Leonard Bernstein's Peter Pan

Leonard Bernstein's Peter Pan

     
 

Here, available for the first time, is Leonard Bernstein's complete Peter Pan -- his little-known, long-lost musical based on the J. M. Barrie play. In the original 1950 Broadway production (starring Jean Arthur as Peter Pan and Boris Karloff as Captain Hook), much of Bernstein's score was cut, owing to the limited vocal skill of the cast, and the discarded…  See more details below

Overview

Here, available for the first time, is Leonard Bernstein's complete Peter Pan -- his little-known, long-lost musical based on the J. M. Barrie play. In the original 1950 Broadway production (starring Jean Arthur as Peter Pan and Boris Karloff as Captain Hook), much of Bernstein's score was cut, owing to the limited vocal skill of the cast, and the discarded music was filed away and forgotten. Thanks to some archival sleuthing and the reconstructive efforts of conductor Alexander Frey, that wrong has been put right on this Koch Classics release, to the delight of Bernstein fans and Broadway buffs. It's a gem of a show. Linda Eder (of Jekyll and Hyde fame) is a natural choice for the role of Wendy; her light-lyric voice brings out the innocent charm of such songs as "Who Am I" and "Dream with Me," while the operatic-voiced Daniel Narducci makes a marvelously colorful Captain Hook. His "Soliloquy" is a tour-de-force aria that measures up with the best of Bernstein's Broadway work. Likewise, the spry orchestral interludes make the story come alive in the mind's eye and contribute to the overall sense of childlike enchantment. A bonus track offers Bernstein's touching "Spring Will Come Again," originally intended for a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. A long-overdue and welcome restoration that Bernstein admirers won't want to be without.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
In 1950, Leonard Bernstein was engaged to write songs for a Broadway musical adaptation of J.M. Barrie's children's classic Peter Pan. By the time the show reached the stage on April 24, Bernstein's contribution had been scaled back to half-a-dozen songs, making the production more of a "play with music" than a full-fledged musical. Columbia Records released an Original Broadway Cast album featuring those songs along with incidental music composed by Alec Wilder. More than a half-century later, conductor Alexander Frey, having discovered that Bernstein wrote considerably more music than was actually used, put together this recording of the material, which vastly expands the score to 29 musical cues, played by the Amber Chamber Orchestra, with Linda Eder voicing the part of Wendy Darling and Daniel Narducci playing Captain Hook. The restoration does not, however, support the notion that Bernstein wrote much more of a song score than was previously known. The songs that were in the original production are here, of course, along with a couple of cut numbers ("Captain Hook's Soliloquy" and "Dream with Me"), but the rest is instrumental music. It's very pretty music, to be sure, and for anyone familiar with Bernstein's work, highly suggestive of future efforts. For example, "Crew Dance" and "Fight" both sound like early renderings of ideas that would turn up in West Side Story, while "Spring Will Come Again" (a song intended for a version of The Skin of Our Teeth, included here as a bonus) sounds like a dry run for "Somewhere" from that later show. Pleasant as this music is, however, it is easy to appreciate why this version of Peter Pan is not as well remembered as the 1954 Broadway musical with songs by Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh, or even the 1953 Walt Disney animated movie, with songs by Sammy Fain and Sammy Cahn. Bernstein makes no concessions to children in his songs (for which he wrote the lyrics), seeming more interested in exploring a new approach to operetta in the Gilbert & Sullivan mode. The result is a minor, but worthwhile addition to the Bernstein catalog.
New York Times - Matthew Gurewitsch
Children attending concerts deserve music this good, and so do their parents.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/21/2005
Label:
Koch Int'l Classics
UPC:
0099923759621
catalogNumber:
7596
Rank:
61836

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Prelude - Act 1  - Leonard Bernstein
  2. Who Am I?  - Leonard Bernstein
  3. Peter's Tears  - Leonard Bernstein
  4. Shadow Dance  - Leonard Bernstein
  5. Flight to Neverland  - Leonard Bernstein
  6. Flight Music  - Leonard Bernstein
  7. Prelude - Act 2  - Leonard Bernstein
  8. Pirate Song  - Leonard Bernstein
  9. Croc Music  - Leonard Bernstein
  10. Wendy's Entrance  - Leonard Bernstein
  11. Build My House  - Leonard Bernstein
  12. Scene Change  - Leonard Bernstein
  13. Neverland  - Leonard Bernstein
  14. Pirate Song (reprise)  - Leonard Bernstein
  15. Lagoon Fight  - Leonard Bernstein
  16. Scene Change  - Leonard Bernstein
  17. Peter Peter  - Leonard Bernstein
  18. Indian-Pirate Fight  - Leonard Bernstein
  19. Hook's Poison  - Leonard Bernstein
  20. Tinkerbell Sick! Tink Lives!  - Leonard Bernstein
  21. Captain Hook's Soliloquy  - Leonard Bernstein
  22. Prelude Act 3  - Leonard Bernstein
  23. Crew Dance  - Leonard Bernstein
  24. Plank Round  - Leonard Bernstein
  25. Fight  - Leonard Bernstein
  26. Scene Change  - Leonard Bernstein
  27. Dream with Me  - Leonard Bernstein
  28. Underscore  - Leonard Bernstein
  29. Scene Change  - Leonard Bernstein
  30. Spring Will Come Again (Bonus Track)  - Linda Eder

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Linda Eder   Vocals,Track Performer
Daniel Narducci   Vocals,Track Performer
Alexander Frey   Piano,Conductor

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer,Lyricist
David Merrill   Engineer
Sid Ramin   Orchestration
Hershy Kay   Orchestration
Susan Napodano   Producer
Trude Rittman   Orchestration
George DelGiorno   Illustrations
Daniel Felsenfeld   Liner Notes
Garth Edwin Sunderland   Orchestration
Alexander Frey   Liner Notes,Score Restoration
Susan Napodano Delgiorno   Producer

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