Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990)
Symphony No. 1 ‘Jeremiah’1
Symphony No. 2 ‘The Age of Anxiety’2
Jennifer Johnson Cano, Mezzo-Soprano1
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano2
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Leonard Bernstein’s legendary 1943 Carnegie Hall conducting début brought his name to national attention, and the event was followed a few months later by the triumphant reception of his Symphony No. 1 ‘Jeremiah.’ This major symphonic statement explores a crisis in faith and employs Jewish liturgical sources, its final movement, Lamentation, being an anguished cry at the destruction of Jerusalem. Sharing the theme of loss of faith, Symphony No. 2 ‘The Age of Anxiety’ takes W.H. Auden’s poem of the same name and follows its four characters in their spiritual journey to hard-won triumph. Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’ can be heard on Naxos 8.559742.
Marin Alsop| Jean-Yves Thibaudet| Jennifer Johnson Cano| Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
   About Marin Alsop
Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives.” She is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages. Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Her success as the BSO’s music director has won national and international attention for her innovative programming and artistry. Her success was recognized when, in 2013, her tenure was extended to the 2020-2021 season. Alsop took up the post of principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2012, and became music director in July 2013. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002 to 2008. In the summer of 2016, she serves her 25th and final season as music director of the acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. Alsop is often making history; in 2005 she was the first conductor to be awarded a MacArthur Genius award and in September 2013 as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London.
© Adriane White
   About Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, considered one of the best pianists in the world, has the rare ability to combine poetic musical sensibilities with dazzling technical prowess. He has performed around the world for more than 30 years and recorded more than 50 albums, with a depth and natural charisma that have made him one of today’s most sought-after soloists. Thibaudet has been nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards and won the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two Echo awards, and the Edison Prize. In 2010 he released Gershwin, featuring big jazz band orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, variations on I Got Rhythm, and Concerto in F live with the Baltimore Symphony and music director Marin Alsop. He has also had an impact on the world of fashion, philanthropy, and film. His concert wardrobe is by celebrated London designer Vivienne Westwood, and he was the soloist on the award-winning and critically acclaimed films Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. In 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.
© Andrew Eccles
   About Jennifer Johnson Cano
Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano is noted for her profound artistry, commanding stage presence and engaging personality. She is a 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant and 2014 George London Award winner. She won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008, and made her Met début during the 2009-10 season. As first-prize winner of the 2009 Young Concert Artist International Auditions, she has given début performances with pianist Christopher Cano at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Kennedy Center and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She has performed at The Met as Mercédès, Emilia, Hänsel, Nicklausse, Wellgunde and Waltraute, and made her début as Meg Page in Falstaff and Bersi in Andrea Chenier. She has appeared as Carmen and Donna Elvira with Boston Lyric Opera, Dido with Saratoga Opera and in Orfeo with Des Moines Opera. She has continuing relationships with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra. Her European début was with the London Symphony Orchestra in London and Paris.
© Matthu Placek
© Richard Anderson
    About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The GRAMMY® Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world’s most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives. The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s twelfth music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences. In recent years, Marin Alsop and the BSO have been regularly invited to Carnegie Hall, including Alsop’s début in February 2008; a critically acclaimed appearance later the same year to perform Bernstein’s Mass; a performance of Honegger’s dramatic oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher in November 2011; for the opening concert in the ‘Spring for Music’ festival in May 2013; and in April 2016 to celebrate the BSO’s 100th anniversary with the première of The City by Kevin Puts and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.
“Under [Alsop’s] baton, the Baltimore Symphony realizes Bernstein’s extraordinary orchestral effects in ways that will both scarify you and tug at your heartstrings … a fantastic performance and a spectacular recording.”
– Fanfare
“This disc is superb. Claire Bloom’s narration is beautifully assimilated into the sound picture. The orchestral playing is razor-sharp, the chorus outstanding.”
– The Arts Desk
“Alsop is at the root of everything, of course, and her Baltimore players surge ever forward”
– Gramophone
“Their performance stands up to most of their challenging competition on the disc … a real winner.”
– BBC Music Magazine
“Sensitive, exciting, and impressively lucid performances of three Bernstein works”
– The New York Times
“The results are generally successful, with the orchestra and chorus nimble and incisive in the first psalm and the forceful interruption to the second, and expressive without being sentimental in the lovely winding lines of the last.”
– BBC Music Magazine