A Total Embrace: The Composer

Album Summary

>Bernstein, Leonard : Chichester Psalms
>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 1 "Jeremiah"
>Bernstein, Leonard : Serenade for Violin and Orchestra "after Plato's Symposium"
>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 2 "Age of Anxiety"
>Bernstein, Leonard : I Hate Music, cycle of "5 kid songs" for soprano & piano
>Bernstein, Leonard : La Bonne Cuisine
>Bernstein, Leonard : Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 3 ("Kaddish"), for soprano, speakers, choruses & orchestra
>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Waterfront
>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Town
>Bernstein, Leonard : Fancy Free, ballet
>Bernstein, Leonard : Peter Pan
>Bernstein, Leonard : Story of my life
>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide, operetta in 2 acts (original version, withdrawn)
>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story
>Bernstein, Leonard : Dybbuk, ballet
>Bernstein, Leonard : Facsimile
>Bernstein, Leonard : Trouble in Tahiti, opera in 1 act
>Bernstein, Leonard : Alleluia
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer
Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Leonard Bernstein (piano); Nancy Williams (mezzo soprano); Isaac Stern (violin); Benny Goodman (clarinet); Philippe Entremont (piano).

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was not only a brilliant conductor -- having served with the New York Philharmonic for several decades beginning in 1943 -- but was also recognized as one of the 20th century's most lauded composers. In that respect, few if any have contributed as significantly to classical music in the context of the American experience. It could likewise be contended that his contributions to the Broadway stage solidified the formerly intransigent chasm existing between symphonic and popular music. In honor of what would have been Bernstein's 85th birthday, Sony Music created a pair of mid-priced sets celebrating the maestro's accomplishments. A Total Embrace: The Composer (2003) offers more than three and a half hours of highlights spanning nearly a quarter-century. "The Pirate Song," featuring actor Boris Karloff and "the Pirates," is the earliest entry, dating back to the original Broadway cast recording of Peter Pan from 1950. The most recent inclusion is "The Community" from 1974's Facsimile, a "Choreographic Essay for Orchestra. The contents are divided by either "Concert Works" or "Theater Works," with the latter spread over two-thirds of the anthology. No compilation of Bernstein would be complete without copious excerpts from Candide (1956), West Side Story (1957), On the Town (1958), and Wonderful Town (1958). There is equal time devoted to his sacred works, such as the extremely controversial Mass theater piece for singers, players, and dancers, penned specifically for the opening ceremony of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., as well as "Kaddish" Symphony No. 3, which is parenthetically dedicated "To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy." One minor drawback is the lack of detail in the somewhat skimpy liner booklet. This is especially unfortunate as the primary audience for both this and the companion installment, A Total Embrace: The Conductor, is presumed to consist of novices, who would use these collections as seminal entrées into Bernstein's voluminous catalog. However, that should not discourage curious parties from adding either package to their libraries. ~ Lindsay Planer



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Works Details

>Bernstein, Leonard : Chichester Psalms
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 18 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1965

>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 1 "Jeremiah" :: III. Lamentation
  • Performers: Jennie Tourel (Mezzo Soprano); New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Notes: Composition written: 1942.
  • Running Time: 11 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1942

>Bernstein, Leonard : Serenade for Violin and Orchestra "after Plato's Symposium" :: Symposium), for violin, harp, percussion & strings; also for violin & piano
  • Performers: Symphony of the Air (Violin); Isaac Stern (Violin)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Symphony of the Air
  • Running Time: 7 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1954

>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 2 "Age of Anxiety" :: b. The Masque
  • Performers: Leonard Bernstein (Piano); Philippe Entremont (Piano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 4 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1949-1965

>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 2 "Age of Anxiety" :: c. The Epilogue
  • Performers: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord); Philippe Entremont (Piano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 8 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1949-1965

>Bernstein, Leonard : I Hate Music, cycle of "5 kid songs" for soprano & piano :: IV. "A Big Indian and a Little Indian" Con
  • Performers: Jennie Tourel (Mezzo Soprano); Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943

>Bernstein, Leonard : La Bonne Cuisine :: 4 recipes, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Jennie Tourel (Mezzo Soprano); Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Bernstein, Leonard : Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
  • Performers: Leonard Bernstein (Piano); Benny Goodman (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Columbia Jazz Band
  • Running Time: 7 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1949

>Bernstein, Leonard : Symphony no 3 ("Kaddish"), for soprano, speakers, choruses & orchestra :: I. Invocation, Kaddish 1
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Notes: Composition written: 1963-77.
  • Running Time: 8 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1963-1977

