BN.com Gift Guide

Bernstein: Mass

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Leonard Bernstein's Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers was given a mixed reception upon its premiere as the inaugural production at the opera house of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on September 8, 1971. A double-LP box set recording followed in the fall, and there were performances in several cities the next year, but the work, which mixed popular music genres with classical ones, never attracted a wide following. More than 30 years later, however, three recordings appeared during the first decade of the 21st century, one by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by Kent Nagano and made in ...
See more details below
CD
$18.99
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (4) from $10.75   
  • New (4) from $10.75   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Leonard Bernstein's Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers was given a mixed reception upon its premiere as the inaugural production at the opera house of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on September 8, 1971. A double-LP box set recording followed in the fall, and there were performances in several cities the next year, but the work, which mixed popular music genres with classical ones, never attracted a wide following. More than 30 years later, however, three recordings appeared during the first decade of the 21st century, one by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by Kent Nagano and made in November 2003; a second by the Tonkünstler-Orchester (the State Orchestra of Lower Austria) conducted by Kristian Järvi and made in February 2006; and this one by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop and made in October 2008. While these versions are clearly inferior to the one Bernstein himself conducted in 1971, they serve to alert 21st century listeners that the composition is not just a time capsule of its era. That's the way some saw it in the early '70s, when it seemed of a piece with several other musical theater works that attempted to use the Christian religion to comment on the social turmoil of the period, notably Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, the latter written by Stephen Schwartz, who also co-wrote the lyrics to Mass. In each work, the tradition-encrusted tale of Christ's life was contemporized in song with an emphasis on skepticism and even cynicism, sung in vernacular language and expressed musically in styles of rock and pop. Bernstein's version, based on the liturgy of the Roman Catholic mass, was the most musically ambitious and eloquent, tracing the ways in which Christian belief could be perverted and questioned. Creating a government-commissioned work, he may have been trying to "catch the conscience of the king," in his case, President Richard Nixon, who failed to attend the premiere. But his and Schwartz's attack on those who use Christianity for their own ends, as expressed in "God Said," with its specious justifications for anti-environmentalism and warmongering, must sound only too familiar to listeners familiar with the policies of President George W. Bush, who was in the White House when all three of the newer recordings were made. Sometimes, it seems the best way to be timeless is to be timely. As such, Alsop, like Järvi and Nagano, had the potential to create a version of Mass that spoke to her own generation as Bernstein attempted to speak to his. In all three cases, that opportunity has been squandered, however, and oddly enough in much the same ways. While the 1971 recording was full of impassioned performances reflecting the ripped-from-the-headlines quality of the writing, Alsop, just like Järvi and Nagano did, treats the work largely as a museum piece, rendering it as though it was some dusty opera, without much conviction. Musically, Alsop, again like Järvi and Nagano, hews far closer to the classical elements in the score, giving only cursory treatment to the pop music parts, which unbalances the work. If new recordings of Bernstein's Mass can reawaken debate about a composition that deserves to be remembered, what it really should do is send the curious back to the initial version. Perhaps a theatrical production handled by people less tied to the classical realm could bring the work back in a more meaningful way.
Gramophone - James Inverne
[September 2009 CD of the Month] A powerful depiction... Vital and affirmative.... The performance pivots around Jubilant Sykes in the central role of the Celebrant. An incredibly vivid performer, he variously howls, whispers and croons his way through the score.... Alsop is at the root of everything, of course, and her Baltimore players surge ever forward.... Blistering.
ClassicsToday.com - David Hurwitz
This is, handily, the best sung, best played, most intelligently interpreted recording of Mass currently available.... Alsop never has made a finer recording--it's both a tribute to her mentor Leonard Bernstein, as well as to her exceptional talent as an exponent of his music.

This is, handily, the best sung, best played, most intelligently interpreted recording of Mass currently available.... Alsop never has made a finer recording--it's both a tribute to her mentor Leonard Bernstein, as well as to her exceptional talent as an exponent of his music.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/2009
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 636943962220
  • Catalog Number: 8559622-23
  • Sales rank: 16,178

