Tune in on Sunday, December 2nd, 3 to 5 pm as Leonard Bernstein conducts his own music on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast, from the ensemble's vast recorded archive. It's Jewish-themed music in honor of the upcoming Hanukkah holiday that begins on December 8th.
BERNSTEIN: Chichester Psalms (World-premiere performance in 1965)
It's all all-French program on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast - performances drawn from the Philharmonic's vast recorded archive. Music by Massenet that includes an historic performance by the Philharmonic conducted by Josef Stransky (who became the orchestra's music director in 1911, following the death of Gustav Mahler), and appearances by Luciano Pavarotti and mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby. Also on the program, works by Clause Debussy that include the Image pour Orchestra, and Le Martyre de Saint Sebastian.
Those funky, menacing chords can only belong to one piece of music: West Side Story, the Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical that updated the Romeo and Juliet story into the world of gang warfare to the streets of post-war New York City. The concert suite from the musical has often been played by The Philadelphia Orchestra, though this week it's performing the music in a different incarnation - as an accompaniment to the 1961 Oscar-winning film. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports that the enterprise isn’t nearly as simple as it looks.
I can't think of anything I loved more than talking to Leonard Bernstein. Or, more accurately, listening to him talk — about music or any topic under the sun. I remember a long discourse we had about one of my favorite books, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and Bernstein's summarizing statement: "Well, of course, every author spends his whole life writing the same book."