Leonard Bernstein – Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers

5 Aug

Leonard Bernstien - Mass DS508p front

Another mix that utilises the full potential of the quad stage, again if there were only more this adventurous.


Release: DS508p

Source: SQ LP

Process: ‘Phoenix’



7 Responses to “Leonard Bernstein – Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers”

  1. Beechwoods (@Beechwoods_) September 19, 2015 at 10:54 #

    Came to this just knowing Bernstein wrote ‘West Side Story’ which wasn’t really me! But on the strength of the adventurous quad mix I thought I’d give it a go. It is indeed immersive. The idea of recording it from a perspective in the middle of the stage was a genius move. Favourite moment so far is ‘Prefatory Prayers’ – the staccato voices around the listener are fantastic. The avant-garde elements appeal to me (I do get what Owen says, but to me the oddness is a positive!). It’s certainly better than Bernstein’s popular stuff in my opinion.

    Thanks for another interesting release, OD.

  2. Owen Smith August 7, 2015 at 17:26 #

    This is so annoying that I gave up listening half way through. It’s just a mess, music and lyrics all over the place and nothing of any merit apart from very occasional 30 second snatches of tune. This is worse than atonal, and that’s really saying somethng coming from me.

  3. forthosewithfourears August 7, 2015 at 09:00 #

    I’ve had a Q8 tape conversion of this for quite some time now. So I am really looking forward to hearing this vinyl version. Thanks !
    N.B Mass featured in the BBC Proms in 2012, a performance I still go back to and well worth a watch if you can find it out there.

    • oxforddickie August 7, 2015 at 09:14 #

      I’d be interested in a comparison review between the two versions

      • forthosewithfourears August 9, 2015 at 11:16 #

        Had a listen to both now. (Using a Pioneer BDP-450 for DVD-Audio, a Yamaha RX-V671 receiver, Kefs at the front and Wharfedales at the back.)
        Separation wise there’s nothing in it. Tape is as discrete as you might expect, and Phoenix matches it to my ears. There are sections using the natural movement of the players in the auditorium, and sections with pre-recorded quad tapes. All sound excellent.
        But the real clincher for me is probably down to the source. Although the Q8 sounds good, the vinyl just ‘sounds’ better in every respect. Better frequency range and dynamic range, none of the tape saturation that can crop up in the loudest passages. (I think there is also a bit of wow on the Q8 a couple of minutes in.)
        All things considered a very worthy addition to your collection!

        • oxforddickie August 9, 2015 at 13:59 #

          Many thanks for that feedback, much appreciated.

  4. joeerand August 5, 2015 at 21:04 #

    I think I requested this (or I meant to), so thank you! The original performances featured pre-recorded tapes that surrounded the audience, so I’m looking forward to hearing that effect. It was a major artistic statement at the time…Bernstein was perhaps the most famous classical musician/educator in the world, a jewish composer writing a multi-media work based on Christian religious structures, and there’s even a section of lyrics written by Paul Simon.

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