Bernstein: West Side Story: The Making of the Recording (documentary)

COMPOSERS: Bernstein
LABELS: DG
ALBUM TITLE: Bernstein
WORKS: West Side Story: The Making of the Recording (documentary)
CATALOGUE NO: 073 01 7-9
This famous documentary about Bernstein’s best-selling audio recording of West Side Story WAS made for television in 1 984 and subsequently released on video. Over 17 years later, it still offers a fascinating insight into the work of a master composer/ conductor at the height of his powers, as well as an interesting look at the recording process itself. It is full of entertaining and sublime moments and captures the exhilaration and frustration of the performers in equal parts. Prime among the latter must be Bernstein’s infamous spat with Carreras.

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Few technical improvements have been made for the DVD version: the video quality, typical of the period, is slightly soft and grainy, but the stereo is full and, despite the ever-changing camera angle, the singers are solidly placed in the sound field. Unusually, this disc comes in the American NTSC format, which may not be compatible with all DVD players. Katina Ellery