>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Waterfront :: Love Theme
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 5 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955

>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Town :: Opening
  • Performers: Cris Alexander (Voice); John Reardon (Baritone); Adolph Green (Tenor); Leonard Bernstein (Piano); Michael Kermoyan (Voice)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Chorus
  • Running Time: 11 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Town :: "Lonely Town"/Dance
  • Performer: John Reardon (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Town :: Dance
  • Performer: Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Town :: "Some Other Time"
  • Performers: Cris Alexander (Voice); Adolph Green (Tenor); Nancy Walker (Voice); Betty Comden (Voice)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : On the Town :: Dance
  • Performer: Ensemble
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Chorus
  • Running Time: 5 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : Fancy Free, ballet :: I. Enter Three Sailors
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York City Ballet Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : Fancy Free, ballet :: IV. Pas de deux
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York City Ballet Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : Fancy Free, ballet :: VII. Finale
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York City Ballet Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1944

>Bernstein, Leonard : Peter Pan :: "The Pirate Song"
  • Performer: Boris Karloff (Spoken Vocals)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Bernstein, Leonard : Story of my life :: "Ohio"
  • Performers: Jacquelyn McKeever (Voice); Rosalind Russell (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Bernstein, Leonard : Story of my life :: " A Little Bit in Love (Never Felt This Way Before)"
  • Performer: Jacquelyn McKeever (Voice)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Bernstein, Leonard : Story of my life :: " A Quiet Girl"
  • Performer: Sydney Chaplin (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Bernstein, Leonard : Story of my life :: "Conga!"
  • Performers: Ensemble (Voice); Rosalind Russell (Voice)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Bernstein, Leonard : Story of my life :: "Wrong Note Rag"
  • Performers: Ensemble (Voice); Jacquelyn McKeever (Voice); Rosalind Russell (Voice)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide, operetta in 2 acts (original version, withdrawn) :: Overture
  • Performer: Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1955-1956

>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide, operetta in 2 acts (original version, withdrawn) :: "Best of All Possible Worlds"
  • Performers: Max Adrian (Voice); Robert Rounseville (Tenor); Barbara Cook (Soprano); Chorus (Alto)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1955-1956

>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide, operetta in 2 acts (original version, withdrawn) :: Mazurka
  • Performer: Leonard Bernstein (Piano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York City Ballet Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1955-1956

>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide, operetta in 2 acts (original version, withdrawn) :: "Glitter and Be Gay"
  • Performer: Barbara Cook (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York City Ballet Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1955-1956

>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide, operetta in 2 acts (original version, withdrawn) :: "Make Our Garden Grow"
  • Performer: Ensemble
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: New York City Ballet Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1955-1956

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: Prologue
  • Performers: The Orchestra; The Jets
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: The Dance at the Gym
  • Performer: The Jets
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: "Maria"
  • Performer: Larry Kert (Tenor)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: "Tonight"
  • Performers: Larry Kert (Tenor); Carol Lawrence (Soprano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: "America"
  • Performers: Chita Rivera (Soprano); Shark Girls (Soprano); Marilyn Cooper (Soprano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 4 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: "Cool"
  • Performers: The Jets (Tenor); Mickey Calin (Tenor)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 4 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : West Side Story :: "Somewhere" (Ballet)
  • Performers: Larry Kert (Tenor); Reri Grist (Soprano); Carol Lawrence (Soprano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1955-57.
  • Running Time: 7 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955-1957

>Bernstein, Leonard : Dybbuk, ballet :: Part III
  • Performers: John Ostendorf; David Wilson-Johnson (Bass-Baritone)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Ensemble
  • Running Time: 5 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1974

>Bernstein, Leonard : Facsimile :: Part II
  • Performer: New York Philharmonic (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Ensemble
  • Running Time: 8 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1946

>Bernstein, Leonard : Trouble in Tahiti, opera in 1 act :: Scene III/IIIa
  • Performers: Julian Patrick (Bass Baritone); Nancy Williams (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Ensemble: Columbia Wind Ensemble
  • Running Time: 7 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1951

>Bernstein, Leonard : Alleluia :: I. Devotions before Mass - Hymn and Psalm
  • Running Time: 4 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1971

>Bernstein, Leonard : Alleluia :: V. Meditation no 1
  • Running Time: 5 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1971

>Bernstein, Leonard : Alleluia :: VI. Gloria
  • Running Time: 6 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1971

>Bernstein, Leonard : Alleluia :: XIV. Sanctus
  • Running Time: 5 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1971

>Bernstein, Leonard : Alleluia :: XVII Pax
  • Running Time: 3 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1971