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The Unanswered Question (Bernstein) - wow!

Peter K (Fionn) 25 Mar 13 - 02:43 PM
Felipa 26 Aug 20 - 05:52 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Aug 20 - 06:13 PM
Joe Offer 26 Aug 20 - 09:15 PM
DaveRo 27 Aug 20 - 02:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Aug 20 - 10:20 AM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 21 - 03:15 AM
DaveRo 29 Jul 22 - 05:09 PM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 22 - 07:47 AM
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Subject: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 02:43 PM

I've been searching for many years for this series of six Harvard lectures by Leonard Bernstein. It does exist as a DVD set, but only in Pal 1 format. Does anyone know where a copy compatible with Pal 2 can be obtained, or if there is any way of converting from Pal 1 to Pal 2?


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein)
From: Felipa
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 05:52 PM

I can't answer Peter K's question (by the way, we met in person once, but I haven't seen him on Mudcat in years) but I think he would also be interested in this 44 min radio documentary I just listened to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00007jy The Bernstein Files

"For more than three decades the US government compiled covert reports on the political activities and associations of legendary conductor composer, Leonard Bernstein. ...
...
"Investigative reporter Jonathan Coffey travels to New York and Washington to open the secret FBI files on Leonard Bernstein and ask why the US Government spied him for more than three decades. ..."


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 06:13 PM

I remember hearing some of those lectures many years ago. Since then I've become an aficionado of Bernstein's compositions as well as of his music-making. I'd love to revisit those lectures. To my mind, in 20th century America, there's Gershwin, Bernstein, then the rest. Oh, and Woody...

Try the YouTube of Lenny conducting Beethoven's Leonora no. 3...


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 09:15 PM

The Unanswered Question is a lecture series given by Leonard Bernstein in the fall of 1973 Do I understand correctly that Bernstein took literature at Harvard from George Lyman Kittredge? That would make Bernstein one generation removed from Francis James Child, more or less.

Hope I have the time to follow all six lectures. It's intriguing. I listened to the first few minutes and then had to go, but it started out with a bang! Bernstein can be casual and erudite and ultimately cool at the same time. It's a pleasure to listen to him.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein) - wow!
From: DaveRo
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 02:43 AM

That programme followed an old prom From 1987 of Bernstein conducting Mahler's 5th, which also is worth listening to.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08kvnrv


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein) - wow!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 10:20 AM

When the original question was posted DVDs were a main way to get this kind of file and regions were the idea of producers to "protect" their content, now everything is converted to mp4 and is on YouTube. This is the Internet at its best. :)


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein) - wow!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 21 - 03:15 AM

Here's a link to a production of a recording of West Side Story, directed by Leonard Bernstein. It shows Bernstein at his most brilliant, but also he seems to be crabby and overly exacting. I imagine he might not have been an easy person to work with, but he certainly was a perfectionist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3SEW63LsaM


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein) - wow!
From: DaveRo
Date: 29 Jul 22 - 05:09 PM

Well, two years after reading Joe's post about Bernstein's Harvard Lectures, I've now watched all 6. As the subject says: wow! (I downloaded them and they've been on a memory stick in the back of my last two TVs.) I've learnt a lot. And not only about music: in #6 he analyses poetry by E E Cummings and T S Eliot and draws parallels with Stravinski.

But I'd like a second opinion on many of Bernstein's theories and assertions. I wonder if other modern conductors could present a similar analysis? Do any current conductors have Bernstein's breadth of knowledge?

A few months ago, or maybe a few years ago, I watched a docu about Marin Alsop on Sky TV (here in the UK): The Conductor

I'm also part-way though LB's biography by Humphrey Burton, which I recommend.


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Subject: RE: The Unanswered Question (Bernstein) - wow!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 22 - 07:47 AM

He was absolutely clueless about early music and wouldn't listen to any of the many people who could have put him straight.


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