Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein Century: Copeland: Second Hurricane / In the Beginning

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Aaron Copland's opera 'The Second Hurricane' is a real period piece. It was written toward the end of the depression era with younger players in mind and first performed by students of the Henry Street Settlement and Seward Park High School in lower Manhattan in 1936. The director, by the way, was Orson Welles. Simplistic in its musical economies, it is also upbeat and idealistic in a way that would be found rather hokey in a later-day America, but the energy is appealing and some of the tunes are so beautiful you'd think they were written by, well, Aaron Copland. This recording hails from the days of Leonard Bernstein's televised Young People's Concerts, rather upbeat and idealistic affairs themselves. The opera is played with zest and commitment, all its corny charm intact, and the disc also includes a 1953 recording of Copland's motet 'In the Beginning.'

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