Author Topic: (the unknown) Charles Harold Bernstein [b. 1917 - d. 2016 ]  (Read 1295 times)

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Offline Scion7

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(the unknown) Charles Harold Bernstein [b. 1917 - d. 2016 ]
« on: August 26, 2016, 03:07:25 PM »
His press:

Born in Los Angeles, Charles Harold Bernstein was a child prodigy pianist who performed as soloist with orchestras by the age of nine. At the age nineteen a serious health problem put a halt to a promising career. The need to turn his life in other directions led to a career in business. However, in spite of the demands on his time in the world of commerce, the need to express himself in music remained a driving force in his life. Bernstein began composing in 1970, plunging into an intense study of harmony and theory and working closely with such artists as violinist Yoshiko Nakura (founding member of the Tokyo String Quartet), violist Milton Thomas, and violinist Adam Korniszewski. Ironically, having begun his musical career as a pianist, Bernstein does not use a piano for his work nor does he write for it. He has produced an impressive range of music - from extended solos for violin, cello, oboe, clarinet and flute to quintets and eight works for orchestra – several of which have seen performances in the United States. Bernstein’s chamber music is performed in Europe and North America and some of his music is recorded by such well-known musicians as violinist Ivry Gitlis. A number of his chamber works have recently been released on the Centaur label. Bernstein is currently working on a tone poem for baritone and orchestra to a poem by D.H. Lawrence.

His works list:

SOLOS
Apologyana for Soprano vocalize, 1977 2'
In appreciation for solo bassoon, 1979 1'
Clarinet Sonata, 1982 10'
Dreams and Awakenings for solo viola, 1984 5'
Elegy for Yehudi - violin solo, 2'
Flute Trilogy, 1985 7'
London Flute, 1972 9'
Melody for Mariel for solo flute, 1983 2'
Oboe trilogy, 1985 14'
Outline and Drawings for solo cello, 1988 revised 15'
Reverie & Eglise for solo English Horn, 1985 10'
Rhapsodie Israelienne for solo violin 19'
Romantic Suite for solo violin 18'
A Huit Heure for solo violin, 1984 5'
La Commande for solo violin, 1984 5'
Presto ma non troppo 3'
Poem Transcendental for solo violin, 1984 6'
Revelations for solo for oboe d’amore, 3'
Suzi-Q for solo viola, 1984 2'
Les Trois Jonas for solo cello, 1983 13'
Trumpet Solo, 1985 6'
Introduction and 24 Variations for Solo Violin, Book I, 1997- revision 2010 32'

DUOS
Ararat Suite-five pieces for flute and trumpet, 1986 12'
Blending for clarinet and violin, 1985 12'
A Cabris for flute and bassoon, 1983 4'
Dimensions for Percussion and English Horn, 1985 12'
Horn Duo for two French Horns, 1985 12'
Leda and Six Songs without Words for soprano and violin, 1987 19'
Poem Tones for cello and bassoon, 1985 10'
Suite Elegante for flute and oboe d'amore
Trumpet bass duo, 1986 10'
Swan - for soprano and piano (transcription of orchestral work)
Leda and the Swan to a poem by William Butler Yeats for soprano and violin, 2006
Gary Farmer Suite for clarinet and bassoon

TRIOS
Caprice for Three Cellos, 13'
Dissonant Trio for flute, clarinet and cello, 1984 12'
Interlude for flute, violin and viola, 1970 revised 1992 6' (has been orchestrated)
String Trio 'Nostalgique', 1971 revised 1981 18'
La Tristesse for clarinet, viola and cello, 1980 revised 1986 20'

QUARTETS / QUINTETS
Quartet in 'C', 1975 revised 1982/1992 25'
Wanderer String Quartet, 1979 revised 1985 28'
Alanal String Quartet, 1981 28'
The Last Quartet, 1993
Lost Quartet, 2009
Found Quartet, 2010
Passion for Recorder Quartet, 2001
Amphion Suite for flute, violin, viola and cello, 1975 revised 1982 19'
Clarinet Quintet, 1986 28'
Woodwind Quintet, 1986 revised 1993 6'

