tv Doc Film - Leonard Bernstein - Larger than Life Deutsche Welle August 26, 2018 5:15pm-6:00pm CEST
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good stuff travels it's a current of flight or. you are lost in the music and if you're not that it can't be a good one. and i mean lost of music in a sense. which you feel you're imposing it as you go along and it's always a surprise there's so many surprises anyway but you yourself have to be surprised epa surprised. the. the. the. was. the.
month that the man who exhibited the passion from every pore around her for that reason could inspire others guys to call for those students like myself we never dreamed we never realize that a great personality like that could take the time and we have the generosity. to simply give so much to the next generation when i would go to his apartment for a lesson for example i had absolutely no idea even from the repertoire what it was we would study today let's go to the museum. today the school watch a play would you like to see a film today. today let's study the fifth symphony of tackle ski come let's play together at the piano my father turned on the television on sunday afternoon and i saw this guy they had been talking about leonard bernstein on television talking
about music which was so exciting for me and so my father took me to a young people's concert when i was nine years old. started talking to me about how excited he was about the music and he was animated in jumping around and having a great time and i turned to my father nicette that's what i want to do i want to be conductor. ok now what do you think that music's all about you tell me i think i'm up to feel of first and then these big personalities never die. you can feel when you see a big deal of first thing that he's still there at the lincoln center conducting or as if in vienna tangle you feel that he's still around.
leonard bernstein a universal musician with a vast palace of talent composer of west side story a conductor of boundless passion a brilliant pianist and an influential t.v. . that's the most wide ranging musician of the twentieth century. the son of jewish immigrants from russia bernstein must go near boston on august the twenty fifth one thousand nine hundred. s. father was against him becoming a musician so the young lady had to pay for his own piano lessons. the sixteen year old played in jazz bands and like to party far into the night. he had lots of friends and intellectual interests and even then he fascinated anyone who met him. he had charisma by the bucket load i don't i can't think of another artist with
such personality such charisma she knew just dry aat energy he has that puts anybody at half his age to shame that kind of enthusiasm and love for what he did and it was always real there was not a funny bone in it you know people hated the fact that he jumped around it was it was all real that's what made it different it was not for show. then you see if he was fond of kissing other people as many would just wipe it away last but others leave and it's bernstein sweat after all is nice too i like to hug
him conners actually. my father he kissed everybody that was the joke. when you were. you would kiss presidents and their first ladies and then he was yeah he was a kissing bandit well so that's why it's funny because if you didn't remind him maybe he would have kissed pope paul on the lips you don't know. he didn't have this sense of distance personal space that most people have he was like a big puppy we would laugh sometimes because we'd be all my god here he comes like out hard you know. where you stay here and oh so i think i just. have to think he's really let you see inside him he opened up his heart so that you could almost see his meeting. he said once to new
drawer of the american composer he wanted to be loved by everyone in the world norm said that's not possible he said that's my truck. after finishing the concert his sister would be waiting in the wings with the silver glass with scotch in it and or cigarette. and so he would have a sip of scotch. some cigarette and then back out for about how come back same. how and as many times they need to and then you go back and have some more in the dressing room with this batch of. the fun really started at night but you never knew when he would arrive after the concert or how many people he'd bring with him and then you had to improvise and paul you see i didn't get was more than that i went on till three or four in the morning since he was in such high spirits after
the concert and so wide awake that he just needed time to come down to earth again so i. don't want to come he was a terrible insomnia. and this was both a blessing and a curse it was a curse because he was always exhausted but the blessing of course is that he got twice as much done in his life as the normal person because he had more waking hours his average day was almost twice as long as everyone else's average day. it wasn't that he was so quick so mercurial in his headlong his thoughts ago but no matter whether he had drunk one two or eight glasses of whiskey there was always a cascade of ideas and stories and moments of fun listing a moment for him to sun with him it was incredibly interesting to talk to him about theology or about the bible all sections of which he knew by heart in hebrew and of
people is that back then he would travel with an entire library of three suitcases full of books because he'd be reading ten or twenty books all the same time it is not about so much he could go to entire sections of curtis fost in german for example when he spoke english fluently hebrew german french or spanish he spoke russian. and then i'm sure he could get around oh italian you know so. i always used to say lenny you're a migrant rabbi where every was if there were a few people present he would lecture them you could always learn something from him he was just good m.r.i. sound funding. lenny fancied himself a renaissance man and he thought he he was everything except maybe a page it was the only thing i think he never claimed to be.
