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Leonard Bernstein would have been 94 today
August 25, 2012

Posted on 08/25/2012 6:38:13 PM PDT by EveningStar

Leonard Bernstein is described by Wikipedia as "an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist."

Today would have been his 94th birthday. He was born August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He died October 14, 1990 in New York City at the age of 72.

He was one of the greatest of 20th century musicians (see the aforementioned Wikipedia article).

Lenny, as he was known, was also involved in left wing politics. He could be quite the leftist jackass. For example, decades ago, he held a now infamous party for the Black Panthers in his Park Avenue penthouse.

Lenny may have been a fool in the world of politics, but as a musician, he was truly wonderful.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: classicalmusic; lenny; leonardbernstein
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1 posted on 08/25/2012 6:38:18 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: Perdogg; DollyCali; EveningStar; Borges; Mr. K; Blondie; altura; mylife; Mama_Bear; Jack Deth; ...

ping


2 posted on 08/25/2012 6:44:34 PM PDT by Perdogg (Mutts for Mitt all agree - Better in the crate than on the plate)
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To: EveningStar

Concerning politics I would have agreed with him about little, I suppose. But he was a great musician.


3 posted on 08/25/2012 6:47:15 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: EveningStar

I used to have a copy of Life Magazine from the early 50s.

The cover had the picture of “100 American Communists”. It used the term Communist too, not leftist etc.

I recall one was Leonard Bernstein. Before seeing that, I didn’t know anything more about him than he was a conductor.


4 posted on 08/25/2012 6:56:18 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: aposiopetic

Agreed.


5 posted on 08/25/2012 7:02:22 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Rub some bacon on it.")
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To: EveningStar

Google & read Tom Wolfe’s 1970 classic, “Radical Chic and Mau Mauing the Flack Catchers”.

The Bernsteins’ reception & party for the Black Panthers was pure Stockholm Syndrome. Wealthy Manhattan liberals schmoozing with worthless hoodlums who’d have gladly slit all their throats had no parallel until the modern version of dhimmi infidels sucking up to muzzie terrorists who BTW make the Panthers look like pathetic punks.

I used to have some New York Philharmonic LPs with Lenny conducting, but as the libs like to say, the personal is the political and after reading Radical Chic I lost all respect for the once great maestro.


6 posted on 08/25/2012 7:04:24 PM PDT by elcid1970 (Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind. Deus vult!)
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To: EveningStar

Twenty-four years ago today my brother, SIL, spouse and I went to Lenny’s 70th bday party at Tanglewood, MA. We tried to sneak in two infants and they charged us $20/each for lawn tickets for the babies!


7 posted on 08/25/2012 7:04:55 PM PDT by NoExpectations
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To: EveningStar

He was a stinking commie, but he gave us West Side Story.

Is all forgiven, nearly, but not all.

RIP Leonard Bernstein.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpaS2v-r7cE


8 posted on 08/25/2012 7:07:42 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: EveningStar
Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Mahler's Third

Bernstein did more than anyone to bring Mahler's music back.

9 posted on 08/25/2012 7:24:43 PM PDT by Publius (Leadership starts with getting off the couch.)
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To: EveningStar

I don’t care for that Communist’s sparkling interpretation of the classics, and neither did Shostakovich.


10 posted on 08/25/2012 7:36:40 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: Publius

Nonsense. Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.


11 posted on 08/25/2012 7:38:16 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: EveningStar

And Edward M. Kennedy has been burning in Hell for two years now.


12 posted on 08/25/2012 7:40:12 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel
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To: elcid1970; All

I found an old paperback copy of Wolfe’s ‘Radical Chic...’ ages ago at a used bookstore and still have it. One of his best works, with ‘The Right Stuff’ close behind.

Both need to be re-read every five years or so.

Never much cared for Lenny. The less said about him, the better.


13 posted on 08/25/2012 8:04:20 PM PDT by Jack Deth (Knight Errant and Resident FReeper Kitty Poem /Haiku Guy)
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To: EveningStar

I thought he was dead.


