Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms
Leonard Bernstein, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Jeunesse-Chor, Soloists from the Vienna Boys’ Choir
I love the Chichester Psalms (commissioned by the same cleric that commissioned Britten to write Rejoice in the Lamb: The Very Revd. Walter Hussey, one of my personal heroes). But this performance, albeit conducted by the composer, is …er, a little weird. Perhaps it’s because I’ve imprinted on Matthew Best’s version? Or perhaps because, in 2021, I can’t look at that album art and see anyone other than Donald Trump in profile! (I suppose it’s actually meant to be Lenny himself in profile, but I don’t recall him ever wearing hair in that fashion!)
Anyway: ignore the album art. Ignore the fact that I don’t think Bernstein’s recording of his own work is the best: go track down the Matthew Best version. It is wonderful. And thank you, Walter Hussey.