David Charles Abell, conductor; Vadim Gluzman, violin; Sophia Burgos, soprano; J'Nai Bridges, mezzo; Fleur Barron; alto, Nicky Spence, tenor; Nmon Ford, baritone
Three very different faces of Leonard Bernstein in one concert. The Overture to his opera Candide shows not just his virtuosity at orchestra but his wit and knowledge of bel canto opera too – it’s one of his most sparkling scores.
The Serenade, a philosophical reflection, is his violin concerto in all but name and has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Songfest, which Bernstein himself conducted at the 1988 BBC Proms, is an orchestral song-cycle for six soloists and orchestra. It celebrates many of the things closest to his heart in a dozen beautifully chosen poems, ranging from Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe to Gertrude Stein and EE Cummings.
David Charles Abell, who worked with Bernstein during the 1980s, takes up the baton.