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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Right of Spring: Leonard Bernstein

March 21, 2013:
Sorry to write again but you and Ben watch this when you've time. (Joel too.) It is Leonard Bernstein conducting 'kids' in Germany at a rehearsal of Stravinsky's 'Right Of Spring". (another Russian composer.) I met Bernstein in the later 80's and he actually talked to me. Afterwards, he put his hand on my face and looked at me before he went to meet others. I was with William Schuman at his Third Sym. that L.B. had just conducted. They were great friends. Bernstein was talking to me with a cigarette almost entirely smoked down in less than 30 seconds it took to get from our seats to back stage. The ash was as tall as the cigarette was long so maybe he didn't puff on it too much. You can hear he was a smoker (big time) in his voice in this video. I'm sure that was what killed him with his lungs so bad. I am only 3 years younger than he was when he died....but I've never smoked. This is why rehearsals are so important to me (and to most who should know that) when I went to school. You learn so much more than you do when you just listen to a finalized recording. That's important if you have more than a passing fancy for music. At some point you'll have to get a good (a GOOD!) CD system. Cook Joel's favorite dinner and then ask him.........and hear music. To me there is nothing better. I have all of Mahler's Syms. by Bernstein (on record, not CD) and always hope to hear them again."

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