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Bernstein: Broadway to Hollywood / Sutherland, NDR Radiophilharmonie


Release Date: 08/17/2018 
Label:  Somm   Catalog #: 5002  
Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SOMM Recordings celebrates the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth in style with a remarkable 1993 live broadcast recording – never before issued and newly mastered – with the Hannover Philharmonie conducted by Iain Sutherland. Five of Bernstein’s era-defining works for Broadway and Hollywood revel in his inexhaustible gift for memorable melodies, his vivid sense of drama, infectious playfulness and captivating sense of poetry. The effervescent Overture to Bernstein’s 1956 re-telling of Voltaire’s Candide has long been a concert hall favorite. Brilliant, uplifting and thrillingly orchestrated, it brims with memorable tunes threaded together with masterful aplomb. The Symphonic Suite drawn from his score for Elia Kazan’s Oscar-laden 1954 Read more film On the Waterfront is a heavyweight exercise in evocative and atmospheric music, its muscle and menace transformed into a final, redemptive hymn to individual freedom. A decade earlier, Bernstein’s first extended theatre music – for Jerome Robbins’ ballet Fancy Free – made brilliant use of a symphony orchestra’s resources with stylish infusions of jazz-based and Latin-influenced concert music. On the Town pays tribute to the city that never sleeps in an exuberant tale of three sailors finding love on 24-hour shore-leave in New York. Its Two Dance Episodes borrow themes from Fancy Free to exhilarating effect. Bernstein’s theatre masterpiece West Side Story transformed the American musical overnight in 1957. With its great trajectory from C major to E and back again, it carries itself with operatic immediacy. The Symphonic Dances drawn from the score exalt in the power of an orchestra in full, forceful flow. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
West Side Story: Symphonic Dances by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USA 
2.
On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 
3.
On the Town: Three Dance episodes - no 2, Pas de deux "Lonely Town" by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
4.
On the Town: Three Dance episodes - no 1, The Great Lover by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
5.
Candide: Overture by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; USA 
6.
Fancy Free: Suite by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Something in the water August 26, 2018 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "The idea that an orchestra has a home-town composer "in their blood", and are the best, most authentic interpreters of his or her music probably doesn't always, or even usually, hold up to close scrutiny. Aside from sheer familiarity, and with a nod to local traditions handed down from orchestral player to player over the years, today's high musical standards and player mobility has resulted in a much more globalised and homogenised classical music scene. Even in the past we heard great Villa-Lobos from Paris, great Shostakovich from New York, and great everything from Cleveland. But what about the scores of Leonard Bernstein originating on Broadway and in Hollywood, both of which have their own traditions? This 1993 concert from the Hannover Philharmonic under the direction of the Scottish conductor Iain Sutherland is a powerful example of getting pretty much everything right, every nuance and subtle rhythm, in a completely idiomatic, authentic performance that serves Leonard Bernstein's fabulous music so well. This isn't as surprising as it seems when you pull some threads and see the connections. Bernstein himself has international roots, with European teachers at Harvard and Curtis, and a thorough grounding through his mentors in Parisian modernism. Broadway's musical traditions might seem 100% New York, but of course there's always been a special connection through London's West End theatres to the great heritage of English light music. Similarly, Hollywood's direct pipeline to central European music through such composers as Steiner, Korngold and Herrmann adds another loop. Bernstein is an heir to all of these traditions, as is Iain Sutherland, and the very fine players of the Hannover Philharmonic play the hell out of all this music. One of the highlights is the Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront. I've always thought that after Elia Kazaan's direction, Budd Schulberg's story and Marlon Brando's performance, it was Bernstein's music that helped put this film over the top into greatness. The band has a lot of fun with the Fancy Free suite, showing great range, from small jazz combo through big band to complete orchestra, all of which swing. Somm does its usual fine job with remastering, documentation and presentation, though they missed out on the credit for the cover photograph. It's by Al Ravenna of the New York World Telegram & Sun, from 1955, in the Library of Congress's collection." Report Abuse
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