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Gramophone, March 2005

"Psalm 148 (1935) is a rare and precious chip from the composer's workbench, not least because it's his earliest surviving composition."
"...reveals his youthful passions."
"Detailed, authoritative notes by Bernstein's long-time associate Jack Gottlieb are a model of their kind."

Fanfare, March 2005

"…the prayer, Hashkivenu, is particularly lovely."

Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, March 2005

"…sincere and intense spirituality." "…Best of all, perhaps - a dramatic, evocative setting of the evening prayer, Hashkivenu..."

Edith Eisler, March 2005

"The performances are uniformly excellent; Reaux, Blochwitz and the pianists stand out."

American Record Guide, April 2004

"A monumental project started by Naxos to bring into prominence the tremendous contribution made to music by American Jewish composers...Bonita Boyd and Barry Snyder play with a persuasive understanding of the emotional substance of the work...Bernstein's setting of the poem along with the piano textures and colors from the Second Viennese School, is made even more thoughtful and emotionally charged by Michael Sokol's heartfelt Yiddish and the fabulous duo piano playing of Barr and Snyder."

Marc Shulgold
Rocky Mountain News, October 2003

"Just released as part of Naxos' remarkable series of American Jewish music, underwritten by the Milken Archive, is Leonard Bernstein - A Jewish Legacy. The disc mixes choral selections, rare keyboard pieces, the Halil for flute and orchestra and other works that remind us of (how else to put it?) Bernstein's total embrace of his faith.

Other intriguing issues in the Milken series include works by Kurt Weill and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, plus samplings from the Yiddish Stage and the world of klezmer."

Jason Victor Serinus
Gay City News Bay Windows (Boston, Mass.)

"The performances and recording quality are equally stellar."
"The performances and recording quality are equally stellar."
"...this disc cannot be beat."

John Fleming
St. Petersburg Times

"Naxos has been busy with Bernstein. In one of the budget label's best releases, Marin Alsop conducts Great Britain's Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in Chichester Psalms, his setting of Hebrew texts for boy treble and mixed choir. It also has a suite from his score for the movie "On the Waterfront" and three dances from his 1944 musical "On the Town."

Another recent Naxos disc is unexpectedly poignant in that it shows off how good the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra could be before money problems forced it to fold last spring. James Judd conducts the Candide overture, Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story" and Bernstein's second symphony, "The Age of Anxiety."

Bernstein is also represented in Naxos' project to capture the American Jewish experience in music, underwritten by the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. "Leonard Bernstein: A Jewish Legacy" includes his only work written specifically for the synagogue, Hashkiveinu."

Bradley Bambarger
Newark Star-Ledger

"The most illuminating Bernstein recording in years clearly comes down on the sacred side. "A Jewish Legacy," released as part of Naxos' American Jewish Music series, includes Bernstein's first composition, a Mendelssohn-like choral setting of Psalm 148. Other offerings range from occasional pieces like the "Three Wedding Dances" (for Bernstein's Broadway collaborator Adolph Green's marriage to actress Phyllis Newman) to the more substantial "Haskivenu," a prayer for peace commissioned by New York's Park Avenue Synagogue for tenor, chorus and organ. Underneath the famous eclecticism is a consistency of heritage that embodies everything that the Naxos series claims to represent. 3 ? Stars."

Edith Eisler

"The performances are uniformly excellent; Reaux, Blochwitz and the pianists stand out."

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