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classical orchestral

Leonard Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah"; Concerto for Orchestra "Jubilee Games"

 
 
Artist
Helen Medlyn, mezzo-soprano. Nathan Gunn, baritone. New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. James Judd, conductor.
Label Naxos
Format CD
Runtime/Release Date 55'04/2004
UPC 636943910023
Daedalus Item Code 57659
This item is not available.
Description
This disc presents Leonard Bernstein at the alpha and omega of his composing career, with both works inspired by his Jewish heritage. Drawing its text from the biblical book of Jeremiah, Bernstein's Symphony no. 1 won the New York Music Critics' Circle Award for the best American work of 1944. Mezzo Helen Medlyn sings it here, backed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Composed for the Israel Philharmonic in honor of their 50th anniversary, the Concerto for Orchestra ("Jubilee Games") debuted in 1986, and it mixes improvisation with a benediction and a musical plea for peace.

"There are a number of good recordings of the muscular, engaging 'Jeremiah' symphony, and this is definitely among them. The main reason to get this disc, though, is Bernstein's seldom-heard concerto…. It's wild stuff—imagine the 'Chichester Psalms' gone mad. The second movement is a compressed theme and variations that show Bernstein at his most inventive."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"These performances not only match Bernstein's in idiomatic flair, rhythmic zest, and sheer spunk, they often surpass them, and believe me, I spent a lot of time comparing recordings before going out on this particular limb."—Classics Today

"James [Judd] gives the old maestro quite a run for his money. The New Zealand Symphony … play splendidly."—American Record Guide

 
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