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24 Reviews
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Wow. This recording will blow you away! Chuck out any broadway versions you own, and just listen to this one. Jose Carreras' Tony is gorgeous, rich, full, and very pleasant to listen to (probably the famous tenor's best recording!) As for Kiri Te Kanawa's Maria...it's sublime, sexy, rich, beautiful and full of personality. Their duets are simply out of this world...
Published on 17 Nov 1999

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bernstein's Delusions of Grandeur where Further Greatness was Unnecessary
Apart from the recording quality and purely orchestral performances, which are superlative, this recording was a waste of time and energy.

Ample amounts have already been said about Carreras' woeful accent and at times oafish performance, but Kiri Te Kanawa's is not all it's knocked up to be either.

Strangely, the album that comes to mind when I...
Published on 22 Mar 2012 by Caribafricopean


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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 17 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
Wow. This recording will blow you away! Chuck out any broadway versions you own, and just listen to this one. Jose Carreras' Tony is gorgeous, rich, full, and very pleasant to listen to (probably the famous tenor's best recording!) As for Kiri Te Kanawa's Maria...it's sublime, sexy, rich, beautiful and full of personality. Their duets are simply out of this world. Troyanos is wonderful and her mezzo voice blends beautifully with everyone else. The whole cast is well chosen, and of course, conducted by the extraordainary composer himself. The famous chorus 'America' is beautifully done, the duet 'One hand, one heart' brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it, and 'I feel pretty' is alot of fun. Any faults in the recording? Carreras is halting and unclear at times with his diction, but that's all I have to pick on...not a big deal, considering the rest makes for a perfect recording. Buy it, you won't regret it! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound and texture in Pure Technicolour., 7 May 2013
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Don't waste time listening to other recordings of this great Musical, get this one and hear all the songs in wonderful widescreen technicolour ! Really the songs on this recording have depth, texture and feeling, but you would expect that with quality of the performers, both singers and the orchestra involved. These qualities are sadly lacking on other versions i have heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent job! Thanks!, 16 May 2012
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
Leonard Bernstein's recording of his "West Side Story" is brilliant. The soloist are fantastic and orchestra plays clear and beautiful.
Kiri te Kanawa is good Maria, but not the best. She sings lovely, but something is wrong. She use vibrato, what is little bad thing - "West Side Story" is musical, no opera! Jose Carreras is excellent Tony and Kurt Ollmann is good Riff - but his voice is no "jazzy". More articulations, please!
Marilyn Horne sings "Somewhere" and I love this piece - she sings very beautiful. Leonard Bernstein is brilliant conductor - "Mambo" and "Prologue" are fantastic. By the way, excellent job!

CDs info:

WEST SIDE STORY
Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins

Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Maria.......................................................KIRI TE KANAWA
Tony........................................................JOSE CARRERAS
Anita.......................................................TATIANA TROYANOS
Riff..........................................................KURT OLLMANN
and MARILYN HORNE sings "Somewhere"

Rosalia: LOUISE EDEIKEN
Francisca: ANGELINA REAUX
Consuela: STELLA ZAMBALIS
Action: DAVID LIVINGSTON
Diesel: MARTY NELSON
Baby John: STEPHEN BOGARDUS
A-rab: PETER THOM
Snowboy: TODD LESTER
Bernardo: RICHARD HARRELL

Dialogue: NINA BERNSTEIN (Maria), ALEXANDER BERNSTEIN (Tony)

Orchestra and Chorus conducted by LEONARD BERNSTEIN

WEST SIDE STORY

1. Prologue (4'05)
2. Jet Song (3'11)
3. Something's coming (2'32)
4. Blues (1'45)
5. Promenade (0'27)
6. Mambo (2'23)
7. Cha-Cha (0'53)
8. Meeting Scene (1'27)
9. Jump (0'50)
10. Maria (2'56)
11. Balcony Scene (7'29)
12. America (4'48)
13. Cool (4'36)
14. One hand, one heart (Marriage Scene) (5'38)
15. Tonight (3'40)
16. The Rumble (3'03)
17. I Feel Pretty (3'22)
18. Ballet Sequence (1'05)
19. Transition to Scherzo (0'38)
20. Scherzo (1'31)
21. Somewhere (2'37)
22. Procession and Nightmare (3'13)
23. Gee, officer Krupke (4'20)
24. Boy like that (2'05)
25. I have a love (3'30)
26. Taunting Scene (1'27)
27. Finale (2'36)

Total Time: n. 77 min.

