The composer/songwriter’s Sondheim-spanning orchestral suite was created by his longtime collaborator James Goldman and former music director George Tsontakis. It was dedicated to Harvey Fierstein, who had scored a show by the same name. For the heretofore defunct New Yorker Sondheim was adamant that a recording of Goldman’s composition should never be released, insisting that we all hear it, if possible, while the New Yorker was still in existence. We were lucky enough to have that opportunity, and it’s fantastic! With songs by Sondheim, Goldman, Sarah Peters, Stephen Schwartz, Maurice Sendak, Michael Korie, Bert Lahr, Cy Coleman, Stephen Schwartz and others it’s a powerfully moving tune set to music from an eclectic range of composers who combined styles to speak to our collective need to transcend the meaninglessness of our experience. And in fact, a 2011 reading of the full-length orchestral suite confirmed that the people we least expect to relate to in our daily lives are more apt to be drawn into these worlds of loss and redemption than perhaps we thought. The forthcoming CD is released on 11 October and will include the anthemic Fantasticks anthem The Record, with its lyrics by Alex Carey, a tribute to Adam and Eve, MacDonough of The Prince of Egypt, and 9 to 5, the 1979 smash hit by the team behind pop hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun that uses all Sondheim’s words, as well as a litany of pop hits sung by such notables as Andrea Bocelli, Goo Goo Dolls, Bette Midler, Donna Summer, Sara Bareilles, Paul Simon, Sara Bareilles, Sara Bareilles, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Sting, Elton John, Seal, Todd Rundgren, Patti Austin, Elton John, Sting, Paula Abdul, Jon Bon Jovi, Carlos Santana, ZZ Top, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Faith Hill, Miri Ben-Ari, Kellie Pickler, Ben Folds Five, Eve, Paula Abdul, Andrea Bocelli, Annie Lennox, Steven Tyler, Tony Bennett, Sara Bareilles, Peter Frampton, Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Yanni, Kenny Loggins, Boyz II Men, James Ingram, Melissa Etheridge, Diana Krall, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, Sia, Sheryl Crow, Garth Brooks, Alanis Morissette, OneRepublic, Celine Dion, Barak Obama, Ed Sheeran, Madonna, Hamilton and Lady Gaga.