It was Stephen Sondheim's 75th B-day this year.
Honorary concerts and revivals abound.
In Western Massachusetts. In addition to the Boston Pop's Sondheim celebration at Tanglewood, my wife and I caught the Great Barrington Player's excellent revival of FOLLIES this summer.
Which leads me to a question (from my wife) for the studied scholars of compostion and arrangement.
For FOLLIES, Stephen wrote three individual songs of entirely different arrangement and style.
1. Rain Falling on the Roof Goes Pit Pitter Pat (not on cast recording not sure of proper name.)
2. Ah. Paris!
3. Broadway Baby.
They are each performed as a solo number for the corresponding actor. Then, all the actors perform these solo pieces together in unison in a miniature grand finale.
They must all have the same key, chord structure and tempo (Broadway Baby half tempo of the first two). The main melody line of each, is actually a harmony to the other two.
In a sense, they are all the same song, yet the arrangements make it impossible to think they could ever be married, so when Stephen combines them into one, it makes an incredible, delightful surprise.
I've heard this technique used in other musicals, but never to such a diverse degree as in this situation.
What is this called?