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Prizes: Grammy, Gramophone Award, Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie, Orphée d'or & Prix Caecilia, 1992
Here it is - all of it - musical comedy, grand opera, operetta, satire, melodrama, all rolled into one. You are unlikely to be disappointed by this disc.
The Gramophone Good CD Guide
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Complete recording in English with additional spoken texts in German by Loriot
Live Recording aus der Berliner Philharmonie
(Opera House Version)
Erie Mills (Cunegonde), David Eisler (Candide), John Lankston (Voltaire/Dr. Pangloss), Joyce Castle (Old Lady), Scott Reeve (Maximillian), Maris Clement (Paquette)
New York City Opera Chorus and Orchestra, John Mauceri
Leonard Bernstein's musical adaptation of Candide started life in 1956 as a musical comedy, became an operetta, was heard several times in concert form, and if not home to roost once and for all in this recorded version, is certainly being cultivated in the place many felt it belonged from the very beginning-the opera house.
By the time Candide opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York on December 1, 1956, this question was clarified somewhat by changing the billing from "a musical" to "a comic operetta." But the identity of the piece remained unclear. Audiences at the time did not embrace the show, and it closed after 73 performances.
Candide might have passed into history as a cult musical had not the Masterworks division of Columbia Records, then headed by David Oppenheim, decided to make an original-cast album. It was then-and is now-extremely rare for a major company to record a show that is not a bonafide hit. In the case of Candide, however, the score deserved attention, veteran cast-album producer Goddard Lieberson worked his usual magic, and the recording became successful. That album is responsible for keeping Candide alive.
Then, in 1973, Harold Prince and his collaborators finally made Candide a success. Prince discarded Lillian Hellman's book and hired Hugh Wheeler to go back to Voltaire and create a new libretto. He also hired John Mauceri as the musical director, and Patricia Birch to provide choreography. He also enlisted the help of Stephen Sondheim to make lyric adjustments. Together they were able to do what no one had been able to do before-blend all the elements into cohesive entertainment. The production ran on Broadway for 740 performances.
For those whose introduction to Candide had been by way of the original-cast recording, there were disappointments, as the orchestra was reduced to 13 players, and the music was subservient to the action. But Prince and his collaborators had proved that Candide could work in the theater, and it seemed inevitable that somehow, somewhere, Candide would find its way into a production where the musical values would once again be stressed. This production might even end up where some of those Boston critics in 1956 had suggested the piece belonged-in an opera house. Find its way it did, premiering at the New York City Opera on October 13, 1982, as "Candide-the opera house version."
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Bernstein conducts Bernstein
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Bernstein: Theatre Works
A White House Cantata
Another rarity: the concert adaptation (made in 1998) of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the muical play produced by the collaboration of Alan Jay Lerner and Bernstein between 1972 and 1977 – a history of America and “the problems of housekeeping” in 80 minutes.
A Quiet Place
Bernstein’s only complete full-length opera, a heart-rending family saga (incorporating Trouble in Tahiti from 1951), restored to the catalogue after many years.
West Side Story
The celebrated, not to say controversial, recording from 1985, Bernstein’s only recording of the work, with star singers Kiri Te Kanawa (Maria), José Carreras (Tony), Tatiana Troyanos (Anita) and Kurt Ollmann (Riff), plus Marilyn Horne singing “Somewhere”.
Kiri Te Kanawa (Maria), José Carreras (Tony), Tatiana Troyanos (Anita) and Kurt Ollmann (Riff)
The famous London recording from 1989, presenting the final revised version of the work, with Jerry Hadley as Candide, June Anderson as Cunegonde, Adolph Green as Dr. Pangloss and Christa Ludwig as the Old Lady
Jerry Hadley (Candide), June Anderson (Cunegonde), Adolph Green (Dr. Pangloss) & Christa Ludwig (Old Lady)
On the Town
Frederica von Stade, Tyne Daly, Marie McLaughlin, Thomas Hampson & Cleo Laine (The Nightclub Singer)
Michael Tilson Thomas
Leonard Bernstein was one of the most colourful and multi-talented geniuses of the 20th century – as composer, conductor, pianist, writer and educator. On 14 October this year we commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.
BOOKLET comes with new liner notes by David Gutman, and photos from the recording sessions / productions, plus evocative images of Bernstein from 1967 (cf. Cover)
He captivated Broadway with such smash hits as On the Town and West Side Story. Here they are, with three other theatre works: the satirical operetta Candide, the full opera A Quiet Place; and the rare White House Cantata.
On this 7-CD set all five works are brought together for the first time. Of Bernstein’s major theatre works, only Wonderful Town is not included.
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