Thanksgiving

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Amid the sepulchral gloom of world events there are many things for which we may still be thankful. Among these are some great Broadway musicals, shows that project American optimism and confidence. And one of the greatest of these is West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein’s classic retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, transplanted to New York City. The Maestro’s DGG recording is, in my view, among his weaker studio efforts, overshadowed on many levels by the more exuberant and sometimes fresher original cast version. But the studio version was the first time he himself had conducted it. And he said he did it exactly the way he’d always wanted to hear it. And the 90-minute documentary of the recording sessions, showing him at work with the stellar opera singers he brought together for this project, is revelatory throughout. So if SpongeBob flying from cables is not your cuppa…, forego the Macy’s parade on Turkey Day and check out this great Lennie show instead, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3SEW63LsaM. You’ll be glad you did. Thankful, even!

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