We end our season with three very different works depicting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky’s sublime fantasy overture weaves the main themes of the story into twenty minutes of orchestral perfection. In West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein transplants the two doomed lovers to jazzy 1950’s New York. His Symphonic Dances leave the listener breathless as they are shamelessly bombarded with many of the twentieth century’s best tunes, including ‘Maria’, ‘America’ and ‘Cool.’ Berlioz was equally inspired, especially by his wife-to-be’s performance as Shakespeare’s Juliet. His ‘take’ on the work is bursting with harmonic imagination, fervent power, eloquent emotion and frustrated desire.
Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette
Berstein: West Side Story
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliette