The intimacy and variety of Bernstein’s solo piano works burst forth passionately.
Leonard Bernstein’s works for piano are all collected here, including works unpublished and previously unrecorded. Including many miniatures written as tributes, gifts and memorials to friends and family, these pieces range across Bernstein’s composing career and reflect his unique musical style and character.
This two disc set of miniatures represents all his works for solo piano, including works previously unpublished. Pianist Leann Osterkamp is a performer, scholar and educator who is an acknowledged expert on the music of Leonard Bernstein.
Non Troppo Presto is aRead more joyous romp that is Lennie at his most exuberant. His only Sonata for Piano of 1938 is an exercise in modern experimentation for the young composer—powerful, dissonant and contemplative. In Memoriam Helen Coates (his early piano teacher and longtime private secretary) is a moving melody later used in Bernstein’s Mass. Leann Osterkamp communicates these miniatures with verve, warmth, and spirit that is quintessential Bernstein.
Bridal Suiteby Leonard Bernstein Performer:
Leann Osterkamp (Piano),
Michael Barrett (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1960; United States
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Filling in details of Lenny's life and worksSeptember 28, 2017By Dean Frey See All My Reviews"I'm writing this review on Leonard Bernstein's 99th birthday. It's time to begin the Lenny Centennial celebrations, and what a good way to begin: listening (though not all at once) to the music he wrote for solo piano, for two and four hands. There aren't too many substantial works here, with most of the 56 tracks on two discs running two minutes or less. Bernstein wrote mainly miniatures, character pieces which quite often made reference to friends and professional colleagues. Even his Piano Sonata, an early piece written in 1938, is hardly a big work; the two movements add up to only 11 minutes. Pianist Leann Osterkamp helps to provide a more organic view of Bernstein's piano oeuvre by organizing the pieces more or less chronologically, but grouping pieces which share a connection with larger works together. She also includes a number of unpublished pieces and works that have never been recorded. Most importantly, Osterkamp plays this music with the perfect balance of respect for the composer and an awareness of the nature of circumstances of the work's composition. She has a lightness of touch that works well with Bernstein's often ironic point of view, recognizing mock seriousness or sentimentality but playing other works in a more straightforward way when required. Though the piano music represents nothing as profound or important as Bernstein's orchestral music or his works for the stage or the musical theatre, this delightful music fills in much detail of his character and his life. Michael Barrett provides an extra two hands in Bernstein's Bridal Suite, which is full of lovely melodies, ingenious touches and out and out jokes. One thing that these works illustrate is how social a person Leonard Bernstein was. He obviously gained energy from his huge network of close friends and colleagues in musical, theatrical and other artistic circles. Nothing could be further from the old stereotype of the composer wrestling with his Muse in his lonely attic. There's a picture in the New York Public Library archives of Bernstein working with Roz Russell, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, George Abbott and Lehman Engel on the songs for Wonderful Town. It's a great picture, and it goes so well with the pictures he draws of both Comden and Green in two separate pieces included in this album. Bring on more music - and performance - of this calibre in the next 12 months!"Report Abuse