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Bernstein choral music

BBC SO Total Immersion: Leonard Bernstein

BBC Singers full choir

Bernstein the choral composer drawing on his Jewish heritage as well as writing for the Christian church – both fused in his popular Chichester Psalms.

Leonard Bernstein’s most-popular choral work combines a commission for an Anglican cathedral with his own fascination with his Jewish heritage. These two elements are explored separately in his early setting of the Jewish Sabbath evening service, Haskkiveinu, for tenor soloist with choir and organ and his version of the Hebrew song, Simchu Na, by Matityahu Weiner His Missa brevis, from right at the end of his life, draws on his 1955 score for Anoulih’s The Lark – the legendary choir conductor Robert Shaw made the suggestion to Bernstein in the 1950s and only had to wait 30 years for the result! Ragnar Bohlin, conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, guest-conducts the BBC Singers.

Unreserved seating

St Giles' Cripplegate