linked to this until it got to so and to not people think is conducting is so emotional and filled with feeling and his way of behaving and the whole way in which he lived but his academic background his self-discipline was incredible you sometimes get the feeling with lenny that he had so many gifts that you all came you know without too much hard work but actually he was never afraid of hard and he certainly knew these pieces very very well indeed. i knew you just didn't walk up in that box called the podium unless you really knew what you could. and there's no two ways about your cut and sort of you know when you get in you've got fake there's no way. you have to know and but no i didn't just go with the sick bad as do that's when it says nothing. what the composer
meant as a leonard bernstein is a fascinating figure also in the history of american music he was the first conductor and musician to be completely trained in america. in one thousand nine hundred eighty after studying music at harvard bernstein got involved with tanglewood festival which was to play a major role in his artistic future. the director of this festival for young musicians. and he and conducted dimitri metropolis was remain lifelong influences. i learned for the first time what a conductor does how he has to study and this man was really incredible he knew everything and he was incredibly passionate he had an enormous influence on me he is in my blood to this day said what should i do and then the spear and he said you must be a conductor. conductor. of course it's perfectly obvious how do you know
i know i said but i could write about it study with some of. those early encounters with simple betrothal as in so many other ways. because metropolis was j. . i was an outsider he was greek he was never really set to america he understood mahler before most other conductors in america he made the first record of your mother's first symphony in minneapolis not a forty one he was phenomenally energetic and with many of these letters isn't on the podium the trouble is would jump up and down he was a very tall man and then he was short and metropolis was really the first gymnastic can to try to was an intellectual who read in five languages and loves nothing more than to sit through the night discussing the nature of the universe need just go to . passivity very different separate you know vastly intellectual not
technically the most accomplished musician but he is an instinctual and an emotional musician who is able to tap into the teapots of a sea baby a symphony for example in the way the few others ever done and so lenny was able to connect with koussevitzky musicianship a very personal level he said he said that's of course a step two in my class i didn't have to play the piano do it just on the basis of letters and under no personal but because we loved each other on sight and so it was to be about father instantly we loved each other and. till a day he died in my arms. the one part is fun fun fun fun fun lots of boys lots of girls and the other part is actual creative formation through the connectivity that
he gives in tanglewood was the fountain of youth for our dad he loves going back there every summer because his own youth there was so tremendous and fruitful and full of excitement and wonderful memories and music making. him. the third influential figure was to be the legendary american composer aaron copeland who recognized bernstein's exceptional talent and encouraged him to devote himself entirely to composition. where i would come with a new piece or soften the new piece or the idea for a new piece in sale throw it away it's warmed over screen. and i just start all over again getting boring say that's good i think he wanted to see himself as a kind of. gal successor to something like
encroachment partly because they were so close partly because he absolutely loved what copeland's music dows and i think he also found incredibly moving the fact that copeland's music sounds like you know what an american symphony should sound like somehow all night these are so jealous of his desire to write music. i always found it terrible when he threatened to limit himself to the composition of the leg and please know i'm a complete. this cozy king martin second for his great characteristic and hallmark is that when you hear the music you know it's bernstein is the it's not easy to be so unmistakable as a composer but bernstein always achieved this in. my
speech what i like best is the turkey trot in divertimento. we composed it like a turkey moving through the open country and also falling down and rolling around cool and the way you wrote it it's simply fantastic to say. i love the moment especially in american music when popular and serious music the blend and bernstein was the epitome of this because he not only could bridge that gap and break down that barrier but he could also do it in a way that was extraordinarily skilful and yet very accessible. but all the way through there is
a sort of almost certainty about whether he's really any good as a composer. the times when he composed best and bluestone it was when he was working with us the symphonies dates from the time that he was writing musicals in teams he left those teams to come to me green i'm stephen song time to remember all things. in all of the office he loved working almost as a football it also must be within. the lawrence jerome robbins steven sometime that it can start. this legendary to even created one of broadway's greatest successes with the west side story. thank the.
many had a couple of tunes that he that he had in mind some from old shows that were cut out of both shows him but he also written he'd written a front strain of maria. and he'd written the front strain of cool which of course at the same melodic shake the green. knight is just not a good name mother. and son. will never be the same. so i went into our first apartment and went over what they were going to do and talked about style so we just started writing.
