The Music of America: Leonard Bernstein

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Sony's Music of America series has given that conglomerate a chance to reassemble selections from its catalog of Columbia-label recordings, some of them of considerable antiquity, into budget three-disc sets devoted to a single composer. There are no booklet notes, but both the trifold four-panel jacket and the booklet are packed with vintage photos. In the case of Leonard Bernstein, the label is in the position of being able to present "authentic" performances, for the prime interpreter of Bernstein's music in the 1960s was Bernstein himself, and it's interesting to listen to the 1961 "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story" on Disc 1 and realize how much the New York ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Sony's Music of America series has given that conglomerate a chance to reassemble selections from its catalog of Columbia-label recordings, some of them of considerable antiquity, into budget three-disc sets devoted to a single composer. There are no booklet notes, but both the trifold four-panel jacket and the booklet are packed with vintage photos. In the case of Leonard Bernstein, the label is in the position of being able to present "authentic" performances, for the prime interpreter of Bernstein's music in the 1960s was Bernstein himself, and it's interesting to listen to the 1961 "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story" on Disc 1 and realize how much the New York Philharmonic during this period was Bernstein's band; it seems naturally attuned to the textures of these familiar tunes as orchestrated by Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal. The "Bernstein sound" has so influenced the reception of this music that even much later recordings, such as the Hilary Hahn/David Zinman reading of the "Serenade for solo violin, strings, harp, and percussion" 1988, fit well with the Bernstein originals, which go back as far as 1956. The early recordings of Bernstein's theater music also feature a nice selection of vocal numbers by Broadway stars of the time, such as Rosalind Russell, Barbara Cook, and Carol Lawrence. These are mostly contained on Disc 3, with the "West Side Story" dances spilling over onto Disc 1; the chief objection to this release might be that Bernstein's musicals are somewhat overrepresented, with the three symphonies completely omitted and the Mass, which remains an underrated piece of synthesis that surely influenced such later genre-mixers as William Bolcom, represented only with a short excerpt. Leaving out "why oh why oh why-o, why did I ever leave Ohio" and a few other dubious musical selections would have allowed for a fuller picture of Bernstein the composer. But buyers are unlikely to be dissatisfied as a result with what they do get here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2010
  • Label: Masterworks
  • UPC: 886977177224
  • Catalog Number: 771772

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Overture to Candide, for orchestra - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (4:12)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
  2. 2–10 Symphonic Dances (9) from "West Side Story", for orchestra (orchestrated with Ramin & Kostal) - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (20:54)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
    1. 2Prologue: Allegro moderato
    2. 3Somewhere: Adagio
    3. 4Scherzo: Vivace e leggiero
    4. 5Mambo: Meno presto
    5. 6Cha-Cha ("Maria"): Andantino con grazia
    6. 7Meeting Scene: Meno mosso
    7. 8"Cool" - Fugue: Allegretto
    8. 9Rumble: Molto allegro
    9. 10Finale: Adagio
  3. 11–13 Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, for clarinet & jazz ensemble - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (7:50)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein
    1. 11Prelude for the Brass
    2. 12Fugue for the Saxes
    3. 13Riffs for Everyone
  4. 14–18 Serenade (after Plato: Symposium), for violin, harp, percussion & strings; also for violin & piano - Leonard Bernstein & Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (30:29)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byDavid Zinman
    Performed byBaltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman
    1. 14 Phaedrus - Pausanias: Lento - Allegro marcato
    2. 15 Aristophanes: Allegretto
    3. 16 Eryximachus: Presto
    4. 17 Agathon: Adagio
    5. 18 Socrates - Alcibiades: Molto tenuto - Allegro molto vivace
Disc 2
  1. 1–3 Chichester Psalms, for boy soloist, chorus & orchestra - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (18:25)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic, Camerata Singers, Abraham Kaplan, John Bogart
    1. 1 Psalm 108 (verse 2); Psalm 100 (complete)
    2. 2 Psalm 23 (complete); Psalm 2 (verses 1-4)
    3. 3 Psalm 131 (complete); Psalm 133 (verse 1)
  2. 4–15 Songfest, song cycle for 6 singers & orchestra or piano - Leonard Bernstein & John Cheek (39:43)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Slatkin
    Performed byJohn Cheek, Vernon Hartman, Linda Hohenfeld, Walter Plante, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, Patricia Spence, Wendy White
    1. 4Opening Hymn. To the Poem
    2. 5Three Solos. The Pennycandystore Beyond the El
    3. 6Three Solos. A Julia de Burgos
    4. 7Three Solos. To What You Said
    5. 8Three Ensembles. I, Too, Sing America / Okay "Negroes"
    6. 9Three Ensembles. To My Dear and Loving Husband
    7. 10Three Ensembles. Storyette H.M.