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Part 1. Devotion before the Mass. Antiphon. Kyrie eleison (Pre-recorded (1:58)
  2. 2 Part 1. Devotion before the Mass. Hymn and Psalm. A Simple Song (4:10)
  3. 3 Part 1. Devotion before the Mass. Responsory. Alleluia (Pre-recorded ta (1:08)
  4. 4 Part 2. First Introit (Rondo). Prefatory Prayers (4:59)
  5. 5 Part 2. First Introit (Rondo). Thrice-Triple Canon. Dominus vobiscum [L (0:41)
  6. 6 Part 3. Second Introit. In nomine Patris (Pre-recorded tape no. 3) [Liv (1:57)
  7. 7 Part 3. Second Introit. Prayer for the Congregation (Chorale. Almighty (1:21)
  8. 8 Part 3. Second Introit. Epiphany (Pre-recorded tape no. 4) (0:54)
  9. 9 Part 4. Confession. Confiteor (2:10)
  10. 10 Part 4. Confession. Trope. I Don't Know (1:41)
  11. 11 Part 4. Confession. Trope. Easy (4:50)
  12. 12 Part 5. Meditation No. 1 (5:09)
  13. 13 Part 6. Gloria. Gloria Tibi (1:54)
  14. 14 Part 6. Gloria. Gloria in Excelsis (1:15)
  15. 15 Part 6. Gloria. Trope. Half of the People (0:59)
  16. 16 Part 6. Gloria. Trope. Thank you (2:46)
  17. 17 Part 7. Meditation No. 2 (3:38)
  18. 18 Part 8. Epistle. The Word of the Lord (5:50)
  19. 19 Part 9. Gospel-Sermon. God Said (4:22)
  20. 20 Part 10. Credo. Credo in unum Deum (Pre-recorded tape no. 5) (1:08)
  21. 21 Part 10. Credo. Trope. Non Credo / Crucifixus (Pre-recorded tape no. 6) (2:16)
  22. 22 Part 10. Credo. Trope. Hurry / Sedet ad dexteram Patris (Pre-recorded t (1:20)
  23. 23 Part 10. Credo. Trope. World without End / Et in Spiritum Sanctum (Pre- (1:38)
  24. 24 Part 10. Credo. Trope. I Believe in God (2:06)
  25. 25 Part 11. Meditation No. 3 (De profundis, Part 1) (2:31)
  26. 26 Part 12. Offertory (De profundis, Part 2) (2:12)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Part 13. The Lord's Prayer (1:15)
  2. 2 Part 13. The Lord's Prayer. Trope. I Go On (2:24)
  3. 3 Part 14. Sanctus (5:09)
  4. 4 Part 15. Agnus Dei (6:30)
  5. 5 Part 16. Fraction. Things Get Broken (14:21)
  6. 6 Part 17. Pax. Communion (Secret Songs) (9:05)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marin Alsop Primary Artist, Conductor
Laurie Williamson Vocals
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Timothy Shew Vocals
Len Horowitz Vocals
Telly Leung Vocals
J.D. Webster Vocals
Morgan State University Choir Choir, Chorus
Max Perlman Vocals
Sarah Uriate Berry Vocals
Caesar Samayoa Vocals
Matt Boehler Vocals
Janet Saia Vocals
Mike McGowan Vocals
Joe Paparella Vocals
Susan Derry Vocals
Amy Justman Vocals
Celisse Henderson Vocals
Theresa McCarthy Vocals
Doreen Falby Children's Choirmaster
Dan Micciche Vocals
Asher Edward Wulfman Soprano (Vocal)
Eric Conway Choir Director
Jodie Langel Vocals
Peabody Children's Chorus Children's Chorus
Ilya Finkelshteyn Cello
Kevin Vortmann Vocals
James Morgan Vocals
Jubilant Sykes Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Text
Marin Alsop Music Direction
Richard King Engineer
Jubilant Sykes Contributor
Stephen Schwartz Text
Steven Epstein Producer
Dave Hoffmann Cover Photo
Robert Hilferty Liner Notes
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Alsop aces the Bernstein Mass

    Marin Alsop's reading of the controversial Bernstein Mass is precisely what we've come to expect from the Baltimore Symphony's outstanding maestro: fresh, vibrant, cathartic, and empathic.

    The mass itself, more vernacular and theatrical than liturgical, is a hit-or-miss piece, but for those who love Bernstein and/or his famous Mass, you will find this to be a top-quality interpretation and recording. The recording is sonically robust and clean, and features inspired performances from Jubilant Sykes (baritone); Asher Edward Wulfman (boy soprano); the Morgan State University Choir, under the direction and preparation of Dr. Eric Conway; and the Peabody Children's Chorus, directed by Doreen Falby.

    Certainly a top-tier recording of this popular American work!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Mass for now

    I had the privilege of seeing this work performed live at Carnegie Hall in October 2008. Amazing quality and one of Bernstein's most underrated pieces. Marin Alsop rocks!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bernstein Mass featuring Jubilant Sykes

    Leonard Bernstein's Mass is not your typical Mass. It's fresh, vibrant and exciting. The piece uses the text from the liturgy of the Roman Mass, as well as, additional texts by Bernstein and Leonard Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked). This combination brings new life to a style of music that can sometimes be boring. Jubilant Sykes is the celebrant and his performance is nothing short of outstanding. The voices of the Morgan State University Choir, the Peabody Children's Chorus, and the individual soloists throughout the piece are all excellent and really add to the enjoyment of the piece. You won't be disappointed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Musical Jubilee

    Leonard Bernstein's Mass is a one of a kind experience. Before listening to it, the only work of Bernstein's that I was really familiar with was West Side Story. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I can safely say that this is not your grandmama's mass. There are parts of the Mass that are almost like West Side Story meets a Sousa march. There is so much energy that you can't help but perk up when you listen to it. Lyrically, there are tongue and cheek moments that may rattle some cages, but that's what makes this piece unique. This particular performance of the Mass is really special. Baritone Jubilant Sykes is at the helm and brings such vibrancy to an already exciting piece. I really love how theatrical it is. The Morgan State University Choir and the Peabody Children's Chorus also lend their voices to the musical jubilee. Every soloist does a wonderful job negotiating the multiple musical genres in this one work, so there is really something for everyone to enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews