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Bernstein Conducts Bernstein: Kaddish & Chichester Psalms

Bernstein Conducts Bernstein: Kaddish & Chichester Psalms

July 14, 1998
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: July 14, 1998
  • Release Date: July 14, 1998
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:01:17
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00138F6B6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,505 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Leonard Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony is a powerful mass reflected on a Jewish background. With both the composer who is a Jewish American, and the first Cathloic president John F. Kennedy, whom Bernstein dedicated the music to after the tragic assisination, being pious believers of heritage, it's partly fit to empasize and create this "requiem" based on the pure Jewish heritage.
Bernstein's Kaddish is an incredibly powerful piece. Although it's hard to understand the Jewish words sung by the choir, the music itself shows its emotions of savagry, pain, and lament, and to top it off, the narrating voice of the music, played by Bernstin's wife, is more than enough to give importance to the "deep sense of kinship and loss that Bernstein felt" after the president had died. The words can show how remorseful Bernstein, and his wife, must have been.
Regardless of the mediocre technology of digital recording on this performance, this music is a definite buy for those who want anything about Bernstein, or wants to give into an American Tragedy. I don't care how great other performances may be; Bernstein's performance is enough for me.
On the other hand, Chichester Psalms, like the Kaddish Symphony, has no specific story, being based, this time, on Psalms 2, 23, 100, 108, 131, and 133. The first movement is joyous, the second movement is a sort of a 'hymn' sung by a male solo high as a boy would sing, and the third movement closes peacefully. I was especially moved by the third movement. The melancholy sounds of the strings in the beginning of the movement reminded me of the grim, dark lifestyles during the Jewish Halocaust, even though the subject might not have been intended in the music.
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Format: Audio CD
I was not alive when President Kennedy was asassinated, but the dramatic lyrics of the Kaddish helps me to understand and appreciate the tragedy in a way I have never felt. Likewise, The Chichester Psalms are done extremely well. I would recomend this cd to anyone that can appreciate good music. It is truly pure heaven.
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Format: Audio CD
Over the years I have shared the Kaddish Symphony with many friends and students. They are always impressed with and deeply moved by this work. Integral to the performance of this music is the spellbinding speaking/acting of Felicia Montealegre and the sensitive singing of Jennie Tourel. The recording of the revised version of this work with the male speaker was a total disappointment to me. I did not know until this moment that my old LP (which is now cracked!) is no longer necessary. I'm ordering this one at once. Paired with the "Psalms" this is a wonderful reissue.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD has Bernstein's two major works written during the '60s, both pieces that dabble somewhat with 12-tone and "modernist" techniques but end up as tonal Bernstein. Both compositions also share the common thread of being (more or less) prayers for peace. Most all of Bernstein's serious music is critically dismissed for (at least to me) inexplicable reasons, and these two works show a composer at his best. Kaddish, dedicated to JFK, was later heavily revised, but it's a treat to hear Felicia Bernstein (the composer's wife) as the narrator and listen to the maestro's original ideas for the piece. Chichester Psalms can well be considered LB's masterpiece; it's an affirmation of original tonality, celebrating the Psalms. It's one of the most melodic, rhythmic, beautiful things to come out of this century and Lenny's genius is on full display. With Kosovo, Littleton and all that's happened just this year, the final prayer for peace is just as applicable now as it was during Vietnam.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording is a digital remastering of the two works, as originally recorded and issued on Columbia records. I listened to my old, now broken-down vinyl copies again and again, and am very pleased to have the works on CD. The performances are stunning and authoritative; the singing and the playing, exquisite; and the music, electrifyingly dramatic. This album is well worth owning!
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Format: Audio CD
I actually performed this when I was in high school. I have never heard anything as hauntingly beautiful as the Chichester Psalms. I highly, highly recommend it. The complexity of the harmony and beauty of the words make this well worth your time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This symphony confirmed my existence. It is my most favorite and profound music.
I first heard Kaddish in 1964, on my car radio, while driving to college class. Enamored so by the music, I remained listening until it finished, making me late to class.
The next day, I bought the vinyl record (pre tape/CD/MP3 era). Played it …studied it. I was stunned that someone had composed in music my philosophy of human’s relationship with the Force, and vice-versa.
Since, I’ve purchased Kaddish many times, presented it to those I cherish; this most recent time, to my GrandNiece.
I do not practice a religion. I do not believe in the Abrahamic God or any god. I do believe there is a Creator, something that caused the universe. But, I do not know It.
Further, I believe that I, a cognisance being, am evolving the universe. That I contribute to existence’s ongoing formative process. That I am the butterfly, winging the solar wind.
Kaddish intones that.
I never met Leonard Bernstein. Tho I tried. I wanted to discuss his meanings of the music. I wanted to know his coming to the Metaphysics and Epistemology of the words and instrument phrasings.
I never met Einstein either. But I rank these two among the supreme formers of my understanding of reality.
Thank you, Leonard.
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