Author Topic: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990  (Read 8905 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #120 on: April 12, 2012, 10:07:00 AM »
Hey Karl watch this!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/HTdQpBlzA-M" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/HTdQpBlzA-M</a>
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Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #121 on: April 12, 2012, 10:08:32 AM »
Quote from: Lenny
Allegro molto con brio from Overture to Candide

Really? Not that it's a deal-breakers but . . . not the full overture?

Quote from: Lenny
- A Political Overture

Now there's a rich double meaning!  ; )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #122 on: April 12, 2012, 10:14:18 AM »
Really? Not that it's a deal-breakers but . . . not the full overture?

Now there's a rich double meaning!  ; )

Karl, I copied and pasted the information from Sony's website but it is actually the full overture. So not to worry about that. :)
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Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #123 on: April 12, 2012, 10:17:21 AM »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #124 on: April 12, 2012, 10:18:13 AM »
Karl, I copied and pasted the information from Sony's website but it is actually the full overture. So not to worry about that. :)

well, 'twasn't much of a worry, anyhow.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #125 on: April 12, 2012, 10:19:44 AM »
Lovely!

I was telling our mutual friend young Madaboutmahler that I don't understand why the person who uploaded this video didn't upload the whole performance? Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the music. Of course, it sounds even better on CD. :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #126 on: April 12, 2012, 10:25:25 AM »
I was telling our mutual friend young Madaboutmahler that I don't understand why the person who uploaded this video didn't upload the whole performance? Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the music. Of course, it sounds even better on CD. :)

When Arnold mentioned this, to find a used copy of that single CD on Amazon marketplace was for me the work of a minute . . . .

In brief, I anticipated;  but of course, it is delightful to see the video and feel vindicated
: )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #127 on: April 12, 2012, 10:31:45 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" "Kaddish" (they are quite different things!]

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

They are actually quite complementary, just looking at the selections, which are sufficently different to warrant having both - but they also represent different performances with different ensembles and soloists of those same works from his earlier period to be of even added interest.

Thanks for the side-by-side.

 :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #128 on: April 12, 2012, 10:33:05 AM »
When Arnold mentioned this, to find a used copy of that single CD on Amazon marketplace was for me the work of a minute . . . .

In brief, I anticipated;  but of course, it is delightful to see the video and feel vindicated
: )

:) Well, I hope you enjoy as much as I have, Karl.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #129 on: April 12, 2012, 10:35:14 AM »
They are actually quite complementary, just looking at the selections, which are sufficently different to warrant having both - but they also represent different performances with different ensembles and soloists of those same works from his earlier period to be of even added interest.

Thanks for the side-by-side.

 :)

You're welcome. I agree that they are both worth obtaining. One box contains something the other doesn't. Plus, they are very different performances. I do need to get out the DG box and do some comparisons.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #130 on: April 12, 2012, 12:40:34 PM »
I've really been enjoying Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish" this afternoon. I don't think it's a bad work at all. Eclectic? Perhaps is a better word. Again, I just can't help making comparisons with Tippett here even though both composers worked from obvious different source material and their styles are miles apart but both composers demonstrate that free spirit, heart-on-sleeve, against all odds type of approach to music that I admire so much.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 12:52:42 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #131 on: April 16, 2012, 09:03:54 AM »
Yikes, listening to the Jeremiah Symphony for the very first time.  What great fun!  No surprise, really, from what I know of Lenny's music.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #132 on: April 16, 2012, 09:55:00 AM »
Quote from: Lenny
AGE OF ANXIETY

Auden’s fascinating and hair-raising Eclogue had already begun to affect me lyrically when I first read it in the summer of 1947. From that moment, the composition of a symphony based on The Age of Anxiety acquired an almost compulsive quality; and I have been writing it steadily since then, in Taos, in Philidelphia, in Richmond, Mass., in Tel-Aviv, in planes, in hotel-lobbies, and finally (this week preceding the premiere) in Boston. The orchestration was made during a month-long tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony. [Essay on Age of Anxiety, March 1949]

I imagine that the conception of a symphony with piano solo emerges from the extreme personal identification of myself with the poem. In this sense, the pianist provides an almost autobiographical mirror in which he sees himself, analytically in the modern ambiance. The work is therefore no concerto, in the virtuosic sense... The essential line of the poem (and the music) is the record of our difficult and problematic search for faith. [Essay on Age of Anxiety, March 1949]

What happens in the [Age of Anxiety] is anything but optimistic. In the poem everyone is completely drunk and trying desperately to have a good time. This feeling of desperation is there all the time and they are having a good time but the kind of good time which one hour later is horrible.

