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Leonard Bernstein Conducts Bernstein

Bernstein / Bernstein
Release Date: 06/12/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 7880862   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Zino FrancescattiBenny GoodmanJennie TourelLeonard Bernstein,   ... 
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York PhilharmonicColumbia Jazz BandNorman Scribner Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This inexpensive seven-disc set offers the basic Bernstein in the composer’s own incomparable performances with the New York Philharmonic. His later versions for Deutsche Gramophone may feature some of this music in the final, revised editions, but the differences are never large, and Bernstein in his more youthful prime is a tough act to follow, even for himself. Consider the second movement of the First Symphony, with its wicked use of the Torah tropes and climax featuring timpani pounded with maracas. Even the Israel Philharmonic doesn’t capture quite the same explosive energy that Bernstein does here.

In this set, you get all three symphonies, all of the ballets including the complete Dybbuk (still very underrated), Zino
Read more Francescatti in the earlier of Bernstein’s two Sony recordings of the Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium,” the suites from On the Waterfront, On the Town and West Side Story, the Candide Overture, Chichester Psalms, the witty song cycles I Hate Music! and La Bonne Cuisine, Trouble in Tahiti (so much better in this original version as opposed to its inclusion in the awful opera A Quiet Place), and best of all, Mass. I have great personal affection for this latter work, sort of Bernstein’s Broadway answer to Britten’s War Requiem, with its typically eclectic and riotous mixture of styles.

No notes, texts and translations are included, naturally enough for a budget release, which is a pity in the works that have extensive Hebrew or Latin words, but this is the only drawback in what is otherwise a true reference edition. The performances, like the music, have an enduring value that hasn’t diminished one bit, and the sonics have held up quite well too.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. West Side Story: Symphonic Dances by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USA 
2. Symphony no 3 "Kaddish" by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961-1963; USA 
3. Symphony no 2 "Age of Anxiety" by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
4. Symphony no 1 "Jeremiah" by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
5. Serenade for Violin and Orchestra "after Plato's Symposium" by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Zino Francescatti (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; USA 
6. On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 
7. Candide: Overture by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; USA 
8. Fancy Free by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
9. Facsimile by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
10. Dybbuk by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; USA 
11. Prelude, Fugue and Riffs by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Benny Goodman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Jazz Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949/1955; USA 
12. On the Town: Three Dance episodes by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
13. I Hate Music by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Jennie Tourel (Mezzo Soprano), Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
14. La bonne cuisine by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Jennie Tourel (Mezzo Soprano), Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
15. Mass by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Alan Titus (Baritone)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norman Scribner Choir,  Berkshire Boy Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; USA 
16. Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  John Bogart (Alto)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; USA 
17. Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Michael Clarke (Tenor), Nancy Williams (Mezzo Soprano), Julian Patrick (Bass Baritone),
Antonia Butler (Soprano), Mark Brown (Baritone)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Definitive Performances July 1, 2014 By John M Rathbun (Mills River, NC) See All My Reviews "How to describe Bernstein? He has a chameleon-like quality that allows him to write well in a variety of styles. Nothing he wrote seems indispensable to me, but a lot of it I'm grateful for. He certainly had access to the resources needed to realize his ambitions in these recordings. Perhaps his Mass is the most interesting, but almost any other Bernstein tune that interests you is included here. And you can't beat this package for value!" Report Abuse
 A WONDERFUL BERNSTEIN FEAST OF SOUND! September 30, 2013 By P. Ledesma (Wellington, KS) See All My Reviews "Put simply, this is an incredible set for lovers of Bernstein's music! The music is interpreted and played quite masterfully, and these recordings also deliver incomparable sound quality! My only quibbles are with the opening to the Mass, which so troubled me that I discontinued listening to it altogether! The other is that the 3rd Symphony (Kaddish) - to my dismay - has a horrible and deranged libretto. Yet, the music is so hauntingly attractive that it is still worth enduring the theological delusions to get to the music's conclusion. I have always felt that Leonard Bernstein was one of the greatest American musicians in history! I believe that this collection makes a most COMPELLING case (though I'm not so sure about the Mass yet)! I found the minor foibles weren't enough to deny this set a 5 star rating! Too much quality abounds for me to value it any less!" Report Abuse
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