Everything's Coming Up Roses" (Ethel Merman)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
"Comedy Tonight" (Zero Mostel, Company)
"Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" (Stephen Collins, Christopher Durang, Michael Rupert)
"There's Something About a War"* (Stephen Sondheim)

Hot Spot
"Don't Laugh"* (Stephen Sondheim)

Anyone Can Whistle
"Anyone Can Whistle" (Lee Remick)
"A Parade in Town" (Angela Lansbury, Ensemble)
"A Hero is Coming" (Stephen Sondheim)

Do I Hear a Waltz?
"This Week, Americans" (Carol Bruce)
"Perhaps"* (Stan Stanley)
"Everybody Loves Leona"* (Rose Mary Jun)

The Mad Show
"The Boy From…" (Linda Lavin)

Evening Primrose
"(If You Can Find Me) I'm Here" (Anthony Perkins)
"Arts and Crafts" (Anthony Perkins)
"I Remember Sky" (Charmian Carr)
"When?" (Anthony Perkins, Charmian Carr)
"Take Me to the World" (Anthony Perkins, Charmian Carr)

Disc Two

"Another Hundred People" (Pamela Myers)
"The Ladies Who Lunch" (Elaine Stritch)
"Being Alive" (Dean Jones, Company)
"Happily Ever After"* (Stephen Sondheim)

"Waiting for the Girls Upstairs" (Jim Walton, Howard McGillin, Mandy Patinkin, George Hearn, Lee Remick, Barbara Cook, Liz Callaway, Daisy Prince)
"Broadway Baby" (Elaine Stritch)
"Losing My Mind" (Barbara Cook)
"I'm Still Here" (Carol Burnett)
"Can That Boy Fox Trot!"* (Stephen Sondheim)

A Little Night Music
"The Miller's Son" (D. Jamin-Bartlett)
"Liaisons" (Hermione Gingold)
"Send in the Clowns" (Glynis Johns)
"Night Waltz (Love Takes Time)" (Company)
"Silly People"* (Stephen Sondheim)
"Not Quite Night"* (Stephen Sondheim)

Pacific Overtures
"Welcome to Kanagawa" (Ernest Harada, Timm Fujii, Patrick Kinser-Lau, Gedde Watanabe, Leslie Watanabe, Mako)
"Pretty Lady" (Patrick Kinser-Lau, Timm Fujii, Mark Hsu Syers)
"Prayers"* (Stephen Sondheim)
"There is No Other Way"* (Stephen Sondheim)

Disc Three

Sweeney Todd
"The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" (Len Cariou, Company)
"Green Finch and Linnet Bird" (Sarah Rice)
"A Little Priest" (Angela Lansbury, Len Cariou)
"The Worst Pies in London" (Patti LuPone, Michael Cerveris)

Merrily We Roll Along
"Not a Day Goes By" (Jim Walton, Ann Morrison)
"Old Friends" (Ann Morrison, Jim Walton, Lonny Price)

Sunday in the Park with George
"Finishing the Hat" (Mandy Patinkin)

Into the Woods
"Agony" (RoBert Westenberg, Chuck Wagner)
"Children Will Listen" (Bernadette Peters, Company)
"Have to Give Her Someone"* (Maureen Moore, Kim Crosby, George Lee Andrews)
"Interesting Questions"* (George Lee Andrews, Maureen Moore, Kim Crosby)
"Second Midnight"* (George Lee Andrews, Maureen Moore, Kim Crosby, John Cameron Mitchell)

"Everybody's Got the Right" (William Parry, Terrence Mann, Greg Germann, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Lee Wilkof, Annie Golden, Debra Monk, Victor Garber)
"The Ballad of Booth" (Victor Garber, Patrick Cassidy, Marcus Olson)

"Happiness" (Marin Mazzie, Jere Shea)
"I Wish I Could Forget You" (Jere Shea, Donna Murphy)

"Bounce" (Howard McGillin, Richard Kind)
"Isn't He Something!" (Jane Powell)

The Frogs
"Invocation and Instructions to the Audience" (Nathan Lane, Roger Bart, Greek Chorus)

Disc Four

"I Must Be Dreaming"*
Piano Playhouse (1948)
Cy Walter, Stan Freeman

"Kukla, Fran and Ollie": "The Two of You"* (Stephen Sondheim)

Saturday Night
"Class"* (Jack Cassidy, Ensemble)
"Love's a Bond"* (Arte Johnson)
"In the Movies"* (Cast)
"I'm All for You"* (Cast)

I Believe in You
Teleplay: Elaine Carrington
unproduced television musical
"They Ask Me Why I Believe in You"* (Stephen Sondheim)

Invitation to a March
"Incidental Music"


"Truly Content" (Stephen Sondheim)


The Thing of It Is
Screenplay: William Goldman
Unproduced film musical

"No, Mary Ann" (Stephen Sondheim)


The Enclave
"Incidental Music"


Screenplay: Jorge Semprun
"Auto Show"
"Arlette by Night"
"Theme (European version)"

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Screenplay: Nicholas Meyer
"I Never Do Anything Twice (The Madam's Song)" (Régine)

Screenplay: Warren Beatty, Trevor Griffiths
"Theme" (Jean-Pierre Rampal, Claude Bolling)

Dick Tracy
Screenplay: Jim Cash, Jack Epps, Jr.
"Sooner or Later" (Madonna)
"Live Alone and Like It"* (Mel Tormé)
"What Can You Lose?" (Mandy Patinkin, Madonna)
"Back in Business" (Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne, Lorraine Feather)
"More (End Credits)" (Madonna, Girls)

Singing Out Loud
Screenplay: William Goldman "Water Under the Bridge" (Liza Minnelli, Billy Stritch)

Photo Credit Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.