Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

October 2003

Disc of the Month

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Bernstein - Chichester Psalms

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - October 2003

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8559177
(8.559177)

Discs:

1

Release date:

1st Sept 2003

Barcode:

0636943917725

Length:

48 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Bernstein - Chichester Psalms


Bernstein:

On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite

Chichester Psalms

Dance Episodes (3) from ‘On The Town'


Bournemouth Symphony Chorus & Orchestra, Marin Alsop

CD

$9.00

(also available to download from $7.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Leonard Bernstein: On the Waterfront Suite

On the Waterfront - Symphonic Suite from the Film

Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

I. Psalm 108 vs. 2, Psalm 100

II. Psalm 23, Psalm 2 vs. 1-4

III. Psalm 131, Psalm 133 vs. 1

Leonard Bernstein: On the Town

I. The Great Lover

II. Lonely Town: Pas de Deux

III. Times Square: 1944

New York Times

“It’s good to have a new Naxos recording with Marin Alsop conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in sensitive, exciting, and impressively lucid performances of three Bernstein works… …The Bournemouth Symphony, in technically adept, bracing performances, plays like a top-notch orchestra.”

Classics Today

“Everything in the score clearly stands out under Alsop's eagle eyes and ears, with syncopated rhythms and canonic passages securely aligned and the Bournemouth brass at their assertive best”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Some years ago Andrew Litton presided over a memorable all-Bernstein concert for Virgin Classics that showed that the Bournemouth orchestra could swing with the best of them; now it's the turn of new principal conductor Marin Alsop to put them through their paces.
Very sassily they strut, too, in the exuberant outer numbers of On the Town. It's a similar tale in the symphonic suite from On the Waterfront.
Alsop displays a special sympathy for this score's intimate undertow, investing softer music with a tingling atmosphere and lyrical poetry that consistently ignite the imagination, and moulding the love theme with a warmth and vulnerability that all but match the composer's NYPO version. Not that there's any lack of red-blooded drama or brazen spectacle, even though Mike Clements's otherwise excitingly dynamic sound-frame exposes some slight thinness of violin tone.
The account of the Chichester Psalms is polished, communicative and beautifully sprung, attaining eloquent heights in the soothing setting of Psalm 23 for boy treble and mixed choir, as well as the strings' impassioned plea that launches the last movement.
A conspicuous success. The playing-time is comparatively stingy, but, given the superior quality of the music-making and the low Naxos price-tag, not many should complain.”

bbc.co.uk

Andrew McGregor

9th October 2003

“Alsop and her Bournemouth band capture [On the Waterfront] as surely and atmospherically as they do the glitzy exuberance of On the Town...it reeks of adrenaline, and brutal oppression...It may be cheap, it may have been recorded this side of the Atlantic, but it never shows. This really is bargain Bernstein; his pupil's done him proud.”

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Editor's Choice

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Bridge - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3

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String Quartet No. 3


“Even by the high standards of previous Maggini/ Naxos offerings, this is an exceptionally fine disc.
If you don't know Frank Bridge's First Quartet of 1906, its ardour and melodic fecundity compel investigation. The Maggini Quartet give a performance to match, of sweep, assurance and affection.
At the same time, their rapt concentration and daring range of expression (especially in the slow movement) banish for good any vestige of salon-room cosiness; the return of the opening material at the quartet's close has never seemed more wistfully inevitable.
That the Magginis are no less attuned to the far more challenging sound world of the 1926 Third Quartet is at once evident from the articulate authority and thrust they impart to the introductory bars (which sow the seeds for so much that follows). Both this work and the searching Piano Sonata, completed the previous year, represent the first wholly convincing examples of Bridge's liberating brand of English expressionism.
The Magginis are scrupulously alive to anguished introspection which runs through the work: the ghostly visions that stalk the central Andante conmoto and finale's twilit coda linger long in the memory here. A superb coupling, impeccably captured by the Walton/Thomason production team and well annotated by Andrew Burn.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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World premiere recording

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Respighi:

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(Rossini arr. Respighi)

Prelude and Fugue in D major BWV532, PP158

(Bach arr. Respighi)

La Pentola Magica, PP 129


“The BBC Philharmonic under principal conductor Gianandrea Noseda plays it all with a straight face and makes a real success of things…” BBC Music Magazine, August 2006

“Noseda's vigorous account of La Boutique fantasque makes a fine coupling with two rarities which similarly show off Respighi's brilliance as an orchestrator of others' music. La Pentolamagica ('The magic pot') is a ballet score from 1920 whose scenario has been lost, though the titles of the ten brief movements give an idea of the Russian story behind it. Respighi drew on relatively neglected Russian composers such as Grechaninov, Arensky and Rubinstein, and Polish-born Pachulski, as well as including his arrangements of Russian folk themes. Slow music and a relaxed mood predominates in evocative orchestration. His joy in orchestral sound is even more striking in the exuberant account of his arrangement of Bach's D major Prelude and Fugue, with rich, weighty brass and dramatic contrasts of timbre and dynamic. The performance of La Boutique fantasque has similar zest. The playing of the BBC Philharmonic is expressive, with rubato that dancers wouldn't welcome on stage. The speeds tend to be a trifle extreme, bringing an apt and enjoyable sense of danger in the pointing of the tricky woodwind flurries dotted through the score. The Chandos sound, satisfyingly full and bright, matches the performance.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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