BERNSTEIN West Side Story CD + DVD 4777101

. . . "West Side Story" still has a contemporary feel, in part because of its subject matter -- a combination of fundamental human truths and still-relevant social issues. But more important is Bernstein's high-voltage, percussive score, with its echoes of Aaron Copland and its nods to Latin dance and cool jazz . . . This viscerally exciting, immediately recognizable music can be heard in all its glory on Bernstein's now-classic 1984 recording of "West Side Story." It features such operatic luminaries as José Carreras, Tatiana Troyanos, Kiri Te Kanawa and Marilyn Horne. To mark the musical's anniversary, Deutsche Grammophon has reissued the release in a beautiful deluxe edition, complete with a 100-page hardcover book including vintage photos, Bernstein's diary of the work's creation and a DVD documentary on the making of the recording . . . In the world of Broadway musicals, it doesn't get any better than "West Side Story." There's little doubt that in another 50 years, this enduring masterpiece will still be thrilling audiences.

We see Bernstein at his most radiant . . . We hear the singers taking off with the music . . . you can only admire them all for their devotion, their energy, and what seems like endless labor . . . All in all, worth your attention.