Bernstein: Songfest, Chichester Psalms (Remastered) National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Wiener Jeunesse-Chor, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra & Leonard Bernstein
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- Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): Songfest:
- 11. "To The Poem"03:27
- 22. "The Pennycandystore Beyond The El"01:56
- 33. "A Julia De Burgos"03:34
- 44. "To What You Said ..."05:27
- 55. "I, Too, Sing America" / "Okay 'Negroes' "03:52
- 66. "To My Dear And Loving Husband"03:59
- 77. "Storyette H.M."01:56
- 88. "If You Can't Eat You Got To"02:24
- 99. "Music I Heard With You"03:35
- 1010. "Zizi's Lament"02:35
- 1111. "What Lips My Lips Have Kissed ..."05:27
- 1212. "Israfel"04:36
- Chichester Psalms:
- 131. Psalm 108,2 / Psalm 10003:38
- 142. Psalm 23 / Psalm 2,1-405:37
- 153. Psalm 131 / Psalm 133,109:51
Info for Bernstein: Songfest, Chichester Psalms (Remastered)
1978 World Premiere Recording: Leonard Bernstein created this work in the late '70's - 1980. Songfest followed on the heels of the ill-fated but brilliant musical 1600 Pensylvania Avenue. Although devistated by 1600's one-week run on Broadway, Bernstein went on to compose several other works before his death in 1991. Songfest represents in my opinion, the finest of his late life works. Here we have the concept of putting 20th Century American Poetry to music. The result is a theatrical and powerful sounding work. The DDG recording, which I first acquired on LP, has been replaced with a quieter, more dynamic CD. If you are a Bernstein fan, this is a must have recording. My wife also informs me that this is a must have for high school english teachers.
The Chichester Psalms is a far more convential piece that has been recorded several times by several artists. The DDG version, in my opinion, does not play as well as the older Columbia release. Nevertheless, it rounds out the program perfectly. The haunting 23rd Psalm recycles a song from the 1950's Bernstein musical Peter Pan ("Spring will come again"). This is a common practice among composers, including Steven Sondheim. Once again, we hear classical (in this case biblical) text put to music by the maestro. The two compositions compliment each other and frankly belong together on a single album.
Günther Theuring, Chorus Master
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
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