West Side Story - Recordings

Recordings

Recordings of West Side Story include:

  • The 1957 original Broadway cast album, with Carol Lawrence as Maria, Larry Kert as Tony and Chita Rivera as Anita.
  • A 1959 recording by the pianist André Previn comprised jazz versions of eight songs from the musical.
  • The movie soundtrack, with Marni Nixon singing Maria's role (played in the film by Natalie Wood) and Tony (played in the film by Richard Beymer) sung by Jimmy Bryant. It won the Grammy Award for Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast from Motion Picture or Television. The 1992 remastered re-release of this album included the "Overture", the "End Credits" music, the complete "Dance at the Gym" and dialogue from the film. The 2004 re-release added the "Intermission" music.
  • In 1960, Cal Tjader released a jazz version on Fantasy Records. The album was released again in 2002 as Cal Tjader Plays Harold Arlen/West Side Story (double CD).
  • In 1961, Stan Kenton recorded a jazz version that received a 1962 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance – Large Group (Instrumental).
  • In 1962, Oscar Peterson and his trio recorded a jazz version, West Side Story.
  • In 1962, Dave Brubeck recorded jazz versions of selections from the film score on Music From West Side Story.
  • In 1966, Buddy Rich and his big band performed an arrangement penned by Bill Reddie called West Side Story Medley for many years.
  • In 1969, progressive rock band Yes covered the song "Something's Coming" as the B-side to their first single "Sweetness".
  • In 1984, Bernstein decided to re-record the musical, conducting his own music for the first time. Generally known as the "operatic version" of West Side Story, it stars Kiri Te Kanawa as Maria, José Carreras as Tony, Tatiana Troyanos as Anita, Kurt Ollmann as Riff, and Marilyn Horne as the offstage voice who sings "Somewhere". It won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 1985 and the recording process was filmed as a documentary. It was made by the BBC for Unitel, Produced by Humphrey Burton and Directed by Christopher Swann. The documentary won the Flaherty BAFTA for documentary direction, a Prix Italia and was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy.
  • A 1993 recording, the first recording to document the full score including the overture performed by Britain's National Symphony Orchestra using cast members of the 1992 Leicester Haymarket Theatre production.
  • In 1996, RCA Victor released the tribute album The Songs of West Side Story featuring new versions of the songs from the musical sung by popular music stars, including: "The Jet Song" sung by Brian Setzer, "A Boy Like That" sung by Selena, "I feel Pretty" sung by Little Richard, two versions of "Somewhere" performed by Aretha Franklin and Phil Collins, "Tonight" sung by Wynonna Judd and Kenny Loggins, "America" sung by Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole and Sheila E., "I Have a Love" sung by Trisha Yearwood and "Rumble" performed by Chick Corea Elektric Band and Steve Vai's Monsters. Proceeds from the sale of this album go to benefit the Leonard Bernstein Education Through The Arts Fund, the NARAS Foundation and The Leonard Bernstein Center at Nashville, Tennessee.
  • A 2007 tribute album entitled A Place for Us marking the 50th anniversary of the show. The album features cover versions previously recorded as well as a new recording of "Tonight" by Kristin Chenoweth and Hugh Panaro.
  • A 2007 recording was released by Decca Broadway in honor of West Side Story's 50th anniversary. This album stars Hayley Westenra as Maria and Vittorio Grigolo as Tony. The Bernstein Foundation in New York has authorized the recording. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Show Album.
  • Bernstein recorded the Symphonic Dances suite with the New York Philharmonic in 1961, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1983. The Symphonic Dances have entered the repertoire of many major world orchestras, most recently by the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel. It has been recorded by many orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Seiji Ozawa.
  • The 2009 new Broadway cast album, with Josefina Scaglione as Maria, Matt Cavenaugh as Tony and Karen Olivo as Anita won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

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