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Title - 'Bernstein: Mass'
Artist - Nézet-Séguin/Philadelphia Orchestra

Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the inauguration of the Kennedy Center in 1971, Bernstein’s Mass draws from religious and secular genres as well as the tumultuous ‘60s.

Requiring two orchestras, a rock band, a marching band, multiple choirs and musical singers, Mass is rarely performed and even more rarely recorded.

Recorded live by the Philadelphia Orchestra and several American ensembles under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, this quite stunning Berstein: mass (out now via Deutsche Grammophon) is actually, amazingly, DG’s first Mass in its vast catalog.

For those not in the know, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, CC is a Canadian conductor and pianist. He is currently music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain, Metropolitan Opera, and of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

At 19, he met and was invited to follow Carlo Maria Giulini in rehearsals and concerts for more than a year. He became the musical director of the Chœur polyphonique de Montréal in 1994 and obtained the same post at Choeur de Laval in 1995.

In 1995, he founded his own professional orchestral and vocal ensemble, La Chapelle de Montréal, with whom he performed two to four concerts a year until 2002. He considers Charles Dutoit as his first inspiration as a child and Carlo Maria Giulini as his master.

From 1998 to 2002, Nézet-Séguin was chorus master, assistant conductor and music adviser of the Opéra de Montréal.

Although there have been, and are currently many Orchestra's that Nézet-Séguin has been, and is still associated with, in December 2008, he made his first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the invitation of Charles Dutoit.

He returned for a second guest-conducting engagement in December 2009.[15] In June 2010, he was named the eighth Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, starting with the 2012–13 season. He served as Music Director Designate from 2010 to 2012.

His initial contract as music director is for 5 seasons, with 7 weeks of scheduled concerts in the 2012–13 season, 15 weeks in the next 2 seasons, and 16 weeks in the subsequent 2 seasons of his Philadelphia contract.

However, in January 2015, the orchestra announced a five-year extension of Nézet-Séguin's contract to the 2021–2022 season. In June 2016, the orchestra announced a further extension of his contract, through the 2025–26 season.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is an American symphony orchestra, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the "Big Five" American orchestras, the orchestra is based at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, where it performs its subscription concerts, numbering over 130 annually, in Verizon Hall.

From its founding until 2001, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave its concerts at the Academy of Music. The orchestra continues to own the Academy, and returns there one week per year for the Academy of Music's annual gala concert and concerts for school children.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's summer home is the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. It also has summer residencies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and since July 2007 at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival in Vail, Colorado.

The orchestra also performs an annual series of concerts at Carnegie Hall. Indeed, from its earliest days the orchestra has been active in the recording studio, making extensive numbers of recordings, primarily for RCA Victor and Columbia Records.

CD 1: Bernstein: Mass
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
Mass
I. Devotions Before Mass
1. Antiphon: Kyrie Eleison (2:05) - Pre-Recorded Tape
2. Hymn And Psalm: "A Simple Song" (4:22) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
3. Responsory: Alleluia (1:08) - Pre-Recorded Tape

II. First Introit (Rondo)
4. 1. Prefatory Prayers (5:08) - Meredith Lustig, Julia Burrows, Morgan James, Douglas Butler, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, The American Boychoir, Temple University Diamond Marching Band, Student Musicians from the School District of Philadelphia
5. 2. Thrice - Triple Canon: Dominum Vobiscum (0:32) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, The American Boychoir

III. Second Introit
6. 1. In Nomine Patris (2:04) - Kevin Vortmann, Pre-Recorded Tape
7. 2. Prayer For The Congregation (Chorale: "Almighty Father") (1:20) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
8. 3. Epiphany (0:57) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

IV. Confession
9. 1. Confiteor (2:10) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
10. 2. Trope: "I Don't Know" (1:37) - E. Clayton Cornelious, Morgan James, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
11. 3. Trope: "Easy" (5:03) - Kent Overshown, Benjamin Krumreig, Bryonha Marie Parham, Devin Ilaw, J.D. Webster, E. Clayton Cornelious, Morgan James, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
12. V. Meditation #1 (5:35) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

