August 23rd, 2018

happy birthday cake by eyesthatslay

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Brash, Confident and Democratic: How Bernstein Symbolized America
Five writers on what made the protean Bernstein, born 100 years ago, one of the most indelible figures in the history of the arts.

A man, a country and an era came together in Leonard Bernstein, the musician of the American century.

After 150 years of insecurity as this country gazed across the sea at the edifices of European culture, here was the New World finally in command. Composer, conductor, arranger, pianist, television personality, star, Bernstein — a Jew, crucially, just a few years after the Holocaust — marched Mahler back into Vienna, a second wave of liberation, a musical Marshall Plan. Bold, maybe a little brash; tender, maybe a little sentimental; difficult to work with yet desperate to please: Bernstein’s qualities were America’s, too.
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