ORCHESTRAL WORKS
Strawberry Creek Concerto for flute, bassoon and orchestra, 1987 16'
Swan for Soprano and Orchestra to a poem of D.H. Lawrence, 1994
The Woman Speaks for Mezzo Soprano and orchestra to a poem of D.H. Lawrence, 1991 18'
Interlude for Orchestra, 1997
Introduction and Variations for violin and orchestra, 1998
Concerto for cello and orchestra, 2000
Valflorian Suite, 2002
Concerto for clarinet and orchestra, 2006
Martyr à la Mode for baritone and orchestra to a poem of D.H. Lawrence, in progress

OPERAS
Grigorii Rasputin with a libretto by Ina Jo Scheid, 2006
Nero and Seneca with a libretto by Ina Jo Scheid, 2008

“Charles Harold Bernstein writes a nominally conservative idiom, based on 18th-19th century ways of using harmony. Yet, like Sibelius, he is not nearly as "old-fashioned" as he first sounds. There is a very strong and modern individuality to his work, very much an evocation of late Beethoven, and his technique is fantastic - only a handful of composers have written better sounding string music for solo violin or string trio. I kept telling myself that this stuff was hopelessly old-fashioned, and my inner sense told me right back that here was an authentic genius of sorts - and to heck with what "language" he chose to use.” —Edward Canby, Audio Magazine
 

. . . no Grove listing (yet).

Looks like only about 17% of his compositions ever found a home on vinyl or CD.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 10:43:01 PM by Scion7 »
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Offline Scion7

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Re: (the unknown) Charles Harold Bernstein [b. 1917 - d. 2016 ]
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 03:08:35 PM »
1979 vinyl LP: 

« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 03:10:25 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: (the unknown) Charles Harold Bernstein [b. 1917 - d. 2016 ]
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 03:12:33 PM »









« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 03:21:19 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: (the unknown) Charles Harold Bernstein [b. 1917 - d. 2016 ]
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2016, 03:33:11 PM »
No idea what this is about, really:



    and



Blending, for clarinet & violin by Charles Harold Bernstein
Performer:  Adam Korniszewski (Violin), Gary Gray (Clarinet)
Period: Contemporary
Written: 1989
Date of Recording: 1983-2011
Length: 11 Minutes 50 Secs.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: (the unknown) Charles Harold Bernstein [b. 1917 - d. 2016 ]
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2016, 04:22:35 PM »
Obit:

Charles Harold Bernstein Obituary
August 11, 1917 - March 10, 2016 Classical composer who leaves a large body of work - chamber, orchestra and opera - recorded and championed by a number of devoted musicians in the U.S. and abroad. Deeply loved and survived by his wife Florence, daughter Valerie Stalvey, beloved niece, artist Ina Jo Scheid and she who cared for him at the end of his life, Ninfa Estilo.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 19, 2016

So he lived to be 100 years old, but apparently did not start composing until he was around 60 ... or we have a major misprint. The website maintained by his family does not list his b/d dates.

Oops - found this:

“...The novelty on this program was an "Amphion Suite" written by Charles Harold Bernstein in tribute to his friends, the quartet. This Bernstein has a fascinating history: born in Los Angeles in 1917, a prodigy pianist in his early years, he abandoned music at age 19, went into business, and became a composer only within the past half decade.  The outline fails to tell the story, however, this Suite is the work of no primitive; rather, it seems to boast considerable craft, melodic gifts, and a sophisticated editorial sense.  The style is tonal but spicy, not unlike music written in the second quarter of this century by Kodaly and Hindemith.  The instrumental writing is grateful and idiomatic. And the whole four movement work is continuous, unlumpy, aphoristic and jaunty.  The adage that what a composer needs more than experience is a good ear never seemed more true.” —Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 04:32:01 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.