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.