Thursday, August 30, 2018

More about Lenny

The big musical event of this summer was Leonard Bernstein's Centennial on August 25th, and The Villa-Lobos Magazine got into the act with my earlier post about his 1963 Young People's Concert: "The Latin American Spirit". There's great archival information about this concert, and so much more, at the Library of Congress's Leonard Bernstein Collection Online, including these 12 pages of Bernstein's hand-written notes.

As well, Bernstein compiled this list of Villa-Lobos's percussion instruments:

As far as I know, Bernstein in his entire career didn't program any Villa-Lobos pieces other than Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5, either in concert or in the recording studio. This is a shame; he would have been especially good, I think, conducting Bachianas Brasileiras no. 2, 7 and 8, or Uirapuru, such a big hit for Leopold Stokowski. More importantly, I would have liked to hear him conduct a fully-staged version of Villa-Lobos's 1948 musical Magdalena. No less an authority than Richard Rodgers said that Magdalena was 25 years ahead of its time, and saw its influence, eight years after its run on Broadway, in Leonard Bernstein's score for West Side Story.

1 comment:

  1. There's a very rare record of Villa-Lobos's Piano Concerto No. 4 conducted by Bernstein with Bernard Segall as the soloist. I think it was the American premiere. Here's the link to this: