Leonard Bernstein - Candide (1956) - Selections from the Original Broadway Cast Recording
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Uploaded on Mar 16, 2009
Bernstein's "Candide" was born complicated, its' life has steadily been getting more complicated with each passing year. Based on a particularly involving, if intentionally nasty, piece by Voltaire, "Candide" tells of a young man who, having been taught that everything that happens must be for the best, travels the world experiencing one disaster after another until in disillusionment he repudiates such philosophy in favor of a simple life. Candide's companions on his journey are his beloved, Cunegonde, his mentor, Dr. Pangloss, and a worldly-wise Old Lady. All details beyond this brief outline have been changed incessantly during the three chapters of the show's history.
The first chapter was the most eventful. A collaboration between Bernstein and the librettist, Lillian Hellman, involved John Latouche and later Richard Wilbur, as principal lyricist. Its' short Broadway run in 1956-57 produced a recording and a cult following, if not popularity of the show as a whole. A stream of revisions by various hands followed for other productions over the next 15 years: within Hellman's basic framework, each attempted to improve the work by revising the libretto, reinstating discarded music, even eliciting new music from Bernstein on occasion. The second phase, in which Bernstein was merely a bystander, began in 1973 with a completely new libretto, involving a different selection of incidents and music, presented in one act as a zany farce. This version, with book by Hugh Wheeler and some new lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, was transferred to Broadway in 1974 for a successful run. John Mauceri, who assembled the score, also supervised its' expansion in 1982 into a two-act "opera house version" with most of the missing music from 1956 restored, albeit in new order and contexts. The third chapter opened as the music director of the Scottish Opera, Mr. Mauceri, seized the chance to create one more "Candide", this time with the composer involved. A 1989 concert performance with Bernstein conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was the fruit of this period and provided the occasion for Deutsche Grammophon's operatic recording, heralded as the "final revised version". A problematic genesis, all in all.
In my honest opinion, the constant revisions harmed the work, rather than made it better: originally "Candide", in the best of words, was a play with appropriate musical numbers (though I would not call it a "musical" per se, as the demands on the soloists are considerable), basically retelling Voltaire's story; the revisions, if anything lost sight of the narrative itself, replacing it with the zaniness of 1973 and operatic ambitions in 1989, neither of which served the work well. Thus, the basic succession of fourteen vocal numbers in the 1956 version is transformed in Bernstein's definitive version into a quasi-operatic show with thirty numbers that amount to two hours of continuous music, at the very least, an hour more than the original play, which probably leads to extensive cuts in the dialogue that mutilate the story itself. Thus, it is the first scheme that is, in my opinion, preferable for the play, as its' straightforwardness, clarity and simplicity help balance the story. The problem is, however, even more rooted in the musical quality of various numbers: the original play includes most of the work's best music (the slightly less interesting opening notwithstanding (though the scene is better treated in the original than in the revisions)), in fact, it includes all of the work's best music (and the music itself is exceptional); the revised versions of the numbers either reuse the originals poorly (for example, the sarcastic Venice gavotte is tensely used as a new idealistic opening) or include new numbers of different musical merit altogether to set new situations (such as the sprightly Auto-da-fa scene or the pointless and unenjoyable laughing song) that, as I have already noted, serve only to complicate a rather straightforward story.
These reasons predetermine my choice recording for this upload: the original 1956 Broadway cast with the following performers (almost unbeatable, if not as polished as in Bernstein's final rewrite):
Max Adrian - Dr. Pangloss/Martin,
Robert Rounseville - Candide,
Barbara Cook - Cunegonde,
Irra Petina - Old Lady,
William Olvis - Governor of Buenos Aires.
I selected only several numbers that I personally find delightful to limit the sheer size of the upload: included are parts of the lovers' first duet (I wanted to post the second duettino as well but it has been posted earlier), both of the Governor's stunning songs (they could easily become a part of a successful baritone recital), Candide's lovely "Eldorado" song, Cunegonde's justly famous "jewel aria", the enchanting Venice Gavotte and the "What's the use" quartet (I used this particular number as a main theme for the upload to connect the movements into a whole).
Hope you'll enjoy :).
Standard YouTube License
- Buy "Glitter And Be Gay" on
- 49 videos Play all YouTube Mix - Leonard Bernstein - Candide (1956) - Selections from the Original Broadway Cast Recording
- 2:27:03 Leonard Bernstein "Candide" (English subtitles)by karlmall62,806 views
- 1:56:21 Leonard Bernstein - Candide (SUBTITULOS EN ESPAÑOL - VER DESCRIPCIÓN!!!!!)by Leonard Bernstein14,092 views
- 11:02 Barbara Cook - Kennedy Center Honors - Music Tributesby f13overture181,942 views
- 6:31 Candide - Glitter and Be Gay with Leonard Bernsteinby mreffen116,172 views
- 4:00 Make the Man Love Me! - Barbara Cookby varadero183920,084 views
- 6:46 Sumi Jo - Leonard Bernstein - Candide - Glitter and Be Gayby smoothiw99,665 views
- 73 videos Play all Barbara Cook Videosby Matteo4725
- 7:18 RARE Barbara Cook Starsby mitchellivers25,391 views
- 3:42 Barbara Cook - Ice Cream (live in France 1979)by BarbaraCooook8,576 views
- 6:16 Barbara Cook, soprano Salute to Broadway (South Pacific, Camelot and No Strings)by bayareabert11,211 views
- 1:33:52 Bernstein - Beethoven no. 9. - Berlin - Freedom concertby fodipali70,589 views
- 2:03 My Love! - Barbara Cook, Irra Petinna and William Olvisby varadero18394,262 views
- 29:31 Familiar classics ~ Ludwig van Beethoven & Co. ~ Variations on a waltz by Diabelli (1819-24)by LindoroRossini376 views
- 9:57 Barbara Cook- 1956 "live".by StuartLou18,323 views
- 6:34 Diana Damrau - Glitter and be Gayby operatribute293,769 views
- 5:53 Carly Bracco - Glitter And Be Gayby dbhmr4,606 views
- 4:22 Losing My Mind - Barbara Cook - Folliesby BestArtsSondheim114,547 views
- 35:06 Barbara Cook Tributeby 音樂劇團耀演3,529 views
- 3:19 Glitter & Be Gayby Matthew Gardiner28,793 views
- 5:38 Natalie Dessay - Glitter and be gayby LaViolettaValery148,204 views