As the result of his instant celebrity, doors of opportunity flew open. Bernstein wasbesieged with guest conducting offers. He became a regular guest on the "InformationPlease" radio quiz show. He was the darling of high society. Orchestras soughtperformances of his compositions. He was even offered a screen test for the lead in abiopic on Tchaikovsky. And on a more personal level, Sam Bernstein finally reconciledhimself to his son's musical career, gushing to the press over his "contribution toan America that has done everything for me" and attempting to recast his formerreluctance with humor: "How could I know my son was going to grow up to be LeonardBernstein?"
The program was difficult: Schumann's , Rosza's new , Strauss's and Wagner's . According to Philharmonic violinist Jacques Margolis, it was intended thatBernstein simply follow the orchestra, which had already played the same program severaltimes under Walter. But then, as Margolis recalled: "It didn't work out that way. Youjust couldn't believe a young man could create that kind of music. Here were players intheir fifties and sixties with long experience. And here this little snot-nose comes inand creates a more exciting performance. We were supposed to have gone over it with BrunoWalter, we had rehearsed it with him and performed it with him, and this had nothing to dowith Bruno Walter. The orchestra stood up and cheered. We were open-mouthed. That man wasthe most extraordinary musician I have ever met in my life."
Copland criticized and molded Bernstein's own writing, provided an entree to the topechelon of American composers, guided him toward conducting and launched his graduatetraining with an introduction to Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute; the rest, as theysay, is history. Once his career took off, Bernstein reciprocated by becoming a tirelessadvocate of modern American music (including Copland's), boosting its popularity throughperformances of stunning vitality. But for now, the attention lavished by a musician ofCopland's stature was the first tangible indication that the aspiring student would indeedscale the heights.
Bernstein was devastated by Gershwin's sudden and untimely death in 1937. Upon hearingthe news on a radio at summer camp, Bernstein interrupted an informal lunchtime recital todemand silence while he played a Gershwin prelude. He later recalled that at that momenthe identified so fully with Gershwin that he felt that he had actually become thecomposer. Thus, through his death Gershwin passed a torch to Bernstein: the essentialinstinct of a great musician to crawl inside a work and recreate it through the act of hisown performance. As Ned Rorem recalled, Bernstein "not only championed my music butconducted it in a manner coinciding with my very heartbeat."
Plato, a well-known classical Greek philosopher once said, “If you want to measure the spiritual depth of society, make sure to mark its music.” Generally performer collaborate songs to represent the popular pop culture, and social issues, and wish for their society as well as their current era....
Upon its premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 1944, the work madean enormous impact, and Bernstein proudly toured the country introducing it to localaudiences. Following the New York performances, it won the coveted Music Critics CirclePrize for the best new composition of the year. His 1945 recording with Nan Merriman and the St. Louis Symphony (on RCA 61581) retains its historical import as Bernstein's first with a full orchestra, but his 1961 remake with Jennie Tourel and the New York Philharmonic (SonySM3K 47162) is far more vital and probing. (A 1977 version with the Israel Philharmonic (DG 415-962) is less inspired, and Christa Ludwig's operatic treatment of the finale misses the liturgical depth of the others.) Of Bernstein's subsequent serious works,the most significant were the 1949 ,the 1954 , the 1965 and the 1986-89 . But noneachieved much celebrity, and now that Bernstein is no longer around to program them himselfor to have them played at festivals in his honor, they are likely to be forgotten.
Merriam Dictionary defines music as “the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.” With that in mind, music is found everywhere....
Perhaps the most telling of Koussevitzky's available recordings is his 1930 set of theMussorgsky-Ravel (on Pearl 9020 or RCA 61392). Theoriginal piano work depicts a tour of an art show and consists of a "promenade"theme linking brief musical portraits of ten unrelated pictures. Koussevitzky commissionedan orchestration by Ravel, which has emerged as the version by which the work is mostoften heard today. Toscanini and Stokowski, among others, left us superb recordings whichemphasize the individual color and drama of each section. Koussevitzky characterizes moresubtly, melding each distinct episode into the musical whole. While lacking the overtexcitement of the other versions, Koussevitzky's is perhaps ultimately more convincing, ashe submerges his own personality beneath the more essential need to bolster and convey theadmittedly contrived overall structural conception. Similar triumphs of self-effacementare his 1930 and 1944 recordings of Ravel's (on Pearl 9090 and RCA61392), in which he eschews the overt sensationalism of the score in favor of a seamlesssensual flow.
To Koussevitzky, every performance was performance, which required aconductor's total devotion and care. Koussevitzky was vain and lived and dressed quitewell. But as Bernstein later recalled, "All he did was marshalled and harnessed to beat the service of music. The difference lies between the conductor who is vain on his ownbehalf and the conductor whose ego glories in the reflected radiance of musicalcreativity." Koussevitzky demanded that a conductor lead a life of personal purity,morality and service to the community. His approach was religious: musicians, like clergy,had to constantly earn the right to transmit the holiest of art to the people.
Of all the brilliant students at Tanglewood that first summer, Koussevitzky seized uponBernstein to become his star pupil and to groom as his ultimate successor. Bernsteindecided then and there that conducting would become his main focus of musical activity.
Reggae was perceived as a kind of music used to express feelings about the social, political, and economic hardships in Jamaica during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Each of Bernstein's mentors was, in a sense, a father-figure, providing him with anartistic paradigm that the practical Sam had so actively discouraged. But whileMitropoulos, Gershwin, Copland and his many teachers were all fully dedicated to theirprofession, Koussevitzky approached music as a moral imperative.