Leonard Bernstein Remembered

Submitted by huw on Mon, 02/12/2024 - 14:04
Bernstein conducting

Neil Heywood remembers Leonard Bernstein

I thought I’d share something which simply shows why I revere that absolute genius Leonard Bernstein. His 1944 musical On The Town has always lived in the shadow of West Side Story, which came more than a decade later, but it’s full of great songs – by turns joyous, sardonic, wonderful and bitter-sweet.

And the most bitter-sweet of them all is Some Other Time, which never fails to bring a lump to my throat, or a tear to my eye, or both. It’s a lovely evocation of regret at parting, understated, witty and rueful - and for my money, it’s a little gem, one of the most perfect songs in any 20th century musical.

Find it on YouTube; there’s a fine rendering by Elizabeth Stanley; here’s the link. There’s also a vintage recording featuring Bernstein himself on piano accompanying ageing opera star Eileen Farrel, with a basso profundo verse contributed by Lenny himself. It’s here.

And the original cast recording is very fine too. Do listen to one of these and see if you agree.