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  • Gershwin/Copland/Barber: Rhapsody In Blue, Appalachian Spring, Adagio
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Gershwin/Copland/Barber: Rhapsody In Blue, Appalachian Spring, Adagio

8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 12, 2007
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Gershwin/Copland/Barber: Rhapsody In Blue, Appalachian Spring, Adagio + Bernstein Century - Copland: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, etc / Bernstein, New York PO
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Editorial Reviews



Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000N4SJJM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,477 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phil in Mågnoliá TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 27, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, July 24, 1982, this is an enjoyable program of music from three American composers, works that Bernstein loved and had performed often over the course of his lifetime.

He was just about to turn 64 at the time of the concert and probably at the prime of his conducting and performing career. He and Ernest Fleischmann were just in the process of establishing the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, which would continue to operate from 1982 through 1991 in association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he took the opportunity to record with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the record label Deutsche Grammophon. This recording is one of the results of that collaboration.

Reviews by the 'professional' reviewers to the three pieces are generally complimentary. I especially enjoy the performance of Rhapsody in Blue simply because it features Bernstein himself at the piano. I don't think he missed a note, and the orchestra sounds great, beginning with the opening clarinet glissando performed with panache and style (I don't know the clarinetist but wish I did), and the LA Phil joins strongly and joyfully. I don't personally agree with Penguin - they say that "Bernstein rather goes over the top with his jazzing of the solos in Gershwin. Such rhythmic freedom was clearly the result of a live rather than studio performance. This does not match Bernstein's 1959 analogue coupling on Sony." Robert McColley, writing in Fanfare in 2002, commented that "He plays the demanding solo with élan and plenty of style. Besides demonstrating the influence of jazz, his finely shaped performance reminds one of the virtuoso concerto tradition descending from Liszt and Grieg.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler on February 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Bernstein's very very broadly paced rendition of Barber's Adagio is still unsurpassed for its almost painful emotional intensity and sublime beauty. When Bernstein takes a risk of extremely slow tempo, the music usually falls apart (the prime example; Elgar's Enigma Variation and Mahler's 2n & 8th), but with 'Adagio', it works! The way strings gradually build up the intensity and gather momentum is simply astounding and the long pause which follows the climax is awe-inspiring.

Rhapsody in Blue, with Bernstein at the piano, is also very impressive, with dazzling piano solo and powerfully expressive orchestra. What a superb pianist Bernstein was! He could have made a career as a concert pianist.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Uluru II on August 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is one of only a few discs Bernstein made with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and it was a very fruitful partnership. In the early 80's this orchestra was in top form, and Bernstein was able to draw some fantastic sounds from them.

As the title states, this recording of "Rhapsody in Blue" is not one of the best - not bad, but a little too indulgent and quirky to be definitive. Bernstein's recordings with his own NY Philharmonic are definitely superior. It would still serve as a decent introduction to those unfamiliar with the piece, it's just unlikely to be the aficionado's favorite.

"Appalachian Spring" is excellent. Again, it may not eclipse Bernstein's own classic recording with the NY Philharmonic, or for that matter Copland's various versions, but nonetheless the playing is spirited and grand and this version ranks with the best. Bernstein was a longtime champion of Copland and knew the music as well as anyone, and his interpretation here is typically "just right."

The real gem of this disc, though, is Barber's "Adagio." Personally, I think it's the finest of the 8 or so versions I'm familiar with, and better than Bernstein's NY Philharmonic recordings. He finds the perfect tone for the piece - appropriately somber and elegiac, but with levity, and glowing, vibrant sound from the strings. The cellos, especially, give me chills and moist eyes when they take over the main theme, becoming almost unbearably beautiful as they near the climax of the piece. Bernstein was known for aggressively wringing emotion from slow and sad music, often to the point of melodrama, but here he is wonderfully restrained.
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Format: Audio CD
Three pivotal NorthAmerican composers: Copland, Barber and Copland are performed by Lenny -in his autumnal years- at the front of the Angeles Philharmonic.

Rhapsody in Blue is a very personal view of Bernstein, very slow paced and intimate, shows us the unsaid facets of the work. You won't feel an outburst of vitality but the approach is interesting.

Barber's Adagio is performed with sidhereal mood, trascends the common performances one is used to listen.

Finally, the Appalachian Suite (probably the most beautiful, thoughtful and lyric Op. from the NorthAmerican repertoire ever written) is played also with that autumnal approach, giving a memorable treatment.

An album to collect.
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Gershwin/Copland/Barber: Rhapsody In Blue, Appalachian Spring, Adagio
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