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Leonard Bernstein - The Early Years


Release Date: 01/12/2010 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 60915  
Composer:  Aaron CoplandLeonard Bernstein
Performer:  Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony OrchestraOn the Town Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bernstein gives a performance of such persuasiveness that in every sense it sounds like a composer's performance.

It was Leonard Bernstein who in the early 1940s in New York gave the first performance of Copland's tough and ambitious Piano Sonata. With a characteristic display of versatility he took over the premiere at forty-eight hours' notice and played from memory. Here on one of the first records he ever made, later in that decade, he gives a performance of such persuasuiveness that in every sense it sounds like a composer's performance. The toccata-like figuration of the first two movements has nothing mechanical about it as Bernstein presents it, urgent and electric but with light and shade, while the slow
Read more concluding movement, tough and bald, draws a performance of such concentration from Bernstein that the many pauses are as expressive as the notes.

In Bernstein's own pieces dating from 1943, a set of seven intended to characterise different friends, the element one misses, knowing the later Bernstein, is a sense of fun. Brief as they are, these tend to be rather solemn character sketches, but the opening portrait of Copland (with a hint of pastiche) is certainly memorable and so is the piece in memory of Nathalia Koussevitzky with its echoes of Russian Orthodox chanting.

-- Gramophone [6/1976, reviewing an LP release of the piano works]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Billy the Kid: Suite by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
2.
On the Town: Dances by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  On the Town Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
3.
Sonata for Piano by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939-1941; USA 
4.
Anniversaries (7) for Piano by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1943; USA 

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