Bernstein: Chichester Psalms / On the Waterfront / On the Town
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Everything in the score clearly stands out under Alsop’s eagle eyes and ears, with syncopated rhythms and canonic passages securely aligned and the Bournemouth brass at their assertive best. Alsop’s brisk tempos serve the first movement’s insouciant asymmetry well, and she makes the third movement’s lyrical points through strict dynamic gradations and steady tempos (it’s so tempting to milk this music to death!). Yes, no one conducts Bernstein like Lenny, but Marin Alsop manages to make this music her own. And that’s no small feat.
Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
3rd November, 2003
Herself a protégée of Leonard Bernstein, the Bournemouth’s American chief conductor Marin Alsop is the perfect champion for these powerful, charismatic pieces–Bernstein in all his versatile, many-splendoured glory.
Anthony Holden, The Observer (UK)
20th October, 2003
It’s good to have a new Naxos recording with Marin Alsop conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in sensitive, exciting and impressively lucid performances of three Bernstein works.
Ms. Alsop has such long experience as a jazz performer that she captures the music’s rhythmic swing without making it obvious. You almost forget the jazz influence as you get caught up in what comes across as a wistfully contemporary sacred work.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times (USA)
19th October, 2003
There have been many fine recordings of the [Chichester] Psalms, but this Naxos one is worthy to be placed alongside the best of them. It begins with a rhythmically tight first movement. The slow movement that follows is as ravishing here as I have ever heard it. The finale is superbly done, with the strings of the BSO responding richly to Alsop’s impassioned interpretation of the introduction. This is a deeply satisfying performance of this unassuming work, which has quietly made itself a staple of the choral repertoire.