Bernstein: Candide (Double Album)

Anne Sofie von Otter, Guildhall School Young Artists, Jane Archibald, Leonardo Capalbo, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Marcus Farnsworth, Marin Alsop, Sir Thomas Allen, Thomas Atkins

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Original Recording Format: DSD 128
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Marin Alsop leads the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a new recording of Bernstein’s riotous satirical operetta ‘Candide’.

Made almost three decades after the composer’s own iconic recording with the Orchestra, Alsop’s new version was captured during celebratory concerts marking Bernstein’s centenary year, and features an outstanding array of soloists, including Leonardo Capalbo (Candide), Jane Archibald (Cunégonde), Anne Sofie von Otter (The Old Lady) and Sir Thomas Allen (Dr Pangloss, Narrator).

With lyrical contributions from acerbic writers Richard Wilbur, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, and a young Stephen Sondheim, ‘Candide’ marries raucous humor with the extraordinary genius of Leonard Bernstein.

Leonardo Capalbo – Candide
Jane Archibald – Cunégonde
Anne Sofie von Otter – The Old Lady
Sir Thomas Allen – Dr. Pangloss, Narrator
Thomas Atkins – Soloist
Marcus Farnsworth – Soloist
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Chorus
Guildhall School Young Artists
Marin Alsop, Conductor

Tracklist

1.
Overture
04:42
2.
"Act One. Westphalian Fanfare - ""Good evening, ladies and gentlemen"""
02:43
3.
Act One. Life Is Happiness Indeed - Parade
06:12
4.
Act One. The Best of All Possible Worlds
02:43
5.
"Act One. ""Class is dismissed"" - Happy Instrumental"
01:37
6.
Act One. Oh, Happy We
02:04
7.
"Act One. ""What is he doing to my sister?"" - Candide Begins His Travels"
01:54
8.
Act One. It Must Be So (Candide's Meditation)
01:53
9.
"Act One. ""The helping hand"" - Battle Music - Westphalia Chorale - Battle Scene"
02:52
10.
"Act One. ""Candide, liberated by the battle"""
02:47
11.
Act One. Dear Boy
04:08
12.
"Act One. ""Candide and Dr Pangloss board a crowded ship"" - Storm Music - Earthquake Music"
01:24
13.
Act One. Auto-da-fé (What a day)
05:20
14.
Act One. Candide's Lament
03:26
15.
Act One. The Paris Waltz
02:59
16.
Act One. Glitter and Be Gay
06:06
17.
"Act One. ""Suddenly, Candide rushes in"" - You Were Dead, You Know"
03:23
18.
"Act One. ""Quick, Madame, The Jew!"" - Entrance of the Jew - Entrance of the Archbishop - Travel to
04:59
19.
Act One. Barcarolle
04:15
20.
Act One. I Am Easily Assimilated (Old Lady's Tango)
03:49
21.
"Act One. ""The roués, though captivated!"""
00:44
22.
Act One. Quartet Finale
03:13
23.
Act Two. Universal Good
01:02
24.
"Act Two. ""Welcome back"""
01:53
25.
Act Two. My Love (Governor's Serenade)
02:33
26.
"Act Two. ""Senor, I must take advice"""
01:03
27.
Act Two. We Are Women (Polka)
03:21
28.
"Act Two. ""Meanwhile, Candide stumbles on through the South American jungle"" - Alleluia"
04:09
29.
Act Two. Introduction to Eldorado - Sheep Song
04:57
30.
Act Two. Ballad of Eldorado
03:23
31.
"Act Two. ""Having arrived in Suriname"""
02:03
32.
Act Two. Bon Voyage
02:45
33.
"Act Two. ""Of course, the ship sinks"""
01:30
34.
Act Two. What's The Use
04:05
35.
"Act Two. ""Cunegonde!"" - You Were Dead, You Know (Reprise)"
01:02
36.
"Act Two. ""Sir, unhand that Odalisque"" - Barcarolle (Reprise)"
02:37
37.
"Act Two. Universal Good (Life is Neither) - ""Come, cast aside all vain speculations"""
02:28
38.
Act Two. Make Our Garden Grow (Finale)
04:39

