Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein's contributions to educating people about classical music in general and Gustav Mahler in particular are legendary. For almost fifty years he brought a depth of passion to the musical masterworks he conducted that touched audiences around the world. If only he had been able to live two lifetimes so that he could have given us even more original compositions. (Bernstein was born on this date 100 years ago.)

Bernstein, "Simple Song" from Mass (1971)
Joseph Kolinski (baritone)



Bernstein, score for On the Waterfront (1954)
(The music begins at 2:53.)



Bernstein, "Mambo!" from West Side Story (1957)
Gustavo Dudamel conducting the
Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra

Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana, Intermezzo (1890)

Here’s a wonderful performance of one of classical music’s most beautiful pieces of music. Mascagni inserted this interlude into his opera Cavallaria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) to denote the passage of time. If it sounds familiar, you may have heard it in the film Raging Bull. (The music begins at 0:40 after much encouragement from the audience.)

Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Gothenburg Symphony