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Serenade Facsimile

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Product Details

  • Performer: Bournemouth So, Alsop Quint
  • Composer: Bernstein
  • Audio CD (Nov. 15 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nam
  • ASIN: B000BK53HY
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #369,341 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. I. Phaedrus: Pausanias (Lento: Allegro)
2. II. Aristophanes (Allegretto)
3. III. Erixymachos (Presto)
4. IV. Agathon (Adagio)
5. V. Socretes: Alcibiades (Molto Tenuto: Allegro Molto Vivace)
6. Facsimile: Choreographic Essay For Orchestra
7. I. Sennets And Tuckets (Allegro Non Troppo, Ma Con Brio)
8. II. Waltz (Allegretto, Con Grazia)
9. III. Mazurka (Mesto)
10. IV. Samba (Allegro Giusto)
11. V. Turkey Trot (Allegretto, Ben Misurato)
12. VI. Sphinxes (Adagio Lugubre)
13. VII. Blues (Slow Blues Tempo)
14. VII. In Memoriam: March; 'The BSO Forever'

Product Description

Conductor, composer, educator, pianist: Leonard Bernstein was, without question, the greatest musician America has ever produced. Bernstein described his Serenade, inspired by Plato' Symposium, as a "series of related statements in praise of love" and con

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb483ada4) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb38050fc) out of 5 stars Spotlight on Three Exhilarating Bernstein Works Impeccably Performed Jan. 4 2006
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The stunning drama of Leonard Bernstein's music comes to full light under his protege Marin Alsop's direction in superlative interpretations of three of his lesser known works. The first, "Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium") for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion", is an unequivocal masterwork composed in 1954 and perhaps Bernstein's best classical work. In five movements over thirty-one minutes, the music purportedly depicts a dialogue between Socrates and his followers concerning the nature of love in all its dimensions - comic, ethereal, purely scientific, rapturous and all-powerful. Conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Alsop captures all these feelings with flair and precision, in particular, the pastoral quality of the first and fourth movements, "Aristophanes (Allegretto)" and "Agathon (Adagio)" and the majesty he builds with furious texture on the last movement, "Socrates- Alcibiades (Molto tenuto: Allegro molto vivace)". The dexterous violin soloist, Phillippe Quint, acts as the musical speaker of the unspoken prose, and he skillfully maneuvers through the challenging work with sinuous power and unobtrusive subtlety.

The 1946 centerpiece, "Facsimile (Choreographic Essay for Orchestra)", overcomes its pretentious title by fluently expressing the melodrama around the ennui felt by post-WWII men and women looking for spiritual fulfillment. Echoes of the far more famous "Fancy Free" ballet can be heard throughout this eighteen-minute work, especially in the unexpected piano solo in the middle portion. The net effect is lovely though a touch erratic in the diverse rhythms presented in the piece. Bernstein wrote the last piece, "Divertimento", late in his career in 1980, and it is a vivid reminder of his virtuosity even though the eight brief movements move by almost too quickly with each displaying individual rhythmic patterns that seem to sum up all the styles he has developed over his career. You can also hear his influences throughout, for example, Mahler in the third movement and Copland in the fifth. It ends humorously with a flourish of Sousa-style bandstand music. Clearly Bernstein's compositional output has been wildly variable with his most famous works like "On the Town" and "West Side Story" receiving the most attention (and consequently the most recordings), but I'm happy Naxos has made these three works available to a new generation of listeners at their typical bargain price.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb39e1bf4) out of 5 stars Outstanding Bernstein April 21 2006
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a fabulous disc of Leonard Bernstein's music conducted by his prot?g? Marin Alsop. The opening work is the Serenade inspired by Plato's Symposium, with the solo violin nicely played by Philippe Quint. The Serenade, composed in 1954, was a favorite work of the composer and it is filled with some of his most beautiful music. The melody from the Phaedrus (first) movement was reworked as the Marie theme in West Side Story. Each movement of the Serenade captures the mood of the dialogue of Plato as each member of the dinner party speaks on the subject of love. The most innovative of the movements is the last where Socrates is speaking and is interrupted by the boisterous Alcibiates, when the serious mood is exploded with jazz rhythms.

