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Leonard Bernstein

Born: 1918. Died: 1990. Lived in: United States

The prodgiously gifted American conductor, composer, pianist, and teacher, Leonard (actually, Louis) Bernstein, took piano lessons as a boy and attended the Garrison and Boston Latin Schools. At Harvard University, he studied with Walter Piston, Edward Burlingame-Hill, and A. Tillman Merritt, among others. Before graduating in 1939, he made an unofficial conducting debut with his own incidental music to The Birds, and directed and performed in Marc Blitstein's The Cradle Will Rock. Then at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he studied piano with Isabella Vengerova, conducting with Fritz Reiner, and orchestration with Randall Thompson. In 1940, he studied at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's newly created summer institute, Tanglewood, with the orchestra's conductor, Serge Koussevitzky. Bernstein later became Serge Koussevitzky's conducting assistant.

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Leonard Bernstein Choral Series

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Corydon Singers : Leonard Bernstein Chicester Psalms : 00  1 CD : Matthew Best : CDA 66219

Corydon Singers : Leonard Bernstein Chicester Psalms

This recording features choral works by some of the great American composers. The Corydon Singers, led by Matthew Best sing Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms," Aaron Copland's "In the Beginning" and three motets and Samuel Barber's "Agnus Dei." The "Chichester Psalms," originally orchestrated, are accompanied by organ, harp and percussion with boy soprano Dominic Martelli. Copland's "In the Beginning" for soprano solo and unaccompanied chorus features mezzo-soprano Catherine Denley. Barber's "Agnus Dei" is a choral arrangement of his much loved "Adagio for Strings." The music on this recording is beautifully sung by a great choir.

Songlist: Chichester Palms, Psalm 108, verse 2 - Psalm 100, Psalm 23, verses 1-4, Psalm 2, verses 1-4, Psalm 23, verses 5, 6, Psalm 131, Psalm 133, verse 1, Agnus Dei , In the Beginning , Three Motets (Aaron Copland):, Help us, O Lord, Have mercy on us, O my Lord, Sing ye praises to our King

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7154c | 1 CD | $16.98 | Some a cappella


Dale Warland Singers : Bernstein & Britten : 00  1 CD : Dale Warland : 123

Dale Warland Singers : Bernstein & Britten

The forty-voice choir, directed by Dale Warland, are known for their advancement of modern choral literature. This CD bookends works by Bejamin Britten and Leonard Bernstein, with several other composers - Stephen Paulus, Nancy Wertsch and Aharon Harlap among them - contributing. Britten's "Rejoice In The Lamb" (Op.30), is an exercise in contrast, with eerie chromatic dissonances and diminutive solo passages in marked relief to the organ-accompanied, florid crescendos of the chorus. Harlap's "Bat Yiftach" features a distinctive solo French horn motif, rebuked by an agitated chorus; the music from Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" were actually exerpted from work the celebrated conductor had written for an unproduced Thornton Wilder play! With organ, percussion and harp, the result has several movements and is sung in Hebrew; moments of stark beauty are shattered by portentous discord, only to be relieved by a dreamlike peace.

Songlist: Rejoyce in the Lamb, Antiphon for God the Father, Pilgrims' Hymn, Bat Yiftach (Jephthah's Daughter), Fragments from the Mass, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Agnus Dei , Chichester Psalms

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6406c | 1 CD | $15.98


Pacific Mozart Ensemble : Bernstein's Mass : 00 2 SACDs : Lynne Morrow

Pacific Mozart Ensemble : Bernstein's Mass

PME recorded Bernstein's Mass with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin. The recording received a Grammy nomination in 2005 for Best Choral Performance. The work calls for a "Street Chorus" that is able to perform such American musical styles as jazz, blues and rock. Since PME has long been known for being able to do the crossover between "classical" and other forms, Nagano decided that for his recording PME had to be hired and brought to Berlin. Over forty singers went for a week of recording sessions and concerts. In addition to singing the choral parts, PME supplied twenty soloists. Also heard on the recording is the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, with whom we share the nomination. The Mass was commissioned in 1971 by Jacqueline Kennedy for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ours is the first recording of the piece since the original was conducted by Bernstein.

Songlist: Antiphon: "Kyrie eleison", Hymn and Psalm: A simple song, Responsory: "Alleluia", Prefatory Prayers, Thrice - Triple Canon: Dominus vobiscum, In nomine Patris, Prayer for the Congregation, Epiphany, Confiteor, Trope: "I don't know", Trope: "Easy", Meditation No. 1, Gloria tibi, Gloria in excelsis, Trope: "Half of the People", Trope: "Thank you", Meditation No. 2, Epistle "The Word of Lord", Gospel-Sermon "God said", Credo in unum Deum, Trope: "Non Credo", Trope: "Hurry", World Without End, Trope: "I Believe in God", Meditation No. 3 (De profundis, part 1), Offertory (De profundis, part 2), "Our father...", Trope: "I Go On", Sanctus "Holy! Holy! Holy!...", Agnus Dei, and more

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8710c | 2 SACDs | $39.95 | A Cappella

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