Remembering 20th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's death
I've gone on and on and on about Leonard Bernstein before on this blog, most recently in August, so I really will keep it short this time. It's just that I couldn't let pass the 20th anniversary of the conductor/composer's death go unmentioned.
When word came on Oct. 14, 1990, that Bernstein had died, the loss seemed so enormous. There was no doubt his like would not be seen or heard again.
I couldn't decide on a musical sample to mark the occasion -- so many choices -- but then I came across this clip of a 1992 Richard Tucker Gala that closed with the finale to Bernstein's "Candide," introduced in her inimitable style by the divine Leontyne Price. The soloists are a pre-superstar Renee Fleming and a fine singer no longer with us, Jerry Hadley. Leontyne and a whole bunch of other notable vocal artists join in as the music unfolds, and something about the soaring sound suggested that it would be fit Thursday's anniversary.
It's not the tidiest performance, perhaps, but it sure does convey the Bernstein spirit: