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Bernstein: Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish" (original 1963 version); Missa Brevis; The Lark / Claire Bloom, narrator; Kelley Nassief, soprano; Paulo Mestre, countertenor

Album Summary

>Bernstein, Leonard : Missa Brevis, for alto, chorus & percussion (or 7 violins & percussion)
>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 3 ("Kaddish"), for soprano, speakers, choruses & orchestra
>Bernstein, Leonard : Spring Song (from The Lark)
Performer Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Three examples of Leonard Berstine's vocal art can be heard in this recording. His Symphony No. 3 "Kaddish" shuns traditional symphonic ideas in favor of an eclectic theatrical and oratorio-like form with a prominent role for speaker. For this recording Marin Alsop has returned to the work's original narrative text, heard before the 1977 revision. The Lark - heard in a concert version with added narration - derives from Lillian Hellman's adaptation of L'Alouette on the life of Joan of Arc, and it was this music that Bernstein reworked into his Missa Brevis many years later.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2015
Claire Bloom delivers [Kaddish] in a calm, inward manner, as if at prayer, without the fierce anger generated on Bernstein's first recording... despite assured, purposeful contributions by the choirs and Alsop's excellent Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the narration's gentleness of tone nullifies an essential element of the work.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2015
[Kaddish is] recorded here in a performance of great conviction from Marin Alsop, with the wonderful Claire Bloom achieving a happy medium between the declamatory and the confidential... there are instances of pure gold - a consoling lullaby at the heart of the piece (featuring limpid soprano Kelley Nassief) which Bernstein called his 'Pieta'.

Sunday Times, 20th September 2015
Alsop's account of the Kaddish outclasses the composer's second recording (DG) with Montserrat CaballT and the Israel Philharmonic...The piece itself seems to grow in stature, and the conductor's Baltimore forces perform with blazing conviction.

The Guardian, 17th September 2015
Alsop gets colour and intensity from the orchestra, but the singing voices are far back in the mix and sound thin. In the other works, the energetic Spo Paulo Symphony Choir emerges more impressively.

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
Alsop conducts the original version "for the most part". The narration is the original, and the booklet contains the full spoken and sung texts in English and transliterated Hebrew and Aramaic. The Missa Brevis (1988) and The Lark (1955, rev. 2008 by Nathaniel G. Lew and in 2012 by Marin Alsop) act as bookends for the symphony. The former is a reworking of the latter, which is incidental music for Lillian Hellman's adaptation of Jean Anhouil's Alouette, a play about Joan of Arc. The Lark contains parts of the Mass as well as sections sung in French and more narration in English. Neither piece is anything special.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (09/28/2012/09/30/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore (09/28/2012/09/30/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland (09/28/2012/09/30/2012); Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (09/29/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore (09/29/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland (09/29/2012); Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (11/29/2012/11/30/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore (11/29/2012/11/30/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland (11/29/2012/11/30/2012).



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Works Details

>Bernstein, Leonard : Missa Brevis, for alto, chorus & percussion (or 7 violins & percussion)
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Ensemble: Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (11/29/2012/11/30/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1988

>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 3 ("Kaddish"), for soprano, speakers, choruses & orchestra
  • Conductor: Julian Wachner
  • Ensemble: Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (09/28/2012/09/30/2012)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1963-1977

>Bernstein, Leonard : Spring Song (from The Lark)
  • Performer: Paulo Mestre
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Ensemble: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (09/29/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore (09/29/2012); Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (11/29/2012/11/30/2012); The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore (11/29/2012/11/30/2012)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955