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Oxford University Press
192 pages
Product Description
Leonard Bernstein was arguably the most highly esteemed, influential, and charismatic American classical music personality of the twentieth century. Conductor, composer, pianist, writer, educator, and human rights activist, Bernstein truly led a life of Byronic intensity--passionate, risk-taking, and convention-breaking.<br><br>In November 1989, just a year before his death, Bernstein invited writer Jonathan Cott to his country home in Fairfield, Connecticut for what turned out to be his last major interview--an unprecedented and astonishingly frank twelve-hour conversation. Now, in <em>Dinner with Lenny</em>, Cott provides a complete account of this remarkable dialogue in which Bernstein discourses with disarming frankness, humor, and intensity on matters musical, pedagogical, political, psychological, spiritual, and the unabashedly personal. Bernstein comes alive again, with vodka glass in hand, singing, humming, and making pointed comments on a wide array of topics, from popular music ("the Beatles were the best songwriters since Gershwin"), to great composers ("Wagner was always in a psychotic frenzy. He was a madman, a megalomaniac"), and politics (lamenting "the brainlessness, the mindlessness, the carelessness, and the heedlessness of the Reagans of the world"). And of course, Bernstein talks of conducting, advising students "to look at the score and make it come alive as if they were the composer. If you can do that, you're a conductorand if you can't, you're not. If I don't <em>become</em> Brahms or Tchaikovsky or Stravinsky when I'm conducting their works, then it won't be a great performance."<br><br>After <em>Rolling Stone</em> magazine published an abridged version of the conversation in 1990, the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> praised it as "an extraordinary interview" filled with "passion, wit, and acute analysis." Studs Terkel called the interview "astonishing and revelatory." Now, this full-length version provides the reader with a unique, you-are-there perspective on what it was like to converse with this gregarious, witty, candid, and inspiring American dynamo.
Oxford University Press
192 pages
Amazon.com Review
<div class="aplus"> <h4> A Look Inside <em>Dinner with Lenny</em> [Click Images to Enlarge]</h4> <div class="third-col"> <div class="centerImage"><img alt="Leonard Bernstein" src="http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/oxford/05-OrkinBernstein4-thumb._V399346099_.jpg"/> </div> <div class="imageCaption" align="center"> Leonard Bernstein, c. late 1940s (Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Archives)<p></p></div> </div> <div class="third-col"> <div class="centerImage"><img alt="Igor Stravinsky" src="http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/oxford/09-Bernstein354-thumb._V399346096_.jpg"/> </div> <div class="imageCaption" align="center"> Leonard Bernstein with Igor Stravinsky while filming their television program “The Creative Performer”, 1960 (Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Archives)<p></p></div> </div> <div class="third-col last"> <div class="centerImage"><img alt="Leonard Bernstein with his wife Felicia Montealegre" src="http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/oxford/12-Bernstein195-thumb._V399346096_.jpg"/> </div> <div class="imageCaption" align="center"> Leonard Bernstein with his wife Felicia Montealegre, departing for a tour of Europe and the Near East, 1959 (Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Archives) <p></p></div> </div> <div class="third-col"> <div class="centerImage"><img alt="New York Philharmonic" src="http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/oxford/13-BernsteinMahler-sweatshirt-thumb._V399346061_.jpg"/> </div> <div class="imageCaption" align="center"> Wearing a favorite sweatshirt while rehearsing with the New York Philharmonic (Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Archives) </div> </div> <div class="third-col"> <div class="centerImage"><img alt="Omnibus" src="http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/oxford/15-GettyImages_50391786-thumb._V399346098_.jpg"/> </div> <div class="imageCaption" align="center"> On the set of the television program “Omnibus,” November 14,1954, lecturing on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (Photo by Gordon Parks/Collection/Getty Images)</div> </div> <div class="third-col last"> <div class="centerImage"><img alt="Exiting the National Theater in Washington, D.C." src="http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/oxford/16-Bernstein_WSS-thumb._V399346099_.jpg"/> </div> <div class="imageCaption" align="center"> Exiting the National Theater in Washington, D.C. during an out-of-town tryout for West Side Story, 1957 (Photo by Robert H. Phillips)</div> </div> </div>