Leonard Bernstein: A Total Embrace -- The Conductorby Leonard Bernstein
This three-CD set's title, A Total Embrace, is a metaphoric reminder of the enormous amount of repertory Leonard Bernstein recorded for Columbia Records (now Sony) over two decades. But, of course, the "embrace" also refers to Bernstein's overtly emotional interpretive style. Whether conducting a Beethoven symphony, an Italian opera, or a 20th century American classic like Copland's El Salón México, Bernstein immersed himself in the music, and the result was always an interpretation with tremendous personality. The 29 selections here run the gamut, from the sublime intricacy of a Bach concerto movement (featuring the great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould) to a dazzling Mozart finale, and from the spiritual solidity of a Haydn Mass to the searching transcendence of Ives's The Unanswered Question. Highlights include one of the most exciting performances of the opening movement of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony ever committed to disc, a complete performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (with Bernstein taking the solo part as well as conducting the orchestra), and the first-ever CD release of an excerpt from Stravinsky's opera Oedipus Rex. Handsomely packaged, this sampler serves as a compact introduction to Bernstein's art and will send many a listener on their way to explore the complete recordings from which these extracts are drawn.
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Performance CreditsLeonard Bernstein Primary Artist
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