Here is what to listen for, know, and appreciate when it comes to West Side Story before you watch the 2021 movie remake!

Show Notes

Stephen Sondheim

The lyricist for West Side Story, died on Nov 26, 2021, at the age of 91 after we recorded this podcast. To learn more about the life and legacy of Stephen Sondheim here.

A few of the works Bernstein drew from when writing West Side Story

"I have a love" takes it's cue from Wagner's Götterdämmerung - Listen here

"There's a place for us" borrow's it's minor 7th motif from Beethoven's Emperror Concerto - Listen here

The ending is reminiscent of Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra - Listen here

Further reading

Learn more about West Side Story and the 2021 remake at