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Bernstein: Fancy Free, Age Of Anxiety, Candide Overture / Litton


Release Date: 07/11/2000 
Label:  Virgin Classics Special Import Catalog #: 61119   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Jeffrey KahanePaul Searle-BarnesPaul Turner
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The backbone of Virgin’s compilation is Litton’s brilliant account of the ambitious Age of Anxiety Symphony, complemented by a raunchy Fancy Free.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)
reviewing Fancy Free and The Age of Anxiety, previously reissued as part of Virgin 61612


This is a well-balanced program, with two of Bernstein's liveliest, brightest works surrounding one of his darkest. Litton has been a devoted Bernstein admirer for twenty-two of his thirty-one years; his interpretations hew close to the composer's early views of his own music on a CBS disc. The Candide Overture whizzes right along, as does
Read more Fancy Free; in the latter we hear Billy Holiday's record of Bernstein's “Big Stuff,“ before the dancing breaks in. The Bournemouth orchestra does well by the jazzy American rhythms; only in the final coda of Fancy Free does the New York Philharmonic trumpet players' fancy tonguing outdo the English group.

This performance of the symphony is leaner and dryer than Bernstein's third recording, on a Deutsche Grammophon disc. So too is the Virgin Classics sound; the DG analog recording has warmer and fuller strings and has the piano up closer. Bernstein and his pianist, Lukas Foss, offer a wider variety of moods—which, in a way, is what the piece is all about; Litton and Kahane are more constantly tense and dark, which is also germane to The Age of Anxiety. Litton is able to get his English players to swing as much as Bernstein's Israelis, but the DG forces make more of the chorale-like final coda. If forced to choose, I would stick with the composer's performance, but it is a good sign for Bernstein's serious music that a new conductor can make so much of it.

-- James H. North, FANFARE [1/1992] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Candide: Overture by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1990 
Venue:  Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Centre, Dorset 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2 "Age of Anxiety" by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Jeffrey Kahane (Piano)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1990 
Venue:  Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Centre, Dorset 
Length: 33 Minutes 43 Secs. 
3.
Fancy Free by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Paul Searle-Barnes (Piano), Paul Turner (Drums)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1990 
Venue:  Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Centre, Dorset 
Length: 27 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: This selection begins with an edited recording of Billie Holiday singing Leonard Bernstein's "Big Stuff." 

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