Author Topic: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990  (Read 57045 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #260 on: January 08, 2020, 08:06:28 AM »
Just ordered this John. Any views on it?


I have no idea, Jeffrey. I don’t own it. Zimerman is an excellent pianist.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #261 on: January 08, 2020, 08:38:33 AM »
I have no idea, Jeffrey. I don’t own it. Zimerman is an excellent pianist.
Ok John. I'll report back in due course.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #262 on: January 08, 2020, 08:44:23 AM »
Ok John. I'll report back in due course.

I’ll let you know, too, since I just bought it as well. ;)
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #263 on: January 08, 2020, 08:46:14 AM »
I’ll let you know, too, since I just bought it as well. ;)
LOL :)  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #264 on: January 08, 2020, 08:53:21 AM »
LOL :)  :)

The audio samples sounded fantastic, Jeffrey, so I just couldn’t resist.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #265 on: January 08, 2020, 11:43:39 AM »
The audio samples sounded fantastic, Jeffrey, so I just couldn’t resist.

Interesting review here John:
https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/bernstein-symphony-no-2-the-age-of-anxiety-rattle
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #266 on: January 08, 2020, 11:47:20 AM »
Interesting review here John:
https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/bernstein-symphony-no-2-the-age-of-anxiety-rattle

Thanks, Jeffrey. Just finished reading it. This is a phenomenal piece of music, IMHO and shows that Bernstein could write just about anything he wanted to but as with the ’Jeremiah’ Symphony, it shows that he clearly wasn’t a composer who could only write works like On the Town or Fancy Free. This is a serious work worth serious consideration and thought.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 11:49:41 AM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #267 on: January 08, 2020, 11:52:59 AM »
Thanks, Jeffrey. Just finished reading it. This is a phenomenal piece of music, IMHO and shows that Bernstein could write just about anything he wanted to but as with the ’Jeremiah’ Symphony, it shows that he clearly wasn’t a composer who could only write works like On the Town or Fancy Free. This is a serious work worth serious consideration and thought.
Very much agree John.
I have this fine set and saw these forces perform 'Jeremiah' Symphony at the Proms last year:
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 11:54:57 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline San Antone

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #268 on: January 08, 2020, 12:50:47 PM »

I have this fine set and saw these forces perform 'Jeremiah' Symphony at the Proms last year:


That Pappano recording is generally very good, and it is nice to have all three symphonies in one place.  While I think Zimerman's Age is the better performance, Beatrice Rana carries it off nicely. And I think the narrator on this recording, Josephine Barstow, handles this difficult recitation in "Kaddish" about as well as it can be done.



An added bonus is the Prelude, fugue and riffs.

 8)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #269 on: January 08, 2020, 01:09:21 PM »
That Pappano recording is generally very good, and it is nice to have all three symphonies in one place.  While I think Zimerman's Age is the better performance, Beatrice Rana carries it off nicely. And I think the narrator on this recording, Josephine Barstow, handles this difficult recitation in "Kaddish" about as well as it can be done.



An added bonus is the Prelude, fugue and riffs.

 8)
Good to know. I haven't heard 'Kaddish' yet from this set so I must give it a spin. I'm looking forward to receiving the Zimerman. I remember at the live Prom concert I attended last year the short extract from Haydn's 'Creation' morphed into the opening of the 'Jeremiah Symphony' which really took me by surprise as I'd never witnessed that practice before.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #270 on: January 09, 2020, 11:48:41 AM »
From WAYLTN
Arrived today. Sounds like a wonderfully reflective and beautifully recorded performance, unlike any other version I have heard. There is something very special about it. The CD is quite short at under 40 minutes but it was not expensive and I'm very pleased to have it. At the start there is a short extract from an interview with Leonard Bernstein and his biographer Humphrey Burton in which he discusses 'The Age of Anxiety'. The redemptive ending ('the rediscovery of faith') is especially affecting in this performance.

Edward Hopper's terrific painting 'Nighthawks' is included in the booklet which is a nice touch as it was partly an inspiration for the opening of the work.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 12:21:28 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #271 on: January 10, 2020, 06:53:55 AM »
Very nice, Jeffrey. Symphony No. 2, “Age of Anxiety” is an outstanding work. It should be a part of the mainstream concert repertoire. I’ve read it’s pretty demanding on the soloist as is Serenade, after Plato's Symposium.

In other news, there are several documentaries on Bernstein that I’m interested in watching that came in my DG and Naxos sets: The Making of West Side Story, The Gift Of Music, and Larger Than Life. Has anyone seen any of these documentaries?
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #272 on: January 10, 2020, 07:39:47 AM »
From WAYLTN
Arrived today. Sounds like a wonderfully reflective and beautifully recorded performance, unlike any other version I have heard. There is something very special about it. The CD is quite short at under 40 minutes but it was not expensive and I'm very pleased to have it. At the start there is a short extract from an interview with Leonard Bernstein and his biographer Humphrey Burton in which he discusses 'The Age of Anxiety'. The redemptive ending ('the rediscovery of faith') is especially affecting in this performance.

Edward Hopper's terrific painting 'Nighthawks' is included in the booklet which is a nice touch as it was partly an inspiration for the opening of the work.


