Thursday, March 29, 2012

Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (1965)

Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (1965)

Sang this in chorus once...what fun! The boy soprano solo, of course, but Part 3 is also the sweetest! I hope it gets you in the Passover spirit - the holidays are getting close!

Uploaded by TheWelleszOpus on You Tube

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): Chichester Psalms, per voce bianca, coro misto e orchestra (1965).

I. Psalm 108 (Verse 2); Psalm 100 (complete)
II. Psalm 23 (complete); Psalm 2 (verses 1-4)
III. Psalm 131 (complete); Psalm 133 (verse 1)

Soloist from the Vienna Boy's Choir
Wiener Jeunesse Choir
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Direttore: Leonard Bernstein

(filmed in 1977)

Related links:

"Chichester Psalms is a choral work by Leonard Bernstein for boy treble or countertenor, solo quartet, choir and orchestra (3 trumpets in B♭, 3 trombones, timpani, percussion [7-8 players], 2 harps, and strings). A reduction written by the composer pared down the orchestral performance forces to organ, one harp, and percussion.

"Bernstein stated explicitly in his writing that the part for countertenor may be sung by either a countertenor or a boy soprano, but never by a woman. This was to reinforce the liturgical meaning of the passage sung, perhaps to suggest that the 23rd Psalm, a "Psalm of David" from the Hebrew Bible, was to be heard as if sung by the boy David himself. The text was arranged by Bernstein from the psalms in the original Hebrew.

(...) "Despite the work's difficulty, it is occasionally performed as an anthem in services of choral Evensong in the most musical Anglican cathedrals. The soloist in the second movement is thus very often a treble." Chichester Psalms - Wikipedia

Lessons Learned from Chichester Psalms by Christa Woodall, February 16, 2011