Reflection from the past: Bernstein and Ravel
As I thought about posting the next installment of my humble little series of musical moments from former days (I've been calling it, none too originally, 'Blast from the Past, but that didn't seem appropriate this time), the horrific scenes from Haiti kept replaying in my mind. And that made me think of the contemplative second movement of Ravel's Piano Concerto, performed in sublime fashion by soloist/conductor Leonard Bernstein.
This Adagio will always be one of my very favorite passages in all of music. There is something at once beautiful and bittersweet about it, something at once worldly and otherworldly. Bernstein's interpretation of this movement is, to my ears, perfect.
If he were still with us today, I know he would have been the first musician to offer a benefit concert for Haitian relief. So this combination of Bernstein and Ravel seems like the right musical moment now, a response to this painful time: