Bernstein: West Side Story

Bernstein: West Side Story

Under the magnetic leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas, the GRAMMY®-winning San Francisco Symphony offers an electrifying tour of Leonard Bernstein’s swaggering, staggeringly beautiful 1957 classic. The live recording captures the first-ever concert performances of Bernstein’s complete score. While there’s fire and intensity in the jagged rhythms and bold dissonance, the recording’s strength lies in its balance—Thomas shrewdly undersells all but the grandest moments and rising soprano Julia Bullock delivers “Somewhere” with languid grace. Other cherished selections, like “I Feel Pretty” and “Maria,” float by with a breezy vivacity and the cast—led by an impressive Cheyenne Jackson (Glee, 30 Rock)—is uniformly strong. Beyond its theatrical trappings, the symphony’s spirited performance underscores the enduring sophistication and brilliance of Bernstein’s midcentury masterpiece. An accompanying iTunes LP offers historical insights, lyrics, interviews with Thomas, and more.

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