As you might guess, I am a fan of that painting, and of Edward Hopper's work in general.   ;)   I agree with your comments about that recording.  It is my opinion that Bernstein as a composer will ultimately be his legacy.  I just wish he had written more large scale works.

 8)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #273 on: January 10, 2020, 07:46:19 AM »
It is my opinion that Bernstein as a composer will ultimately be his legacy.  I just wish he had written more large scale works.

 8)

I hope you’re right! As it stands right now, there are listeners that are only aware of works like West Side Story or Candide and that’s it. They don’t know the enormous range of his compositions. If they heard a work like Halil or Chichester Psalms, they will be surprised.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #274 on: January 10, 2020, 08:40:29 AM »
Cool trailer for Pappano’s recording of the complete Bernstein symphonies:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/2Ug9VRzU570" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/2Ug9VRzU570</a>
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #275 on: January 10, 2020, 08:45:50 AM »
As you might guess, I am a fan of that painting, and of Edward Hopper's work in general.   ;)   I agree with your comments about that recording.  It is my opinion that Bernstein as a composer will ultimately be his legacy.  I just wish he had written more large scale works.

 8)

Yes, my Sherlock Holmes-type detective skills suggested that you might be a fan of the painting - I am one myself and of Hopper's work generally. I also wish that Bernstein had written more large-scale orchestral works. Apparently he thought that 'The Age of Anxiety' was his finest orchestral work, although I'm also a great admirer of 'Jeremiah' Symphony.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #276 on: January 10, 2020, 08:47:17 AM »
Yes, my Sherlock Holmes-type detective skills suggested that you might be a fan of the painting - I am one myself and of Hopper's work generally. I also wish that Bernstein had written more large-scale orchestral works. Apparently he thought that 'The Age of Anxiety' was his finest orchestral work, although I'm also a great admirer of 'Jeremiah' Symphony.

What have you explored/enjoyed beyond the symphonies, Jeffrey?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 08:50:02 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #277 on: January 10, 2020, 10:13:47 AM »
What have you explored/enjoyed beyond the symphonies, Jeffrey?
Let me think John. I love Facsimile and have numerous recordings. I also like 'On the Waterfront' and 'Symphonic Dances from West Side Story' which, like the Jeremiah Symphony, I have had the pleasure of seeing live many decades ago. I remember that the bongo drum player, unlike the rest of the orchestra, wore a blue frilly shirt. My Jewish friend Anthony, with whom I attended the concert, said 'he looks like a Jewish caterer' - which made me laugh. He was a terrific player of the bongo drums. I guess that he was imported from a jazz band. I'm not so keen on the much admired 'Chichester Psalms' which I find oddly cloying but I know how much you like this work. Many critics rate the 'Serenade on Plato's Symposium' as Bernstein's orchestral masterpiece. I enjoy it but prefer the first two symphonies. The works I need to explore more this year are the Mass and the 'Kaddish' Symphony. Look forward to hearing your views on the Zimerman recording of 'The Age of Anxiety'. As a child my favourite movie was 'West Side Story' which my parents took me to see. I also like the orchestral music from 'On the Town'.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 10:16:39 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #278 on: January 10, 2020, 01:23:30 PM »
I am interested in the music of Bernstein. He's one of my favorite conductors and I have no doubt that he's a great composer. I don't like campy music, Broadway showtunes, or anything like that, so I'm ruling out the likes of West Side Story as an entry point for me into his music. Outside of that, I don't really know where to start. The symphonies, perhaps? I see there are recordings from the composer himself on both Sony and DG, as well as recordings conducted by his later-in-life protégé, Marin Alsop, on Naxos, one of my favorite labels.

I have this one disc that I've heard a few times:



... but it never left much an impression on me. I'll have to listen again. Outside of that, I may have to try and pick up a CD with a symphony or two of his.

I saw a Bernstein work live this time last year: Three Meditations from Mass for solo cello and orchestra. It was killer! Is there a CD out there with a good performance of it?

Offline Brewski

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Re: Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990
« Reply #279 on: January 10, 2020, 01:39:20 PM »
I am interested in the music of Bernstein. He's one of my favorite conductors and I have no doubt that he's a great composer. I don't like campy music, Broadway showtunes, or anything like that, so I'm ruling out the likes of West Side Story as an entry point for me into his music. Outside of that, I don't really know where to start. The symphonies, perhaps? I see there are recordings from the composer himself on both Sony and DG, as well as recordings conducted by his later-in-life protégé, Marin Alsop, on Naxos, one of my favorite labels.

I have this one disc that I've heard a few times:



... but it never left much an impression on me. I'll have to listen again. Outside of that, I may have to try and pick up a CD with a symphony or two of his.

I saw a Bernstein work live this time last year: Three Meditations from Mass for solo cello and orchestra. It was killer! Is there a CD out there with a good performance of it?

That looks like a great disc, for many reasons, so yes, perhaps give it another chance? I especially love On the Waterfront (such a great film, too), but have only heard Bernstein's 1960s recording with the New York Philharmonic, which is a classic.

Otherwise, I can only echo some of the earlier recs from John, Jeffrey, San Antone, and others.

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