Bernstein: Fancy Free; Facsimile; Three Dance Episodes from On the Town; Overture to Candide

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bernstein
LABELS: EMI Eminence
WORKS: Fancy Free; Facsimile; Three Dance Episodes from On the Town; Overture to Candide
PERFORMER: Barbara Lieberman (piano), Jean Kittrell (vocals, piano)St Louis SO/Leonard Slatkin
CATALOGUE NO: CDEMX 2242 DDD (1986)
Fancy Free tells a tale of sailors looking for romance in New York City, similar to that of the musicalOn the Town, whose dance suite is also presented here. Both date from 1944, and in neither piece can the endless vivacity and rhythmic catchiness quite disguise the fact that good ideas are seriously lacking – something that would be far less apparent with dancers and stage action. Facsimile (1946) is an essay along more serious but regrettably no more inspired lines. The masterpiece is the brilliant Candide overture, which always cuts a dash. Brisk, no-nonsense performances from Slatkin and his orchestra, though the sound is tentative. George Hall

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