Stephen Sondheim: »What makes a good cast-album producer?«

In einem ausführlichen Interview, das Kenneth Jones von Playbill mit Stephen Sondheim führte, ging es unter anderem um Cast-CDs.

Playbill: What makes a good cast-album producer
Stephen Sondheim: Well, most of it has to do with efficiency. Unlike pop albums, you have one day — or with two records, two days — in which to record everything, so you can’t do the infinite amount of takes that pop recording artists are privileged to do. So a lot of it has to do with things like logistics, because, of course the unions, like Equity and the musicians’ union, have strict rules as to how many hours people can work. So you have to have an actor come in from 10 o’clock to 1 o’clock, go home and come back in at 4 o’clock, etc., etc., etc.
That’s one of the things that a producer has to do. And the other thing is to say whether the album is going to be just a collection or songs or whether it’s going to have some sort of arc to it. And then the other thing is, of course, to have taste and a good ear and be able to get the best out of the performers in a limited amount of time — and knowing what you can do in the editing room and what you can’t do in the editing room. It’s a skill like anything else and it comes mostly with experience.

Playbill: One of the changes in the world of cast albums in the past 25 years is that you can get 79 minutes on a disc — perhaps a complete score.
Stephen Sondheim: Yes sir, yes sir. In the old days, in the days of LPs, you had to do a lot of judicious cutting because if you crowded too much onto one side of a record then the equalization went off and the album suffered as a result. But if you didn’t, then you suddenly went 15 minutes over length and then what could you do except cut things down. The original cast album of Follies, on Capitol, is a perfect example of this. It’s a dreadful album because there simply wasn’t enough space for time and Capitol wouldn’t give us two records.

Playbill: And a generation grew up thinking that was the whole score…
Stephen Sondheim: Yeah, I know. Unfortunately. But, you know, these things get corrected, at length. It would be nice to have a full-length, proper recording with the original cast but we didn’t.

Zum Interview geht’s –> hier.


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