Total time: 01:56:43

Additional information

Label

SKU

LSO0834

Qualities

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Artists

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Composers

Genres

,

Mastering Engineers

Neil Hutchinson & Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd

Conductors

Original Recording Format

Producer

Andrew Cornall

Recording Engineers

Neil Hutchinson & Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd

Recording Location

Recorded Live in DSD 128fs during semi-staged performances (directed by Garnett Bruce) on December 8-9, 2018 at the Barbican, London

Release Date October 8, 2021

Press reviews

Classical Source 4 out of 5

Leonard Bernstein’s 1950s’ Voltaire-based opera/operetta/musical hybrid hedges its bets uneasily between theatre and opera-house, but on the strength of its music – wonderful tunes, an Overture as life-enhancing as that to The Marriage of Figaro, brilliant orchestration – it is too great a flawed masterpiece to pass by.

This LSO version was devised by Garnett Bruce and Marin Alsop, both of whom worked closely with Bernstein, and it was broadly the composer’s so-called definitive version of 1989, although numbers such as ‘The Sheep’s Song’ were reinstated, and Candide’s great Italianate aria ‘Nothing More Than This’ cut, presumably in keeping with the generally up-beat and relentlessly cynical approach.

Leonardo Capalbo’s big tenor is quite a showstopper at full tilt, and he deployed it magnificently in Candide’s music, especially the Lament and the Broadway-style ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ conclusion; he also kept us guessing as to Candide’s true nature. Jane Archibald, a soprano of sterling technique and laconic humor, seized the moment with spectacular singing in Cunegonde’s coloratura high jinks of ‘Glitter And Be Gay’. Anne Sofie von Otter expanded the cameo role of the Old Lady into something much bigger – she had great success with ‘I Am Easily Assimilated’ – and although her ‘We Are Women’ duet with Cunegonde went on a bit, it gave her fans more of a chance to appreciate her qualities. Thomas Atkins and Marcus Farnsworth slipped in and out of eight characters as if greased, scoring highly with Vanderdendur’s (Atkins) and Maximilian’s (Farnsworth) solos, and there was an enchanting Paquette from Carmen Artaza. Five singers from the Guildhall School shared out fifteen roles and entered the spirit and eccentricities of Brice’s enthusiastic comic staging with great gusto.

There’s a video of Bernstein conducting the LSO in Candide at the Barbican Hall from 1989, the year before he died, when he seemed to be on top form, and there have been at least two concert performances since then so the LSO has form in this score, and it and Marin Alsop were the overall heroes of the evening. The playing produced that unmistakable sheen of glamour and style, bags of both, and Alsop steered the music faultlessly from low comedy to opera ecstasy with unflagging affection and bite.

 

The Arts Desk 4 out of 5

My, oh my, that music. Those lyrics. That singing. And some really intelligent conducting. Marin Alsop, who studied with Bernstein, brought the score beefy lyricism, biting irony and sensible tempi. It might be tempting to take certain numbers faster, but you wouldn’t be able to hear, let alone sing, the words. Those lyrics – by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Helman and Bernstein himself – need to be center stage and were.

As Cunegonde, Jane Archibald relished all the coloratura glory, bringing the house down with a “Glitter and be Gay” that laid on with a trowel contrast, hypocrisy, fun and sheer exultation. Her duet with Anne Sofie von Otter’s Old Lady, “We Are Women“, was a joyous highlight too, with Alsop, looking round laconically from her podium, turning orchestral interjections into an implied commentary. Allen was a suitably blustery, endearing Panglosse and Leonardo Capalbo brought the unfortunate non-hero’s numbers a lovely Italianate glow. Von Otter shone bright with charisma and multifarious accents in “I Am Easily Assimilated“. Tenor Thomas Atkins and baritone Marcus Farnsworth made the most of a quantity of smaller roles each.

It was the London Symphony Chorus, above all, who seemed to be having the time of their lives and injected this performance with a pizzazz that was a hundred per cent irresistible.

The Times

The rhythms snapped and crackled, the colors were bright, and the energy didn’t flag.

Financial Times

Marin Alsop conducted a lively LSO in music the orchestra must have in its bones.

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