Saturday, August 25, 2012
August 25 is the birthdate of composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein, especially known for his long tenure at the New York Philharmonic and his music for Shakespeare-inspired West Side Story and Voltaire-inspired Candide. He composed these two musicals concurrently (1956-57), which led to some switches of material between the two works. His score for the former includes now-timeless songs: "Maria," "America," "Somewhere," "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty" and "One Hand, One Heart." Lyrics were almost entirely written by Stephen Sondheim (in his Broadway debut). Columbia Records initially declined to record the cast album, saying the score was too depressing and too difficult. Pictured: original poster.