BERNSTEIN Complete Works 4829228

Leonard Bernstein unquestionably was one of the most astonishing and dazzling personalities in the world of music. He bestrode the musical scene in the second half of the 20th century like few others: Composer, conductor, pianist, educator; but it was as a great communicator -- of music and through music -- that every facet of his life and legacy is bound together. He was a Renaissance man, a multifaceted genius, but it was his career as a composer that meant the very most to him . . .

Leonard Bernstein did a great many things with remarkable success. One of the most eloquent conductors of the 20th century, he was the classical music world's last true media personality, thanks to his git for illuminating music's inner workings, both on the podium and in his televised Young People's Concerts, Omnibus programs and Norton Lectures. But what he wanted most was to be remembered as a classical composer, a desire that seemed frustratingly unlikely in his day: For many classical listeners, Bernstein's early Broadway hits, like "On the Tomi" (1944) and "West Side Story" (1957), combined with his fascination with the blues, jazz and Latin rhythms; his love of melody, classical structure and Romantic lushness; and his ambivalence toward Serialism . . . Universal has made easy by compiling virtually all his published works . . . [the rarities] help illuminate the eagerness and energy with which Bernstein absorbed the music around him and reshaped it into his own polystylistic mélange, with clear and distinctive thumbprints -- rhythmic moves, melodic twists, winking allusions to the classical repertory and an almost Mozartean fluidity and confidence -- that make the music instantly identifiable as Bernstein's. What the set shows best . . . is how much better Bernstein's work fits into today's musical ecology than that of his time. Pop and traditionalist leanings are less likely, now, to elicit suspicion and indifference; composers now draw freely on whatever styles move them. And with no modernist orthodoxy dominating, a Bernsteinesque eclecticism is today's musical lingua franca. In a way, his approach to composition now seems prophetic. Bernstein would have enjoyed that.

L'éditeur de ce coffret complet de 26 cd, ajoute aussi les archives vidéos et captations filmées du Bernstein pédagogue, présentant les oeuvres majeurs ("Hymne à la joie" de la 9è de Beethoven, avec le concours de Lauren Bacall), ouverture de "Guillaume Tell" de Rossini, ou surtout expliquant sa propre musique. En version filmée (dvd), "Candide" (version Bernstein avec les mêmes impeccables interprètes de la version audio légendaires . . . ); le fameux documentaire, modèle du genre, du making of / enregistrement de "West Side Story" avec chanteurs lyriques (Te Kanawa, Carreras, Troyanos, 1984). Coffret majeur en cette année du centenaire Bernstein 2018.