Essential Leonard Bernstein

Essential Leonard Bernstein

by Leonard Bernstein


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Essential Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein had few equals as an interpreter of American music, and many of his own compositions have entered the pantheon of classics. How fortunate we are, then, to have so many recordings on which Bernstein is both conductor and composer, documenting for posterity his music through personal interpretation. Culled from the Deutsche Grammophon archives, Essential Leonard Bernstein offers a two-disc anthology of his works -- all led (with one exception) by Lenny himself -- ranging from the Broadway stage to the concert hall to the movie screen. Many will be familiar to listeners, such as the opening Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, a tour de force orchestral suite of several of the Broadway show's memorable tunes. So, too, the three dance episodes from On the Town, or the selections from Candide, with June Anderson providing a special highlight in the coloratura showpiece "Glitter and Be Gay." Less familiar is the 1944 Ballet Fancy Free, in which Bernstein took Copland's Americana dance scores a step into the future with vigorous, jazz-inflected rhythms. Or, along similar lines, there is the sassy Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs for solo clarinet and jazz ensemble from 1949. The set closes with a symphonic suite of music from Elia Kazan's film On the Waterfront, lushly played by the Israel Philharmonic, with whom Bernstein had a particularly close relationship and who contribute many of the performances here. Bernstein was a larger-than-life figure, and no compilation could fully do him justice. But Essential Leonard Bernstein, with top-notch performances and Deutsche Grammophon's legendary sound, is a great way to start.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/18/2001
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947151821
catalogNumber: 471518


  1. Symphonic Dances (9) from "West Side Story", for orchestra (orchestrated with Ramin & Kostal)
  2. A Musical Toast, for orchestra
  3. Wonderful Town, musical in 2 acts: A Little Bit in Love
  4. Dance Episodes (3) from "On the Town", for orchestra
  5. Facsimile, Choreographic Essay, for orchestra (from the ballet)
  6. Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, for clarinet & jazz ensemble
  7. Slava! A Political Overture, for orchestra
  8. Overture to Candide, for orchestra
  9. Best of All Posible Worlds, for voice & orchestra or piano (from "Candide")
  10. Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): Oh Happy Me
  11. Glitter and Be Gay, for soprano & orchestra (from "Candide")
  12. Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Chelsea version): I Am Easily Assimilated (Old Lady's Tango)
  13. Make Our Garden Grow, song for voice & orchestra or piano (from "Candide")
  14. Fancy Free, ballet
  15. On the Waterfront, symphonic suite

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