Thursday, October 14, 2010

Make our garden grow


We're neither pure nor wise nor good;
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house, and chop our wood,
And make our garden grow.

Any questions?
Leonard Bernstein died on October 14, 1990. Those lines are a fitting epitaph for the composer, conductor, animateur and great human being: they conclude Candide, which, for me, is his puzzlingly neglected masterwork. Am I the only reader of this blog that can remember both where I was when I heard the news of JFK's assassination and of Lennie's death? Another masterwork, Bernstein's Mass, was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy in honour of the slain President. Read about candid Bernstein here.

Also on Facebook and Twitter. My 2 CD set of Bernstein's Candide was bought at retail. Current price is £6.99 UK delivered on Amazon UK, if it not in your collection act now. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

5 comments:

Pliable said...

Could not BBC radio or TV, or both, have marked this important anniversary in appropriate fashion?

The BBC has wonderful archive footage of Lennie. Instead their flagship culture TV channel, BBC 4, is today offering I Walked With A Zombie.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0078t0v

Frank H Little said...

Bernstein has been "Composer of the Week" this year, but, I agree, he had rather more attention on BBC Radio in earlier years.

Certainly BBC-4 and BBC-2 missed an opportunity to show this most televisual of conductors and explainers of music.

Pliable said...

"Certainly BBC-4 and BBC-2 missed an opportunity to show this most televisual of conductors and explainers of music" - quite right Frank; if the BBC must force feed us with wall to wall Mahler, could not we have Bernstein's Mahler 2 from Ely Cathedral?

That mention of 'composer of the week' takes me down another path. If a musician fits neatly into a BBC sub-brand such as 'composer of the week' or 'new generation artist' or 'BBC Proms', he or she is in clover. But if they do not fit neatly into a BBC sub-brand, as many great mavericks don't, they are dead meat. But don't get me started....

The Wound Dresser said...

I was sitting in a car when my dad came out of the market and said"the president been shot in texas". I was sitting in a car when the news came over the classical music station in NYC at the time[WQXR} that Lennie had passed...I love Candide,personally

Pliable said...

President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov 22. That day is my birthday, and I was having a party with school friends when the news came over the radio.

Benjamin Britten, whose opera Peter Grimes was given its US premiere by Bernstein, was born on Nov 22.

And Voltaire, who, of course, wrote Candide was born on Nov 21.

All sorts of paths...