January 24, 1999 |
In 1962, when Glenn Gould performed the Brahms D-minor with Leonard Bernstein at a famously controversial concert in Carnegie Hall, the pianist was 30, the conductor, 44; and each was the most talented and original musician of his generation. Those are close to the ages today of Leif Ove Andsnes and Simon Rattle. And the comparisons of these two recordings, a quarter-century apart, are fascinating.
October 26, 1998 |
Christa Ludwig, the lustrous Austrian soprano, sang with Karl Boehm and learned about strict rhythm. She sang with Herbert von Karajan and learned beautiful phrasing. But for Leonard Bernstein such accomplishments were just a start. "He opened my eyes; he opened my heart; he opened my soul," she says in "Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note," a new documentary to be shown Tuesday afternoon as part of the AFI Film Festival and on KCET-TV Wednesday at 9 p.m.
October 19, 1998 |
In this season of his 80th birthday, Leonard Bernstein still looms large over the American musical landscape. There has not been, since the day of his death eight years ago, a break in the steady stream of reissues of his recordings. Biographies and remembrances, too, keep coming. On Oct. 28, PBS will air a new "American Masters" documentary on him. But his aura can't last forever; his memory will eventually fade unless his music survives.
December 3, 1997
Ada Leonard Bernstein, 82, who led an all-woman orchestra. She first appeared on stage at the age of 2, singing in her father's stage act. At 11, she replaced an ailing ingenue in a musical show. In 1941, she formed an all-woman band that performed for USO shows during World War II and had a Hollywood contract with RKO Studios. Ada Leonard and her band also appeared regularly on KTTV television.
June 29, 1997
Re "It's Not a Reunion" (by Mary McNamara, June 22): I am a PhD candidate at UCLA in historical musicology currently writing my dissertation on Leonard Bernstein. I am also a frequent substitute radio host at KUSC, as well as music writer for the Los Angeles Downtown News. I am as pretentious and stuffy as you can get, and soon I'll have more degrees than a thermometer to prove it. But my finest, my most meaningful professional hour came when, in 1983, while working as a cheesy commissioned guitar hawker at the Guitar Center, Hollywood, I sold Motley Crue FOUR Ampeg 100-watt SVT amp heads!
October 6, 1996 |
Like a lot of people, I was drawn to New York, where I lived in the late '80s and early '90s, in part because of Leonard Bernstein. I didn't move there with any illusions that Bernstein would be contributing much to the life of the city any more; his presence was still felt locally, but the world had become his arena.
November 10, 1995 |
Oh, "Candide." Poor "Candide." In the beginning there was Gordon Davidson's brave, clever and sprightly little production for the Theater Group--it wasn't the Center Theater Group yet--at UCLA in 1966. Here, the lumbering Broadway musical, which had flopped a decade earlier, emerged perfectly focused, perfectly wicked and witty. Bernstein's music bubbled and bristled, as needed.
November 5, 1995 |
At the end of 1989, Leonard Bernstein conducted one of his most exultant concerts in a lifetime of exultant music making. It was a gala concert performance in London of his "Candide," offered with a cast of some of our most celebrated opera stars, young and old. It was an evening of great emotion, the first (and only) time in his life that Bernstein had conducted what many feel is his best score (popular or serious); it was also the first time all the music to the show had, at last, been heard.
January 1, 1995 |
Leonard Bernstein was fabulous. His story, though, reads less like a fable than a parable exemplifying what the historian Noel Annan once described as the "American syndrome" in which "to succeed, painters and writers (had) to become celebrities and celebrity destroyed them as artists." Plenty of informed people, including those who attended Bernstein's last Tanglewood concert just before his death in 1990, would forcefully deny that he had ever been destroyed as an artist.