The piece deals a great deal with alcohol... The whole scene takes place in a bar, and four people find each other in a bar, all lonely, all full of problems – three men and a woman – and it is through alcohol that they begin to search out these semi-conscious, really unconscious, adventures which are going back to their roots – and then that series of variations called the 7 stages, which is a kind of spiritual journey that is taken to try to arrive at a place where relationships can be formed and faith can be established. That takes them as far as the end of Part I of the Symphony and there is a sort of brilliant ending, but it is very equivocal. They find nothing. Then they decide the bar is closing – they are all full of alcohol – they want some more, so the girl invites them to her apartment for a nightcap. On the way to the apartment they sit in the taxicab and they sing this dirge which begins Part II. And the dirge is a lament for the lost father figure. A colossal Dad, as Auden says. Who is God? There is nobody to turn to, either a mortal father figure or God, and as I remember the poem, the girl had a Jewish father so there is a great deal of Mosaic reference in that dirge, and the Lament is for the absence of a Moses, someone who could really guide, tell you what to do, give you the rules of how to live. And he is not there. So, they get to her apartment, they drink, they dance, and they have this crazy scherzo. And separate. And they find that they are lonely as before, and in the Epilogue they really come to terms in a painful way with the real issue, having tried all the other routes, that they failed, and they find, as I say – the answer is in this glass of orange juice. Is God, in the orange juice. [Berlin Press Conference, September 12, 1977]

The end of the Age of Anxiety is very grandiose and I meant that at the time slightly ironically, the way it is in Auden’s poem... But the [irony of the] end of the poem and the crisis of faith is that one finds [faith] in one’s backyard ultimately, after searching and going through these variations of these stages and ages and so on, you find it in your bathtub or under the little apple tree outside your house, not in these great terms of faith with a big ‘F.’ [Berlin Press Conference, September 12, 1977]

I am not sure [that what I tried to do at the end of the Age of Anxiety] is successful...because the protagonist (the pianist), he goes through one ’Alptraum’ after another and then he doesn’t play for a long time and the orchestra builds this grand ending, the Mahlerish ending – half Mahlerish, half Hollywood (by Hollywood I don’t mean the type of music, but I mean that the protagonist I placed in position of someone watching this big climax take place on a screen, a cinema screen). But he is detached, he is not taking part in it... he’s not in it, he’s a bit distanziert from the big ending, which is what Auden meant, and I tried to translate that Auden idea into musical symphonic terms. I don’t know if it succeeds.

I am sort of zweidetuig myself about the ending because I love it. It is beautiful and it does move me and I hope it moves other people. But I still like the dramatic idea of the pianist being distanziert from this [because] the pianist is me, I suppose. [Berlin Press Conference, September 12, 1977]
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #133 on: April 16, 2012, 06:13:12 PM »
Yikes, listening to the Jeremiah Symphony for the very first time.  What great fun!  No surprise, really, from what I know of Lenny's music.

Yeah, it's a cool piece, Karl. The last movement is especially beautiful.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #134 on: April 17, 2012, 06:16:57 AM »
Yeah, it's a cool piece, Karl. The last movement is especially beautiful.

Totally agree  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #135 on: April 20, 2012, 09:44:03 AM »
Arrived this morning: Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Facsimile.




Sarge

Trouble in Tahiti is eggzackly the sort of piece for which I should have had too little patience, a decade ago.  Musically great fun.  The sentimental number, perhaps skirting a shade close to maudlin, but keeping just enough distance not to provoke cynicism.  The types of the husband and wife, and much of the book, are certainly a product of the Zeitgeist (we may even say, A Child of Its Time).  Not Moving, but I truly think Touching.  (There's a hair I must have split, there.)

I cannot help feeling that, if I have responded to the work so positively, just listening to it on CD, it must work very well on stage, and in the theatre.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #136 on: April 20, 2012, 12:16:59 PM »
Trouble in Tahiti is eggzackly the sort of piece for which I should have had too little patience, a decade ago.  Musically great fun.  The sentimental number, perhaps skirting a shade close to maudlin, but keeping just enough distance not to provoke cynicism.  The types of the husband and wife, and much of the book, are certainly a product of the Zeitgeist (we may even say, A Child of Its Time).  Not Moving, but I truly think Touching.  (There's a hair I must have split, there.)

I cannot help feeling that, if I have responded to the work so positively, just listening to it on CD, it must work very well on stage, and in the theatre.


How about Facsimile Karl?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #137 on: April 20, 2012, 12:17:30 PM »
Oh, like that one entirely.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #138 on: April 20, 2012, 12:30:07 PM »
Oh, like that one entirely.

Me too  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline karlhenning

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #139 on: April 26, 2012, 11:33:01 AM »
Against the (many) cringeworthy bits in West Side Story, we have gems such as:

Quote
They didn't want to have me, yet somehow I was had:
Leapin' lizards, that's why I'm so bad!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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