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Leonard Bernstein

August 25, 1918 - October 14, 1990
born in Lawrence, MA, composed during the Contemporary period
As composer, conductor, and educator, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) emerged as one of a handful of figures in the twentieth century who truly changed the face of music. As a composer, Bernstein left a far-reaching legacy that includes three symphonies, a film score of singular distinction, (On the Waterfront), and an important body of stage works, including one of the cornerstones of American musical theater, West Side Story (1957). The first American-born conductor to attain international superstardom, Bernstein made a profound impression on audiences; his podium manner was dynamic, even flamboyant, to an extent never before witnessed. Bernstein's extroverted manner attracted much criticism from those who dismissed him as a mere exhibitionist; his advocates, however, far outnumbered his detractors.

Born in Lawrence, MA, Bernstein made his mark first as a composer. He attended Harvard University, where he studied with Walter Piston among other distinguished figures. Occasionally he wrote popular songs on the side using the pseudonym Lenny Amber ("amber" being the English translation of the word "Bernstein"). His works of the 1940s, both weighty and light, brought him considerable acclaim; the single year of 1944 saw the premieres of two especially well-received scores, the Symphony No. 1, "Jeremiah", and the ballet Fancy Free. During his sometimes rocky tenure (1958-1969) as music director of the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein brought that ensemble to a new level of prestige and popularity: every Bernstein concert and recording became a much-anticipated event. Through his association with the New York Philharmonic and a neverending stream of guest engagements worldwide, Bernstein became particularly renowned as an interpreter of Mahler and Copland; he did much to carve out the prominent place in the orchestral concert repertory that both composers now maintain. Already well-known by the time he took over the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein became truly famous in 1958, with the first of his series of televised Young People's Concerts, fondly remembered by many as their introduction to the world of classical music. Among the first group of students to receive training at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Bernstein soon became the institution's guiding light, serving as teacher and mentor for generations of musicians. Though he remained a giant of the podium until the very end, Bernstein curtailed his conducting activities in later years in order to spend more time composing. Little of Bernstein's music from the 1970s on has attained the same level of popularity achieved by his earlier works; still, it comprises a distinguished, substantial body of work that includes Mass (1971), the opera A Quiet Place (1983), and the song cycle Arias and Barcarolles (1988). ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bernstein: West Side Story

Title: West Side Story, Musical

1. West Side Story, Musical: Prologue

2. West Side Story, Musical: Jet Song

3. West Side Story, Musical: Something's Coming

4. West Side Story, Musical: The Dance At The Gym - Blues

5. West Side Story, Musical: The Dance At The Gym - Promenade

6. West Side Story, Musical: The Dance At The Gym - Mambo

7. West Side Story, Musical: The Dance At The Gym - Cha-cha

8. West Side Story, Musical: The Dance At The Gym - Meeting Scene

9. West Side Story, Musical: The Dance At The Gym - Jump

10. West Side Story, Musical: Maria

11. West Side Story, Musical: Balcony Scene (Tonight)

12. West Side Story, Musical: Only You

13. West Side Story, Musical: America

14. West Side Story, Musical: Cool

15. West Side Story, Musical: One Hand, One Heart

16. West Side Story, Musical: Tonight

17. West Side Story, Musical: The Rumble

18. West Side Story, Musical: I Feel Pretty

19. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Allegro Agitato

20. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Lo Stesso Tempo

21. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Adagio (I)

22. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Scherzo

23. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Somewhere

24. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Procession And Nightmare

25. West Side Story, Musical: Ballet Sequence - Adagio (II)

26. West Side Story, Musical: Gee, Officer Krupke

27. West Side Story, Musical: A Boy Like That

28. West Side Story, Musical: I Have A Love

29. West Side Story, Musical: Change Of Scene

30. West Side Story, Musical: Taunting Scene

31. West Side Story, Musical: Finale

x

Track List: Bernstein Conducts Candide

Disc 1
Title: Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Scottish opera or final revised version)

1. Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Scottish opera or final revised version): Overture

9. Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Scottish opera or final revised version): Battle Music

14. Candide, operetta in 2 acts (Scottish opera or final revised version): The Paris Waltz

Disc 2
x

Track List: Bernstein Conducts Bernstein

Disc 1
Title: Dance Episodes (3) From "On The Town", For Orchestra

1. Dance Episodes (3) From "On The Town", For Orchestra: I. The Great Lover

2. Dance Episodes (3) From "On The Town", For Orchestra: II. Lonely Twon: Pas De Deux

3. Dance Episodes (3) From "On The Town", For Orchestra: III. Times Square: 1944

Title: Fancy Free, Ballet

4. Fancy Free, Ballet: I. Enter Three Sailors

5. Fancy Free, Ballet: II. Scene At The Bar

6. Fancy Free, Ballet: III. Enter Two Girls

7. Fancy Free, Ballet: IV. Pas De Deux

8. Fancy Free, Ballet: V. Competition Scene

9. Fancy Free, Ballet: VI. Three Dance Variations

10. Fancy Free, Ballet: Variation I (Galop)

11. Fancy Free, Ballet: Variation II (Waltz)

12. Fancy Free, Ballet: Variation III (Danzon)

13. Fancy Free, Ballet: VII. Finale

14. Fancy Free, Ballet: Big Stuff

Title: Facsimile, Choreographic Essay, For Orchestra (from The Ballet)

