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This is the sixth release in EMI's American Classics series, a series devoted to releasing the Company's extensive catalogue of American music of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The first disc in this release is of music by, perhaps, the most widely known and ecclectic of composers, Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was active in so many different fields of music, from composing for films and Broadway shows; writing operas, symphonies, chamber works, and some really effecting songs, to being one of the greatest conductors and musical educators of recent times.
The Divertimento for Orchestra, of 1980, is a relatively late work written to commemorate the centenary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is a piece full of wit and light-heartedness. The Broadway show 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was a notable flop when first produced in 1976, the year of the American bicentenary. Bernstein used some of the music in later compositions: an example of which is the final item on this disc, the beautiful song To what you said from Songfest. Chichester Psalms was written to a commission from the organist and the dean of Chichester Cathedral for the 1965 Festival.
Divertimento for Orchestra: I. Sennets and Tuckets
Divertimento for Orchestra: II. Waltz
Divertimento for Orchestra: III. Mazurka
Divertimento for Orchestra: IV. Samba
Bernstein: Divertimento For Orchestra - 5. Turkey Trot
Divertimento for Orchestra: VI. Sphinxes
Divertimento for Orchestra: VII. Blues
Divertimento for Orchestra: VIII. In Memoriam - March "The BSO Forever"
The President Jefferson March (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 1976)
Duet for One (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue)
Elegy for Mippy II (for trombone alone)
Symphony No. 3, 'Kaddish': Kaddish 2
Chichester Psalms (reduced scoring): I. Urah, hanevel, v'chinor! (Pss. 108 & 100) (Maestoso ma energico - Allegro molto)
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms - Andante Con Moto, Ma Tranquillo
Chichester Psalms (reduced scoring): III. Prelude - Adonai, Adonai (Pss. 131 & 133) (Sostenuto molto - Peacefully flowing)
To What You Said
“An hors d'oeuvre rather than an entree, but a fine introduction to Bernstein's music - original and utterly American”
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