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This triumvirate of composers represents an essentially lyrical impulse in American music. Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles was completed in 1988 but had existed in some form since 1955. The cycle of songs about love and marriage was written for voice and piano (four-hands) but orchestrated, under Bernstein’s supervision, by Bright Sheng, and premièred by Gerard Schwarz. Eclectic, exciting, jazzy, and Mahlerian, it reflects Bernstein in all his multifaceted glory. Barber’s concert overture is a vibrant work, fizzing with energy, whilst Diamond’s Elegy offers a poignant, noble and at times violent lament for Ravel.
Leonard Bernstein: Arias and Barcarolles (arr. Bright Sheng for mezzo-soprano, baritone, strings and percussion)
No. 1. Prelude
No. 2. Love Duet
No. 3. Little Smary
No. 4. The Love of My Life
No. 5. Greeting
No. 6. Oif Mayn Khas'ne (At My Wedding)
No. 7. Mr. and Mrs. Webb Say Goodnight
No. 8. Nachspiel
Samuel Barber: The School for Scandal, Overture, Op. 5
The School for Scandal, Overture, Op. 5
David Diamond: Elegy in Memory of Maurice Ravel
Elegy in Memory of Maurice Ravel
“[the Barber is] delivered with real panache by Schwarz and his orchestra...[Diamond's] brass writing is very assured, whether it’s big and brazen or disarmingly quiet. Indeed, there’s plenty of the latter, with Schwarz coaxing nicely nuanced playing from his band. A most satisfying conclusion to an otherwise uneven programme.”