    8. 11Sextet. if you can't eat you got to
    9. 12Three Solos. Music I Heard with You
    10. 13Three Solos. Zizi's Lament
    11. 14Three Solos. Sonnet: What Lips My Lips Have Kissed
    12. 15Closing Hymn. Israfel
  3. 16 Mass, theatre piece for singers, players & dancers: Hymn and Psalm: A Simple Song - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (4:45)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Maurice Peress, Alan Titus, Norman Scribner Choir
  4. 17 Arias & Barcarolles (7 of 9 songs in this set are by Bernstein), for mezzo-soprano, baritone, strings & percussion (or piano duet): Nachspiel - Leonard Bernstein & Marilyn Horne (2:05)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byMarilyn Horne, Martin Katz
  5. 18 Arias & Barcarolles (7 of 9 songs in this set are by Bernstein), for mezzo-soprano, baritone, strings & percussion (or piano duet): Dream with Me - Leonard Bernstein & Marilyn Horne (3:32)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byMarilyn Horne
Disc 3
  1. 1 West Side Story, musical: Maria - Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim (2:39)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byMax Goberman
    Performed byMax Goberman, Larry Kert
  2. 2 West Side Story, musical: Tonight - Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim (3:56)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byMax Goberman
    Performed byMax Goberman, Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence
  3. 3 West Side Story, musical: America - Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim (4:43)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byPatrick Vaccariello
    Performed byPatrick Vaccariello, Karen Olivo, Jennifer Sanchez
  4. 4 West Side Story, musical: Somewhere (Ballet) - Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim (7:35)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byMax Goberman
    Performed byMax Goberman, Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence, Reri Grist
  5. 5 On the Town, musical: Lonely Town - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (6:44)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, John Reardon
  6. 6 On the Town, musical: Lucky to Be Me - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (2:55)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, John Reardon
  7. 7 On the Town, musical: Some Other Time - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (4:24)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Nancy Walker, Cris Alexander
  8. 8 Wonderful Town, musical in 2 acts: Ohio - Leonard Bernstein & Betty Comden (2:54)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLehman Engel
    Performed byLehman Engel, Jacquelyn McKeever, Rosalind Russell
  9. 9 Wonderful Town, musical in 2 acts: A Little Bit in Love - Leonard Bernstein & Betty Comden (1:37)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLehman Engel
    Performed byLehman Engel, Jacquelyn McKeever
  10. 10 Wonderful Town, musical in 2 acts: A Quiet Girl - Leonard Bernstein & Betty Comden (2:23)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLehman Engel
    Performed byLehman Engel, Sydney Chaplin
  11. 11 Wonderful Town, musical in 2 acts: Conga! - Leonard Bernstein & Betty Comden (3:23)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLehman Engel
    Performed byLehman Engel, Rosalind Russell
  12. 12 Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): Paris Waltz - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (1:37)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein
  13. 13 Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): The Best of All Possible Worlds - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (3:23)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Max Adrian, Barbara Cook, Robert Rounseville
  14. 14 Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): It Must be So - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (1:52)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Robert Rounseville
  15. 15 Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): Glitter and Be Gay - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (5:44)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Barbara Cook
  16. 16 Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): I Am Easily Assimilated - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (3:33)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Barbara Cook, Irra Petina
  17. 17 Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): Make Our Garden Grow - Leonard Bernstein & Leonard Bernstein (4:16)
    Composed byLeonard Bernstein
    Conducted byLeonard Bernstein
    Performed byLeonard Bernstein, Max Adrian, William Chapman, Barbara Cook, Robert Mesrobian, Irra Petina, Norman Roland, Robert Rounseville
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