This week, The Music Treasury continues its review of composer/conductor/pianist/educator Leonard Bernstein. The show can be heard on KSZU in the Bay Area, from 19:00 – 21:00; it can be heard concurrently on the ‘Net from its host station, kzsu.stanford.edu.
Leonard Bernstein, Part 2
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) would have celebrated his 100th birthday, Saturday, August 25. This broadcast of The Music Treasury features more performances from the youthful Leonard Bernstein, including his debut with the Philharmonic-Symphony of New York, 14 November 1943. A book devoted to the youth of Leonard Bernstein, Music Was It, gives a summary of Bernstein’s initial artistic sensibility:
“Life without music is unthinkable.”—Leonard Bernstein, Findings
When Lenny was two years old, his mother found that the only way to soothe her crying son was to turn on the Victrola. When his aunt passed on her piano to Lenny’s parents, the boy demanded lessons. When Lenny went to school, he had the most fun during “singing hours.”
But Lenny’s love of music was met with opposition from the start. Lenny’s father, a successful businessman, wanted Lenny to follow in his footsteps. Additionally, the classical music world of the 1930s and 1940s was dominated by Europeans—no American Jewish kid had a serious chance to make a name for himself in this field.
Beginning with Lenny’s childhood in Boston and ending with his triumphant conducting debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic when he was just twenty-five, Music Was It draws readers into the energetic, passionate, challenging, music-filled life of young Leonard Bernstein.
Archival photographs, mostly from the Leonard Bernstein Collection at the Library of Congress, illustrate this fascinating biography, which also includes a foreword by Bernstein’s daughter Jamie. Extensive back matter includes biographies of important people in Bernstein’s life, as well as a discography of his music.
Rozsa: Theme, Variations, and Finale, Op. 13a
Gillis: Moto Perpetuo
Carpenter: Sea Drift
Fine: Serious Song
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 60 “Leningrad”: Adagio
Piston: Concerto for Orchestra
Schumann: Manfred Overture, Op. 115
Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61