Leonard Bernstein at 100
Friday, 23 February 2018 | Stephen Yarrow
Bernstein at 100 is a worldwide celebration of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein - composer, educator, musician, cultural ambassador, and humanitarian. The celebrations officially began on August 25, 2017, Bernstein’s 99th birthday, and will continue throughout 2018.
Few composers offer so many rich and varied opportunities for celebration, with a compositional output encompassing Broadway musicals, songs, solo instrumental repertoire and choral music. How are you planning to celebrate?
The Bernstein at 100 website has information about the global commemoration of this musical titan, and we have put together some useful programming suggestions here.
West Side Story
Considered by many to be Bernstein's masterpiece, West Side Story is one of the iconic musicals of the 20th Century. With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and set in the gritty world of 1950's New York, Bernstein's original score fizzes with hit tunes. Aside from the vocal score and vocal selections, many of the songs are published separately for voice and piano, and in instrumental selections.
Vocal & Choral
Commissioned by Dean Walter Hussey for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival in Chichester, England, Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms stands alongside his Third Symphony (the 'Kaddish') as perhaps his most distinctively Jewish work. Beautiful and serene, though not without its challenges for the performers, Chichester Psalms lasts less than 20 minutes, and would make a superb centrepiece for your celebratory concert.
How about a concert selection from Bernstein's Mass, originally a theatre piece? Alongside the text of the traditional Latin Mass, the work includes settings of additional texts by Stephen Schwarz and Paul Simon.
Perhaps you want all your favourite Bernstein vocal solos in one handy compendium? Then you need Theatre Songs - Duets & Ensembles - unbeatable value for money.