Carnegie Hall presents Candide by Leonard Bernstein - New York City Article
Carnegie Hall presents Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide”
57th Street & 7th Avenue
Wednesday (April 18)
For composer-conductor-songwriter-pianist and hyphen-everything-else Leonard Bernstein, Candide was the great white whale of his career. Where all of his wildly successful Broadway musicals, On the Town, Wonderful Town, and West Side Story, took place in contemporary New York, Candide was the only one set in a distant place and a long ago, semi-mythic era - thus the only time he left his modern day Manhattan comfort zone resulted in the first major setback of his career. Still, though it was hardly a hit at the time of its premiere (and the original cast starred the brilliant Barbara Cook). Candide was a work that Bernstein himself and others constantly tinkered with for the rest of his life. It is, by any yardstick, a work of genius, if not necessarily a perfect one, which, like Porgy and Bess, 20 years before it and Sweeney Todd, 20 years later, falls at the exact point of demarcation on the musical map between Broadway and Grand Opera. Carnegie Hall’s one-night-only concert production, mounted in honor of the composer’s centennial, is, highly appropriately, cast with a mixture of musical theater and classical voices, especially with the “guest stars”: Danny Burstein, Len Cariou, and Marilyn Horn, plus John Lithgow as Dr. Pangloss, and Paul Appleby and Erin Morley, as the two leads, Candide and Cunegonde. More than anything, Candide deserves to be enjoyed for its sumptuous score, one of the richest in all of American and / or 20th century music, and the combination of the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Mansfield University Concert Choir, as conducted by the gifted Rob Fisher, will see to that.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)