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Like Gershwin before him, Bernstein (1918-1990) composed music for the concert hall and for musical theatre. Through the Broadway musical West Side Story his name reached a far larger audience than that of virtually every other modern American composer, with the possible exception of Gershwin himself.The pieces on this disc illustrate Bernstein's work in the theatre. Four of the works, the dance episodes from On the Town, the overture to Candide, the suite from West Side Story and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, were written for the Broadway stage; Facsimile and On the Town are both ballet scores, Mass is a theatre piece for singers, players and dancers and what should have been a purely jazz piece, the Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, ended up being incorporated into the musical comedy Wonderful Town.
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