Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein Dances: Ballet Revue by John Neumeier

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The title of this generously filled two-disc set works on three different levels. It refers to a series of dances set to Leonard Bernstein's music, Bernstein's passionate dancing on the podium while conducting and finally, the eternal dance of his music through time.

German choreographer John Neumeier created a dance review in tribute to the music and spirit of the great composer/conductor and this set contains the music used in the production. While not an exhaustive compendium of all the master's music, the staggering scope of Bernstein's genius is evident throughout.

The disc opens with the euphoric Overture to 'Candide' before moving onto the deeply personal "Anniversary: For Susanna Kyle." The 'Anniversaries' are short piano pieces dedicated to Bernstein's loved ones and present an intimate side of the composer. The great symphonic works are represented by "Facsimile," "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story," and the brilliant "Serenade after Plato's Symposium." Bernstein's deep spirituality is evident in "Meditations Nos. 1 and 2" from 'Mass,' played by Mstislav Rostropovich.

The elegant booklet contains photos from the dance production and some wonderful candid shots of Bernstein.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Symphonic Dances (9) from "West Side Story", for orchestra (orchestrated with Ramin & Kostal)
1
4:08 Amazon
2
4:34
3
1:19
4
2:20 Amazon
5
0:55 Amazon
6
0:46
7
3:43
8
1:55
9
3:22
Wonderful Town, musical in 2 acts
10
3:42
Anniversaries (5), for piano
11
1:29
Serenade (after Plato: Symposium), for violin, harp, percussion & strings; also for violin & piano
12
6:47
Anniversaries (5), for piano
13
1:42
Serenade (after Plato: Symposium), for violin, harp, percussion & strings; also for violin & piano
14
4:11
15
1:28
Anniversaries (5), for piano
16
2:08
17
0:42
Serenade (after Plato: Symposium), for violin, harp, percussion & strings; also for violin & piano
18
6:31
19
10:30
Anniversaries (5), for piano
20
2:26
blue highlight denotes track pick