14 posted on 08/25/2012 8:07:03 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: jocon307
I enjoyed both the stage and movie version of Left Side Story. However, Bernstein also gave us the sacrilegious Bernstein Mass (1971).
15 posted on 08/25/2012 8:08:16 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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To: Jack Deth
I read Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers when I was in college, and loved it.
16 posted on 08/25/2012 8:09:52 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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To: Borges; sitetest

Classical music list.


17 posted on 08/25/2012 8:14:42 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: elcid1970
Google & read Tom Wolfe’s 1970 classic, “Radical Chic and Mau Mauing the Flack Catchers”.

The first part of the Wolfe book is linked in my initial post. I remember when Buckley quoted from it in one of his articles.

18 posted on 08/25/2012 8:14:49 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

He is 94 today. Just not looking real great.


19 posted on 08/25/2012 8:17:09 PM PDT by Starstruck (It's all Obama's fault)
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To: EveningStar
As a chorister with Oratorio Society of Washington, I sang the Chichester Psalms some twenty years ago. I always though he was over-rated as a composer - West Side Story was not bad, IMHO - thought he went downhill from there. He was certainly a charismatic conductor. Also, if I recall correctly, a sexual deviant. No reason to mark his birthday as far as I'm concerned.



Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

20 posted on 08/25/2012 8:34:37 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: EveningStar

I say we need MORE violins on television!


21 posted on 08/25/2012 8:42:20 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: Starstruck

ROFL! :)


22 posted on 08/25/2012 8:54:18 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

Greatest musician in American history? Probably.


23 posted on 08/25/2012 9:01:16 PM PDT by Borges
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To: EveningStar

I had the privilege of knowing Uncle Lenny fairly well, and he PERSONIFIED the joie de vivre in music. Yeah, you never EVER mentioned politics to The Maestro, but outside of that he was actually a fun guy.

People know him as a conductor, and he was one of the greatest, but his true gift was as a pianist and composer.

“West Side Story” is THE American music-drama.

His performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”, with himself as piano soloist/conductor is one of the glories of performance history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxb7yNG0DGc

(Its in 2 parts, the link is to part 1)


24 posted on 08/25/2012 9:05:16 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimeticare Iddio!!!!!!)
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To: Fiji Hill
However, Bernstein also gave us the sacrilegious Bernstein Mass (1971).

I rather like the Bernstein Mass. It's an interesting piece to perform.

25 posted on 08/25/2012 9:13:04 PM PDT by Joseph Harrolds
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To: EveningStar
His concert in Berlin, commemorating the opening of the Berlin Wall, in which the word “Freude” (”joy”) in Beethoven's 9th Symphony was replaced with “Freiheit” (”freedom”) covered, in my eyes, a multitude of sins. Chokes me up just remembering it.

Less than a year later, he met the Ultimate Judge, and if I had had any power to condemn or pardon, it would have availed nothing at that point. I doubt I'll be meeting him on the other side.

26 posted on 08/25/2012 9:17:40 PM PDT by ExGeeEye (Romney Sucks. Mutiny Now!)
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To: yarddog

With artistic talent like that I care not about his politics. It doesn’t change the fact Uncle Lenny was arguably the greatest musician this nation ever produced.

Besides, Gilels, Richter, Berman, Rodhovienskiy, Kondrashin, Sultanov, etc were all Soviet Communists

Lang Lang, Yundi Li, etc. are Chinese Communists

Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, Wilhelm Backhaus, Karl Böhm, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wilhelm Fürtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Wolfgang Windgassen, etc, were all Nazis

Who gives a crap? They all made glorious MUSIC, which is all that matters.


27 posted on 08/25/2012 9:18:22 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimeticare Iddio!!!!!!)
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To: Arthur McGowan

SAX too


28 posted on 08/25/2012 9:20:50 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimeticare Iddio!!!!!!)
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To: Borges

With me its a tossup between him and Duke Ellington.


29 posted on 08/25/2012 9:21:49 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimeticare Iddio!!!!!!)
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To: Starstruck

Probably looks better than he smells.


30 posted on 08/25/2012 10:20:46 PM PDT by FredZarguna (The words "Never Again" were welded in Hebrew and in English into the first warhead.)
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To: EveningStar
Leonard Bernstein would have been 94 today

Uh, and any other number of DEAD people could by any other age today... so how is that newsworthy????

