Sunday, August 26, 2018

Quickies: Tribute To A Musical Legend

     Composer / conductor Leonard Bernstein would have celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday. In honor of his life and work, Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, MA assembled an all-star cast to perform selections from his oeuvre and compositions by others he particularly loved and conducted frequently.

     The program consisted of:

  1. Bernstein: Overture to Candide
  2. Bernstein: “Kaddish 2” from Kaddish
  3. Bernstein: Meditation #3 from Mass
  4. Bernstein: Selections from West Side Story
  5. Mahler: “Der Schildwache Nachtlied” from Das Knaben Wunderhorn
  6. Copland: Finale from Appalachian Spring
  7. John Williams: “Highwood’s Ghost,” first-ever public performance
  8. Mahler: Finale from Symphony #2, “The Resurrection”
  9. A great deal of hyperbole better suited to a conqueror
  10. A lot of unnecessary political references

     The C.S.O. and I were in attendance. It was a smashing program, beautifully performed...except for items #9 and #10.

     The music was gorgeous. The unnecessary political insertions left me wondering whether anything is still permitted to stand apart from politics. But the arts community appears perfectly willing to tolerate the political bastardization of its several fields, at least in service to a Leftist agenda. And yes, in all candor Bernstein did lean in that direction.

     At some point, the arts community will awaken and realize that it’s being used. Whether it will be able to salvage its pride, and what remains of its artistic integrity, no one can confidently say. Certainly not this commentator, who doesn’t expect to live long enough to learn the answer.

1 comment:

Linda Fox said...

LEANING in that direction? Who can forget the crazy article Tom Wolfe wrote about the Black Panther party at the Bernstein?