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Hello and welcome to Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast!  This podcast is for anyone who loves classical music, or is just getting ready to dive in for the very first time.  Thanks so much, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Jan 4, 2024

We're back! Welcome to Season 10!

Leonard Bernstein to his wife: "These days have flown so -- I don't sleep much; I work every -- literally every -- second (since I'm doing four jobs on this show -- composing, lyric-writing, orchestrating and rehearsing the cast). It's murder, but I'm excited. It may be something extraordinary. We're having our first run thru for PEOPLE on Friday -- Please may they dig it!."  Westside Story ran for 732 performances, spawned a movie that won 11 Academy Awards, and is still a go to on every list of the greatest Broadway Musicals ever written.  The collaboration between Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Robbins was a revolution on par with the collaborations of Stravinsky, Diaghilev, and Nijinsky with the Rite of Spring.  Simply put, no Broadway show had ever been so gritty, so tragic, and so raw. This was a musical, a comedy, a tragedy, a political statement, and most importantly, a stunningly revolutionary work of art by these collaborators.  And today, I want to tell you about the music, and more specifically, the Symphonic Dances from Westside Story; an arrangement that Bernstein made with his colleague Sid Ramin 3 years after the show’s premiere.  The Symphonic Dances brought Bernstein’s electric music from the theatre to the concert stage, and it’s stayed there ever since.  So today, we’ll go through each number, talking about just what makes this music so great, and also about the show itself - its background, its production, and the issues that Bernstein, Laurents, Sondheim, and Robbins were trying to tackle, all through the eyes of a tale of woe about Juliet and her Romeo, or of course, Maria and Tony. Join us!