Leonard Bernstein: A Total Embrace -- The Conductor

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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 Sal?n M?xico, 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|}) ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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.
Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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.
All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
In addition to being one of America's most lauded composers, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) conducted the New York Philharmonic from 1943 through 1969. His no-nonsense approach to classical music was considered controversial, if not somewhat radical, yet his contributions are immeasurable, especially as he crossed cultural lines, exposing the masses to luminous works of symphonic art, many for the first time. He went so far as to demystify the masters, making them palatable for the common listener as well as the studious enthusiast. Since the maestro's copious catalog is undeniably daunting and to honor what would have been his 85th birthday, in 2003 Sony Music created anthologies titled A Total Embrace: The Conductor and A Total Embrace: The Composer. The three-volume mid-price Conductor set contains nearly four hours of Bernstein's offerings from behind the podium. While not presented chronologically, the tracks span nearly a quarter-century, from the Columbia Symphony Orchestra's 1950 rendition of Maurice Ravel's "Shéhérazade: II. La Flute Enchantée" through to a 1975 recording of Hector Berlioz's "Requiem, Op. 5 from Dies Irae: Tuba Mirum." In between, Bernstein's repertoire is thoroughly embodied with arguably definitive recitals ranging from the finale of Mozart's "Symphony No. 39 in E flat Major, KV 543" to Charles Ives' "The Unanswered Question." The latter is just one of several complete compositions; others of note are an unequaled interpretation of Aaron Copland's "El Salón México" and the legendary reading of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" from the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn, NY, where Bernstein not only leads the Columbia Symphony Orchestra but also plays the piano. The only thing that could have improved on the package would be more specific and detailed annotations, as interested parties are presumably novices. Otherwise, A Total Embrace: The Conductor and A Total Embrace: The Composer are highly recommended entrées and sizable career overviews.
Seattle Times - Melinda Bargreen
The arrival of what would have been Bernstein's 85th birthday [in August 2003] is the excuse for two tasty collections of Bernstein, [The Conductor and The Composer].... While six CDs can't possibly do justice to the enormous output of this prolifically gifted mega-musician, these two sets offer a good cross section.... Great stuff.

In addition to being one of America's most lauded composers, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) conducted the New York Philharmonic from 1943 through 1969. His no-nonsense approach to classical music was considered controversial, if not somewhat radical, yet his contributions are immeasurable, especially as he crossed cultural lines, exposing the masses to luminous works of symphonic art, many for the first time. He went so far as to demystify the masters, making them palatable for the common listener as well as the studious enthusiast. Since the maestro's copious catalog is undeniably daunting and to honor what would have been his 85th birthday, in 2003 Sony Music created anthologies titled A Total Embrace: The Conductor and A Total Embrace: The Composer. The three-volume mid-price Conductor set contains nearly four hours of Bernstein's offerings from behind the podium. While not presented chronologically, the tracks span nearly a quarter-century, from the Columbia Symphony Orchestra's 1950 rendition of Maurice Ravel's "Shéhérazade: II. La Flute Enchantée" through to a 1975 recording of Hector Berlioz's "Requiem, Op. 5 from Dies Irae: Tuba Mirum." In between, Bernstein's repertoire is thoroughly embodied with arguably definitive recitals ranging from the finale of Mozart's "Symphony No. 39 in E flat Major, KV 543" to Charles Ives' "The Unanswered Question." The latter is just one of several complete compositions; others of note are an unequaled interpretation of Aaron Copland's "El Salón México" and the legendary reading of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" from the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn, NY, where Bernstein not only leads the Columbia Symphony Orchestra but also plays the piano. The only thing that could have improved on the package would be more specific and detailed annotations, as interested parties are presumably novices. Otherwise, A Total Embrace: The Conductor and A Total Embrace: The Composer are highly recommended entrées and sizable career overviews.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/9/2003
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969057827
  • Catalog Number: 90578

