Tinctures in Time is the first original music Bernstein has ever written for the MTO, which from the beginning had exclusively been a vehicle for his arrangements of other people's songs, from Count Basie to Prince. Most of the album was composed in 2019, a tough year for Bernstein: Henry Butler had recently passed, and there were serious injuries and death in his immediate family. Like a lot of people do, Bernstein got through it by working. "I was spending a lot of time on planes, going to visit people in hospitals," he says. "So what else am I going to do with my time? I ended up with all this music."
The SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart is one of the few choirs enjoying an international reputation. Their latest recording has “America” as its subject - and presents a tremendously wide range of forms and expressions, from music written under the influence of European masters to works that boldly explore experiments in aesthetic reorientation. The big names of the U.S. composers are of course represented, including Leonard Bernstein with his single a cappella work, the “Missa Brevis”, Steve Reich with his minimalist “Proverb” and John Cage with some of his late “Number Pieces”. Everything is presented at the highest artistic level, with ravishing sonics that cannot be beat.
Carl August Nielsen (Danish: ; 9 June 1865 – 3 October 1931) was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's greatest composer. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age. He initially played in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen from 1884 until December 1886. He premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. The following year, Nielsen began a 16-year stint as a second violinist in the prestigious Royal Danish Orchestra under the conductor Johan Svendsen, during which he played in 's Falstaff and Otello at their Danish premieres. In 1916, he took a post teaching at the Royal Academy and continued to work there until his death.
This 7CD set is the fruit of the love affair that developed in Paris between Leonard Bernstein and the Orchestre National de France in the 1970s. Beside long-admired studio recordings, featuring Mstislav Rostropovich and Alexis Weissenberg among the soloists, it presents live performances completely new to the catalogue: a 1975 programme to celebrate Ravel’s centenary – with Bernstein himself as soloist in the G major piano concerto – and orchestral suites taken from two of Bernstein’s most celebrated and brilliant works, both infused with jazz: the film score On the Waterfront and the landmark Broadway musical West Side Story.