Send in The Clowns – Dame Judi Dench performs Sondheim’s classic

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    12th September 2010

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    A propos of nothing particular, or perhaps everything in general, thought I’d post these videos. You know how keen I am on good lyrics.  And this combination of music and lyrics is pure genius.  Not to mention the performance by Judi Dench. How DOES she get tears to stop just there where the light can catch them? Even Tony Blair never quite managed this.

    I was reminded of this masterpiece in a car park yesterday afternoon.  I sat there transfixed for about 20 minutes and was late for my appointment.

    Radio 4’s  Soul Music, on Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Send In the Clowns’. The musical analysis around 18 minutes is so instructive for upcoming classic song writers.  You can hear it here for six days.

    Judi Dench – Send In the Clowns, 1996

    Her Olivier Award winning performance from “A Little Night Music”, given here on a British talkshow as a promo spot done during the run on London’s West End in 1996.

    Stephen Sondheim’s song, Send In the Clowns, from the musical ‘A Little Night Music’ was written late in rehearsals for the actress Glynnis Johns, playing the part of Desiree. A song of regret and anger, the part has famously been played by Judi Dench, and the song became an independent hit, sung by Judy Collins, Shirley Bassey and Barbra Striesand. Hannah Waddingham played the youngest ever Desiree in Trevor Nunn’s production, and used her memories of an unhappy relationship to inspire her performance.

    Watch a clip of Dame Judi Dench singing ‘Send in the Clowns’ from the ‘Stephen Sondheim at 80’ concert at the 2010 BBC Proms. Dame Judi Dench

    Listen to Stephen Sondheim talking about his 80th birthday BBC Prom. Stephen Sondheim

    Broadcasts

    1. Tue 7 Sep 2010
      13:30
    2. Sat 11 Sep 2010
      15:30

    Judi Dench – “Send In the Clowns” from Hey, Mr. Producer!

    Sondheim teaches Send In The Clowns

    Stephen Sondheim teaches a student from the Guildhall School of Music, London a fragment of ‘Send in the Clowns’

    Radio 4’s  Soul Music: Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Send In the Clowns’. Listen again for six days.

    Stephen Sondheim (Wikipedia)

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    5 Responses to “Send in The Clowns – Dame Judi Dench performs Sondheim’s classic”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      I heard the Radio 4 programme on Send In The Clowns earlier in the week. Strange how often you and I catch the same programmes!

      Once again I thought you were diverting from good ol’ Tone but sure enough you found a way to keep him in!

      What I really want to know is about this mysterious appointment on a Saturday. Must have been a drug deal I reckon or maybe trading some counterfeit copies of his nibs’ book. Very suspicious I say!

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Both Radio 4 fans, Peter. Though having said that they annoyed me today.

        I was listening to the News at One, and to the programme following.

        On the news was an item about Kosovo and Serbia’s recent decision re EU. The next programme was at least partly about winning the 2012 Olympic Games, in 2005. It seems it was the multi-race kids from London wot dun it and wun it!!!

        In neither of these items was there ANY mention of the name BLAIR. Zilch. Zero, As though he was not instrumental, no, CENTRAL to winning the Games and the war in Serbia/Kosovo. There was of course a quote from a Serbian saying the NATO campaign was a mistake!!!! Now they have thrown in the towel. None of this end result has anything to do with Tony Blair, natch.

        The Olympic Games programme seemed to imply by omission that Blair had little input into winning the Olympic games.

        I e-mailed the same concerns to Stan earlier. As I said to him – the BBC has a serious ‘bury Blair’ issue.

        The Saturday appointment? Nah, P. Not drugs or I’d have let you know! No (signed) book counterfeiting – though that’s an idea. As if. Nothing special. I’m just not into 9-5/Mon-Fri lifestyle.

    2. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Well as you know, I’m no wage slave myself which brings me back to the question of my book and your mention of the Olympics.

      I finished “Celebration” last Wednesday. It’s an 80.500 word thriller which finishes at the Olympic stadium as the opening ceremony gets underway on Friday, 27th July 2012. It follows five characters whose stories coincide in extraordinary ways. Sir Damian Fremantle, once Britain’s wealthiest banker, now on trial for thirty-six counts of fraud. Susan, a single mother, Afghanistan veteran suffering from a bad case of PTSD. Mo, a Jamaican cocaine dealer. Clive Dumonde, an ordinary middle class, middlingly successful chap whose just lost both his parents but gained a multi-million pound property opportunity. John George, an up and coming restauranter.

      It’s my second novel (I never finished the first). It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done. It’s deliberately commercial in timing and content. I have two agents interested. One has already mentioned the “possibility” of six figure advance!?

      So you can see, it’s a big thing for me and I have high hopes of it. Having said that, I know now that I must write another. It is what I was meant to do, so that is where my thinking is going. Whether or not it gets the immediate success that I hope for, I am very proud of it. I know now that this is my direction in life.

      Just thought I’d let you in on my thoughts today, on my 53rd birthday!

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Well, well, well! First of all, happy birthday to you, Peter! Cheers mate!

        I am so impressed by your book writing. “Celebration”. Great title for that occasion. A propos the earlier chat on the Beeb and the Olympics, I don’t suppose the Former gets a look-in, for making it all possible. No? OK. [I know, I know – the evil that men do etc etc…]

        But your book sounds just right for the Olympics. Absolutely fantastic. The very best of luck with it. I have started one or perhaps even two in the past but always got diverted. And now I’m always tied up with this blog.

        Must break the habit, the cycle, the addiction – gie’s a drag, mate!

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