VI. Gloria
13. 1. Gloria Tibi (1:50) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir
14. 2. Gloria In Excelsis (1:13) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
15. 3. Trope: "Half Of The People" (0:59) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast
16. 4. Trope: "Thank You" (2:51) - Sarah Uriarte Berry, Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast
17. VII. Meditation #2 (3:40) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
18. VIII. Epistle: "The Word Of The Lord" (6:30) - Kevin Vortmann, Lyn Philistine, Devin Ilaw, Kent Overshown, Sarah Uriarte Berry, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast
19. IX. Gospel-Sermon: "God Said" (4:17) - Timothy McDevitt, Zachary James, Julia Burrows, J.D. Webster, Lyn Philistine, Benjamin Krumreig, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast

Total Playing Time: 53:21

CD 2: Bernstein: Mass
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
Mass
X. Credo
1. Credo In Unum Deum (1:09) - Kevin Vortmann, Pre-Recorded Tape
2. Trope: "Non Credo" (2:20) - Nathaniel Stampley, Street Chorus Cast, Pre-Recorded Tape
3. Trope: "Hurry" (1:17) - Hilary Ginther, Pre-Recorded Tape
4. Trope: "World Without End" (1:34) - Morgan James, Nathaniel Stampley, Hilary Ginther, Street Chorus Cast, Pre-Recorded Tape
5. Trope: "I Believe In God" (2:05) - Pearl Sun, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
6. XI. Meditation #3 (De Profundis, Part 1) (2:52) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
7. XII. Offertory (De Profundis, Part 2) (2:02) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir

XIII. The Lord's Prayer
8. 1. "Our Father..." (1:23)
9. 2. Trope: "I Go On" (2:53) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
10. XIV. Sanctus (5:09) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The American Boychoir, Street Chorus Cast

XV. Agnus Dei
11. a. "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi" (3:36) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir
12. b. Dona nobis, nobis pacem, pacem dona (2:44) - Kevin Vortmann, E. Clayton Cornelious, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir

XVI. Fraction: "Things Get Broken"
13. a. "Things Get Broken" (4:28)
14. b. "Quiet" (2:36)
15. c. "Allegro Furioso" (1:39)
16. d. "God said" (2:09)
17. e. "Lento molto" (4:09) - Kevin Vortmann, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

XVII. Pax: Communion
18. a. Communion Prestissimo a piacere (1:26) - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
19. b. "Sing God A Secret Song" (6:33) - Douglas Butler, Zachary James, Lyn Philistine, Devin Ilaw, Hilary Ginther, Benjamin Krumreig, Julia Burrows, E. Clayton Cornelious, Meredith Lustig, J.D. Webster, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir, Kevin Vortmann
20. c. "Almighty Father" (2:14) - Douglas Butler, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Street Chorus Cast, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Temple University Concert Choir, Kevin Vortmann

Total Playing Time: 54:18

In my humble opinion, Mass determined the end of the Broadway phase for Bernstein, incredible tune smith that he was. A man with emotions on his sleeve and giving us chills up our spines, his next piece, Dybbuk came three years later, and it was VERY different.

That said, this recording of Mass, drawn from Verizon Hall concerts between April 30th and May 3rd, 2015, has tremendous energy and is truly valid of all its admirers.

The fact that this recorded account is as coherent as it is attests to the conductor (and the orchestra's music director) multitasking strengths. The work is a powerful artifact, a musical and theatrical response to a deeply troubled time - the early 1970s - that has cycled back into even greater relevance in the three years the recording has been in the can.

That’s more benefit accruing to the common good than can be claimed for many a masterpiece. Furthermore, Nézet-Séguin himself calls it “the pinnacle” of the Orchestra’s requiem series.

Having stirred audiences with the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, and Fauré, the Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein’s Mass impeccably. In what was a knockout, stand out theatrical highlight of DG's season, featuring collaborations with community performers, if you weren't there live to witness it, you can now on this luxurious 2CD set.

Official 2CD Purchase Link

www.DeutscheGrammophon.com





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