Bernstein and Robbins
Title Details

323 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

14 b/w, 62 line illus.

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 173

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Bernstein and Robbins

The Early Ballets

by Sophie Redfern

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
The formative early ballets of West Side Story creators Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins explored in detail for the very first time.
Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins stand as giants of the musical-theatre world, but it was ballet that launched their stage careers and established their relationship. With Fancy Free (1944), their triumphant debut collaboration produced by Ballet Theatre, Bernstein, Robbins, and set designer Oliver Smith-all in their mid-twenties- captured the spirit of wartime New York, created a defining ballet of the period still widely performed today, and became overnight sensations. The hit musical On the Town (1944) and a now largely forgotten ballet, Facsimile (1946), followed over the next two years.

Drawing extensively on previously unpublished archival documents, Bernstein and Robbins: The Early Ballets provides a richly detailed and original historical account of the creation, premiere, and reception of Fancy Free and Facsimile. It reveals the vital and sometimes conflicting role of Ballet Theatre, explores how Bernstein composed the scores, sheds light on the central importance of Oliver Smith, and considers the legacy of these works for all involved. The result is a new understanding of Bernstein, Robbins, and this formative period in their lives.
Introduction
Setting the Scene: American Ballet and Jerome Robbins
Towards a First Ballet: Fancy Free Takes Shape
Creating Fancy Free: A Long-Distance Collaboration
The Music of Fancy Free: The Sketches and Score Explored
The Fancy Free Premiere and a Move to Broadway
Towards a Second Ballet: Bye Bye Jackie and the Creation of Facsimile
The Music of Facsimile: The Sketches and Score Explored
The Facsimile Premiere and Legacy of the Ballets
Epilogue: Bernstein and Dance
Bibliography
Index

SOPHIE REDFERN is a music historian and lecturer at the University of Sheffield and holds a post supporting research activity at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, having previously taught at Liverpool Hope University. In January 2019, she was appointed Curator at the European Opera Centre.

"For choreographers interested in commissioning scores for their dance pieces, the information contained in this book is very useful." Mark Kappel, NEWSNOTES DANCE BLOG
"This very interesting book primarily relates the early partnership of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins. I enjoyed Redfern's...discussion of the staging and choreography of the various shows. The author wisely includes a discussion of Bernstein's ability to work quickly on theatrical assignments and Robbins's legendary rehearsal requirements, and how that affected their relationship. This book offers corrections to...prior information and presents the ballet information with enough detail to better appreciate the music and choreography." AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Sophie Redfern's new book on Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins provides a rich portrait of their collaborative relationship [and] the first in-depth, published analysis of their ballets. Her book adds many insights into the working relationship between these two influential figures. A fascinating narrative arc emerges. Redfern's book is important reading for scholars...who want to think more deeply about collaborative relationships between composers and choreographers." STUDIES IN MUSICAL THEATRE

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9781648250057

January 2021

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Title Details

323 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

14 b/w, 62 line illus.

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 173

Imprint: University of Rochester Press