ALBUM TITLE: Peter Pan
WORKS: Peter Pan
PERFORMER: Linda Eder, Daniel Narducci (singers); Amber CO/Alexander Frey
CATALOGUE NO: KIC-CD-7596
In the autumn of 1949, Leonard Bernstein wrote nearly an hour’s worth of incidental music and songs for a Broadway production of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. Most of it was left unused or subsequently forgotten. But now the conductor Alexander Kerr has painstakingly reconstructed what proves to be an entirely characteristic score, by turns tender and witty. He also directs a spirited performance, with a good band, an enthusiastic (uncredited) chorus and a sweet-voiced Wendy, but a disappointingly bland Captain Hook, whose very Bernsteinian piratical curse ‘Split my infinitives!’ goes for nothing.
This complete version, with so many tiny cues and reprises, is really for specialists only, though a more selective suite of preludes and songs could make a successful concert piece. As a bonus, there’s a duet from the aborted 1964 musical The Skin of Our Teeth which Bernstein converted into the lovely treble solo in the Chichester Psalms. Anthony Burton