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Bernstein, Leonard: White House Cantata (1976) 90'
Cantata for solo voices, chorus and orchestra

Music Text

Alan Jay Lerner (E)

Scoring

Major roles:S,M,T,B,Bar;chorus (SATB) 3(II,III=picc).1.3(II=dbcl,ssax).1-2.2.2.1-perc(2):vib/SD/TD/low field dr /wdbl/tpl.bl/susp.cym/hi-hat/honk/gourd/ratchet/tam-t/tom-t/chime/ choke cym/cowbell/cow bell/xyl;timp/cyms/BD/TD/tgl/chime/flex/3 pitched dr/motor vib/glsp/tamb/bones/slide whistle-harp-gtr(=elec.gtr)- banjo-pft(=synth)-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

Territory

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

08/07/1997
Barbican Centre, London
tbc / London Symphony Orchestra and chorus / Kent Nagano

Programme Note

In 1976 Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner collaborated on their musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which was written for the Bicentennial of the United States. The show closed after just seven performances in New York. In 1990 the Bernstein and Lerner Estates decided to liberate the witty lyrics and charming music from the burdensome book. Scored for six soloists, chorus, and orchestra, A White House Cantata retains 90 minutes of music from the two-hour show; it includes barbershop harmonies, calypso, marches, jazz, blues, drinking songs, Dixieland, minstrel-show tunes, torch songs, waltzes, and hymns. 

Recommended Recording

Thomas Hampson/June Anderson/Barbara Hendricks/London Symphony Orchestra/Kent Nagano
Deutsche Grammophon 463 448-2

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