It is just fate and math. So the purpose of this post is .... what???? Did I miss some other reason in this post saying why it is notable? Yes he may have been born today.. yes his is dead.
31 posted on 08/25/2012 10:25:56 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: EveningStar; .30Carbine; 1cewolf; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; ...

Dear EveningStar,

Thanks for the ping!

Classical Music Ping List ping!

If you want on or of this list, let me know via FR e-mail.

Thanks,

sitetest


32 posted on 08/26/2012 12:56:56 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Publius

I haven’t watched that video yet. But there is an amazing one of him conducting the choral finale to Mahler’s second. It is just awesome as he envelops himself in the emotionally charged music. He brings the listener along with him. Truly amazing.

And as you note: what would the status of Mahler be without LB? Probably still waiting to be re-discovered and that would be tragic.


33 posted on 08/26/2012 4:45:35 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: Emperor Palpatine

With me its a tossup between him and Duke Ellington.”

Fascinating debate, and I think you have narrowed it to the two finalists. But I think LB has to win. His work as a public intellectual, basically bringing musicology to the masses, his lectures at Harvard, all of that is amazing and important work. Moreover, the versatility of his compositions, comparing West Side Story to say his Age of Anxiety symphony...Bernstein truly mastered music in its entirety.

Ellington’s output is astonishing and vast.

But I think Bernstein has the slight edge here....


34 posted on 08/26/2012 4:51:58 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: Emperor Palpatine
Who gives a crap? They all made glorious MUSIC, which is all that matters.

I'm with you. I might also mentioned Gieseking and certainly the odious Wagner.

35 posted on 08/26/2012 6:26:08 AM PDT by jammer
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To: elcid1970; magnum force 1; mickie; EveningStar; sitetest; flaglady47; seekthetruth; seenenuf; ...
Many moons ago I published, edited and wrote a conservative newsletter that had subscribers across the fruited plain.

One of the popular features of every issue was one of my original social satire poems or political doggerel. Below is an article and poem of mine exactly as it was published in the May, 1970 issue.

(An interesting sidelight is that one of my subscribers was the late Thomas Ayers, president and CEO of Commonwealth Edison, based in Chicago, Illinois. I never put two and two together till many years later that I read he was the father of Obama's best bud, Bill Ayers. Young Bill was already planting bombs in 1969 with the radical Weathermen organization).

Here's the article and my poem.......

"Mrs. Leonard Bernstein, wife of the conductor, recently gave a party in her plush Manhattan apartment to raise defense money for twenty-one Black Panthers and other militants indicted on charges of plotting to kill New York policemen and to dynamite midtown department stores, police stations and railroads.

Mrs. Bernstein, who founded the womens' division of the New York Civil Liberties Union, invited a group of Panthers to the party to talk and mix with her elegant leftist society friends. The Panthers, who openly despise the wealthy socialites, nevertheless accepted their monetary contributions to aid in the revolutionary movement. During the party, Donald Cox, Panther 'Field Marshal', gave a little speech outlining his organization's goals, which include violent overthrow of the government and the imposition of a communist economic system in the U.S.

Then everyone at the party had a good time among the expensive furnishings, the elaborate flower arrangements, the cocktails and the hors d'oeuvres.

THE ELEGANT SLUMMERS

Mrs. B sat on the floor, clad in pantsuit by Dior
As she welcomed all the Panthers to her upper-crust soiree
It was a social plummet for Mrs. Sidney Lumet
But one must admit the whole affair was charmingly chi-chi

Dear Mrs. Peter Duchin learned gobs of revolution
As she nibbled pate foie gras dipped in rare imported cheese
Nouveau Riche and Broadway Star stuffed themselves with caviar
As they ooh-ed and aah-ed at all the latest Marxist theo-ries

Midst the cocktails and canapes, chandeliers and velvet drapes
The Panthers knocked the Country and the System and the Pigs
Socialistic plans were told, communism was extolled
And the ones that cheered the loudest were the wealthy New York prigs

Then somebody passed the hat, out came the wallets fat
And the guests donated to the revolutionary crew
Mrs. Lumet gave a sigh, "Oh, these fabulous Masai
I haven't had so darn much fun since the days of my debut"

They do have fun and games, these effete New York names
As they undermine the system that provides them with their dough
But there is a shining ray - if the Panthers get their way
The fortunes of these dilletantes will be the first to go"

(Note: Mrs. Sidney Lumet was Gloria Vanderbilt, mother of CNN's Anderson Cooper by another husband).

