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Bernstein: Mass

5 customer reviews

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Amazon's Leonard Bernstein Store

Music

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Photos

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Biography

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

Visit Amazon's Leonard Bernstein Store
for 375 albums, 13 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Performer: Alan Titus
  • Orchestra: Scribner Choir, Berkshire Boy Choir
  • Composer: Leonard Bernstein
  • Audio CD (13 Oct. 1997)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000264OH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,996 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 1. Antiphon: Kyrie eleison
2. 2. Hymn and Psalm:'A Simple Song'
3. 3. Responsary: Alleluia
4. 1. Prefatory Prayers
5. 2. Thrice-Triple Canon: Dominus vobiscum
6. 1. In nomine Patris
7. 2. Prayer for the Congregation (Chorale: Almighty Father)
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. Trope:'World Without End'
5. 5. Trope:'I Believe in God'
6. (De Profundis, part 1)
7. (De profundis, part 2)
8. 1. Our Father...
9. 2. Trope:' I Go On'
10. Holy!Holy!Holy!...
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Bernstein struggled more than most composers towards the end of his life in order to assemble some sort of canon on which his achievement as a composer could be assessed. He reworked both West Side Story and Candide to position them more for the opera house, composed the "serious" opera A Quiet Place in order to house the earlier musical Trouble In Tahiti and conducted a number of fresh recordings of his early concert works. This seemingly acknowledged the danger that the great populariser of classical music might end up being overlooked as what he certainly was: one of the great twentieth century composers. Mass is a perfect illustration of this danger.

Like Bernstein's third symphony, Mass is essentially a drama: an angry questioning of God's role in His own creation. The musical theatre numbers that pepper Mass like arias (and which were co-written with Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz) continually voice ordinary human doubts about God, while the more academic choral sections suggest the real liturgical mass that Bernstein also had in his sights. Consequently if you really dislike musical theatre or classical music, you can guarantee to dislike a substantial portion of this work one way or another. What seems like a commercial move - combining styles aimed at classical and popular audiences - backfires except for those who happen to enjoy both.

Nevertheless, those who can stay the course will find some of Bernstein's best numbers here alongside some thrilling serious composition. There are songs here (such as "A Simple Song" and "Secret Songs") that contain some of the best melodic material that he ever composed, and many of the numbers are (for want of a better word) "toe-tappers".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Mar. 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a very exciting and moving piece of musical theatre. It is spiritual without being parochially religious. Although based on the format of the catholic mass, and using the "chapter headings" of the mass as inspiration for the various musical movements, the style of the piece is a dazzling multi-coloured goulash of pop, folk, orchestral opera and Broadway musical. This mixture attracted some very negative criticism from the Establishment in the early 70's when it was written. I think that maybe this should be seen more as a comment on the critics' preconceptions and dislike of being surprised than on Bernstein's work. My only personal reservations focus on a couple of pop/folk sections which, being deliberately drawn from the music that was about in the late 60's/early 70's, now seem a bit dated. That's only a very minor gripe though. Listen with an open mind and delight in the blissfully peaceful ending.
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By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is a difficult piece to comment on because it embraces such a mixture of styles. Premiered in 1971, there is much that reminds you of West Side Story from a decade or so earlier in its 32 movements. There is the format and snippets of text taken from the Catholic Mass that are truly reverent - but many of the words are provided by Stephen Schwartz and Bernstein, some of which provide sections redolent of the joy of Negro spirituals. The Agnus Dei reminded me of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Bernstein does warn us that this is a theatre piece for singers, players and dancers - so we are forewarned if we are expecting something along the lines of the Duruflé Requiem. Personally I found it a difficult work to settle into for these reasons. Perhaps my musical ear is not yet sufficiently tuned to contemporary music - if that's not an inappropriate comment 40 years after it was written.

Duruflé: Requiem
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By C. Gould on 3 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was involved in the original 1972 production and was thrilled to find a recording on Amazon. It is a masterpiece even if it is 'derivative' and 'eclectic.'
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Justin Fincher on 12 Jun. 2003
Format: Audio CD
The most endearing thing about Leonard Bernstein's Mass is that you can go as deep as you wish. Not only is the music toe-tapping to solemn, but the moral, if I may, is awe-inspiring. A must-listen for any music appreciator.
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