Decca Classics and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal are proud to present the world premiere recording of the chamber version of Leonard Bernstein’s ‘A Quiet Place’, adapted by Garth Edwin Sunderland. It is conducted by Kent Nagano and will be released on 22nd June, ahead of the Bernstein centenary on 25th August 2018.
Premiered in 1983, Bernstein’s opera ‘A Quiet Place’ was the composer’s last work written for the stage and remains one of his lesser known large-scale compositions. The concert-version presented on the new album features a chamber orchestra and was recorded live at the Maison symphonique de Montréal in May 2017. Garth Edwin Sunderland’s adaptation offers a compact presentation of the three-act opera which places equal focus on librettist Stephen Wadsworth’s dramatic narrative and Bernstein’s complex and highly developed late musical style.
Kent Nagano was introduced to Bernstein by Seiji Ozawa in 1984 and studied with him until his death in 1990. Nagano says, “For Bernstein music was life – the two were synonymous, inseparable. He never stopped exploring and pushing his own compositional language. The goal in this particular adaptation is to allow the spirited brilliance and poetic depth of the work to shine through – including dance rhythms and elements of American folklore. Our hope is that the timeless and universal quality of the piece and the genius of the composition are laid bare in this new recording.”
Joining Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal on this new album is an outstanding group of young singers featuring soprano Claudia Boyle as Dede and tenor Joseph Kaiser as François. The cast also includes: baritones Gordon Bintner, Lucas Meachem and Daniel Belcher; tenors Rupert Charlesworth and John Tessier; mezzo-sopranos Annie Rosen and Maija Skille; and bass Steven Humes; as well as the OSM Chorus led by chorus master Andrew Megill.
‘A Quiet Place’ is an audacious musical-dramatic exploration of the changing face of American society. As Garth Edwin Sunderland, Senior Music Editor at the Leonard Bernstein Office, said of the composer’s late opera, “It’s such a brilliant work, the culmination of what he accomplished and the culmination of his gifts as a composer. Creating this adaptation was a deeply powerful experience for me, and it is my hope that it will provide audiences with a similar experience of this great American opera.”
- ACT I
- ACT II
- ACT III
Dede – Claudia Boyle (soprano)
François – Joseph Kaiser (tenor)
Junior – Gordon Bintner (baritone)
Sam – Lucas Meachem (baritone)
Funeral Director – Rupert Charlesworth (tenor)
Bill – Daniel Belcher (baritone)
Susie – Annie Rosen (mezzo-soprano)
Doc – Steven Humes (bass)
Mrs. Doc – Maija Skille (mezzo-soprano)
Analyst – John Tessier (tenor)
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
OSM Chorus / Andrew Megill (chorus master)
Kent Nagano (conductor)
Jean-Pierre Brossmann (vocal advisor and casting)