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Bernstein Transcriptions for Wind Band (Naxos)
Posted by Byzantion on August 27, 2013, 11:50 pm
Dear Brian, with regard to your review and mine of the above: while I agree with you that American culture is fundamentally Panglossian, I can't accept that an establishment narcissist like Bernstein was part of the counter-culture (although those who think Stephen Sondheim is are bound to disagree). His 'Candide' (which isn't really about Enlightenment France either) trivialises the brutalities of realities, whether 18th-century European or 2oth-century American, by striking the wrong tone time and again, turning irony into slapstick, a cinematic narrative into vaudeville. In our more ironic new century Bernstein's work has been turned by some producers retrospectively into a critique of American über-materialism and superficiality, but that's them, not him. Bernstein did Candide for showbiz. Still, I do agree that some of the music is rather good - certainly a plane or two up from West Wide Story!
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