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Leonard Bernstein Collectors Edition - The Americans


Release Date: 05/11/2004 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000218402   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George GershwinSamuel BarberErnest BlochAaron Copland,   ... 
Performer:  Leonard BernsteinMischa MaiskyThomas StacyPhilip Smith,   ... 
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic OrchestraNew York PhilharmonicIsrael Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 6 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 6 Hours 50 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Leonard Bernstein was a tireless champion of American music during his conducting career, presenting many world-premieres and leaving an impressive body of recordings--most for Columbia Records (now Sony Classical). This new DG set comprises primarily latter-day remakes, though there are a few new items (and even a world-premiere) as well.


Of the six CDs, the Ives disc probably is the greatest achievement, with Bernstein turning in a terrific performance of the Symphony No. 2 in addition to a generous sampling of the composer's familiar and not so familiar shorter works. However, of the names included here, Copland is the most closely associated with Bernstein, and the conductor's devotion to his older friend's music
Read more comes through strongly in these big-hearted readings, the best of which are the Appalachian Spring (with a radiant Los Angeles Philarmonic), El Salón México, and the Music for the Theater. The Symphony No. 3 is another fine performance, but it lacks the intensity of Bernstein's earlier Sony recording. The same goes for the Harris and Schumann symphonies as well as for Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Barber's Adagio for Strings--the earlier readings are incandescent, the remakes less so but still wholly individual in their approach.


There's no lack of energy in Bernstein's support of his younger colleagues, as his persuasive presentations of David del Tredici's kaleidoscopic Tattoo and Ned Rorem's colorful Violin Concerto will attest. DG also includes a heretofore unreleased recording of Lukas Foss' Song of Songs with soprano Sheri Greenawald, recorded live in Paris with the Israel Philharmonic. From that same concert comes the set's only real disappointment: a Bloch Schelomo, which despite Mischa Maisky's ardent cello exhortations is severely belabored by Bernstein's leaden tempos.


The orchestral playing is first-rate throughout, with the New York Philharmonic sounding exceptionally brilliant in Tredici's Tattoo and in the Ives and Copland works. The live recordings are of generally good quality--a certain boxiness afflicts some of the Avery Fisher sessions, but overall the remasterings enhance the clarity and dynamic impact of the originals. While this set comes nowhere close to approximating the full range of Bernstein's Americana (for that, collectors should seek out his live broadcast recordings on the New York Philharmonic's own label), it's a great place to start for anyone who wants a broad sampling of America's music performed by one its greatest interpreters. [7/29/2004]
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
Performer:  Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
2.
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Rome, Italy 
3.
Schelomo by Ernest Bloch
Performer:  Mischa Maisky (Cello)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1916; USA 
4.
Symphony no 3 by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1946; USA 
5.
Quiet City by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Thomas Stacy (Oboe), Philip Smith (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
6.
Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1944; USA 
7.
El salón México by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1936; USA 
8.
Concerto for Clarinet by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Stanley Drucker (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947-1948; USA 
9.
Music for the Theatre by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 
10.
Connotations by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; USA 
11.
Symphony no 3 by William Schuman
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
12.
American Festival Overture by William Schuman
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
13.
Symphony no 2 by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900-1902; USA 
14.
The Gong on the Hook and Ladder "Firemen's Parade on Main Street" by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1911; USA 
15.
Tone Roads (3): no 1, Fast "All Roads Lead to the Centre" by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; USA 
16.
Hymn for String Quartet by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
17.
Halloween for String Quartet and Piano by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
18.
Contemplations (2): no 2, Central Park in the Dark by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
19.
The Unanswered Question no 2 by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
20.
Tatoo by David Del Tredici
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
21.
Concerto for Violin by Ned Rorem
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
22.
Song of Songs by Lukas Foss
Performer:  Sheri Greenawald (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
23.
Prelude for Piano in G minor by George Gershwin
Performer:  Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1925; USA 
24.
Symphony no 3 by Roy Harris
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USA 

Sound Samples

Rhapsody In Blue
3 Preludes For Piano Solo: 2. Andante con moto e poco rubato
Adagio for Strings, Op.11
Schelomo: Lento moderato - Andante moderato - Allegro moderato - Allegro - Andante moderato
Symphony No.3: 1. Molto moderato
Symphony No.3: 2. Allegro molto
Symphony No.3: 3. Andantino quasi allegretto
Symphony No.3: 4. Molto deliberato (Fanfare); Allegro risoluto
Quiet City For Cor Anglais, Trumpet And Strings
Appalachian Spring: (Ballet for Martha)

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