The Lifespan of Rodger and Hammerstein’s ‘My Favorite Things’

The names of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II left an imprint on musical theater culture itself. Their platform allowed the manifestation of historically significant pieces of musical works, such as The King and I (1951), Flower Drum Song (1958), and The Sound of Music (1959).

With regards to the musical, The Sound of Music, the musical contained an original scoring that piqued the interest of theater that had to deal with the evolving demand for colored television and film. One score, in particular, My Favorite Things, was especially a keen score that attracted renditions from contemporary musicians, as well as artists of the future.

The original score was written by the theater company’s own Rodgers and Hammerstein. The following video is a segment from the 1965 film that allowed Julie Andrews to wistfully carol the lyrical composition.

Video uploaded by Rodgers and Hammerstein (YouTube)

The iconic score attracted fanatic musicians and music lovers alike. One of which, who was also my personal introduction to this piece, was saxophone legend, John Coltrane.

Coltrane took only three days to record this composition, as well as the rest of the album involved in 1961. In the composition, Coltrane’s signature saxophone acted as the substitute for the vocal demonstration of the piece.

Elongated for around thirteen minutes, Coltrane’s saxophone derailed away and contracted closer to the rhythmic accordance of the original composition. What also allowed the composition to breathe new life from its predecessor was his trio’s ability to add a swing to the piece. Added by McCoy Turner’s blissful piano chords, Elvin Jones’ flying percussion, and Steven Davis’ stomping bass lines.

Video uploaded by Gnv123 (YouTube)

Regardless of Coltrane’s omnipotence within contemporary music, the original composition still reigned the most listenable for American homes.

Recently, Pop-star icon Ariana Grande had released a song entitled 7 rings. The song, although sonically different than the original score, rhythmically follows the composition in such a recognizable order than it can’t be helped to be reminded of it.

Video uploaded by Ariana Grande (YouTube)

The video involves gleaming lensing and Grande’s reigning cultural figure dazzled by surrounding dancers and set designs.

The two renditions managed to pay tribute to Rodger and Hammerstein’s original vision, as well as supplementing their rhythm into their own creative space. My Favorite Things is not the only composition to be immortalized within transitioning cultural context, although, it goes to show the significance the piece had, and where music might be today without it.

As long as My Favorite Things continues to evolve into the next generation of music, the number of semblances and reworks would only pay tribute to Rodger and Hammerstein’s innovative lyrical sheet that sparked an important following for the future.

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