Toss-Up Tuesday: Sondheim

A former student moved back to Nebraska, and not long after he did, he contacted me to see if I would help him work up an audition book. I was completely unprepared for what kind of music he would throw at me.

Sondheim. Lots of Sondheim.

And it’s not only difficult to play because Sondheim clearly hates pianists and loves key changes. The content of the lyrics is tough as well.

At out most recent rehearsal, we spent the entire time rehearsing “Being Alive” from the musical Company. For 45 minutes, I listened to these lyrics:

“Somebody hold me too close
Somebody hurt me too deep
Somebody sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive…”

And it just goes on and on about all the dimensions of being in a relationship. By the end of Sunday’s rehearsal, I was a little emotionally exhausted.

But evil key signatures and heart-wrenching lyrics aside, I love playing these fantastical accompaniments. I have a blast each week we rehearse, and I look forward to every night at 9 PM, when my reminder pops up to practice the piano. Which is gonna happen in 11 minutes, so I better just hit publish…and I think this song will be the first one I practice tonight:

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