What’s on TV Thursday: Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Mass’ and ‘Trial by Fire’


GREAT PERFORMANCES: LEONARD BERNSTEIN MASS Stream on PBS.org. Classical music, musical theater, rock and blues (and don’t forget the marching band) all factor into Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” a sonic hodgepodge that first premiered in 1971. The piece mixes lyrics by the “Godspell” creator Stephen Schwartz with passages of the Latin mass liturgy. It was applauded by some and criticized by others when it debuted — and has been argued over ever since. This recorded production with the baritone Paulo Szot and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop offers a chance for listeners to make up their own minds on whether the piece is innovative or abrasive (or both).



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