Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)


0120050530Presented from NEW YORK, Leonard Bernstein's biographer Humphrey Burton introduces highlights from Bernstein's music for Broadway.

The programme includes excerpts from the Jerome Robbins' ballet Fancy Free (1944) , the musical On the Town (1944) and JM Barrie's play Peter Pan (1950), for which Bernstein wrote the songs.

With contributions from, among others, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Bernstein's collaborators and lifelong friends.

0220050531More music from Bernstein's Broadway years, presented by Humphrey Burton from NEW YORK.

Today, excerpts from the one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti (1952), a study in domestic discord composed on his honeymoon, and Wonderful Town (1953), a blissfully nostalgic evocation of Greenwich Village in the swing era, starring Rosalind Russell.

Guests in Manhattan include Seymour Lipkin who conducted the premier of Tahiti, and producer Harold Prince who worked as a stage manager on Wonderful Town.

0320050601Humphrey Burton continues his survey of Bernstein's work for Broadway, with excerpts from the satirical operetta Candide (1956) and incidental music for The Lark (1955), his earlier collaboration with the playwright Lillian Hellman.

In NEW YORK, Humphrey Burton's guests include the poet Richard Wilbur who wrote many of Candide's lyrics, and in LONDON, Denis Quilley who sang Candide in the first LONDON production.

0420050602Humphrey Burton presents excerpts from Mass (1971), the Jerome Robbins ballet the Dybbuk (1974) and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976), Bernstein's ill-fated collaboration with Alan Jay Lerner.

Among today's guests are the composer's daughter, Jamie Bernstein Thomas, who has performed in Mass, and Patricia Routledge, who played the First Lady in the original production of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which she described as a diamond studded dinosaur.

05 LAST20050603Humphrey Burton rounds up his week on Broadway with Bernstein's most popular work, West Side Story (1957).

With the book by Arthur Laurents, choreography by Jerome Robbins and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the team was in Sondheim's words "a unique concatenation of people".

With contributions from the orchestrator Sid Ramin, a friend of Bernstein's since childhood, and producer Ruth Mitchell, production manager on the original production.