Academic journal article Notes

The Making of West Side Story

Academic journal article Notes

The Making of West Side Story

Article excerpt

The Making of West Side Story. DVD. Conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Directed by Christopher Swann. With Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras, Tatiana Troyanos, Kurt Ollmann. Hamburg: Deutsche Grammophon, 2005. DG B0004666. $29.98.

An interesting technical sign of an indisputable classic is the various types of releases it has had. The original box LP release of the 1984 Deutsche Grammophon West Side Story was a sensation of its time. Long before popera, the Three Tenors, or even Three Mo' Tenors, Leonard Bernstein mined the opera field and recorded a glorious version of his already classic West Side Story. Though long respected in opera, José Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Tatiana Troyanos crossed over to a popularity beyond the classical world that Bernstein himself had experienced. The European opera houses were producing classic American musicals to great success much as London's West End would do years later. What had seemed old fashioned and out of date to Broadway became fodder for Europe. The best selling LP was also released as a cassette, reel to reel, and ultimately a double compact disc (Deutsche Grammophon 415 253-2). Someone had the great presence of mind to film the recording session, now referred to as the "studio cast." Its original BBC broadcast and subsequent PBS broadcast was followed by various VHS and DVD releases. …

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