Wednesday 16 November 2022

Never quite lost, Leonard Bernstein's Music for String Quartet to receive its premiere recording

Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein

In 1936, the New England String Quartet gave a rehearsed reading of a new string quartet by a young American composer (still in his late teens), after the reading the composer gave the manuscript to the leader of the quartet, Stanley Benson. The manuscript remained in the Benson's music cabinet; though it would be played from time to time by Benson's widow, the existence of the work remained hidden from view.

The composer was Leonard Bernstein. 

Bernstein's Music for String Quartet finally received its public premiere in November 2021 when Lucia Lin, Natalie Rose Kress, Danny Kim, and Ronald Feldman performed it at Tanglewood's Linde Center. Shortly after this performance, a hitherto unknown second movement was discovered at the Library of Congress.

Now both movements of Bernstein's Music for String Quartet are being recorded by Parma Recordings, with the same performers, Lucia Lin, Natalie Rose Kress, Danny Kim, and Ronald Feldman, and will be issued on disc in 2023. The disc will also include the seldom-recorded duo piece Elegies for Violin and Viola by Aaron Copland, a musical mentor, collaborator, and dear friend of Bernstein’s.

Further details from the Parma Recordings website.

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