Leonard Bernstein

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Why do so many of us try to explain the beauty of music, thus depriving it of its mystery?

Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist.


Sourced[edit]

  • A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future.
    • Leonard Bernstein, statement of 1953, quoted in A Wonderful Life : 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit (2006) by Cyrus M. Copeland, p. 190
  • The Rhapsody is not a composition at all. It's a string of separate paragraphs stuck together — with a thin paste of flour and water… I don’t think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky… but if you want to speak of a composer, that's another matter.
  • Any great work of art … revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world — the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.
    • "What Makes Opera Grand?", Vogue (December 1958)
  • Callas? She was pure electricity.
    • As quoted in Callas : The Art and the Life (1974) by John Ardoin
  • Einstein said that "the most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious." So why do so many of us try to explain the beauty of music, thus depriving it of its mystery?
    • The Unanswered Question (1976)
  • The trouble with you and me, Ned, is that we want everyone in the world to personally love us, and of course that's impossible; you just don't meet everyone in the world.
  • The 20th century has been a badly written drama, from the beginning. The opposite of a Greek drama. Act one: Greed and hypocrisy leading to a genocidal world war, a boom, a crash, totalitarianism. Act two: Greed and hypocrisy leading to a genocidal world war, a boom, a crash, totalitarianism. Act three: Greed and hypocrisy … I don't dare continue.
    • Leonard Bernstein: The Gift Of Music
  • Perhaps the chief requirement of [the conductor] is that he be humble before the composer; that he never interpose himself between the music and the audience; that all his efforts, however strenuous or glamorous, be made in the service of the composer's meaning - the music itself, which, after all, is the whole reason for the conductor's existence."
    • The Cambridge Companion to Conducting p. 16.

Quotes about Bernstein[edit]

  • Bernstein has been disclosing musical secrets that have been well known for over 400 years.
  • Today, he uses music as an accompaniment to his conducting.
    • Oscar Levant, Memoirs of an Amnesiac (1965)

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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