The Musical Genius of Leonard Bernstein


Consider the great man of music Leonard Bernstein. I had a vague sense of him: writing the score of West Side Story, conducting the New York Philharmonic, being the ambassador of music at concerts around the world. But after I watched this documentary, Leonard Bernstein, Reaching for the Note: The Definitive Look at the Man and His Music I wished I had paid more attention to his presence when he was alive and found I could appreciate the astounding career and character of this talented, larger-than-life conductor and passionate musician.

Maybe you remember Leonard Bernstein conducting Young People’s Concerts in Carnegie Hall, which were broadcast on television in the late 50s and early 60s. If you do, you can walk down memory lane and experience these treats again. If you missed out, its never too late for you, or your kids, to hear this greatest of conductors explain and demonstrate the special musical features of symphonies, concertos, humor in music and great composers, such as his favorite, Gustav Mahler.

We also own concert collections of Bernstein’s around the world tours and historic tv broadcasts which include, besides performances, lectures and master classes presented by Bernstein, who always perceived part of his mission as a musician to inspire passion for music in the wide world and the next generation.

For a really ecstatic experience watch Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, featuring a very young Placido Domingo and a resounding bass singer I had never seen before, Martti Talvela. Bernstein's conducting is a performance in itself, which some people find too distracting, but I find complements the grandeur of the Ninth and helps me to "see" it.