The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Medley for cello solo
- We’re Off to See the Wizard
- The Merrie Old Land of Oz
- If I Only Had a Brain
- Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead
- Over the Rainbow
The 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz starred Judy Garland as Dorothy, with an ensemble cast that included Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Frank Morgan as the Wizard, and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West. Only a modest success at the time, the film did not win Best Picture at the Academy Awards that year, though it was nominated. “Over the Rainbow,” however, did receive the Oscar for Best Original Song. All the songs for the movie were composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg. The son of a synagogue cantor, Arlen was a jazz musician who wanted to be a singer. “I hear in jazz and in gospel my father singing,” he recalled. “His glorious improvisations must have had some effect on me and my own style.” That style often tended toward melancholy, as in “Stormy Weather” and “Over the Rainbow.” The success of the screen version of The Wizard of Oz has largely eclipsed its sources, the 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, and a musical based on it, which logged 293 performances on Broadway in 1903-04.
In 2003 I made this medley of tunes from the movie for my sister, Christine Tsen.