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The Michael Friedman Collection: Paris Commune
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Ghostlight Records and The Civilians have joined together to release The Michael Friedman Collection, a long-term project which will comprise the premiere recordings of nine musicals from the beloved late Obie Award-winning songwriter Michael Friedman.
Paris Commune is musical play which brings the explosive events of 1871 to life, as working-class Parisians overthrew the French government, declared Paris autonomous and launched an attempt to radically reinvent society. The show employs a bold theatrical form to tell the story of this first socialist revolution in Europe. It uses found texts and original songs from the time period to tell the story of this extraordinary event in which the Parisian community radically reimagined its entire society. Paris Commune was praised for its “dizzy exhilaration” by The New York Timesand called a “wistfully, tunefully scholarly collage” by New York Magazine and “passionate and cleverly constructed” by The Boston Globe. Paris Commune had its world premiere in the 2012 BAM Next Wave Festival and ArtsEmerson in Boston, with previous productions at The Public Theater and La Jolla Playhouse. The album features Kate Buddeke, Aysan Celik, Charlotte Dobbs, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, and Sam Breslin Wright, with an ensemble including Randy Blair, Ally Bonino, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, and Jonathan Raviv.
“The Michael Friedman recording project has truly been the work of a community,” says Friedman’s collaborator Steve Cosson. “As we all continue to feel the deep pain of his loss, there is solace in our being able to preserve and share his music with generations to come. In spending time with his work, I’m reminded with each song how much of Michael’s singular self is present in his music. The fact that his voice is so clear and present even as he finds his way inside of so many different genres, subject matters, and characters is a testament to how fully open to the world he was. Michael could find a point of connection with anything and from that build a song, working as part-explorer, part-essayist and of course, composer. Because of that, listening to his work both takes us out into the world and offers a portal into Michael’s astonishing mind and his enormous capacity for empathy. How he lived is built into every thought and note of these songs, and I’m so glad that these recordings will add to his previously published works, offering others a chance to know his music, and through that, know Michael.”
“It’s been a little over two years since my friend and colleague Michael’s untimely death,” says label founder Kurt Deutsch. “The Civilians, Michael’s family and my label Ghostlight Records have all been working to preserve his legacy. It was my honor to work side by side in the studio with Michael to preserve Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Fortress of Solitude and others. Now his life’s work will continue to live on and inspire generations of musical theatre lovers to come.”
The Michael Friedman Collection is made possible by the generous donors to the Michael Friedman Legacy Fund and by the artistic contributions of his many collaborators.
- Track Listing
1. Le Temps des Cerises – Kate Buddeke
2. La Canaille – Kate Buddeke
3. I Love the Military — Charlotte Dobbs
4. Song of May — Kate Buddeke, Aysan Celik, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, Sam Breslin Wright, The Paris Commune Original Cast Recording Ensemble
5. Yodeling Ducks – Aysan Celik, Daniel Jenkins
6. God of the Bigots– Kate Buddeke, Aysan Celik, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, Sam Breslin Wright, The Paris Commune Original Cast Recording Ensemble
7. The Internationale – Kate Buddeke, Aysan Celik, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, Sam Breslin Wright, The Paris Commune Original Cast Recording Ensemble
8. Ah! Je Veux Vivre – Charlotte Dobbs, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, Sam Breslin Wright
9. Mon Homme – Aysan Celik
10. The Captain – Kate Buddeke, Aysan Celik, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, Sam Breslin Wright
11. The Bloody Week— Kate Buddeke
12. Les Temps de Cerises (reprise) — Kate Buddeke, Jonathan Raviv, Aysan Celik, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, Sam Breslin Wright, The Paris Commune Original Cast Recording Ensemble,