When I was very young I thought that Leonard Bernstein and Elmer Bernstein were related. They were two of my favorite composers and conductors. In my childish imagination they even looked alike. As I matured I learned that, although they shared the same last name, they were no relation to each other but boy, were they both two of the most talented people to ever live.
On Friday, December 18th, at 12:00 pm Eastern Time / 9am Pacific Time, Movies Broadway Singers and Beyond will pay tribute to these two talented geniuses. Leonard Bernstein created music for ballets, Broadway and the movies. The amazing score from West Side Story was composed by him with Stephen Sondheim writing the lyrics. That show has one masterpiece song after another. It was first a Broadway show with Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert. I believe it was Carol Lawrence who once said, when they first opened, no one had any idea how it would be received by the audience. This was not the typical Broadway show with a happy ending. The ending was violent, shocking and heartbreaking but the music was incredible. On opening night when the show was over, there was dead silence. Then, all of a sudden, the audience rose to their feet and gave the actors a standing ovation that went on for a long time.
West Side Story then became a movie with Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris (both Rita and George received Academy Awards for their performances). West Side Story received ten Academy Awards. The movie has withstood the test of time.
Leonard’s ballet to Fancy Free is also a masterpiece. The music is exquisite.
Elmer Bernstein focused his magnificent talents on composing some of the most beautiful movie music in history. He composed a lot of music for John Wayne’s films. His career spanned a lifetime. Some of his most beautiful pieces were the themes to The Sons of Katie Elder, The Comancheros, Big Jake, True Grit, Walk on The Wild Side, The Black Cauldron, and the wonderful The Rat Race.
I hope you can join us. Bernstein and Bernstein are two masters and their musical compositions were masterpieces.
For those of you who like this kind of music please join us. You will be enthralled.