White House Cantata, A
Subtitle: Selections, mezo soprano and baritone vocal soloists
Year: 1997 /
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown
(Needed, please join the WRP if you can help.)
None discovered thus far.
A White House Cantata, a work released after Bernstein’s death and compiled from music originally written for the composer’s little known collaboration with Alan Jay Lerner, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is a unique Broadway musical, composed in our nation’s bicentennial year of 1976, that conveys American history as viewed from the perspective of the residents of the executive mansion.
- Program Note from Butler University Wind Ensemble concert program, 15 November 2018
The musical was much anticipated at the time because of the collaboration of these two titans. Their names were in larger typeface on the theater marquee than the title. Instead it ended up as one of the greatest flops in Broadway history, closing after only seven performances and causing such grief to Bernstein and Lerner that they decreed there would be no cast recording.
A White House Cantata retains 90 minutes of the two hours of music from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and was shaped by Charlie Harmon, the former music editor of the Bernstein estate, and Sid Ramin, an original orchestrator of the show. Their purpose was to rescue Bernstein’s music and Lerner’s lyrics from a clunky book overburdened with sermonizing about race relations. The cantata had its debut in London in 1997, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with the London Voices under the American conductor Kent Nagano.
“Musically, this is top drawer,” said Robert Bass, the director of the Collegiate Chorale, “and whatever shortcomings the original Broadway musical had, the cantata does not suffer from. The score is Bernstein at his most exuberant and all-embracing. Identifiable in it are anthems, ballads, blues, calypso, drinking songs, Dixieland, torch songs, waltzes, jazz, hymns, spirituals, marches and a cappella barbershop harmonies.
“It is music that evokes the pioneering spirit of discovery which is quintessentially American,” Mr. Bass said.
None discovered thus far.
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Butler University (Indianapolis, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Michael Colburn, conductor; Sara Sheffield and Kevin Bennear, vocal) – 15 November 2018
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Almighty Father (arr. Hunsberger) (1971/1974)
- America (arr. Vinson) (1963/2018)
- America from "West Side Story" (arr. Brown)
- A Bernstein Tribute (adapt. Grundman) (1991)
- Candide Suite (arr. Grundman) (1956/1993)
- Dance Suite (1990)
- Danzón (arr. Bocook) (1944/1990)
- Danzón (arr. Krance) (1944)
- Divertimento (arr. Grundman) (1980/1984)
- Fanfare for the 25th Anniversary of the High School of the Arts (orch. Ramin)
- Fanfare for the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy (orch. Ramin) (1961/1995)
- Fanfare from "Dance Suite"
- Four Dances from "West Side Story" (tr. Polster) (1957/1980)
- Gee, Officer Krupke (arr. Murtha) (1957/2015)
- Glitter and Be Gay (arr. Frenkel) (1956/)
- Glitter and be Gay from "Candide" (tr. Davis)
- Highlights from "West Side Story" (arr. Ingram) (1963)
- I Hate Music! (arr. Nowlin) (1943/)
- Make Our Garden Grow (arr. Kreines) (1956/2017)
- Make Our Garden Grow (arr. John Gibson) (1956/)
- Mambo from "West Side Story" (arr. Sweeney) (1957/2013?)
- Maria from "West Side Story" (arr. McCoy) (1957)
- Meditation No. 2 from "Mass" (arr. Hunsberger)
- A Musical Toast (tr. Grundman) (1982)
- Overture to Candide (trans. Beeler)
- Overture to Candide (tr. Grundman) (1955/1986)
- Overture to Candide (tr Hunsberger)
- Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (1974/1991)
- Presto Barbaro from "On the Waterfront" (arr. Erickson)
- Prologue from "West Side Story" (arr. Gilmore) (1962)
- Selections from "Wonderful Town" (arr. Saurer) (1953)
- Shivaree (1970)
- A Simple Song (arr. Sweeney) (1971/2010)
- Slava! (tr. Grundman) (1977)
- Slava! (arr. Linden) (1977/2011)
- Slava! (tr. Longfield) (1977/)
- Somewhere from "West Side Story" (arr. Bocook)
- Suite from "MASS" (arr. Sweeney) (1971/2009 )
- Suite from "On the Town" (arr. Higgins) (1944)
- Suite from "West Side Story" (arr. Davis)
- Symphonic Dance Music from "West Side Story" (arr. Polster) (1980)
- Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story" (tr. Lavender) (1967/2008)
- Symphonic Suite from "On the Waterfront" (arr. Bocook) (1954/2011)
- Symphony No. 1 (tr. Bencriscutto)
- Three Dance Episodes from "On The Town" (arr. Lavender) (1944/2016)
- Three Dance Episodes from "On The Town" (tr. Stith) (1944/1972)
- West Side Story: Highlights (tr. Ingram)
- West Side Story: Medley (arr. Bocook) (1957/1991)
- West Side Story: Selection (arr. Duthoit) (1957/1959)
- West Side Story (Selections for Flex-Band) (arr. Sweeney) (1957/)
- West Side Story (arr. Norris)
- A White House Cantata (tr. Nowlin) (1997/)
- Wrong Note Rag (arr. Ricketts) (1953/2005)
- Hoge, Warren. " Bernstein’s Singing Presidents: A Recount." New York Times, March 31, 2008. Accessed 15 November 2018