Andrew Lloyd Webber: The King of Musicals


Classical Academy

Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most successful composers of Musicals. Some of his shows have run for more than a decade in the West End (in London) and Broadway (New York). Some of his biggest box office hits have come from his collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice, and their projects together include Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

 

Lloyd Webber comes from a musical family - his father was an organist, his mother a violinist and pianist, and his brother Julian Lloyd Webber, went on to become a famous cellist. His classical upbringing can be heard in lots of his music, where many of his melodies are reminiscent of classical works - his Phantom of the Opera is very similar to melodies by Puccini, and the song "I don't know how to love him" from Jesus Christ Superstar has been compared to Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. He has even been accused of plagiarism on that account.

 

Although he is most well-known for his Musical Theatre works, Lloyd Webber has also composed other works, including a setting of the Requiem. A Requiem is a religious work in Latin, often sung at funerals. Lloyd Webber dedicated his to the memory of his father, William. The premiere included a solo appearance from opera star Plácido Domingo. The Pie Jesu from this Requiem was also a bit hit for Sarah Brightman, his then wife, who starred in many of Lloyd Webber's musicals.

 

Listen to some of Lloyd Webber's greatest hits in this album, including songs from Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as the Pie Jesu from his Requiem. A great place to start is his brilliant ballad "Don't Cry for me Argentina" from Evita.