"America" in Simple and Compound Time

Conductor, composer, pianist, educator, music philosopher…Leonard Bernstein’s whirlwind career was a complex mix of these versatile roles. Perhaps as a result, when it came to Bernstein’s Broadway music, outside influences were constantly creeping in, from West Side Story’s Copland-like Somewhere Ballet sequence and the dueling-keys of the Finale (a reference to the final bars of Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra) to a hint of Puccini in the soaring and harmonically searching Lonely Town from On the Town.  Bernstein couldn’t resist writing a …

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