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Author Topic: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990  (Read 10185 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #100 on: April 11, 2012, 05:03:17 PM »
I don't listen to Bernstein's music very often, I usually prefer him as a conductor; so far I've listened to just few of his compositions, which I definitely appreciated and I found very brilliant though: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, the Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront, Candide Ouverture and the 1st and 2nd symphony. In particular, I really like the orchestration of the Symphonic Dances, quite beautiful.

I noticed that Chichester Psalms and Serenade weren't on your list, Ilaria. What do you think about these? Also have you heard Facsimile, Fancy Free, or Dybbuk yet?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 05:35:42 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #101 on: April 11, 2012, 08:21:07 PM »
Right now, I'm enthralled with Serenade. This work is one of the few American 20th Century concerti that I can stand firmly behind. It's actually quite masterful.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #102 on: April 12, 2012, 12:58:19 AM »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #103 on: April 12, 2012, 02:46:07 AM »
I noticed that Chichester Psalms and Serenade weren't on your list, Ilaria. What do you think about these? Also have you heard Facsimile, Fancy Free, or Dybbuk yet?

Well, I'm afraid I haven't listened to them yet; the pieces I mentioned are the only I've heard so far. As I said before, I tend to listen to Bernstein as a conductor more than as a composer.
Anyway, I will certainly take a listen to those works, I would like to have a clearer idea of Bernstein's style.
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Re: Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #104 on: April 12, 2012, 03:14:25 AM »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #105 on: April 12, 2012, 03:57:12 AM »
The 7-CD Bernstein Conducts Bernstein reissue box will be an interesting experience for me. I am curious to check out the symphonies (of them all, I think I've only heard the Age of Anxiety, nor do I remember hearing it in its entirety).
 
I disclose frankly that I don't know just how I shall take the Mass. I well remember Brian's enthusiasm for the new Alsop recording on Naxos.  Obviously I have no opinion (only complete sonic ignorance) on any question of the relative merits of the Alsop and the composer's own.  At this price point, though, I can hardly complain even if, on actually listening to the whole, I find myself in less than sympathy with it.  And, hey: maybe I will like it . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Leon

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #106 on: April 12, 2012, 08:00:37 AM »
The 7-CD Bernstein Conducts Bernstein reissue box will be an interesting experience for me. I am curious to check out the symphonies (of them all, I think I've only heard the Age of Anxiety, nor do I remember hearing it in its entirety).
 
I disclose frankly that I don't know just how I shall take the Mass. I well remember Brian's enthusiasm for the new Alsop recording on Naxos.  Obviously I have no opinion (only complete sonic ignorance) on any question of the relative merits of the Alsop and the composer's own.  At this price point, though, I can hardly complain even if, on actually listening to the whole, I find myself in less than sympathy with it.  And, hey: maybe I will like it . . . .

Might you consider subscribing to Spotify? - That 7-CD box is there.  I no longer buy these boxes but still enjoy the music.

EDIT: actually it's the DG 7-CD box ; not the Sony/EMI, which appears to be the better set.

2nd EDIT: but in looking around some more, most (if not all) that is in the Sony box (NY Phil.) is there in other manifestations.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 08:11:51 AM by Arnold »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #107 on: April 12, 2012, 08:22:36 AM »
The 7-CD Bernstein Conducts Bernstein reissue box will be an interesting experience for me. I am curious to check out the symphonies (of them all, I think I've only heard the Age of Anxiety, nor do I remember hearing it in its entirety).
 
I disclose frankly that I don't know just how I shall take the Mass. I well remember Brian's enthusiasm for the new Alsop recording on Naxos.  Obviously I have no opinion (only complete sonic ignorance) on any question of the relative merits of the Alsop and the composer's own.  At this price point, though, I can hardly complain even if, on actually listening to the whole, I find myself in less than sympathy with it.  And, hey: maybe I will like it . . . .

There's a 10 CD Bernstein Conducts Bernstein: The Original Jacket Collection on Sony as well. The set you're looking at though, Karl is a lot more cost-friendly that's for sure. The Age of Anxiety is such a cool piece. I think you'll enjoy it. Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" is really good too. Serenade has become a new little obsession for me. Have you heard this work, Karl?

The Mass is an interesting piece of music. I've only heard it twice, but of the two versions I own (Bernstein, Alsop), I prefer Bernstein's.
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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #108 on: April 12, 2012, 08:25:11 AM »
No, never heard the Serenade.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #109 on: April 12, 2012, 08:38:17 AM »
No, never heard the Serenade.

 :o You need to remedy this ASAP, Karl!
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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #110 on: April 12, 2012, 09:11:07 AM »
Although the Sony box has the advantage of being earlier recordings with the NY Phil, the DG box does has some qualities worth speaking of:

-- Along with the major works, there are some later works not yet written when the recordings in NY were made, Jubilee Games, 8 Divertimenti and possibly Dybuk;
-- Also, I'm listening to Serenade now, and am enjoying the later recording with Gidon Kremer and the Israel Phil.

I am glad this thread emerged since I had quite forgotten just how much I like Bernstein, the Composer!

