Biography

Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician (Jewish Lives)

By Allen Shawn

Leonard Bernstein stood on the epicenter of twentieth-century American musical existence. His artistic presents knew no limitations as he moved simply from the rostrum, to the piano, to tv along with his nationally celebrated younger People’s live shows, which brought a whole new release to the enjoyment of classical track. during this attention-grabbing new biography, the breadth of Bernstein’s musical composition is explored, in the course of the fantastic variety of track he composed—from West facet Story to Kaddish to A Quiet Place and beyond—and via his intensely public function as an the world over celebrated conductor. For the 1st time, the composer’s existence and paintings obtain a completely built-in research, supplying a entire appreciation of a multi-faceted musician who endured to develop as an artist good into his ultimate days.
 

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Bernstein a bit of pared down his textual content after Felicia’s functionality. however it is her heartfelt, honest, and anguished studying of the unique phrases that leaves the main relocating effect, and it really is her fragile, occasionally strained voice that looks the simplest timbral fit for the tune her husband wrote. Bernstein had initially felt woman’s voice may well top signify “that a part of guy that intuits God. ”23 possibly he was once correct. 24 On November 22, almost immediately after finishing the ultimate touches at the orchestration of the paintings, he used to be at a employees assembly in Philharmonic corridor, making plans a tender People’s live performance, whilst he heard the inside track that President Kennedy have been assassinated. That afternoon the Kaddish Symphony turned a posthumous tribute to the slain president. That evening used to be the 1st time that Jamie Bernstein ever observed her mom and dad cry. An strangely somber Bernstein performed the Philharmonic in a televised memorial live performance on Sunday, November 24, bringing Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony once more into the heart of yankee cognizance, at a time of collective surprise and grief. conversing the subsequent evening at a Madison sq. backyard gain for the United Jewish charm, Bernstein instructed an viewers of 11 thousand people who he had selected the Mahler paintings “for the resurrection of desire in we all who mourn him. ” He said Kennedy’s “reverence for the lifetime of the mind,” bringing up phrases from a speech Kennedy used to be to have added at the day of his dying: “America’s management has to be guided via studying and cause. ” “Learning and reason,” Bernstein persevered, “precisely the 2 parts that have been unavoidably lacking from the brain of an individual who may have fired that most unlikely bullet. studying and cause: the 2 uncomplicated precepts of all Judaistic culture, the dual resources from which each Jewish brain from Abraham and Moses, to Freud and Einstein, has drawn its residing energy. studying and cause: the motto we the following this night needs to proceed to uphold with redoubled tenacity, and needs to proceed, at any expense, to make the root of all our activities. ”25 a number of months after the assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy introduced her youngsters John and Caroline to Fairfield to break out and sit back with the Bernstein family members. there has been mutual affection and a typical sympathy between them and, you will speculate, an intuitive feeling of kinship among Jacqueline and Felicia. The 1963–64 season on the Philharmonic contained a mini-festival of tune of “the avant-garde,” which gave the live shows a unprecedented variety, putting the 2 twentieth-century masters closest to Bernstein’s center, Stravinsky and Copland, along tune through more youthful composers. Bernstein gave much more casual talks to the viewers in the course of those courses than have been his customized. in a single of the early talks he commented, “That track has a destiny no one will deny, however the nature of it's a query possibly extra an important now than at any time within the historical past of song. ” a feeling of what he used to be up opposed to should be gleaned from the lively ovation that greeted his assertion in his ultimate speak that “this week we're offering the final crew of avant-garde works during this sequence.

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