Classical KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen asked me to join him on stage at Disney Hall last night to help preview the L.A. Philharmonic concert that included Leonard Bernstein’s fabulous suite from On the Waterfront. We talked about the circumstances of Bernstein’s hiring and his remarkable grasp of writing dramatic music for film (his one and only attempt at it). James Gaffigan conducted, and it was a thrilling performance (the concert also included Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3). Brushing up on my Waterfront lore (using the book chapter I wrote and the Criterion disc commentary I had done), I discovered that I had once written about this score for the Los Angeles Times! Here’s that piece.
Here‘s a preview of an all-Disney-music concert that John Mauceri conducted at L.A.’s Disney Hall in 2009. This was a great opportunity to review some of the hits from the Disney canon as well as having the experts (Mauceri, Ross Care, Thomas Schumacher) chime in on the symphonic nature of many of the early Disney scores.