[Ball is one of the few musical comedy artists to have distinguished himself <br/> equally as an interpreter of both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, who would seem to be <br/> polar opposites as songwriters.] I'm very lucky that I've gotten to work with both of them, ... I was in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th party concert at the Albert Hall. That same year I was in <br/> a special show called Hey, Mr. Producer , a celebration of Cameron Mackintosh's work. There <br/> was a Sondheim section, and Cameron asked if I'd be part of it. I'd already recorded 'Losing My Mind' <br/> from Follies , which is one of my favorite songs of Steve's. But I hadn't yet done a particularly <br/> traditional treatment of it. Steve said he wanted me to do it absolutely straight, the way it was <br/> heard in the original show, which I was delighted about. And he worked with me on it--just him, and <br/> me, and a pianist in a tiny room, for an hour-and-a-half master class on this song. I came away knowing <br/> every nuance; why he wrote everything that he did; why every note was in its place; why the phrasing <br/> was like this--can you imagine how thrilling that was? And he is so articulate in explaining his <br/> work; you can be under no illusion why something is there. When you have that understanding, that <br/> is when his work opens up to you. Of course, they put me between Judi Dench singing 'Send in the Clowns' <br/> and Bernadette Peters doing 'Being Alive.' You try holding your own in that company!
Michael Ball
#Illusion #Songwriters