Title - 'Leonard Bernstein: A Quiet Place'
Artist - Kent Nagano
For those not in the classical know, Kent Nagano is an American conductor and opera administrator. He is currently music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, since 2006, and general music director of the Hamburg State Opera since 2015.
Nagano was introduced to Bernstein by Seiji Ozawa in 1984 and studied with him until his death in 1990. Nagano says, “For Bernstein music was life – the two were synonymous, inseparable. He never stopped exploring and pushing his own compositional language."
"The goal in this particular adaptation is to allow the spirited brilliance and poetic depth of the work to shine through – including dance rhythms and elements of American folklore. Our hope is that the timeless and universal quality of the piece and the genius of the composition are laid bare in this new recording.”
Released this past June 22nd, 2018 via Decca Classics, the quite beautiful 2CD set Leonard Bernstein: A Quiet Place featuring Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has been brought forth.
- ACT I
- ACT II
- ACT III
In fact, it's actually the world premiere recording of the chamber version of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, adapted by Garth Edwin Sunderland.
Conducted by Nagano, Bernstein’s opera A Quiet Place was the composer’s last work written for the stage and remains one of his lesser known large-scale compositions.
The concert-version presented on the new album features a chamber orchestra and was recorded live at the Maison symphonique de Montréal in May 2017.
The aforementioned Garth Edwin Sunderland’s adaptation offers a compact presentation of the three-act opera which places equal focus on librettist Stephen Wadsworth’s dramatic narrative and Bernstein’s complex and highly developed late musical style.
This piece used to be, weirdly, extraordinarily hard to find, but nonetheless is still very important in Bernstein's oeuvre. The piece, which incorporates his earlier seven-scene opera Trouble in Tahiti (A Quiet Place is incorporated as a series of flashbacks to when Dinah was still alive), along with his little known work Missa Brevis (also written very late), are must haves for the Bernstein collectors.
Much criticized at the time, especially for the libretto, this one full length opera today still seems brilliant and almost prescient in its subject matter.
Under the baton of the esteemed Kent Nagano, together with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and soloists including Jonathan McGovern, Christopher Purves, and Sarah Maria Sun, have come together in perfect harmony here to make the most of the gorgeous music on offer from Bernstein. Again, a must for anyone who loves modern America Music or Bernstein's great Broadway scores.
Nagano will conduct the OSM at the North American premiere of A Quiet Place, in a smaller, shorter concert version of the opera on August 15th, 2018 at La Maison symphonique de Montréal. The concert is being co-presented by Fierté Montréal during Gay Pride week.
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