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Randy Newman Concert Earns Five Stars from The Guardian, Independent; "Quite Simply Peerless," Says The Times

  • Monday, March 5, 2012
    Randy Newman Concert Earns Five Stars from The Guardian, Independent; "Quite Simply Peerless," Says The Times

    Randy Newman continues his tour of Europe with two stops in Germany this week, in Stuttgart and Munich this week, before heading to the Netherlands at the end of the week, and then back to Germany next week for shows in Berlin and Hamburg. The tour of the Continent follows several shows in the UK and Ireland that brought rave reviews, not least five star reviews from the Guardian and the Independent of his concert in London, the city in which his latest Nonesuch release, the CD/DVD Live in London, was recorded.

    Newman's songs have "all aged incredibly well," reports the Guardian's Alexis Petridis in his five-star review of last week's show at London's Royal Festival Hall. "Alone at the piano, he's enormously good company, but has an uncanny ability to suddenly shift the room's emotional temperature. As you go from laughing aloud to 'The Great Nations of Europe' to aghast silence as he plays 'In Germany Before the War,' it's easy to be struck by Newman's ongoing uniqueness, easy to be thankful he keeps going on and on and on and on and on." Read the review at guardian.co.uk.

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    The Independent's Simon O'Hagan finds Newman in good company among an esteemed set of colleagues, from classical to American classics.

    "Funny, scathing, at times unflinchingly bleak, Newman’s songs express a set of values and concerns that touch on the work of other greats—Toms Waits and Lehrer both spring to mind, likewise Stephen Sondheim—but he remains essentially uncategorisable," writes O'Hagan in his five-star review. "On occasions the experience—a packed auditorium, an artist alone on stage with his piano—was akin to a Schubert recital, so exquisite and so deft was Newman’s rendering of human experience. "

    O'Hagan concludes: "Newman’s blend of humour and pathos is not unique, but his wizened, hugely expressive voice certainly is, and it does the job now as well as it ever did. As for those spine-tingling piano chords, where does he find them? That’s the sound that may prove his most lasting legacy."

    Read the review at independent.co.uk.

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    The Times of London gives the concert four stars. "Critics run the risk of repeating themselves when it comes to the virtues of Randy Newman," writes reviewer Clive Davis. Nevertheless, "let it be stressed that Newman's work as a songwriter and social commentator is quite simply peerless. How many other performers could spend two hours rummaging in their back catalogue scarcely putting a foot wrong and still leaving admirers counting the number of quality songs that were overlooked." Times subscribers can read the review online at thetimes.co.uk.

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    For details on upcoming shows on Randy Newman's European tour, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.

on March 5, 2012 - 5:11pm
Excerpt: 

Randy Newman continues his tour of Europe with stops in Germany this week, following several shows in the UK and Ireland last week that brought rave reviews, not least five-star reviews of his London show from the Guardian and the Independent. "Newman’s songs express a set of values and concerns that touch on the work of other greats—Toms Waits and Lehrer both spring to mind, likewise Stephen Sondheim—but he remains essentially uncategorisable," says the Independent. "On occasions the experience—a packed auditorium, an artist alone on stage with his piano—was akin to a Schubert recital, so exquisite and so deft was Newman’s rendering of human experience." The Times insists "that Newman's work as a songwriter and social commentator is quite simply peerless."

Copy: 

Randy Newman continues his tour of Europe with two stops in Germany this week, in Stuttgart and Munich this week, before heading to the Netherlands at the end of the week, and then back to Germany next week for shows in Berlin and Hamburg. The tour of the Continent follows several shows in the UK and Ireland that brought rave reviews, not least five star reviews from the Guardian and the Independent of his concert in London, the city in which his latest Nonesuch release, the CD/DVD Live in London, was recorded.

Newman's songs have "all aged incredibly well," reports the Guardian's Alexis Petridis in his five-star review of last week's show at London's Royal Festival Hall. "Alone at the piano, he's enormously good company, but has an uncanny ability to suddenly shift the room's emotional temperature. As you go from laughing aloud to 'The Great Nations of Europe' to aghast silence as he plays 'In Germany Before the War,' it's easy to be struck by Newman's ongoing uniqueness, easy to be thankful he keeps going on and on and on and on and on." Read the review at guardian.co.uk.

---

The Independent's Simon O'Hagan finds Newman in good company among an esteemed set of colleagues, from classical to American classics.

"Funny, scathing, at times unflinchingly bleak, Newman’s songs express a set of values and concerns that touch on the work of other greats—Toms Waits and Lehrer both spring to mind, likewise Stephen Sondheim—but he remains essentially uncategorisable," writes O'Hagan in his five-star review. "On occasions the experience—a packed auditorium, an artist alone on stage with his piano—was akin to a Schubert recital, so exquisite and so deft was Newman’s rendering of human experience. "

O'Hagan concludes: "Newman’s blend of humour and pathos is not unique, but his wizened, hugely expressive voice certainly is, and it does the job now as well as it ever did. As for those spine-tingling piano chords, where does he find them? That’s the sound that may prove his most lasting legacy."

Read the review at independent.co.uk.

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The Times of London gives the concert four stars. "Critics run the risk of repeating themselves when it comes to the virtues of Randy Newman," writes reviewer Clive Davis. Nevertheless, "let it be stressed that Newman's work as a songwriter and social commentator is quite simply peerless. How many other performers could spend two hours rummaging in their back catalogue scarcely putting a foot wrong and still leaving admirers counting the number of quality songs that were overlooked." Times subscribers can read the review online at thetimes.co.uk.

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For details on upcoming shows on Randy Newman's European tour, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.

Publish date: 
Monday, March 5, 2012 - 10:00
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
Randy Newman: "Live in London" [cover]

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Very well

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