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36: IV. Finale. Allegro con fuoco - Glenn Gould & Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (9:31)
  2. 2 L'oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 2: Finale - Glenn Gould & Igor Stravinsky (3:32)
  3. 3 Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra: Part 2. The Sacrifice "Sacrificial Dance" (The Cho - Glenn Gould & Igor Stravinsky (4:35)
  4. 4 Shéhérazade, poems for soprano (or tenor) voice & orchestra (or piano): II. La Flute enchantée - Glenn Gould & Maurice Ravel (3:02)
  5. 5 Piano Concerto in G major: III. Presto - Glenn Gould & Maurice Ravel (3:46)
  6. 6 Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor (or for 2 oboes & organ or for violin) BWV 1052: I. Allegro - Glenn Gould & Johann Sebastian Bach (8:36)
  7. 7 Concerto for Orchestra, for orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 127: V. Finale. Pesante-Presto - Béla Bartók & Glenn Gould (9:23)
  8. 8 Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47: IV. Allegro non troppo - Glenn Gould & Dmitry Shostakovich (8:58)
  9. 9 Nuages, for orchestra, L. 91/1 (from Three Nocturnes) - Glenn Gould & Claude Debussy (8:15)
  10. 10 Rhapsody in Blue for piano & orchestra (orchestral version by F. Grofé) - Glenn Gould & George Gershwin (16:23)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543: IV. Finale. Allegro - Glenn Gould & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7:19)
  2. 2 El Salón México, for orchestra - Glenn Gould & Aaron Copland (11:01)
  3. 3 Symphony No. 82 in C major ("The Bear"), H. 1/82: IV. Finale. Vivace - Glenn Gould & Franz Joseph Haydn (5:39)
  4. 4 Reisado do pastoreio: Finale. Batuque - Glenn Gould & Oscar Lorenzo Fernández (3:49)
  5. 5 Symphony No. 5, for orchestra in E-flat major, Op. 82: IV. Allegro molto - Glenn Gould & Jean Sibelius (9:43)
  6. 6 Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ("Eroica"), Op. 55: I. Allegro con brio - Glenn Gould & Ludwig van Beethoven (16:57)
  7. 7 The Unanswered Question (I & II), for trumpet, winds & string orchestra, S. 50 (K. 1C25) - Glenn Gould & Charles Ives (5:34)
  8. 8 Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection"): (from V. Im Tempo des Scherzos) "Sehr langsam und - Glenn Gould & Gustav Mahler (16:42)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Missa in tempore belli, for soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra in C major ("Paukenmesse"), H. 22/9: VI. Agnus Dei. Dona nobis pacem - Glenn Gould & Franz Joseph Haydn (3:09)
  2. 2 Falstaff, opera: Act 3. Part 2. Facciamo il parentado... Tutto nel - Glenn Gould & Giuseppe Verdi (3:19)
  3. 3 Semper Fidelis, march for band - Glenn Gould & John Philip Sousa (2:31)
  4. 4 Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus, & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5): Dies Irae. Tuba mirum - Glenn Gould & Hector Berlioz (7:16)
  5. 5 Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73: III. Allegretto grazioso - Glenn Gould & Johannes Brahms (5:19)
  6. 6 Symphony No. 3: IV. Molto deliberato - Glenn Gould & Aaron Copland (13:26)
  7. 7 OEdipus Rex, opera-oratorio in 2 acts: Act 2. Divum Jocastae caput motuum! - Glenn Gould & Igor Stravinsky (6:13)
  8. 8 La valse, poème choréographique for orchestra (or piano) - Glenn Gould & Maurice Ravel (13:16)
  9. 9 El Amor brujo, ballet for mezzo-soprano & orchestra in 1 act, G. 68 (revised version): The Magic Circle. Song of the Fisherman - Glenn Gould & Manuel de Falla (3:09)
  10. 10 Adagio for strings (arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), for string quartet/string orchestra), Op. 11 - Glenn Gould & Samuel Barber (9:58)
  11. 11 Adagietto, for orchestra (from the Symphony No.5) - Glenn Gould & Gustav Mahler (11:18)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Bernstein Primary Artist
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