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CHAN 10172
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CHAN 10172

Bernstein: Kaddish/ Chichester Psalms/Missa Brevis

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2004

Originally recorded in 2003

Artists:

BBC Symphony Orchestra


Leonard Slatkin


Simon Baker

counter-tenor

Ann Murray

mezzo-soprano

Jamie Bernstein

narrator

Pablo Strong

treble

The London Oratory School Schola


BBC Symphony Chorus


BBC Singers



Venue:

Watford Colosseum


Bias Studios, Springfield, Virginia, USA


St Giles Church, Cripplegate



Producer:

Michael Emery

(Missa Brevis)

John Newton

(at Bias Studios)

Brian Couzens

(other works)

Engineer:

Marvin Ware

(Missa Brevis)

Ralph Couzens

(other works)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Choir

Total Time - 70:25
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LEONARD BERNSTEIN

(1918-1990)
   
  premiere recording of new narration by Jamie Bernstein  
 

Kaddish (Symphony No. 3)

41:35  
  for Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, Boys' Choir, Speaker and Soprano Solo  
1 I Invocation. Adagio - Poco più andante - Movendo - 3:21
2 Kaddish 1. L'istesso tempo - Allegro molto (Wild!) - 4:52
3 II Din-Torah. Di nuovo adagio - Rubato - Avanti - 6:57
4 Kaddish 2. Andante con tenerezza - 8:38
5 III Scherzo. Presto scherzando, sempre pianissimo - 4:27
6 Kaddish 3. Sostenuto - Tempo I - Broadly - 2:49
7 Finale. Adagio - Più adagio - Adagissimo - 10:26
 Jamie Bernstein narrator
 Ann Murray mezzo-soprano
 Simon Baker counter-tenor
 

Chichester Psalms

17:30  
  (in three movements)  
  for Mixed Chorus (or Male Chorus), Boy Solo and Orchestra  
  (to be sung in Hebrew)  
  Clare Loosley soprano - Lindsay Richardson mezzo-soprano - Andrew Castle tenor - Roger Carter bass  
8 I Maestoso ma energico - Allegro molto - 3:31
9 II Andante con moto, ma tranquillo - Meno mosso - 5:21
10 III Prelude. Sostenuto molto -Adagio - 8:36
 Pablo Strong treble
   
  premiere recording of extended liturgical version  
 

Missa Brevis‡

11:34  
  for A cappella Mixed Chorus (or Octet of Solo Voices) and Counter-tenor Solo with Incidental Percussion  
  (Amplified for church performance with the kind assistance of George Steel)  
  Richard Benjafield - Chris Brannick percussion  
11 1 Kyrie. Adagio - 0:59
12 2 Gloria. Grave - Molto più presto - Meno mosso - 2:59
13 3 Sanctus. Allegro molto - 1:13
14 3A Benedictus. Recitative - Prestissimo - 1:28
15 4 Agnus Dei. Grave - Più mosso - 2:25
16 4A Dona nobis pacem. Grave come prima - Allegro 2:23
This is the second disc of Leonard Bernstein’s symphonies from Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

This disc contains the premiere recording of the extended Missa Brevis and of Symphony No. 3 Kaddish with a new text written and narrated by Bernstein’s daughter Jamie, as well as the popular Chichester Psalms.

Jamie Bernstein is a writer and broadcaster who has worked to preserve the Leonard Bernstein legacy. She has hosted the New York Philharmonic’s live national radio broadcasts and several series on New York’s classical radio station. Jamie has written several concert narrations which she has performed around the US as well as in Beijing and Havana.

Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra have so far released four discs with Chandos, all of which have been highly praised.

The thoughtful programming of works on this disc provides the listener with a fascinating insight into Bernstein’s exploration of the nature of faith.


The two major works on this disc are deeply rooted in the composer’s earthy, energetic and theatrical response to questions of faith in general and Judaism in particular. In contrast to the extrovert gestures of the Third Symphony and the Chichester Psalms, the expressive language of the Missa Brevis is more restrained. The work was prepared in 1988 when the composer’s seventieth birthday was being fêted across the globe.

The more typical elements of Bernstein’s idiom – the jazzy brashness, the melodies, the excitingly vivid orchestral colour – are better represented in Symphony No. 3 Kaddish. The symphony was first performed in Tel Aviv on 10 December 1963, less than three weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, to whom this score is dedicated. ‘Kaddish’ is a Jewish prayer for the dead, but the work is far from mournful in content. It praises God, affirms life and pleads for peace. For the recited text in the symphony Bernstein wrote his own impassioned and highly personal prayer around the Kaddish. At a press conference after a performance in 1977, Bernstein expressed his dissatisfaction with the text he had written and which here appears in a new version by his daughter Jamie.

The Chichester Psalms were commissioned by Walter Hussey, Dean of the UK’s Chichester Cathedral. When writing to invite Bernstein to compose the piece, Hussey confessed that he would be delighted if the score had ‘a hint of West Side Story’ about it. Bernstein must have taken this suggestion literally, for he lifted much of the musical material from pre-existing stage scores – not only from his most famous musical but also from the projected musical The Skin of Our Teeth.


Jamie Bernstein has reworked the narration written by her father, adding to the works frenetic complexity, which registers powerfully in this recording. Fans of heart-on-sleeve Berntsein will enjoy bold versions of his Chichester Psalms and Missa Brevis.
Classic FM Magazine

Especially in surround sound, which gives the acoustic considerably more depth and the sonorities more juice, Chandos engineering is magnificent. Particularly in the way the clear spacial disposition of the choir gives added punch to contrapuntal and antiphonal passages.
International Record Review

On this Chandos CD there is a consistently first-class sound and recording quality, which highlights the great accomplishment of the soloists… This CD is a great tribute to Bernstein as a composer.
Cathedral Music

'Now we have positive proof that the Brits can handle Bernstein with the best. Slatkin - one of American music's leading champions - gives the composer's own accounts some stiff interpretative competition; Chandos strengthens his case with superior, state-of-the-art sound. This is one of those Super-Audio hybrid discs, and while I'm unable to report on its qualities in the SA mode, it sounded absolutely stunning on my obsolete equipment. A must for Audiophile Bernstein fans.'
American Record Guide

Especially in surround sound, which gives the acoustic considerably more depth and the sonorities more juice, Chandos engineering is magnificent. Particularly in the way the clear spacial disposition of the choir gives added punch to contrapuntal and antiphonal passages.
International Record Review




*****
B Dean