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Bernstein - Chichester Psalms


Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - October 2003



Catalogue No:




Release date:

1st Sept 2003




48 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Bernstein - Chichester Psalms


On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite

Chichester Psalms

Dance Episodes (3) from ‘On The Town'

Bournemouth Symphony Chorus & Orchestra, Marin Alsop



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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


“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.”

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 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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