Imposing when not posing
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 06/02/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Leonard Bernstein's and are very powerful works, but in them are obvious echoes of Mahler, Carl Orff, and even Respighi. That "but" is not pejorative since no work can be utterly original; still I have always found this composer to be a bit of poseur. In the "Kaddish," which is the Hebrew Prayer for the Dead, Yehudi Menuhin is assigned the role of Speaker, while soloists Karita Mattila and others sing in Hebrew with the Chorus, Children's Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France under Yutaka Sado. The anger and bewilderment against a God who can allow such evil to exist is dramatically portrayed more in the music than in the words; while the companion pieces, the "Chichester Psalms," use the device of juxtaposing lines from the Psalms to form equally dramatic contrasts. All in all, this is a very worthwhile set to have and enjoy-although I do wish there were a way of blocking out the spoken parts on subsequent hearings."