This nine-minute medley sung by Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett, called “History of Musical Comedy”, is a variety-show tour de force enough for the first six minutes; then at 6:00 it rises to high art in the most affecting soprano duet in the repertoire of American opera. Happy birthday, Mr B.
From the Young People’s Concerts (which I remember!):”Overtures and Preludes” 22 October 22 1960. You can’t get any better than this.
Available on BBC Radio on-demand streaming for the next 30 days. And you know, it’s pretty good! Straightforwardly sung, acted and played; no John going meshugenah with the tempi like he did two weeks ago with the JWO. (You do not mess around with the London Symphony Orchestra.) And is that the venerable UK-based American actor Kerry Shale doing the narrating?
As it was in West Side Story two weeks ago, I am theorizing that the astonishing foot-stomping in the audience that went on when my darling John stepped forward to take his bow at the end was started by fellow students of the ArtsEd chorus and not a biker gang.
At the Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms 39, 11 August 2018. On BBC Radio3 audio on demand for the next 30 days.
From 8-10 June. Program includes Bernstein: Excerpts from West Side Story, Wonderful Town, On the Town, Candide, Peter Pan, Trouble in Tahiti, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; plus Symphony no. 2 The Age of Anxiety. Some Britten and Copland too.
Have been recently inspired to pick up a copy of the bane of my existence in 1972, Harmony by Leonard Bernstein’s teacher at Harvard, Walter Piston. Reading it again now, I can’t remember just what about it terrified me.
Did I mention I was a Voice major?
I’m a pot of joy for a hungry boy,
Baby, I’m cookin’ with gas.
Oh, I’m a gumdrop,
A sweet lollipop,
A brook trout right out of the brook,
And what’s more, baby, I can cook!
The queen of Broadway Bernadette Peters entices conductor John Mauceri with her many, many assets, courtesy of Leonard Bernstein and the great lyric team of Adolph Green and Betty Comden. “I Can Cook, Too” from On the Town. Fun starts here at 4:45.