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Leonard Pennario ~ The Composer


Midnight on the Cliffs

This piece has gone through several incarnations over its lifetime. When Leonard first composed it he called it 'Midnight on the Newport Cliffs', then 'Minuit sur la falaise de Newport'. Doris Day heard it, was impressed by it, and asked that this piece be used in her 1956 film, 'Julie'.  The final version became known simply as 'Midnight on the Cliffs'.

Here is a brief MP3 sample from the 'commercial' version. MSR classics (Pennario - The Early Years) have included a live performance by Leonard from 1942, the earliest one available.

Original Score

The following is the original handwritten score we found in Leonard's papers. A similarly 'thin' score was published (for fifty cents!) by Ardmore Music Corp. of New York in 1954.

As Played On Record

From all our discussions with Leonard, he never wrote down what he actually played on the records or in concert. It is possible, even likely, that he never played it exactly the same way twice! Michael Kasman has tracked down for us a 'proper' score from the recording. (I dont know who made it, perhaps Michael)

This is what the first page of the reconstruction looks like:

Quite a difference.  I expect that Leonard's other compositions, shown on this site, would have undergone similar transformations during actual performances.

There was an arrangement for piano and orchestra which was used in the film Julie. The orchestration was done by Lucien Cailliet. But once again the piano part is reasonably 'thin' and not at all like the solo performance.

Here is a copy of one of the pages from that arrangement, this one marked Ardmore Music Corp, 1956.