My friend and colleague Lara Downes asked a bunch of us to write small anniversary pieces in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. I took the opportunity to read the Humphrey Burton biography that had been languishing on my shelf for years, and to re-listen to lots of Bernstein, which was simultaneously fascinating, beautiful, and sort of heartbreaking, as time with Lenny often is.
So Another Time is inspired by a few things:
• the octave leap in bar 5 of the melody of Some Other Time (from On the Town). If you haven’t heard Barbra’s incredible live recording, I recommend it with my whole heart:
• Agnes de Mille’s report that LB was fired for dropping in a 5/8 or 7/8 every now and then when accompanying dance classes back in the day,
• the story that West Side Story has a song highlighting each interval (Maria is the tritone, Somewhere the minor 7th, etc.)
So this little piece could be played in 4/4, but I alternate 7/8 and 4/4. The melody fragments cycle through intervals starting with the octave in bar 2, the 7th in bar 5, and so on.
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