Recorded at the RCA Studios on 4, 5, 6, 7 September 1984
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect version of West Side Story, 15 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
I bought this album after having being introduced to it through the dvd - the making of West Side Story. Both the cd and the dvd are wonderful and I recommend that you buy them both.
I think it's a real treat to hear the songs performed by classically trained singers and not - like Bernstein himself says on the dvd - performed by dancers who also can sing somewhat. In my opinion the songs benefit greatly from being sung by singers like José Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa. What I don't like about this recording is Bernsteins decision about not letting the singers perform the spoken dialogue as well as the singing. And why, oh why did Bernstein have to choose his own children for the task? To me they sound uninvolved in the play and I guess it must be hard to get into the right lovestruck mood when acting against your sibling! But they're the only problem with this recording and a minor one that is.
The whole cast is doing an excellent job on this recording. José Carreras is an exceptionally good Tony. His "Maria" is out of this world. And the duet "one hand, one heart" with Kiri Te Kanawa is heart-wrenching. "Tonight" is also outstanding. Something that never ceases to amaze me about him is his ability to make his voice express exactly what he's singing about. In the song "something's coming" he's singing ...."around the corner or whistling down the river".... You get the feeling that something's really whistling down the river. Listen and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Kiri Te Kanawa is better here than in many of her other recordings. Sometimes she sounds very, very posh when singing, but it's hard to beat her in the duets "a boy like that" and "I have a love", performed with Tatiya Troyanos.
The song "America" makes you wanna get up and dance. And so does "Gee, officer Krupke". The songs have an energy and a freshness about them that makes you unable to sit still. In addition they're quite funny and you just have to laugh.
However, in the end Tony gets shot, leaving you devastated when he dies. I always get this strange "void" inside after hearing the final song where Tony suddenly stops singing and you realize that he's actually dead.
Due to the fact that Leonard Bernstein is conducting the play himself one must assume that this is the recording he would choose, since he most probably made the whole cast perform just the way he intended them to when he wrote the play. And what's good enough for Leonard Bernstein certainly works for me!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best!, 30 April 2001
By 
Mr. N. A. Chapman "scillo_2000" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
Wow, the best ever rendition of one of the world's greatest musicals. It's moving, magical, and simply a fantastic CD to own. Who better to conduct this performance than the very man who wrote the score?
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars freediver, 30 Dec 2006
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
I agree with aspects of all the reviewers here. There is much that is perfect but Carreras is badly miscast ... both for his accent and the fact that his range does not really work .... yes - he is too operatic. Other songs are remarkable.... One Hand One Heart brings tears to my eyes every time, and America is superb and joyful and fun.... There is a magic from Bernstein recording his own music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Speedy delivery arrived in time for Christmas., 26 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
Was a pleasant surprise being able to get this CD and it didn't disappoint.
The person who received it as a present was delighted with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good soundtrack, 20 Dec 2013
This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
This is one of the best soundtracks from a musical. Never tire hearing it great to sing along to in the car
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5.0 out of 5 stars great orchestration of a much loved masterpiece, 17 Dec 2013
By 
Jeffrey J. Marshall "jorchestra lover" (sydney australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
The fact L Bernstein himself conducted this cd is enough in itself, as I presume its how he wanted his work to sound. Lovely digital recording great orchestra.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 'original' movie sountrack, 12 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. Trevor V. Parker "Vincibabe" (Peterborough, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bernstein: West Side Story (Audio CD)
This is the disk that my wife wanted, out of the several versions available, as it relates to the movie that she enjoyed watching.
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