Today at the Proms - Prom 38 & 39


Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2018, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 38 & 39: a double helping of West Side Story  ...

What is there left to say that hasn't already been said about Bernstein's hit musical West Side Story? You  definitely know some of the songs, maybe seen it on stage and you've probably seen the, now classic, film starring Natalie Wood. I first heard the Jets and Sharks retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story when I was very young but it, and all of Bernstein's work both as a composer and a conductor, only became an absolute passion for me when, along with his wonderful Chichester Psalms, the musical formed the basis of my 'O' Grade Music project on Leonard Bernstein when I was 16, and this only because I had been given a score to study alongside the newly released double album of it which featured Kiri te Kanawa and Jose Carreras in the roles of Maria and Tony and was conducted by Leonard Bernstein himself. I was hooked.

How to choose one track from the musical though? There's the beautiful melancholy of Somewhere, the heartbreaking romance of One Hand One Heart, the drama of the Jet Song, the joy of Tonight... but that's what Overtures are for - they're the "coming up next" of the musical world. This is the film version - listen for the transition at about 3:11 between the softness of Maria and the kick of Mambo. Sublime!




Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer

Leonard Bernstein West Side Story(76 mins) concert performance

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou