Friday, January 24, 2020

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from August 19, 2011. It can be found in our archives at


This week’s dig through the Podcast Vault brings back a flistener guide from 2011, which was part of our 2011-12 Beethoven Project.

Leonard Bernstein was a gifted communicator, conductor and composer, who had a long history with the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood festival. It is there that he interacted with people like Serge Koussevitzky and Aaron Copland, and held conducting master classes where he took people like Seiji Ozawa under his wing. Bernstein’s final concert in Tanglewood which we are recreating in this montage featured Bernstein “the conductor” in two major works, and featured BSO assistant conductor Carl St. Clair playing Bernstein “the composer”. All three works are significant in their own way, making this concert truly special.

I will defer to the original post (link provided above) for some of the concert details, as provided by the New York Times in a contemporaneous review. Bernstein's Arias and Barcaroles were performed in a setting for singers ad orchestra (the montage only provides a few songs from the work, performed per the original setting with piano duet accompaniment). Today's bonus share is a complete performance of the work in a setting by a different aranger (Bruce Coughlin), under the direction of another Bernstein/Tanglewood alumnus, Michael Tilson Thomas.

I think you will (still) love this music too!

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