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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'|
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
In short, the positive reviews below seem incomprehensible to me. Do these people like jazz played by Mantovani strings? They must.
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.