Bernstein protégé


Three examples of Leonard Bernstein’s vocal compositions can be heard in this recording. His Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’ uses an oratorio-like form with a prominent role for a speaker. For this recording Marin Alsop has returned to the work’s original narrative text, heard before the 1977 revision. “The Lark” – heard in a concert version with added narration – derives from Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of L’Alouette on the life of Joan of Arc, and it was this music that Bernstein reworked into his Missa Brevis many years later. Track titles are as follows: Bernstein:

  • Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’, with Claire Bloom (narrator), and Kelley Nassief (soprano 1) Supported by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Maryland State Boys choir, and the Washington Chorus.
  • Missa Brevis, performed by Paulo Mestre (countertenor) with the São Paulo Symphony Choir, and members of The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
  • “The Lark”, with Claire Bloom (narrator), and Paulo Mestre (countertenor), with the São Paulo Symphony Choir, and members of The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra.

Conducted by Marin Alsop. Marin Alsop was a Bernstein protégé, and she has written extensively about studying with him. He mentored her when he was conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and few conductors today understand his music better than Ms. Alsop. This disc presents Bernstein the vocal composer, performed in largely original editions by one of his best contemporary interpreters. The speaker in Kaddish is the great actress Claire Bloom. Here is Leonard Bernstein’s 3rd Symphony as conducted by Leonard Bernstein:   And here is Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, describing her first meeting with Leonard Bernstein:   Tags: Leonard Bernstein, Marin Alsop, Kaddish, Claire Bloom, Lark, Missa Brevis