No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Justine Aronson

In 1925, Kentucky explorer and caver Floyd Collins lost his footing at the end of an expedition. His left leg pinned underneath a 16-pound rock, Collins was trapped in a narrow tunnel, unable to move, and after 17 days (13 of which were without food or water) he left this earthly realm.

Composer and lyricist Adam Guettel imagines Collins’ last moments, his ideations of what the next life might be like in “How Glory Goes,” the gut-wrenching final song in the 1996 musical Floyd Collins. Audra McDonald sings the tune in here in a version that I deeply treasure.




 |  Steven Blier

There are two histories of the Rodgers family that run parallel to one another. The first celebrates the dazzling musical gifts that propelled three generations of artists, giving birth to a century of groundbreaking musicals and hundreds of indispensable songs. The second is the shadow history of three composers triumphing over tremendous adversities, some from without, many from within. Tonight we celebrate that triumph with a selection of their songs, some of them chestnuts, many of them rarities…. Notes on the Program by Steven Blier for Rodgers, Rodgers & Guettel, November 1 & 3, 2016 at Merkin Concert Hall




 |  Mary Testa

“Daybreak” by Adam Guettel from Floyd Collins. I must have listened to this at least 800 times. To my ear, it is a spectacularly sad song, which I love, and Christopher Innvar and Jason Danieley’s performances are heartbreaking.




 |  Steven Blier

“Awaiting You” has all the Adam trademarks—a gorgeous harmonic progression, a lyric that provokes and stimulates, and a white-hot opulence that never fails to conquer me. Here is the unbridled Billy Porter, who gave the first performances of the song.




 |  Rebecca Jo Loeb

It affected me on some sort of primal level (as music often does). But now that I’ve lived a bit longer, been very close to death, wondered about life and existence in a way that one only can when one sees the light die from someone’s eyes… well, now I think the song is just damn incredible.




 |  Steven Blier

Trawling through YouTube I found the recording Darius de Haas I and I made of Adam’s song “Hero and Leander,” from “Myths and Hymns.” If Fauré and Stevie Wonder had had a baby, this is the music that blessed child would have written.




 |  Hal Cazalet

‘DAYBREAK’ FROM THE MUSICAL FLOYD COLLINS BY ADAM GUETTEL I was at the first performance of the musical Floyd Collins at Playwrights Horizons, New York in 1996 and its haunting beauty has remained with me ever since. It was baffling to me how a man down a mine shaft with a leg trapped under a […]




 |  Lauren Worsham

The Light in the Piazza is one of my favorite musicals of all time and this song is one of my favorite pieces from that show. I find it incredibly heart-breaking. The whole show is really a meditation on love its various forms. This song is about what happens to love when it starts to change, […]




 |  Joe Nocera

Today’s Song of the Day selection comes from New York Times columnist Joe Nocera: It is not exactly news that Adam Guettel is a composer of immense talent.  The grandson of Richard Rodgers (one is required to note that when writing about Guettel), he has a transcendent melodic gift, and has written more than his fair share of […]