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  • Leonard Bernstein - Mass / Nagano, Hadley, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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Leonard Bernstein - Mass / Nagano, Hadley, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin Import


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Audio CD, Import, October 12, 2004
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Composer: Leonard Bernstein
  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B0002JP5DQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,412 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 1. Antiphon: 'Kyrie Eleison'
2. 2. Hymn And Psalm: A Simple Song
3. 3. Responsory: 'Alleluia'
4. 1. Prefatory Prayers
5. 2. Thrice-Triple Canon: Dominus Vobiscum
6. 1. In Nomine Patris
7. 2. Prayer For The Congregation
8. 3. Epiphany
9. 1. Confiteor
10. 2. Trope: 'I Don't Know'
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 1. Credo In Unum Deum
2. 2. Trope: 'Non Credo'
3. 3. Trope: 'Hurry'
4. 4. World WIthout End
5. 5. Trope: 'I Believe In God'
6. XI. Meditation No. 3
7. XII. Offeratory
8. 1. 'Our Father...'
9. 2. Trope: 'I Got On'
10. XIV. Sanctus 'Holy! Holy! Holy!...'
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Otto on November 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Having been a huge fan of Mass since I first heard Bernstein's recording when I was in college in the late 80s, I was really excited to see a new recording. While some of the ensemble playing and singing on this recording is technically better it is almost entirely without any kind of soul or emotion. Hadley is okay altough I prefer Alan Titus in the original recording. The real tragedy of this recording is the quality of the many soloists sprinkled throughout the work. They sound like trained choral singers trying to be broadway stars and the effect is awful. Although I don't know this for a fact, after hearing this recording I am convinced that the original recording must have used actual broadway singers/actors--normally not my cup of tea, but far superior to any of the soloists on the Nagano recording. There are also issues with the placement of the various ensembles and balances are disappointing both in terms of sound quality and dramatic tension.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Thomas O. Sidebottom on January 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I loved Leonard Bernstein's Mass when I first heard Bernstein's recording of it in the early 1970's. Unfortunately it didn't age will with me: years later I found many of the frequent stylistic juxtapositions forced and the musical-style numbers dated. So I was very interested in Kent Nagano's new recording for Harmonia Mundi.

Nagano's reading is a revelation. I came away with a renewed interest in Bernstein as a composer, if not as a conductor. (As an old music teacher of mine said, don't rely on recordings and performances made by the composer of a score.) Nagano unifies the whole complex work with clean, brisk tempos that have well-defined relationships between sections. Jerry Hadley uses his profound skill to realize the central role of Celebrant as never happened before in Bernstein's recording; in that earlier recording, Alan Titus sings emotionally but variably. Hadley never loses sight of the overall work. His reading of the closing Fraction is amazing.

Instrumental playing is uniformly clean: I heard instrumental textures that I'd never heard in Bernstein's own recording. The choral singing is good, but the English intonation is weak, especially in some of the pop sequences.

If you're interested in revisiting a 1970's period piece, I'd highly recommend this recording.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. Parks on October 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Having cut my musical eye-teeth on the original cast recording of the Mass, I was so excited to see an updated version of this highly influential theatre work. Unfortunatley, my hopes were dashed by a recording that suffers both artistically and technically. Perhaps it is because Alan Titus' voice is so stuck in my head, but the selection of vocalists shows a refinement that cheapens the performance. The raw quality of Bernstein's statement has been tamed, and the result is flat and lacking in emotion.

This recording also has some fascinating technical issues. On many occasions voices are buried by the orchestra. Soloists come and go with remarkable inconsistency. The recording is muddy in places, and compared to the original cast project leaves much to be desired.

Everyone should own a copy of the Mass, but they should do themselves the favor of buying the original rather than this lukewarm copy.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By kelsie VINE VOICE on February 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
There are two complete recordings of MASS in the catalog: Bernstein's own reading and this Nagano thing. From the start, the performers are unengaged, bland, and completely ignorant, apparently, of the piece's content. Everything is pretty, refined, and smooth. There is no emotional drama or edge. The soloists are terrible. In Bernstein's reading, the soloists sing the sometimes cynical and sarcastic words of the text with a hard-edged, almost biting tone, reinforcing the hard-hitting words. In Nagano's version, it sounds like everyone is auditioning for the next Webber music. The vocalists are simply uninvolving, especially after one has heard the much more superb Bernstein reading. The celebrant, especially in the 'Gloria,' sounds very artificial while reciting the texts to the official Ordinary.

While cheap, I would encourage you to pass this one up. For a true, groundshaking rendering of the MASS, get Bernstein's own rendering. It will blow you away with its emotional intensity.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By doublehighd on September 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
We've waited over 30 years for a new recording of Mass and this is what we get? The instrumental playing is good. But this is a theater piece and cannot survive the solo and choral singing in this performance. It sounds under-rehearsed and uncommitted. I agree that Mr. Hadley does a fine job with the Fraction, but I find he misses the mark throughout the rest of the role. Why was a tenor cast in this baritone role anyway? With rare exceptions, the other soloists demonstrate neither the voice nor the spirit to do justice to their music.

We really do need a new recording that builds on the 30 plus years of performance experience with this piece. Here's hoping that Naxos lets Marin Alsop take up the challenge. Her concert performances of this work over the years surpass both of the available recordings. In the meantime, the original recording is unquestionably the one to get.
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