Featuring Original Performances and Compositions By Seymour Bernstein

Varèse Sarabande will release SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on April 14, 2015.  The soundtrack features original performances and original compositions by Seymour Bernstein featured in the documentary, which was directed by Ethan Hawke.

The New York Times once said, “Seymour Bernstein triumphs at the piano.”  With this soundtrack recording, you are able to hear Bernstein perform pieces by Chopin, Schubert, Bach … and Seymour Bernstein.

Meet Seymour Bernstein: a virtuoso pianist, veteran New Yorker, and true original who gave up a successful concert career to teach music. In this wonderfully warm, witty, and intimate tribute from his friend, Ethan Hawke, Seymour shares unforgettable stories from his remarkable life and eye-opening words of wisdom, as well as insightful reflections on art, creativity, and the search for fulfillment. A “poignant guide to life” (Indiewire) and an engaging exploration on the dedication, perseverance, and fortitude essential to creating both art and a rewarding life, SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION will leave audiences uplifted and inspired.

“As I have discovered, the best antidote to rejection and discouragement is to marshal the courage to begin all over again,” wrote Bernstein in the preface to his acclaimed book, MONSTERS AND ANGELS
 Surviving a Career in Music

“I have been struggling recently with finding [out] why it is that I do what I do,” said Hawke who initially met Bernstein at a dinner party. “I immediately felt safe around him [Bernstein] to talk to him about some of these things. At this one dinner, Seymour helped me more than anyone in my own profession had been able to.”
“Genius always manifests itself, whatever the obstacles,” wrote Bernstein.  “But what of us non-geniuses? How do we find the courage to pursue our individual callings in the face of a society that bows to fame and money above everything else? I trust that others may find their own answers to this question as I relate my musical and personal experiences. For somehow, and in spite of everything, I have survived. I have shed my victim status and am now in control of my own destiny.”

Sundance Selects, Under the Influence Productions, and Room 5 Films present SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION, currently in theaters now.  SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on Varèse Sarabande, will be available digitally on April 14, 2015.


TRACKLIST (notes by Seymour Bernstein)
1. Nocturne in G Major, Op. 37 No. 2 – Composed by Frédéric Chopin
When I was 15, a recording engineer came to my parents’ apartment in Newark, NJ with a portable recording machine. The machine cut vinyl records. Often the thread would get caught in the mechanism and the machine would jam necessitating one take after another.

2. Berceuse, Op. 57 – Composed by Frédéric Chopin
When Chopin composed Berceuse, Op. 57 (Lullaby), he entitled it Variations. He changed the title to Berceuse for publication. At 19, I was the only pupil of Alexander Brailowsky, the first pianist to perform all the works of Chopin in public in six recitals. He performed this cycle 10 times, including a performance in Paris on Chopin’s own piano. It was when I heard his performance of Berceuse that I decided to learn it and perform it myself.

3. Mazurka in C Major, Op. 24. No. 2 – Composed by Frédéric Chopin
This mazurka was recorded at my piano debut in Hamburg, Germany in 1958.

4. Drei Klavierstücke, II – Composed by Franz Schubert
In 1969, I began my Alice Tully Hall recital in New York City with Drei Klavierstüke of Schubert.

5. Lullaby for Carrieann – Composed by Seymour Bernstein
Lullaby for Carrieann was composed in 1972 in honor of the birth of a daughter to a pupil of mine.

6. Birds, A Suite of Eight Impressionistic Studies – Composed by Seymour Bernstein
Purple Finch • The Hummingbird • The Woodpecker • The Sea Gull •
The Chickadee • The Vulture • The Penguin • The Eagle
Birds, A Suite of Eight Impressionistic Studies, composed in 1972, was my first publication. It was recorded in the former rotunda of Steinway & Sons for the documentary.

7. Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118 No. 2 – Composed by Johannes Brahms
Recorded in the former rotunda of Steinway & Sons for the documentary.

8. Prelude from Cantata: Gottes Zeit is die Allerbeste Zeit (“God’s Time is the Best Time”) – Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, transcribed for piano by James Frisken
Recorded in the former rotunda of Steinway & Sons for the documentary.

9. Phantasie in C Major, Op. 17 (Last Movement) – Composed by Robert Schumann
Recorded in the former rotunda of Steinway & Sons for the documentary.