Friday, August 08, 2008
Looking for trouble
Okay, I'm game for controversy: Geoffrey Wheatcroft of The Guardian argues (here) that the best musical of the 1957 Broadway season was Meredith Willson's The Music Man rather than West Side Story. I'm about as far from a Broadway musical fan as anyone, but I have to agree with Wheatcroft on this. Willson, a graduate of Damrosch's Institute of Musical Art (later The Juilliard School), was a flute player in both Sousa's band and the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini, was a composer capable of some real subtlety that gets overlooked, perhaps as the corn in his subject matter is perpetually less fashionable than the kitsch in the work of his competitors.