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Bernstein Conducts Bernstein, Kaddish Symphony 3, Chichester Psalms

Leonard Bernstein Audio CD

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A musician of unparalleled versatility, Leonard Bernstein achieved worldwide renown in a career spanning nearly five decades - as an inspiring conductor and teacher, as a wide-ranging composer and author, as a gifted pianist.

As composer, he created a body of works extraordinarily diverse in form and style: for example, three symphonies (Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety and Kaddish) the ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Bernstein Store

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Kaddish, Symphony No. 3 (To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy): I. Invocation. Kaddish 1 8:23£2.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Kaddish, Symphony No. 3 (To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy): II. Din-Torah. Kaddish 216:00£4.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Kaddish, Symphony No. 3 (To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy): III. Scherzo. Kaddish 3. Finale18:31£4.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I. Psalm 108 (verse 2) & Psalm 100 (complete) 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Chichester Psalms for Chorus and Orchestra: II. Psalm 23 (complete) & Psalm 2 (verses 1-4)* 5:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Chichester Psalms for Chorus and Orchestra: III. Psalm 131 (complete) & Psalm 133 (verse 1) 9:14£2.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description


Leonard Bernstein's Kaddish, Symphony No. 3, from 1963 is probably his most famous. It's dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy, and comprises spoken and sung texts from Jewish prayers for the dead. It's quite dramatic, very listenable, and not at all pretentious, as some critics have avowed. It ranks with Shostakovich's harrowing Symphony No. 14 and deserves more attention than it usually gets. Which is damned little. The same goes for Bernstein's Chichester Psalms (1964). It's a very engaging choral work that celebrates the practice of psalmody or choral festivals, a kind of celebratory music we don't hear much. --Paul Cook

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificently Performed 5 Feb 2003
By Shota Hanai - Published on Amazon.com
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. I can consider the words and the sentiment in the movement to be a song of resettlement after the Nazi's attempted genocide of the Jews.
This performance with the New York Phil too, despite its recording technology, is absolutly unmatched. The only other recording I would listen is the one Bernstein performed with the Isreal Phil on Grammophon during his later years of conducting. By noticing the recognizable use of energy of Bernstein's youthful earlier performance, though, I would recommened this performance than the latter.
Generally, the two pieces are magnificently performed, showing how great Bernstein was. Unless you want really cle-e-e-an recordings, you won't be dissapointed.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking! 10 July 1999
By Kenneth R. French - Published on Amazon.com
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.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am delighted that the original version is now on CD. 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chichester Psalms can well be considered LB's masterpiece. 6 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernstein at His Best 2 Mar 2006
By Carrol Hassman - Published on Amazon.com
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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