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Lara Downes - for Lenny is 104.9ideastream 'Recording Of the Week'

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Lara Downes' album For Lenny celebrates the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with a special friends-and-family tribute to the man behind the music. The recording features Bernstein's aptly-named Anniversaries for Piano, new arrangements of his songs, and world premieres of works dedicated to Bernstein by leading American composers including Stephen Sondheim, John Corigliano, and Stephen Schwartz. The album is introduced by an essay from acclaimed New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik. Said Stephen Smoliar in The Rehearsal Pianist, "In the midst of all of this abundance, pianist Lara Downes seems to have homed in on the sweet spot for giving this hard-working musician with a larger-than-life reputation a tribute recording that manages to be sincere without going over the top with adulation.... Downes' recording may well have qualities that will endure long after the celebratory shouts of "Bravo!" have evaporated into the ether."

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