“Kaddish” is Leonard Bernstein’s 3rd Symphony written for large orchestra, choir (plus children’s choir), a soprano soloist (on this occasion Laura Claycomb) and the voice of a narrator. The title of the piece refers to the Jewish prayer that is chanted at every synagogue service for the dead. The symphony is dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy, President of the USA, who was assassinated in November 1963, just weeks before its first performance.
Leonard Bernstein is former President of the London Symphony Orchestra, and to mark his centenary, conductor Marin Alsop presents a concert of his music. It begins with Bernstein’s “Halil” for solo flute and orchestra, followed by the Adagio from Mahler’s unfinished Symphony No. 10, a composer who was central to the career of Bernstein, and the concert concludes with “Kaddish”