Evolution of a Classic Song: Leonard Bernstein’s “Tonight”





Listen as musical composer and commentator Rob Kapilow deconstructs Bernstein’s masterpiece, “Tonight,” from West Side Story. Utilizing  the revisions of the song from Bernstein’s archives, Kapilow explains, musical phrase by phrase, how the song is constructed, and why it works so well. It’s a fascinating exegesis and all the more wonderful for the heavenly singing of Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther as Maria and Tony.

As the cherry on top, after Kapilow’s close explication, Wilfert and Winther get to sing the song through, uninterrupted.

This enlightening demonstration was just one of several bonuses the audience was treated to at this month’s Everything Old is New Again Live cabaret performance, David Kenney’s monthly fundraiser for radio station WBAI 99.5 FM NYC at The Metropolitan Room. The next live show is March 6th; until then, keep happy by listening to David’s show every Sunday night from 9-11pm, at WBAI.org.

Click on the grey triangle above to hear Kapilow and company.

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