15. Facsimile, Choreographic Essay, For Orchestra (from The Ballet): Bernsteiniefacsimile (1946)

Disc 2
Title: Overture To Candide, For Orchestra

1. Overture To Candide, For Orchestra: Overture To Candide

Title: Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal)

2. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): I. Prologue (Allegro Moderato)

3. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): II. Somewhere

4. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): III. Scherzo (Vivace E Leggiero)

5. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): IV. Mambo

6. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): V. Cha Cha (Andantino Con Grazia)

7. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): VI. Meeting Scene. Meno Mosso

8. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): VII. Cool Fugue (Allegretto)

9. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): VIII. The Rumble

10. Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal): IX. Finale (Adagio)

Title: On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite

11. On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite: I. Andante (With Dignity), Presto Barbaro

12. On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite: II. Adagio - Allegro Molto Agitato - Alla Breve

13. On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite: III. More Flowing

14. On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite: IV. Moving Forward, With Warmth

15. On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite: V. Allegro Non Troppo, Molto Marcato

16. On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite: V. A Tempo

Title: Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, For Clarinet & Jazz Ensemble

17. Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, For Clarinet & Jazz Ensemble: I. Prelude For The Brass

18. Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, For Clarinet & Jazz Ensemble: II. Fugue For The Saxes

19. Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, For Clarinet & Jazz Ensemble: III. Riffs For Everyone

Disc 3
Title: Symphony No.1 ("Jeremiah"), For Mezzo-soprano & Orchestra

1. Symphony No.1 ("Jeremiah"), For Mezzo-soprano & Orchestra: I. Prophecy: Largamente

2. Symphony No.1 ("Jeremiah"), For Mezzo-soprano & Orchestra: II. Profanation: Vivace Con Brio

3. Symphony No.1 ("Jeremiah"), For Mezzo-soprano & Orchestra: III. Lamentation: Lento

Title: Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos

4. Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos: I. Part I: The Prologue

5. Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos: II. Part I: The Seven Ages (Variations I-vii)

6. Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos: III. Part I: The Seven Stages (Variations Vii-xiv)

7. Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos: IV. Part II: The Dirge

8. Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos: V. Part II: The Masque

9. Symphony No.2 ("The Age Of Anxiety"), For Piano & Orchestra Or 2 Pianos: VI. Part II: The Epilogue

Disc 4
Title: Chichester Psalms, For Boy Soloist, Chorus & Orchestra

1. Chichester Psalms, For Boy Soloist, Chorus & Orchestra: I. Psalm 108 (Verse 2) And Psalm 100

2. Chichester Psalms, For Boy Soloist, Chorus & Orchestra: II. Psalm 23 / Psalm 2 (Verses 1-4)

3. Chichester Psalms, For Boy Soloist, Chorus & Orchestra: III. Psalms 131 & 133 (Verse 1)

Title: Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano

4. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: I. Invocation

5. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: I. Kaddish 1

6. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: II. Din-torah

7. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: II. Kaddish 2

8. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: III. Scherzo

9. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: III. Finale

10. Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish"), For Soprano, Speakers, Choruses & Orchestra; Also For Voices & Piano: III. Allegro Vivo, Con Gioia

Disc 5
Title: Divertimento, For Orchestra
Title: A Musical Toast, For Orchestra
Title: Slava! A Political Overture, For Orchestra
Title: Halil, Nocturne For Flute Solo, Piccolo, Alto Flute, Percussion & Harp; Also For Flute, Piano & Percussion
Disc 6
Title: Concerto For Orchestra (Jubilee Games), For Orchestra

1. Concerto For Orchestra (Jubilee Games), For Orchestra: I. Free-style Events

2. Concerto For Orchestra (Jubilee Games), For Orchestra: II. Mixed Doubles

3. Concerto For Orchestra (Jubilee Games), For Orchestra: III. Diaspora Dances

4. Concerto For Orchestra (Jubilee Games), For Orchestra: IV. Benediction

Title: Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra

5. Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra: I. Invocation And Trance

6. Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra: II. The Pledge

7. Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra: III. Kabbalah

8. Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra: IV. Possession

9. Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra: V. Pas De Deux

10. Dybbuk, Suite No.1, For Tenor, Bass & Orchestra: VI. Exorcism

Title: Dybbuk, Suite No.2 (Eight Dances), For Orchestra

11. Dybbuk, Suite No.2 (Eight Dances), For Orchestra: I. The Messengers

12. Dybbuk, Suite No.2 (Eight Dances), For Orchestra: II. Leah

13. Dybbuk, Suite No.2 (Eight Dances), For Orchestra: III. Kabbalah Variations

14. Dybbuk, Suite No.2 (Eight Dances), For Orchestra: IV. Dream

Disc 7
Title: Serenade (After Plato: Symposium), For Violin, Harp, Percussion & Strings; Also For Violin & Piano

1. Serenade (After Plato: Symposium), For Violin, Harp, Percussion & Strings; Also For Violin & Piano: I. Phaedrus: Pausanias

2. Serenade (After Plato: Symposium), For Violin, Harp, Percussion & Strings; Also For Violin & Piano: II. Aristophanes

3. Serenade (After Plato: Symposium), For Violin, Harp, Percussion & Strings; Also For Violin & Piano: III. Eryximachus

4. Serenade (After Plato: Symposium), For Violin, Harp, Percussion & Strings; Also For Violin & Piano: IV. Agathon

5. Serenade (After Plato: Symposium), For Violin, Harp, Percussion & Strings; Also For Violin & Piano: V. Socrates: Alcibiades

Title: Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano

6. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: I. To The Poem

7. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: I. The Pennycandystorebeyond The El

8. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: II. A Julia De Burgos

9. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: III. To What You Said...

10. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: I. Duet

11. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: II. Trio

12. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: III. Duet

13. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: I. "If You Can't Eat You Got To"

14. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: I. Music I Heard With You

15. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: II. Zizi's Lemant

16. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: III. Sonnet

17. Songfest, Song Cycle For 6 Singers & Orchestra Or Piano: I. Israfel

x

Track List: Bernstein: Candide; West Side Story; On the Waterfront; Fancy Free

Title: Overture To Candide, For Orchestra
Title: Symphonic Dances (9) From "West Side Story", For Orchestra (Orchestrated With Ramin & Kostal)
Title: On The Waterfront, Symphonic Suite
Title: Fancy Free, Ballet
x

Track List: Bernstein: Symphony No. 2; Serenade after Plato's Symposium

x

Track List: Mass

Disc 1
Title: Mass, Theatre Piece for Singers, Players & Dancers
Disc 2

Comments

Report as inappropriate
mattsegel
I am more of a "north" story
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1224012991
Amazing!!!! I love West Side Story! What a love story it is!
Report as inappropriate
I aqm sure he was an influence to John Williams.
Report as inappropriate
Yes, he was Jewish. Yes, he was blessed. But he was absolutly inspried!! His works overshadow any shortcomings he had.
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Bernstein! What a genius he was.
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Great music
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animalcrzy
i just cant stop loving his his music
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carolovergaa r d
MAGNIFICENT! ! !
Report as inappropriate
Just love most of this guy's stuff ! West Side always takes me back to
happier days .
Report as inappropriate
Selected Discography. . . no kidding!
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Well, Bernstein brought even more "classical" AND "jazz" into Broadway, essentially, building on the foundation Gershwin and Berlin had previously set. Anyway, the further you go in the 1900's, the more that various musical genres have influenced each other, and lead to completely new genres... Seriously, Bernstein's Broadway music is PLENTY jazzy, latinesque and syncopated, and definitely very classy as well. He's one of the greats, for sure.
Report as inappropriate
The West Side Story score is a piece you go back to several times in a lifetime and listen to the genius of Bernstein. Such passion and emotion, it took Broadway musicals to a higher level.
Report as inappropriate
rmartinson
Try to find the video of the 1985 or 86 recording on PBS of rehearsals for West Side Story with Jose Carreras. The scenes of Bernstein working with Carreras; he is by turns gentle and unforgiving. It's amazing too what hard work practicing and performing is. I think it was shortly after this that Carreras found out he had throat cancer. It may have been his last performance for some time. Bernstein was an amazing artist. I don't like all of his music but he put his heart and soul into every
Report as inappropriate
creativity and joy might be redundent... . . b u t whatever hat that combination wears I will gladly wear it. Bernstein helped me understand that.
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dr.bone42
Ha, we're doing west side story for marching band this year; it's good!
Report as inappropriate
I stayed up listening till 10:00 on MPR to this guy's music.
Report as inappropriate
Leonard Bernstein created masterpieces ! He introduced an entire generation to classical music with panache'.
Report as inappropriate
michna.there s a
Please play some of the tracks from West Side Story.
Report as inappropriate
Bernstein inspired more interest, appreciation and enjoyment in classical music than anyone of his generation. His gifts were unique and live on in our memory. Thanks maestro.
Report as inappropriate
Please play some of the original broadway score from "Candide"
particularly the overture and Glitter and Be Gay with Barbara Cook.

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