- "The intense feelings of rage and despair that lie at the heart of the American Indian consciousness are set in blazing perspective in David Bernstein's AS SNOW BEFORE A SUMMER SUN. It is an overwhelmingly moving piece.
AS SNOW BEFORE A SUMMER SUN summarizes in four movements the desperation of the American Indian and his sense of outrage at the inhuman treatment by the white man during the 19th Century. The speeches are drawn from Dee Brown's book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Bernstein's score, built entirely of 20th-century techniques, captures the urgency and resolve of the Native American in a language that is highly colorful and picturesque.
The composer gives equal treatment to both the voices and the instruments of the orchestra. The vocal roles are declamatory and chant-like, and the orchestra is used as another commentator on the tragic circumstances.
Bernstein's writing can be delicately lyrical or sonically furious. The atmosphere is justifiably oppresive, and it's impact is powerful. Bernstein is a composer of strong conscience, and his committment results in a work that pierces the heart."
Donald Rosenberg, The Akron Beacon Journal
- "Heartiest congratulations on a real triumph. I hadn't realized that when Bob Ward spoke at the symposium and said, 'Welcome to the sanitarium' that he was speaking too literally! Madness has never been so operatically amusing as in your second piece. The whole project was remarkable for its range and variety." [opera trilogy POE 2, HAWTHORNE 1]
THE CLEVELAND OPERA
1422 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 55115
- "For TELL-TALE HEART...Bernstein has composed a thirty-five minute tour de force for solo baritone and orchestra. The vocal line [is] wide in range and concentrating on a high tessitura with shrieks and wails along the way.... Relentless cacophony. And yet, it is a curiously effective piece in conveying atmosphere and mental condition."
"A METHOD FOR MADNESS provided a stunning contrast, an audacious adventure in black comedy. Bernstein's music here was less complex, more tonal, with a keen sense of musical parody--a delightful show."
Charles H. Parsons, Opera News
- "Hawthorne's "The Gentle Boy," [ILBRAHIM] is a melancholy story of a Puritan couple who decides to adopt a Quaker boy in 17th century New England. Tobias' beautiful tenor soars to the heavens as he laments the narrow mindness of his fellow Puritans and the tragic plight of his adopted son."
"The music [A METHOD FOR MADNESS] humorously jumps from clasically operatic to jazz and show tunes--all within seconds of each other. Hats off to composer David Bernstein for providing a brilliant musical score. Bernstein, a veteran composer, established appropriate moods throughout the evening-from humorous to sullen."
Chris Miller, The News Leader
- "The narrative [ILBRAHIM]...moves swiftly and vividly as set by Kondek, and Bernstein's music is a potent mirror of the dramatic conflicts. The score employs lyricism to touching effect, while lovely humn tunes and writing of bold, pointed personality illustrate the varied expressions of the choral forces."
Donald Rosenberg, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
- "QUADRALOGUES III is a lively, appealing study in shifting alliances between instruments. By altering the relationships so that instruments are first pitted against each other and then regrouped in varying combinations, Bernstein created textural interest."
Elaine Guregian, The Akron Beacon Journal
- "QUADRALOGUES I, cast in two fast, aggressive movements, is founded on spiky rhythmic exchanges, deftly sustained linear momentum and a harmonic scheme which appears to meander between tonality and atonality. There is even a whisper of jazz in the piquant licks of the muted trumpet and clarinet."
John Von Rhein, The Akron Beacon Journal
- "The orchestra was on much firmer turf in David Bernstein's Variations on a Symphonic Landscape, which received it's premiere. Bernstein, composer-in-residence at The University of Arkon, has a keen ear for instrumental colors, and here he has exploited them to excellent effect.
A set of five connected variations, Landscape is a work of alluring and brutal sounds and inventive rhythmic ideas. While not overly adventurous in harmonic terms, it is a concise piece filled with roaring sonorities and delicate impressions.
Bernstein has knitted his materials together deftly, and he has provided the orchestra with many challenging flourishes. The Akron Symphony met them head on, traversing the work's peaks and valleys with plenty of brilliance."
Donald Rosenberg, The Akron Beacon Journal
"Dave is a terrific talent and a consummate pro. His arrangements for 'Strawberry Shortcake,' produced for American Greetings, speaks for itself. What the arrangements don't show are the cheerful, thoughtful, industrious and professional way in which David handled every aspect of the production, from client contact to final mix."
Perfect Pitch, Inc.
2600 Church Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
- "David Bernstein possesses that rare combination of talent, versatility, and enthusiasm that one ideally seeks in a collaborator.
His keen insight and creative input enhanced the project beyond our expectations."
Kreg Thornley and Caroline Cahill
Director and Producer
"The Faith Healer's Manual for the Slightly Inebriated"
P.O. Box 160263
Atlanta, GA 30316
- "I was the audio engineer on the project 'Strawberry Shortcake' for American Greetings that was produced by Walt Woodward of Perfect Pitch at Landmark Recording. The session took about 8 hours. Dave did a great job with the chart he wrote for the rhythm section, brass and string players, as well as the vocals. The chart was beautifully arranged and orchestrated and I know the clients at American Greetings were very happy with the results. Even the musicians commented on how well the session went.
Dave is a pro...excellent in his organization and a great guy to work
2600 Church Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
- "Our companies utilize various audio and visual mediums for recruiting, employee orientation and branding with stakeholders. In our video presentations, we always think of Dave Bernstein for that very special audio and musical touch that helps to leave the lasting impression that we want."
Chairman and CEO
One Park Circle
P.O. Box 5001
Westfield Center, OH 44251
- "When The University of Akron decided to move to a more sophisticated marketing approach, we approached Dave Bernstein to compose theme music for our commercials and video/film productions (for fund-raising, recruiting and broadcast use). Working within a number of parameters and with multiple layers of approval from the University, Dave composed and produced a rich and moving orchestral theme, which has been used for years with great success. Dave's musical and creative talents were complimented with an unusually high level of responsiveness to our needs as clients. The experience and outcome have been absolutely satisfying."
Paul A. Herold
Associate Vice President of Public Affairs and Development
THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON
Akron, OH 44325
- "David Bernstein and I, as recording engineer, have worked on Goodyear, Ohio Farmers Insurance projects together. I have recorded Ilbrahim, an opera composed by David. He has composed other operatic works which have really impressed me. David is versatile. He composed/arranged a news demo for David Frost. He composed/arranged a theme for American Greetings for a new doll. I was impressed with the readiness of his arrangements. Many times I have copied instrumental parts to make deadlines for projects. Not for David. He is always ready."
President/Engineer of Sound Artistree
CLASSIC WORLDWIDE VIDEO
5005 Higbee Ave NW
Canton, OH 44718