Monthly record guide

Classical Bernstein, Leonard: ''West Side Story'' - Symphonic Dances; ''Candide'' Overture. Barber, Samuel: Adagio for Strings. Schuman, William: American Festival Overture. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein, conductor (Deutsche Grammophon digital DG 2532 085).

Copland, Aaron: ''Appalachian Spring''; Gershwin, George: ''Rhapsody in Blue''; Prelude for Piano No. 2. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein, conductor. Deutsche Grammophon digital (DG 2532 084). - Bernstein has always had a rare gift in this sort of music, and both these releases are destined to become digital classics. They were recorded live with studio touch-ups. The vitality and energy of that context give these performaces an intensity that benefits even Bernstein - who is better than most at turning the recording studio into a performance showcase. The Gershwin crackles along with more nuance and fervency than his legendary recording on Columbia Records. The Copland is sumptuously performed, and Bernstein's own rendition of his ''West Side Story'' dances and ''Candide'' overture in particular are spectacularly done. The sound lacks a bit of the reverberation but is utterly honest.

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