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Touches Of Bernstein - The Complete Published Piano Music


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Centaur Records   Catalog #: 2702   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leonard BernsteinAaron Copland
Performer:  Thomas Lanners
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although Leonard Bernstein was an outstanding pianist and usually composed at the keyboard, he wrote little solo piano music in relation to his better known symphonic and music theater output. The groups of "anniversaries" are simply collections of short pieces written in tribute to colleagues, friends, and family members. All are characterized by the composer's gift for clever harmonic twists and rhythmic surprises while benefiting from his greater gift of knowing when to step back, keep things simple, and allow his communicative tunes to be themselves. There's no virtuosity for its own sake, even within the progressive technical hurdles in Touches (a work written specifically for the Van Cliburn International Competition). Read more />

The disc closes with Bernstein's marvelously effective transcription of Copland's El Salón México. Hearing it in close proximity to Bernstein's piano works underscores the older composer's indelible influence on his younger champion (from where do you think the dance break in "America" from West Side Story was "borrowed"?).


Thomas Lanners totally understands this music, pointing up the jazzy qualities to idiomatic perfection as well as projecting Bernstein's lyrical generosity without milking it. Granted, he doesn't quite match the grit and abandon of James Tocco, who recorded these pieces in close collaboration with the composer in the late 1980s for Pro-Arte (sadly out of print). I should also mention that Alexander Frey's comparable Bernstein piano music edition for Koch International includes the composer's youthful, unpublished Piano Sonata. All told, Lanners' loving mastery easily holds its own in any company, and the recording quality is excellent. Warmly recommended. [3/14/2005]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Touches by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Thomas Lanners (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980-1981; USA 
Venue:  Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY 
Length: 9 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY (12/13/2003 - 12/14/2003) 
2. Anniversaries (7) for Piano by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Thomas Lanners (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1943; USA 
Venue:  Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY 
Length: 11 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY (12/13/2003 - 12/14/2003) 
3. Anniversaries (4) for Piano by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Thomas Lanners (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947-1948; USA 
Venue:  Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY (12/13/2003 - 12/14/2003) 
4. Anniversaries (5) for Piano by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Thomas Lanners (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1951; USA 
Venue:  Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY 
Length: 7 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY (12/13/2003 - 12/14/2003) 
5. Anniversaries (13) for Piano by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Thomas Lanners (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964-1988; USA 
Venue:  Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY 
Length: 22 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY (12/13/2003 - 12/14/2003) 
6. El salón México by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Thomas Lanners (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1936; USA 
Venue:  Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY 
Length: 10 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leonard Bernstein.
Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse Univ., NY (12/13/2003 - 12/14/2003) 

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