Just think, I wrote the above 42 years ago....and the "picture" painted still holds true today both in ideology and reality.

Leni/MinuteGal

36 posted on 08/26/2012 7:05:18 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: Gene Eric; Publius

When Bernstein did a TV special in 1960 on Mahler’s centennial he mentioned that most people didn’t know who Mahler was. In America it was Bernstein who popularized Mahler.


37 posted on 08/26/2012 7:37:30 AM PDT by Borges
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To: hoosiermama

Ping to # 36


38 posted on 08/26/2012 8:40:50 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: MinuteGal; LucyT; ETL; SE Mom; STARWISE; maggief; Liz

Hmmmm ???? Interesting. Like the poem Leni!


39 posted on 08/26/2012 9:10:10 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then.)
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To: Starstruck
He is 94 today. Just not looking real great.

Today he is de-composing.

40 posted on 08/26/2012 9:17:27 AM PDT by Repealthe17thAmendment (Is this field required?)
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To: hoosiermama; MinuteGal

Marvelous poem..and you’re right- little has changed on the left- although they do tend to screech more today.


41 posted on 08/26/2012 9:28:35 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Repealthe17thAmendment
Today he is de-composing

LOL. Good one.

42 posted on 08/26/2012 9:30:12 AM PDT by Starstruck (It's all Obama's fault)
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To: EveningStar
Yes, Bernstein was a big lefty (and homosexual as well), but I have to say that I fondly remember the "young people's concerts" he used to give on CBS to introduce kids to classical music. And although his own music isn't my cup of tea, I'm sure it's very good, however wacko his political beliefs.

An interesting bit of evidence on how the Left's line constantly twists and turns is that back in the day Bernstein was the conductor of the Israel Philharmonic. That was back when liberals (and too many conservatives) thought Israel was the Cuba of the Middle East. Wonder if he'd be with the BDS people today or if he'd have dissented from current left/liberal orthodoxy?

43 posted on 08/26/2012 9:32:52 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: ConservativeDude

I am a student (by avocation) of Fritz Reiner, his story, and his music. Maybe because I was getting into concerted music when he was Music Director in my home town.

I find it slightly ironic that Lenny was one of Fritz’s star conducting pupils when they were at the Curtis Institute, because their conducting styles were almost diametrically opposite.


44 posted on 08/26/2012 11:55:34 AM PDT by Erasmus (Zwischen des Teufels und des tiefen, blauen Meers)
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To: MinuteGal

Nice article and poem, Leni. :)


45 posted on 08/26/2012 1:29:46 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: Erasmus

Was Fritz more like Karajan? I don’t know anything about him, but I find your comment fascinating.


46 posted on 08/26/2012 1:36:30 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: EveningStar

Speaking of relevant dates:

Judge Crater officially went missing 62 years ago today. He would be 123 years old if found alive.


47 posted on 08/26/2012 1:36:49 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk oMnly to me.)
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To: ConservativeDude

I’d put it this way, brefly: Reiner communicated as much with his stony hawklike stare as with his baton.

His friend and mentor Richard Strauss had a similar seemingly economical style, at least in old age.

I never saw Reiner conduct in person, but a colleague I met many years later did. He confirmed the legend that the man had a “postage stamp” movement at the tip of his baton.

However, various videos on Youtube show that this claim was exaggerated.


48 posted on 08/26/2012 3:19:50 PM PDT by Erasmus (Zwischen des Teufels und des tiefen, blauen Meers)
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To: Erasmus; ConservativeDude
I find it slightly ironic that Lenny was one of Fritz’s star conducting pupils when they were at the Curtis Institute, because their conducting styles were almost diametrically opposite.

Reiner anecdote (no, not the "telescope" one):

Reiner and his wife were in the audience at a Bernstein-led concert. When Bernstein started his "Leaping Lenny" stuff, Reiner turned to his wife and said, "He did not learn that from me."

49 posted on 08/26/2012 3:28:12 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

brilliant!!


50 posted on 08/26/2012 4:09:47 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
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