Anguished and celebratory, furious and consoling, Bernstein's epic Kaddish Symphony is an inspired evocation of the Jewish prayer for the dead. It is also a celebration for the living.
Dedicated to the memory of John F Kennedy, Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony is a hugely powerful and profoundly spiritual symphony about mortality and faith.
At the composer's request, Samuel Pisar, a survivor of both Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps, wrote a deeply personal narration to accompany Bernstein's music. He delivers his testimony with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, celebrated soprano Rebecca Evans, the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and NYCoS National Girls Choir, under the baton of Bernstein protégé John Axelrod.
By way of contrast, the exceptional Ukrainian-born violinist Vadim Gluzman is the soloist in Samuel Barber's lush, lyrical and immensely virtuosic Violin Concerto.