Bernstein Speaks About Mahler

Today is the birthday of Leonard Bernstein. He was born in 1918, and he died in 1990.

For most of his adult musical life, Leonard Bernstein was a champion of the music by Gustav Mahler. Like Bernstein, Mahler himself was also the conductor of the New York Philharmonic for a few seasons at the beginning of the 1900’s.

Bernstein became the authority on Mahler works. On at least one occasion he said “…some times I feel like I AM Mahler…”

While Bernstein often conducted the Vienna Philharmonic, he was on occasion frustrated with them, saying “This is not Mahler…. He was among you <as your conductor>, yet you do not bring the passion, the bitterness, the raw energy to his music…”

The Symphony number 9 was Mahler’s last completed work. Here is Leonard Bernstein conducting and speaking to the orchestra about this amazing piece of music: Rest in Peace, Leonard Bernstein.

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