 :D


Online karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #111 on: April 12, 2012, 09:28:11 AM »
Groovy, Arnold!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #112 on: April 12, 2012, 09:30:27 AM »
Although the Sony box has the advantage of being earlier recordings with the NY Phil, the DG box does has some qualities worth speaking of:

-- Along with the major works, there are some later works not yet written when the recordings in NY were made, Jubilee Games, 8 Divertimenti and possibly Dybuk;
-- Also, I'm listening to Serenade now, and am enjoying the later recording with Gidon Kremer and the Israel Phil.

I am glad this thread emerged since I had quite forgotten just how much I like Bernstein, the Composer!

 :D

Actually, Dybbuk is only in suite form in the DG box and in the Sony it's the complete ballet. I'll have to relisten to the Kremer performance on DG as I remember it being quite good. I really like Francescatti and Hahn right now. Yes, I think, however, you are right about Concerto for Orchestra "Jubliee Games" and Divertimento being world premieres.
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Online karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #113 on: April 12, 2012, 09:31:26 AM »
Might you consider subscribing to Spotify? - That 7-CD box is there.  I no longer buy these boxes but still enjoy the music.

I hadn't, but I suppose I might.
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Online karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #114 on: April 12, 2012, 09:32:27 AM »
-- Also, I'm listening to Serenade now, and am enjoying the later recording with Gidon Kremer and the Israel Phil.

Does not surprise me: I'm a huge Kremer fan.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #115 on: April 12, 2012, 09:34:00 AM »
Actually, Dybbuk is only in suite form in the DG box and in the Sony it's the complete ballet.

Good to know. Another Bernstein piece I have known only by name for too long . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #116 on: April 12, 2012, 09:38:15 AM »
I hadn't, but I suppose I might.

I don't use a smart phone so the mobile option is not of interest to me, so I get by with the $5/month level.  However, I know several folks who don't mind playing twice that amount to be able to listen on the go.  I've set up all kinds of playlists, e.g. this morning I created a Lenny list with over 500 tracks.  My entire library of selected music now numbers around 75,000 tracks, which is about 4500 complete albums or box sets.

You can also listen to the local files on your computer through it, which works well for me at work since it is nowhere as greedy for memory and resources as iTunes.

 :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #117 on: April 12, 2012, 09:39:38 AM »
Good to know. Another Bernstein piece I have known only by name for too long . . . .

Yeah, I have only recently purchased the Bernstein Century recording of Dybbuk but have heard the suite from DG and I own a recording from Naxos of it. It's a cool work. 8) Here's a description of the music (taken from Wikipedia):

In Dybbuk, Bernstein used a Kabbalistic tree to derive some of the melodic motives. By Kabbalistic tradition, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has its own numerical value. The name of the female lead in Dybbuk, Leah, is equal to the numerical value of thirty-six. Bernstein focused his composition on the divisions of thirty-six and eighteen (the numerical value of the Hebrew word chai (חַי), meaning "life"), each multiples of the nine—the number of notes including the repetition of the top note in a symmetrical octatonic scale. The result lent itself well to dodecaphonic composition but baffled critics, causing Oliver Knussen to write in Tempo, "…it is surprising to encounter Bernstein making use of numerical formulas derived from the Kabbalah… and producing his most austerely contemporary-sounding score to date." Jack Gottlieb commented, "The Dybbuk ballet (1974), however, marks a kind of departure for the composer since its concern with numerology results in far more hard-edged dissonant music (sometimes 12-tone) than in any of his other works."
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #118 on: April 12, 2012, 09:56:29 AM »
For comparison purposes:

Bernstein Conducts Bernstein 7 CD set (Sony):

CD1
Candide Overture
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Symphonic Suite from the Film "On The Waterfront"
Fancy Free Ballet
Prelude, Fuge and Riffs for Solo Clarinet and Jazz Ensemble

CD2
Dybbuk (Complete Ballet)
Serenade after Plato's "Symposium" for Solo violin, strings, Harp and percussion

CD3
Jeremiah, Symphony No. 1
On the Town (Three Dance Episodes)
The Age of Anxiety, Symphony No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (after W. H. Auden)

CD4
Kaddish, Symphony No. 3 (To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy)
Chichester Psalms for Chorus and Orchestra
I Hate Music! A Cycle of Five Kid Songs for Soprano
La Bonne Cuisine (Four Recipes)

CD5
Trouble in Tahiti - An Opera in Seven Scenes
Facsimile - Choreographic Essay for Orchestra

CD6
Mass - A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers I

CD7
Mass - A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers II

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bernstein Conducts Bernstein 7 CD set (DG):

CD1
On the Town: Three Dance Episodes
Fancy Free
Facsimile

CD2
Candide Overture
Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story"
On The Waterfront Suite
Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs

CD3
Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah"
Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety"

CD4
Chichester Psalms
Symphony No. 3 "Kiddish"

CD5
Divertimento
A Musical Toast
Slava! - A Political Overture
Three Meditations from "Mass"
Halil - Nocturne for Solo Flute, String Orchestra, and Percussion

CD6
Concerto for Orchestra "Jubliee Games"
Dybbuk Suites 1 & 2

CD7
Serenade
Songfest
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 10:10:30 AM by Mirror Image »
"Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

Online karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #119 on: April 12, 2012, 10:01:30 AM »
Quote from: Lenny
Mass - A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers

Got to hand it to him for Fair Disclosure  ; )
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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