Thursday, January 27, 2011

Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts

Can I just say once more that there is so much wonderful stuff out there?  I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know about this DVD set until last week.  I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet, but I intend to, somehow.  It sounds like a treasure.

Bernstein started conducting Young People’s concerts almost immediately after becoming Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958, and continued directing them even after he stepped down in 1969.  They were televised programs, broadcast on Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons, and even during prime time for three years.  He gave 53 concerts in all, until 1972.  Twenty five of those concerts are on this 9-DVD set, with titles like, “What is Orchestration?”, “Musical Atoms:  A Study in Intervals”, “The Latin American Spirit”, “What is American Music?”, and “Berlioz Takes a Trip”.  It sounds like the recording quality varies, but the music, the topics, and the way Bernstein presents them to his audience all have rave reviews.  Words like “passion,” “brilliant,” “witty,” “enthusiastic,” and “genius” keep popping up in the Amazon reviews, along with the fact that this series can be enjoyed by children and adults alike and that it is an excellent, un-condescending introduction to symphonic music

Something new to add to your list of things to add to your must read/watch/listen to list!  Life is too short.


  1. Thanks for posting about this. This sounds like a great idea for my students...and also for my future children!

  2. I dream of having students and their parents over for pizza and viewings of DVDs like this.

  3. This looks outstanding! And I'll bring the Pepsi and some chocolate! ;)

  4. Oh, that would be lovely! Now to just get the DVDs and schedule it...


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