Bernstein’s ‘Wonderful Town’: ‘Ohio’

Here’s some more little-known Bernstein. His 1953 musical “Wonderful Town,” with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, was based on the popular play called “My Sister Eileen,” which tells the story of two sisters from Ohio who come to New York to pursue careers as a writer and an actress. They move into a dumpy Greenwich Village basement and shortly after arriving there sing this song, longing for home.

Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic, with singers Kim Criswell and Audra McDonald. –TM

Bernstein’s ‘On the Town’: ‘Ya Got Me’

If your only knowledge of Leonard Bernstein’s musical “On the Town” is the famous movie, then you don’t know it. The film cut most of Bernstein’s music and the composer ended up boycotting it.

Here’s a great bit from the studio cast recording made in 1960 under Bernstein’s direction, and not in the movie. There are two quick comedic preludes and then the wonderful song “Ya Got Me.” The characters are attempting to cheer up their friend, Gabey.

Audio: Symphonic ‘La La Land’

I hope this will eventually become part of the symphonic pops repertoire. For those of you who have seen the movie, this is the music played during the scene inside the Griffith Observatory. It’s good to listen to it without the visuals. Music by Justin Hurwitz.