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West Side Story

L. Bernstein Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $10.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 23 Songs, 2002 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $10.98  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. West Side Story: Act I: Prologue 4:16$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. West Side Story: Act I: Jet Song 2:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. West Side Story: Act I: Something's Coming 2:48$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. West Side Story: Act I: Blues 1:51$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. West Side Story: Act I: Promenade0:22$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. West Side Story: Act I: Mambo 2:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. West Side Story: Act I: Maria 3:06$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. West Side Story: Act I: Balcony Scene / Tonight 7:22$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. West Side Story: Act I: America 4:57$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. West Side Story: Act I: Cool 4:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. West Side Story: Act I: One Hand, One Heart 4:59$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. West Side Story: Act I: Tonight 3:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen13. West Side Story: Act I: The Rumble 3:11$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen14. West Side Story: Act II: I Feel Pretty 3:56$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen15. West Side Story: Act II: Ballet Sequence 1:30$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen16. West Side Story: Act II: Transition to Scherzo0:41$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen17. West Side Story: Act II: Scherzo 1:40$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen18. West Side Story: Act II: Somewhere 2:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen19. West Side Story: Act II: Procession and Nightmare 3:41$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen20. West Side Story: Act II: Gee Officer Krupke 4:21$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen21. West Side Story: Act II: A Boy Like That / I Have a Love 6:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen22. West Side Story: Act II: Taunting Scene 1:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen23. West Side Story: Act II: Finale 2:51$0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos American
  • ASIN: B00006LI1Z
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,433 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy contender . . . October 30, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Over all, I rate this recording very highly. The recorded sound is excellent, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kenneth Schermerhorn provide a fine, clean performance. Perhaps the sound and ensemble are a tad too clean - but it is nice hearing the score this way.
The over-all feel is that of a "real world" production - and the stage experience of this ensemble shows. The voices, for the most part, are well cast - and sound like those you could expect to hear at a regional theater. That is, these are not world class voices - and that's not necessarily a bad thing. (West Side Story is not meant for the opera house, keeping in mind the "out-of-context" feel one has listening to Bernstein's own recording featuring Carreras and Te Kanawa. As gorgeous as these voices are, the were all wrong for West Side Story. Perhaps the use of true operatic voices in the Bernstein recording isn't the issue. Had the producers used the leads found on Bernstein's Candide recording [Jerry Hadley and June Anderson], his West Side Story would have been much more effective.) The voices on this new Naxos release are pleasant enough, and sound young.
Mike Elred, as Tony, displays a fine, lyric tenor voice which is perhaps a shade to "clean" for Tony - but it works just fine.
Betsi Morrison sounds young, but tends to wobble a bit - as though the lines are a bit too much for her to handle. (My ideal Maria is the background provided by Marni Nixon in the 1961 classic movie - the purity of her sweet voice fit the role perfectly.)
Most of the score is included, but unfortunately the meeting scene, which includes the "Cha-cha" variation of "Maria", one of the most charming portions of the score, is missing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice try, but too many defects November 22, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Earlier reviewers did their best to be friendly to this bargain West Side Story from Schermerhorn and his Nashvile orchestra, but the whole affair is trapped between two worlds. The conductor tries to make the score more important and symphonic, but what results are sagging rhythms that bear little resemblance to Broadway style, while the light-voiced singers (whose juvenile timbre is more suitable for "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown") convey off-Broadway spontaneity.

Their "Hey gang, e'ts put on a show" enthusiasm is too clean cut for West Side Story; these street gangs would walk your grandmother across the street. As one reviewer points out, the dialogue involving Riff and the Jets is painful to listen to. Only the Maria and Tony sound convincing as characters, and it's too bad they didn't wind up in a better production. So despite the pleasure of hearing the full dialogue in the balcony scene and some unusual scoring that didn't make it into the final Broadway version, this recording deivers little in the way of the true spirit of this great show.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth checking out January 3, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This disc is far from perfect, as other reviewers have noted, but some portions of it are incredibly theatrical and powerful.

First of all, the title of this disc is incredibly confusing. "The original score"? The packaging goes on to say that this is the way Bernstein wanted WSS heard, before the stage and film incarnations. What does that even mean? Before the Broadway production, the music to "Oh Happy We" from Candide was in this show. Yet it's obviously not what Bernstein intended. I think he has made his intentions very clear with the published p/v score and the published orchestral score, both of which this recording deviates from. For instance, "America" on this recording is what we would call the film version of the song, with the males and the females battling, rather than the stage version, which is only the women. These lyrics were written much later than the premiere of the stage version; how could this be Bernstein's original intention? Also, on Bernstein's own recording, Carerras sings the high Bb in "Maria." However, even though Eldred certainly posesses the pipes to sing that (he sings the optional high C at the end of the Quintet), he (or more probably Schermerhorn) decided to sing the more familiar succession of Gs and then an A. Why?? This was most certainly not Bernstein's original intention.

So the title is misleading. But still, this disc contains some very good material for a very low price. Eldred is one of the best singing Tonys on disc, having the perfect blend of youth and voice. Many reviewers have criticized Morrison, but she worked for me. (I never noticed her being out of tune.) She certainly has a much stronger soprano than the original Maria, Carol Lawrence, had. And the two have chemistry together as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back, Wonderful West Side November 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
The glorious version of "Tonight" contained on this cd is ample reason to purchase Naxos' offering of _West Side Story_. The lyric voices of soprano Betsi Morrison and tenor Michael Eldred blend beautifully, convincing listeners that the piece is as compelling as ever. Eldred and Morrison savor the nuances of the other titles as well, bringing a youthful vitality and joy to the music. Those who love _West Side Story_ will appreciate hearing this outstanding performance featuring excellent vocalists with the exceptional Nashville Symphony.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bernstien at his best
A joy fo all Bernstien fans ! Brings back the wonderful memories of the Broadway play and great Hollywood movie.
Published 2 months ago by cranberry
3.0 out of 5 stars lacks the last ounce of elan and incandescence
I thought it was pretty good when I first heard this disc.
After having seen the film, however, it sounds decidedly tame
and lacks elan. Read more
Published on January 19, 2011 by Issei Takechi
5.0 out of 5 stars One Hand, One Heart
The version here of "One Hand, One Heart" brings me to tears every time. If that does not deserve five stars, I don't know.
Published on December 6, 2009 by James Heitzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
I purchased the motion picture and this version from Naxos and I listen to this one more often. I highly recommend it.
Published on April 2, 2009 by jak-uv-ol-traids
3.0 out of 5 stars Familiarity May Breed Contempt as This Valiant Effort with Youthful...
Another recording of Leonard Bernstein's classic would hardly seem necessary given the legendary status accorded the recordings of the Broadway and Hollywood versions, but this... Read more
Published on April 23, 2006 by Ed Uyeshima
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the way it was first intended to be heard
There are no exceptional recordings of West Side Story, but each has its assets and liabilities. The assets the Nashville team bring to this recording are earnest (although not... Read more
Published on February 15, 2003 by Birdman
3.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough
I suppose I should bow to the obvious expertise of the previous reviewer (Kim Croft) who clearly knows the score backwards and forwards and also knows most of the recordings that... Read more
Published on November 4, 2002 by J Scott Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performance and recording
This was recorded in a studio here last fall about 1 week after 9/11 at the conclusion of a local production by the TN Rep Theater. Read more
Published on October 30, 2002 by Robert L. Estes
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