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Sweeney Todd Analysis

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Sweeney Todd 2005 Review Sweeney Todd is composed by the spectacular Stephen Sondheim, and this production was directed by John Doyle in 2005. This Musical is about a barber Benjamin Barker/Sweeney Todd who’s sent away by Judge Turpin because he wanted Todd’s wife. Todd is told by his friend Mrs. Lovett that his wife died and his daughter Johanna is being kept by Turpin who is planning to marry her. Todd vows that he will take revenge on The Judge. As Sweeney awaits his revenge, he works as a barber and kills his clients while Mrs. Lovett runs a meat pie shop and uses the people Todd kills for the pies. I will be discussing the performances and the way the pieces are written. Therefore, I will not be able to talk about each track.

The
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The “Dies Irae” is a song of death from the middle ages and Sondheim weaves this melody in all throughout the musical. The most evident point that the “Dies Irae” is used when the ensemble goes into the refrain section “Swing your razor wide, Sweeney…Moralize”. The performance of this song is done fine, it starts off timid and later builds into a monstrous conclusion. This is also the first point where the new orchestrations add to the music. During the climax of the song when Sweeney enters, the strings play this low passing progression which makes the moment very intense and grabs the listeners…show more content…
Lovett has just told Todd what had happened to his wife and daughter, and Todd is incredibly angry and ready to kill the judge. After, Mrs. Lovett gives a case of Todd’s old razors to him and says “you could be a Barber again”. The song starts with a repetitive, hypnotic motion in the piano. Also vocally this is awfully rigid and has a whispery quality to it. Todd goes into a trance like state and the only entity he can focus on is the razors. As the song goes on Mrs. Lovett chimes in with telling Todd how she fancies him, but Todd remains fully invested in his razors almost as if they were another human being. The number closes with Todd in immense triumph as he states “at last my right arm is complete again”. The performances in this number are okay, Michael Cerveris has a fine grasp of this character. The joy is heard in his voice towards the conclusion of the song when he’s talking about what he will achieve with the razors. Yet throughout the song he’s incredibly staccato on his sections where he should be legato, it’s fairly distracting. While Patti LuPone has an odd way of shaping her vowels, this makes it difficult to hear her text. Also the speed in the section where Todd and Lovett are singing together is too slow. It’s a point in immense joy for both of them and the music should be faster because of that. Overall the track isn’t the best version of “My Friends” out there, however it’s still enjoyable to hear with the new
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