Mandy Patinkin / Bernadette Peters

Sunday in the Park with George [Original Cast Recording]

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AllMusic Review by

Stephen Sondheim's musical, inspired by the life and work of the French pointillist (or, as he preferred to be known, chromo-luminarist) painter Georges Seurat (1859-91), is one of his most beguiling and challenging works, but one that won't necessarily appeal to every taste. The music is, on one level, an homage to Seurat's most celebrated painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, and could easily be the finest dramatization on a work of art and the life of an artist this side of Alexander Korda's film Rembrandt. But this is also a sweet, sad, profound, and ultimately elevating meditation on life and the creative process. Sunday In the Park With George moves with lightning swiftness between brittle passages, many centered on frustration, and soaring, achingly beautiful sections. It engages in a fair amount of wry comedy in the process, mostly at the expense of its characters, and, more importantly, the worlds of modern art, multi-media art, and New Age music, among other '80s cultural fixtures. Clearly we're not talking about Gypsy or A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum here, in terms of entertainment (though there are a few broad moments for the ensemble, which includes Charles Kimbrough and Brent Spiner), but Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters turn in brilliant performances together on "Color and Light," "We Do Not Belong Together," "Move On," "Children and Art"; the entire ensemble excels in "Sunday," and his work on "Finishing the Hat" is worth the price of the CD by itself. The sound is clean, although the quiet passages could have been mastered at a slightly higher volume level. (Note: Along with Into the Woods, Sunday In the Park With George is one of a pair of Sondheim musicals that exist in complete form as commercial video releases featuring their original casts).

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Sunday in the Park with George, musical play
1 6:36 Amazon
2 1:23
3 7:00
4 1:01
5 7:59
6 3:07
7 3:21 Amazon
8 3:55
9 3:05
10 4:33
11 4:28
12 7:17 Amazon
13 4:53
14 2:53
15 3:38
16 3:58
Putting It Together, revue
17 3:38
Sunday in the Park with George, musical play
18 4:17
blue highlight denotes track pick