OUT NOW | Opus Two Releases "Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music: Suite for Violin and Piano"

Released on Bridge Records, the four-movement suite is arranged by veteran Broadway composer Eric Stern and played by the Opus Two duo

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Opus Two comprises violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew CooperstockThis album recording marks Opus Two’s world premiere recording of "Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music: Suite for Violin and Piano." The suite involves Night Waltz, You Must Meet My Wife, A Weekend In The Country, and Send In The Clowns

The suite is based on Sondheim’s 1973 Tony-award-winning musical “A Little Night Music,” which was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 film “Smiles of a Summer Night.”

Send in the Clowns became the musical’s most famous song and a pop standard which was recorded by Judy Collins, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, and Barbra Streisand, among others.  

This new arrangement of pieces from “A Little Night Music” by veteran Broadway composer Eric Stern, contributes to the limited number of chamber music scores in Sondheim’s catalog. 

This current suite represents the third in a series of Broadway arrangements by Stern which was commissioned by Opus Two. Previous arrangements by Stern for the duo include songs from Gershwin’s Girl Crazy and Bernstein’s Candide

Through this work, Stern explores the expressive possibilities of the violin and piano, creating a unique partnership that evokes the orchestral and intimate feel of the original while allowing both instruments to sing and dance.

“I was in college when I first heard the cast album of ‘A Little Night Music,’ and it is no exaggeration to say that it changed my life,” said Stern in the press release

“Until then I couldn't have imagined that a Broadway score could be capable of such lyric and musical sophistication and subtlety,” he continued. “In ‘A Little Night Music,’ Sondheim blends American Musical Theater tradition with European Operetta sensibilities to create a unique and memorable musical world. 

“I am extremely grateful for Sondheim’s permission to arrange this suite and I hope that, stripped of his poignant, unparalleled lyrics, the brilliance of this music shines through all the more,” he concluded.

To listen to and purchase this album, click here

 

Opus Two has performed extensively across six continents. Highlights include two 20-city U.S. tours across eleven states; performances with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra; and a European tour, which involved invited guests of the U.S. Ambassadors to Switzerland and the United Nations. 

Eric Stern is a Broadway conductor, arranger, and music supervisor. He is the creator of 19 Broadway musicals including Shrek, Xanadu, Follies, Parade, and Candide. Awarded an Emmy, a Grammy, and two Gramophone Awards, he has conducted orchestras including the London Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony.