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Songs of Innocence and Experience: The Music of William Finn is the debut album from LISA HOWARD â€“ one of the Broadway stars of William Finn's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It is the first solo recording to exclusively feature the music of the Tony Award winning composer and lyricist of Falsettos, A New Brain, Elegies and more.
Songs of Innocence and Experience: The Music of William Finn showcases Finn's trademark combination of pathos and idiosyncratic wit, brought to life by Howard's extraordinary voice. In addition to songs from Finn's acclaimed shows Falsettos ("Father To Son," "Trina's Song"), A New Brain ("Sailing") and Elegies ("When The Earth Stopped Turning"), this CD presents the world premiere recordings from his song-cycle Songs of Innocence and Experience and the yet-unproduced musical The Royal Family of Broadway. Other highlights include the rousing opener "Listen To The Beat" from Royal Family, the soaring "Infinite Joy" from Elegies, and the tender "That's Enough For Me" from Romance In Hard Times. Howard's interpretations perfectly capture the pluck, sass and drama that make Finn such a seminal composer.
On the CD Howard is joined by a 14-piece band led by Music Director Vadim Feichtner and a team of backing vocalists. Derrick Baskin â€“ her Spelling Bee co-star also known for roles in Memphis and The Little Mermaid â€“ and Sebastian Arcelus, Broadway star of Elf The Musical, Jersey Boys and Wicked, join Howard for special duets.
"The first time I heard Lisa Howard sing, my head exploded," said William Finn. "Her diction is always perfect, her singing powerful yet effortless. When she sings, she illuminates a song like a lightbulb illuminating a maze. She makes the act of interpreting a song look ridiculously easy, even when it's ridiculously hard."