Sunday, December 21, 2008

Leonard Bernstein and his wand ...

My blog readers might have read my posts about Mahler ("Justice and tribute to Mahler", "Ken Russell Mahler - More then controversial - just going to far" and Gustav Mahler enchantment). In some sense, Mahler music is connected in my mind with his ingenious interpreter and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

So this time it is all about Bernstein and his conductor's wand...
Over last couple of weeks I was enchanted by the 5 DVD edition: Leonard Bernstein: Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Franck, Milhaud, Mozart, called also as "Celebrating Lenny".
This set is probably one of the best sources reflecting Bernstein talent as conductor.

I want to tell you about three recordings from this set:

Darius Milhaud - La création du monde - incredible connection of classical and jazz music, with a programme reflecting upon African myths of the creation

Anton Bruckner - IX Symphony - The last, unfinished symphony of the humble genius - Anton Bruckner. It's second movement (Scherzo) is really shocking and deep. You can feel (intentional ?) relation of Bruckner thought to Beethoven symphonies, yet it remains completelt original and deeply moving.

Ludwig van Beethoven - IX Symphony. I guess, writing about this piece of music makes no sense. However, I use the occasion to say, that its second movement (Molto Vivace) is such incredible piece of music, that when I return to it after some weeks, I always, always have the feeling of G-d presence in music. Try it - you will see. Now, the Bernstein conducting is great, but it is this recording where we can feel coming fate - it was one of his last recordings - several months after he left our world... When you watch this movie, you see tired, old man - but the man that still jumps, rejoice and is just happy with his life. And last but not least - this piece of music, played that year (1989) is something very important - the freedom came to us ....

And with these words I will finish this post ...

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