Song 46:365 is Memory from the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats based on T.S. Eliot’s poems. Lloyd Webber was concerned that the melody sounded too similar to Ravel’s Bolero and that the main theme resembled an improvised flute solo from California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & the Papas. However, he asked his father’s opinion who said “it sounds like a million dollars!” – which probably is but a fraction of the royalties he’s earned on this song!
Song 42:365 is All I Ask of You from the musical Phantom of the Opera. One of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most-loved duets, it’s performed by Christine and Raoul. Christine is terrified of the Phantom after a stagehand has been found murdered. She escapes to the roof of the opera house and is comforted by Raoul, her childhood friend, who promises to love her and keep her safe from the Phantom.
Song 40:365 is Cole Porter’s song True Love, introduced in the musical High Society in 1956 by Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby. True Love is also the name of a yacht on which two of the characters in The Philadelphia Story, on which the musical was based, and it was the name of Crosby’s yacht.
For song 35:365 I’m playing Somewhere from the 1957 Bernstein and Sondheim musical West Side Story. There are themes in this song from the slow movement of Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto and from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. In addition to featuring in cast recordings of the musical over the years, Somewhere has also been covered by many artists including Barbara Streisand, The Supremes and The Pet Shop Boys.
Song 34:365 is another song from a show, this time Another Suitcase in Another Hall from the musical Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It was recorded in 1976 by Barbara Dickson for the Evita concept album. In the show it is performed by the mistress of Eva Perón’s husband when she is thrown out on the streets by Eva. In the 1996 film, however, the song is performed by Eva herself, played by Madonna, as she ends her relationship with Agustín Magaldi in an attempt to improve her life and prospects.
Song 33:365 is one of my favourite songs to play: Sun and Moon from the musical Miss Saigon. It’s a duet performed by American GI Chris as he falls in love with Vietnamese bargirl Kim and the orchestration of this song from the show is wonderfully ethnic with pentatonic overtones. I’ve tried to capture this in my performance.
I’m staying with Andrew Lloyd Webber for song 17:365 which is Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from the musical Phantom of the Opera. If Past the Point of No Return is the musical’s “eleven o’clock number”, the traditional show-stopping performance towards the end of the second act, then I think Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again must be the 10:45pm number!
The song is sung by Christine and is a lament for her father who died seven years previously. I’ve always liked the way this song goes between the minor verse and major chorus, and the extended section after the second chorus is beautiful: “No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years.”
Song 5:365 is a piece from the Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvæus musical Kristina Från Duvemåla, based on Vilhelm Moberg’s epic series of novels which tell the tale of a family’s migration from Sweden to the USA in 19th Century.
This particular song, Guldet Blev til Sand (“The gold turned to sand”) is sung by Robert and describes an ill-fated search for gold which results in the death of his friend Arvid. It’s one of the most popular songs from the show and was performed in the original version by Swedish superstar Peter Jöback. I hope you enjoy this piece!
Earlier this year I played a number of songs from the Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil musical Martin Guerre. One song from this musical which I didn’t play was Bethlehem which tells the Christmas story within the context of the musical. This is my chosen song for today and I hope you enjoy it.