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.
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.
Song 27:365 is I Dreamed a Dream from the musical Les Misérables. Based on the original J’avais rêvé d’une autre vie in the original 1980 Paris production, this is one of Fantine’s biggest songs in the show. I hope you enjoy my version.
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 16:365 is the title song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber short one-woman musical Tell Me on a Sunday which tells the story of an English woman who moves to the US in search of love. The original idea for Tell Me on a Sunday came from Tim Rice who intended to develop it as a TV show. However after they began working on it, it became clear that Tim Rice was writing it specifically for Elaine Paige with whom he was having an affair. Lloyd Webber felt this would suggest that he approved of the married father of two’s affair and so he decided to choose a new lyricist, opting instead for Don Black.
As with most of Lloyd Webber’s shows, Tell Me on a Sunday was first performed at the Sydmonton Festival in 1979 featuring Marti Webb. An album was recorded and a performance filmed by the BBC and broadcast in February 1980. The album quickly reached #2 in the charts. In 1982 Tell Me on a Sunday was combined with a ballet choreographed to Lloyd Webber’s Variations, a classical piece based on the Caprice in A Minor No. 24 by Paganini. Together the two-act show was called Song and Dance and debuted in the West End in 1982.
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!