The Divertimento was among Bernstein's final works and was written for the centennial of the Boston Symphony. It is cast in 8 short movements (Sennets and Tuckets, Waltz, Mazurka, Samba, Turkey Trot, Sphinxes, Blues, In Memoriam: March; "The BSO Forever") and contains many musical puns and illusions to the music of other composers and is a light-hearted tribute to the orchestra with whom Bernstein had his longest association. Sennets and Tuckets is a series of fanfares and music from Fancy Free and West Side Story occurs in the Samba and Turkey Trot. The Sphinxes movement is an illusion to 12-tone music, the nose-thumbing music from Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel can be heard and the concluding march is a parody of Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. The music is a lighthearted and amusing tribute to a great orchestra.

Facsimile was written for Jerome Robbins and has as its theme the search for meaning in the spiritual wasteland following World War Two world, a common there in Leonard Bernstein's music. The ballet follows three characters, a woman and two men, as the men vie for the attention of the woman ending in frustration for all. The scenario aside, the music beings quietly and slowly builds becoming more dramatic and making use of some colorful melodies. I find some of the music reminiscent of the ballet music from West Side Story. The performances recorded here by the Bournemouth Symphony are fabulous. If you have an interest in the music of Leonard Bernstein this disc should be in your collection.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3a43e40) out of 5 stars Workaday readings that badly need a pep pill Sept. 14 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Comparisons aren't odious when it comes to CDs, and this Bernstein collection from Marin Alsop, however well intended, is so laking in the composer's own verve and brio that the music emerges as almost unrecognizable. Strangley, Alsop bills herself as a Bersntein protegee -- did she bother to hear his riveting performances of Facsimile and the Serenade after Plato's Symposium? Every rhythmn is smoothed out and flattened. The exuberance has been drained out and replaced with soggy respectability. Alsop's Bournemouth forces are clueless about the American idiom, and if you take a cursory listen to readings of the Serenade done by Perlman and (especially) Isaac Stern, Philippe Quint seems like pretty weak tea.

In short, the positive reviews below seem incomprehensible to me. Do these people like jazz played by Mantovani strings? They must.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3354b34) out of 5 stars Serenade, Facsimile, Divertimento by L. Bernstein March 21 2012
By Peter F. Lesses - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Serenade, Facsimile & Divertimento by Leonard Bernstein conducted by one of his protege's, Marin Alsop, on an economy Naxos label is a really good selection of his more down to earth instrumental music. The interpretations are lively, refreshing and accurate from the podium. I admired the agile solo playing of Philip Quint in the Serenade, which is sort of a violin concerto in the form of a suite. The hardly known Bournemouth Symphony proves its high caliber in this difficult music. The audio is clear and well balanced.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb33727c8) out of 5 stars 3 well Done pieces ---Please buy July 18 2007
By R. Rockwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I really have enjoyed all of the discs that Marin Alsop has released for Naxos. Never having heard of the Serenade, I would never have tried it without a recommenation from NPR Listeners Guide. It has became my favorite piece by Bernstein after listening to Phillippe Quint on solo violin in addition to string, harp and percussion.
The serenade was inspined By Bernstein's reading of Plato's symposium and focuses on varying expressions of love, The serenade like all of Bernstein's works tend to grow from a progression of ideas not from the repetition of themes. The serenade left me shaken by the ideas created by Bernstein and the instrumentation which seem right for their expresion .
Facsimile is a ballet which used choreography by Jerome Robbins. The music seemsto perfectly convey the melodramatic tension of the scene. The idea that we have no love but only a fascime of it after WWII is the underlying message.

The divertiment for orchestra was commisssioned to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Boston Symphony and as it was composed at the end of his life and designed to incorporate his techniques. It is a joy to listen to.
please exctse typos I have a neurologic disease.