Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Whether he liked it or not, Bernstein’s stage works defined his legacy. Donald Macleod and Marin Alsop explore the composer’s gift for reaching new audiences through the theatre

Whether he liked it or not, Leonard Bernstein’s works for the stage came to define his legacy. Donald Macleod and conductor Marin Alsop explore the composer’s gift for reaching new audiences through his theatre works, not least the hit musical West Side Story. Plus, a work which takes a painfully close snapshot of the young Bernstein’s family life.

The Children Fly (Peter Pan)
Jean Arthur (Peter)
Marcia Henderson (Wendy)
Charles Taylor (Michael)
Peg Hillias (Mrs Darling)
Boris Karloff (Mr Darling)

Wonderful Town (Overture)
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Simon Rattle, conductor

A Quiet Place (Act 1 finale)
John Brandstetter, baritone (Junior)
Beverly Morgan, soprano (Dede)
Peter Kazaras, tenor (Francois)
Chester Ludgin, baritone (Sam)
Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

West Side Story (excerpts)
Carol Lawrence (Maria)
Reri Grist (Consuela)
Marilyn Cooper (Rosalia)
Carmen Gutierrez (Teresita)
Elizabeth Taylor (Francesca)
Grover Dale (Snowboy)
New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Producer: Michael Surcombe

57 minutes

Music Played

  • Leonard Bernstein

    Wonderful Town (Overture)

    Orchestra: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • EMI.
    • EMI.
    • 1.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    A Quiet Place (Act 1 Finale)

    Orchestra: Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein. Singer: John Brandstetter. Singer: Beverly Morgan. Singer: Peter Kazaras. Singer: Chester Ludgin.
    • 419 7622.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 5.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    West Side Story (Act II - abridged)

    Singer: Members of the Cast. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY : SK-60724.
    • SONY.
    • 12.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.