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Maria from "West Side Story"

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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (arr. McCoy)


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General Info

Year: 1957 /
Duration:
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: U.S. Army Band
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Instrumentation

(Needed, please join the WRP if you can help.)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Of all Bernstein’s music, his most endearing is what he composed for a most unusual musical, first conceived in 1949. It must have seemed crazy to stage Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a Broadway musical, presenting the Montagues and Capulets four centuries later in the slums of New York as teen gangs of white American ne’er-do-wells and tough Puerto Rican immigrants.

Its opening in 1957 brought social issues to American musical theater with greater immediacy than Broadway audiences were prepared for, not to mention a show that seemed more like ballet or opera than a musical. First reviews were mixed. But over sixty years since its opening, West Side Story continues to captivate, intoxicate, jolt, and compel one to dance.

Maria is sung by the male lead Tony when he learns the name of the girl he's fallen in love with is "Maria". The name "Maria" is spoken or sung in the song 27 times. It begins in B major and then modulates to E-flat major.

The song is widely known for its use of the melodic interval of a tritone in the main theme. The song is an example of the use of Lydian mode, which is the same as the major scale but with a raised 4th, giving the tritone characteristic of this piece.

- Program note by San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra and Wikipedia


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources