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Four Dances from "West Side Story"

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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (trans. Ian Polster)


General Info

Year: 1957 / 1980
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $130.00   |   Score Only - $25.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Tuba
Percussion, including:

  • Claves
  • Cowbell
  • Drum Set
  • Glockenspiel
  • Maracas
  • Marimba
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Timbales
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

West Side Story was Bernstein's greatest popular success. Characterized as an America Romeo and Juliet, the work is noted for its "extraordinary dance sequences, melodic characterization, musical continuity, cohesive plot construction, and excellent orchestration." With a romantic setting against a background of social and racial and ethnic strife, Bernstein's music reflects the countless emotions which permeate Stephen Sondheim's lyrics. From a basic mood of studied nonchalance and defiance by the juvenile set, the music at times becomes devout and tender or, in contrasting sections, dynamic in intensity.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


The dances in this medley are Scherzo, Mambo, Cha-cha, and Cool (Fugue).

- Program Note by publisher


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Maryland: VI
  • Minnesota: I
  • Mississippi: I-A
  • South Carolina: VIsI
  • Virginia: VI


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Corey Seapy, conductor) – 20 November 2019
  • Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Dobbins, conductor) – 4 November 2019
  • Lakeshore Symphonic Band (Cedarburg, Wisc.) (Michael Zens, conductor) – 18 March 2019
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Wind Ensemble (Juan José Navarro, conductor) – 3 December 2018
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 12 November 2018
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Symphonic Band (Matthew Arau, conductor) – 9 November 2018
  • Houghton College (Caneadea, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Tim McGarvey, conductor) – 2 November 2018
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Caldwell, conductor) – 26 October 2018
  • Prairie Wind Ensemble (East Peoria, Ill.) (Jim Tallman, conductor) – 21 October 2018
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) – 9 October 2018
  • Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Steven M. Knight, conductor) – 7 October 2018
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor) – 4 October 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, All College Band (Carrie Pawelski, conductor) – 3 October 2018
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David Kehler, conductor) – 13 September 2018
  • Racine (Wisc.) Concert Band (March Eichner, conductor) - 22 May 2018
  • Quad City Wind Ensemble (Davenport, Iowa) (Brian Hughes, conductor) - 12 May 2018
  • William & Mary (Williamsburg, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Richard Marcus, conductor) - 28 April 2018
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Concert Band (Keith Taylor, conductor) - 24 April 2018
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Concert Band (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 24 April 2018
  • Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Pease, conductor) – 9 April 2018 (Carnegie Hall, N.Y.)


Works for Winds by this Composer


References

  • Bernstein, L.; Polster, I. (1980). Four Dances from West Side Story [score]. Leonard Bernstein Music: [United States]
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). ‘’Program Notes for Band.’’ Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 63.