Dinner with Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein

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The most obvious answer to this question is the fact that it was Bernstein's last extended interview. It is appealing to contemplate the image of the venerable musician dispensing sage wisdom in the twilight of his life.

Epub Dinner With Lenny The Last Long Interview With Leonard Bernstein

That this interview was intended for a different readership than most Bernstein question-and-answer sessions also leaps immediately to mind, as does the interview's value as a Author: Lars Helgert. Date: Sept.

It would bore me to death. There was more to life than standing on a podium interpreting Beethoven and Brahms. Despite his gifts as a conductor, Bernstein wanted to compose for Hollywood, play the piano, teach, and write books and poetry. And the 12 hours Cott spent with the aging artist reveal the fullness of Bernstein's life.

Cott's volume is no recounting of "my favorite pieces" or "great violinists I have known. We hear about child psychology, the bomb's impact on our collective psyche, religious faith, and even a bit on Lenny and love.

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Musing on a recent breakup after he had met someone new, Bernstein tells Cott that the "reaction was so beautiful and so understanding. And when I love somebody, I love them forever. Most rewarding, of course, are Bernstein's reflections on music. Composers, he tells Cott, steal from each other all the time. It's unconscious, of course, but it means that "all music is tied up together! As for conducting, when a concert went well, that, too, was a creative act.

In leading an orchestra in another composer's work, Bernstein explains, "I have the feeling that I'm inventing it for the very first time. Perhaps the most memorable tale in this altogether readable book is offered by Cott. After hearing Bernstein conduct Beethoven's Ninth at Carnegie Hall with the Vienna Philharmonic in , the author and a friend walked down to Studio 54, the late-night place to be in those days. Out on the packed dance floor, Cott was bumped from behind. When he turned to see who had crashed into him, it was, yes, Bernstein, "wildly dancing — bare-chested under a black leather jacket.

No question about it, Lenny was determined to live large. And if you want to know what happened with Alma at the Hotel Pierre, you'll have to read the book. Already a subscriber?

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Dinner with Lenny : The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein - barbeeloppimon.ga

Overview Leonard Bernstein was arguably the most highly esteemed, influential, and charismatic American classical music personality of the twentieth century. Conductor, composer, pianist, writer, educator, and human rights activist, Bernstein truly led a life of Byronic intensity--passionate, risk-taking, and convention-breaking.

In November , just a year before his death, Bernstein invited writer Jonathan Cott to his country home in Fairfield, Connecticut for what turned out to be his last major interview--an unprecedented and astonishingly frank twelve-hour conversation. Now, in Dinner with Lenny , Cott provides a complete account of this remarkable dialogue in which Bernstein discourses with disarming frankness, humor, and intensity on matters musical, pedagogical, political, psychological, spiritual, and the unabashedly personal. Bernstein comes alive again, with vodka glass in hand, singing, humming, and making pointed comments on a wide array of topics, from popular music "the Beatles were the best songwriters since Gershwin" , to great composers "Wagner was always in a psychotic frenzy.

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He was a madman, a megalomaniac" , and politics lamenting "the brainlessness, the mindlessness, the carelessness, and the heedlessness of the Reagans of the world". And of course, Bernstein talks of conducting, advising students "to look at the score and make it come alive as if they were the composer. If you can do that, you're a conductorand if you can't, you're not.