For Stephen Sondheim Fans

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by SteveK, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    On XM 28 (On Broadway) and XM 200 (XM Live) from 11AM to 11PM EST on Saturday March 19, they are presenting a live broadcast of the "Symphony Stage" Tribute to Stephen Sondheim from New York. I've been listening for the last 2 hours plus, and so far it's been quite enjoyable. It's primarily music, but also some interview segments, with the complete 12-hour tribute being broadcast live.

    I find some of Stephen Sondheim's music to be rather strange, but somehow it all seems less strange in a show such as this one. This is what radio should be, and this is what XM is all about. It's scheduled to last 12 hours, but obviously could be slightly shorter or longer, but it should run until approximately 11PM EST tonight. All you Stephen Sondheim fans out there should try to check this broadcast out.

    Enjoy!
    Steve K.
     
  2. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    I've also got this on all day. For XM Radio listeners, I think this is also an interesting example of the sound quality that XM is capable of.

    Perhaps, because this is a live broadcast, there isn't the opportunity to exert all the compression and processing that is sometimes the case in XM streams. In any case, the clarity and the room ambience of the broadcast is excellent with solid highs and a solid "bottom" on the piano sound. Plus, the solo voices have a nice presence.

    I agree that this is a remarkable thing to have available on XM.

    (And the Follies Remix that's being performed right now.... waddapeesakrap.
    [Five minutes later...]
    Omigod. It just gets worse and worse.)
     
  3. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    A post-mortem on Wall-to-Wall Sondheim.

    A remarkable event and XM gave us all a front seat to history by broadcasting it in its entirety, all 12 hours (!!) from start to finish. I can't believe they did that.

    This was an extraordinary occasion and a reminder of what made radio great in the '30s & '40s (though I wasn't there...) when live broadcasts were the norm and the airwaves weren't taken over by DJ's playing the same old records/CDs over and over.

    XM's live coverage was event broadcasting at its finest and, as the first poster stated, it represented exactly the kind of programming that can set XM apart from every other form of broadcasting.

    Plus, I repeat, the sound was excellent, better than FM quality (something I'm not used to hearing on XM.) Aside from a few live broadcasting glitches with mics not on quite as soon as needed and a few (refreshing actually) moments of dead air (to confirm that this wasn't the usual prepackaged and regurgitated radio bile), the nine hours I personally heard went without a hitch with outstanding audio presence and detail.

    But most important, XM Radio gave me an experience that ranks with some of the most lasting musical memories of my life. A broadcast of mere excerpts or highlights would not have done that. And XM was the ONLY service that offered the entire marathon event.

    Others may slaver over MLB or O&A, but for me this incredible 12 hours defined the greatness that XM Radio could be.
     
  4. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    Oh, man....I can't believed I missed this. Any chance that XM Radio will replay it?
     
  5. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Yes, Mark. At the end of the broadcast, they announced that they will be repeating this and that an announcement of schedule would be forthcoming.

    You could send an email to the guy who does the Broadway channel or to Paul Bachmann who does the Classical Pops channel (he was a co-host) and they'll probably be able to provide more info. (Sorry, I don't have those email addresses handy. They're on the XM Radio site under the appropriate channel pages.)
     
  6. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Bob. I'm going to do that right now.

    I've become somewhat of a Sondheim nut myself. Even the musicals of his that I don't "like" as much as I still find fascinating. I hope they included some good stuff from Sunday in the Park with George. [​IMG]
     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Bob - You obviously enjoyed the broadcast a great deal. I certainly agree that it was an outstanding example of what XM has to offer. As I indicated in my first post, I find some of Stephen Sondheim's music to be rather strange at times, as it is not exactly melodic and usually has a lot of lyrics. But somehow, hearing it in a context of an all-Sondheim broadcast, it sounded less strange and more enjoyable. Sondheim will never be one of my favorites, but I believe I can appreciate him a bit more now than I did before.

    I wasn't aware of it, but On Broadway actually played Stephen Sondheim's music from Midnight EST to Midnight PST, for a total of 27 hours! This included the 12-hour broadcast tribute, but it was bookended by additional Sondheim songs both before and after the tribute. Truly a wonderful job by XM. I think I'll send them a thank you note, as obviously they put a great deal of work into ensuring a good broadcast, and had several XM on-air personalities there for the entire broadcast.

    On an unrelated note, today on XM classics they are playing 24-hours of Bach's music in honor of his birthday. I truly enjoy the innovative programming XM offers on so many of their channels.

    Once again, I'm glad you enjoyed the special as much as I did. That one program was worth more than the monthly subscription cost.

    Keep up the great work, XM!

    Steve K.
     

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