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January 7, 2001

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The Stately Holmes of England

Sherlockians generally agree that The World’s Foremost Consulting Detective was born on January 6th, so we celebrate his birthday with music from Sherlock Holmes films as well as selections from the only Broadway musical based on Holmes’ adventures, Baker Street.
PLAYLIST
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
221 B Baker Street Sherlock Holmes - Classic Themes from 221B Baker Street (1996) Orchestra cond. by Lanny Meyers The opening theme from the Sherlock Holmes TV series, produced by Granada Television. The series aired for ten years (1984 - 1994 in Britain, 1985 - 1995 in the USA, where it first appeared on PBS) and starred the late Jeremy Brett as Holmes and David Burke (seasons 1 and 2) and Edward Hardwicke (seasons 3 - 7) as Watson.
Baker Street had music and lyrics by Marian Grudeff and Martin Jessel (with additional, un-credited music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, best-known for Fiddler on the Roof) and a book by Jerome Coopersmith loosely based on "A Scandal in Bohemia". Despite lavish production values and direction by Harold Prince, the show was not a great success. It opened 2/16/1965 and ran for only 313 performances - not a flop, but hardly a hit either. Inga Swenson got a 1965 Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Irene Adler but lost to Liza Minelli for her role in another non-hit, Flora the Red Menace. Baker Street will have a brief New York revival (three nights) by the Theatre at St. Peter’s Church the weekend of January 19th.
It’s So Simple Baker Street (OC 1965) Fritz Weaver, Peter Sallis, Patrick Horgan, Daniel Keyes Holmes explains the art of deduction to Watson, Lestrade and a client, all of whom immediately pronounce it “absurdly simple” - once it has been explained to them!
Letters Baker Street (OC 1965) Inga Swenson Irene Adler sees through Holmes’ disguise as an elderly clergyman and decides to have a bit of fun at his expense.
Cold Clear World Baker Street (OC 1965) Fritz Weaver Holmes on romance.
Main Title from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes - Classic Themes from 221B Baker Street (1996) Orchestra cond. by Lanny Meyers By Cyril Mockridge, this is from the second Rathbone/Bruce film in 1939 (The Hound of the Baskervilles, from earlier that year, was the first). Like the first film, this was set in the appropriate period and Watson was less of a buffoon. That changed when the series was picked up by Universal.
The Universal Holmes Sherlock Holmes - Classic Themes from 221B Baker Street (1996) Orchestra cond. by Lanny Meyers The main theme (by Frank Skinner) for all of the Universal Studios Holmes films, starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce and a witless booby who happened to be named Watson.
I Never Do Anything Twice Sherlock Holmes - Classic Themes from 221B Baker Street (1996) Judy Kaye, orchestra cond. by Lanny Meyers By Stephen Sondheim, this was written for The Seven Per Cent Solution (1976) but only a fragment actually is heard in the film. Here are ALL the lyrics.
What a Night This is Gong to Be Baker Street (OC 1965) Inga Swenson, Fritz Weaver, Peter Sallis, Virginia Vestoff Holmes, Watson, Irene Adler and her main prepare for a Cunning Plan to foil Moriarity’s planned heist of the Crown Jewels.
A Married Man Baker Street (OC 1965) Peter Sallis In Moriarity’s clutches and thinking himself doomed, Watson reflects on how good life was with his late wife.
Suite from The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes - Classic Themes from 221B Baker Street (1996) Robert Zubrycki, violin; orchestra cond. by Lanny Meyers This unusual 1970 Billy Wilder film is, despite the occasional bits of parody, a warm and somewhat melancholy tribute to Holmes and Watson. The film was inspired by and features large sections from the Violin Concerto, Op. 24, by noted film and concert composer Miklos Rosza. Originally intended as a three and one-half hour film, it was cut to 125 minutes, with the expected loss in coherence.
Macavity Cats (OC 1982) Wendy Edmead, Donna King, Company T.S. Elliott was a Holmes fan; this poem is his tongue-in-cheek tribute to Moriarity, “the Napoleon of crime”.
End Title from Without a Clue Sherlock Holmes - Classic Themes from 221B Baker Street (1996) Orchestra cond. by Lanny Meyers Music by Henry Mancini from the 1988 film that manages to parody and pay homage to Holmes and Watson at the same time. The premise: Watson (Ben Kingsley) is the real detective and Holmes is his invention. Michael Caine is a washed-up alcoholic actor hired by Watson to impersonate the fictional detective.


Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.


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