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Thread: Music Composed by Bernstein

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    I want to plug Mass a bit in the wake of the negative comments since I absolutely love the work and consider it his masterpiece, which is a revised critical opinion which has been trending somewhat. In the last two decades, I have seen some evidence of the tide turning in favor of this unique work. There have been several newish recordings, which I covered in a blog article:

    Leonard Bernstein’s Mass : Newer Recordings

    I would urge any Bernstein fan to give Mass a new listen.
    If it's possible to like and not like a piece of music at the same time; then for me it's Bernstein's Mass. Parts of it sound dated, derivative, and tacky. Other parts of it are quite beautiful and moving, such as The Word of the Lord which is a beautiful expression of faith that is at once rebellious, stubborn, but also submissive. I think that Mass needs a make-over to get away from the Godspell/Superstar mode. I like the approach Marin Alsop took to the Mass.


  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    ...I also don't like Bernstein's DG "operatic" version with José Carreras, hopelessly miscast as the Polish gang member Tony. Pretty hard to get past his Spanish accent and inability to handle the syncopation of his songs. The clip of him rehearsing Something's Coming is gruesome...
    I like the part where Bernstein yells at the guy in the control room: "JOHN! Please don't DO this!"



    Last edited by Coach G; Apr-20-2021 at 03:28.

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach G View Post
    If it's possible to like and not like a piece of music at the same time; then for me it's Bernstein's Mass. Parts of it sound dated, derivative, and tacky. Other parts of it are quite beautiful and moving, such as The Word of the Lord which is a beautiful expression of faith that is at once rebellious, stubborn, but also submissive. I think that Mass needs a make-over to get away from the Godspell/Superstar mode. I like the approach Marin Alsop took to the Mass.
    While I don't share your opinion of the work I do agree that the Alsop recording is among the best.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Apr-20-2021 at 02:45.

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    If there is one single work by Bernstein that stands out from the rest, then it is West Side Story. Here you can see for yourself the composer and conductor enjoying himself:


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  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach G View Post
    I like the part where Bernstein yells at the guy in the control room: "JOHN! Please don't DO this!"



    That Bernstein/WSS video is really great...so wonderful to see a great conductor at work in the studio with a terrific studio orchestra....the Carreres stuff is entertaining, to say the least....but there are some other wonderful touches as well -
    The first of the Dance numbers features the bass saxophones, who are blasting away with great gusto...John McClure, the recording engineer, asks Lenny to have them play out a bit more, louder, they aren't coming thru!! Lenny explodes!! <<the loudest instruments in the world, you're not picking them up, and you want them louder??!!>> reposition your mikes or whatever...then, in "America" - Bernstein tells the girls <<this is just a run-through, for balance, let loose, relax, have fun, no pressure>>
    So the wonderful orchestra takes off, the girls start really whooping it up, having a wild time, the girls get rowdier, the orchestra gets crazier, the girls respond and a wonderful spontaneous rendition is produced....McClure tells Lenny <<that's a take, great!! One marrocha part needs to be dubbed in>> a percussionist didn't make the change in time...thanks ladies, you're all set!! The girls love it!! They're done on one take (the $$ is the same)...
    Last edited by Heck148; Apr-20-2021 at 13:57.

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