poems. come. west side story. kicked into a sort of new york type christ of the time the virtue novels about this new generation the new film about this new generation that was only this musical semi oprah which was looking at what was really happening on the streets and was recreating it in shakespearean tubs it is the most new york work in any art form and it liberated the best of leonard bernstein meanwhile my father was writing candied. at the same time and he ended up reading both shows at the same time which is so beyond my comprehension and i can't even and some songs went back and forth between shows.
the scores for candied particularly west side story are still ahead of their time great. work wasn't together and. that's a plus. it's really. i never heard of it all together by laurie. they obviously wanted desperately to break it as a composer more than anything he wanted to make it as a composer but the other thing that he says in his letters which he didn't generally say elsewhere to very close friends he'd say the trouble is i just love conducting so much how can i say no to conducting you know modest ninth if it's going to give me a couple of weeks to compose when i know i'm not going to get anything finished any .
by now bernstein's career had taken off as a conductor he was in great demand whether new york vienna or turkey or every one of his charisma and multiple talents. he found himself increasingly drawn to europe and spied by the composers much some from sudden. the bavarian radio and the vienna philharmonic soon became two of his favorites. the serious least i'll have a lot less you have. that out of
it every day without faith but out but i. thought i. used to be a bit. on the necessary pieces. as opposed to it's all. that i love that i love it. and then i've done stein and stuff mama kindred spirits like mama bernstein delighted in extremes his shop incident is matched by an overwhelming emotionality . with the sciatic. mahler being jewish being to conduct to being a composer not always being accepted i mean different things in life.
i think the comparison is good with leonard bernstein when another person and i would discuss mahler i felt as if i was speaking to a composer that's what the fascinating part as i was thinking why do i get so involved. so there. rick after i finish a movement of the most information i'm out of breath and drenched. and shaking. my stomach is a bit my throat somewhere why not just stand there and beat time and let all this happen by itself. and i realize i kind. to morsi kamala's is in vain mahler's music was received with mixed feelings and vanity feelings as far as outright rejection of his. i think he believed that he had to do something for mana because mahler was underexposed as
a result of the political conditions decades earlier saying for the people they were the focus of the great beautiful about the great orchestra of a city in which knowledge of music had been banned i mean he started giving the end of her. i look. in much. the same heighth in all form i can still see i'm standing there at a rehearsal of mahler's ninth that in the final movement he suddenly knelt on the ground and tears poured down his face i also think it was so moved by the music of us and it left a powerful impression on everyone else from the start and. that
if we had played mahler's third fourth or seventh for the first time with bernstein then all later conductors were judged by bernstein standards i would say that's how it has to be said he definitely changed the world's view of mahler i think he was an absolutely key influence in bringing mahler absolutely to the center of musical life. gets. better bogut and us mahler were here and heard this performance. i think you would say ok let me.
right here a saw in this music is like you two of you getting a strange side that simply sounds childish not judy istic not hebrew not israeli but jewish from the most universal. this old quasar rabbinical instinct that i have for teaching and explaining and verbalizing. suddenly find a real paradise in the whole electronic world of television every bar in this movement is based in one way or another directly on these four notes
three g.'s and any flat three g. and any flat. people have been wondering for years just what it is that in dolls this musical figure with such potency he loved conveying information you know he liked showing off the information too but he left conveying it you know and so he made i think a wonderful teacher i saw all all the on of the shows i anything that he broadcast i saw long before i met him i wrote these ninety minute scripts and had to memorize them and heads of go at five o'clock they have to do whatever it was on sunday and what i was doing was what everybody was watching on television from coast to coast that second as the conductor views this school is i asked to follow all these twelve instruments simultaneously across the page i used to
be up nights writing rewriting having meetings and try to memorize it and my wife five of them would sit there spelling me with friends in reading and memorizing the script and they would fall asleep and i. grab the script on their hands and do it myself just memorize them read them it beethoven did not wish the entire orchestra to be playing so he dismissed five of these twelve instruments beethoven clearly wanted the strongest most masculine utterance he could get. he did so much to add value to television programming because what was going on in those early days of television was that they had three networks three national networks but they didn't have enough content they were desperate for content in one hundred fifty eight ben stein became the head of the new york philharmonic orchestra he made the young people's concerts
a condition for taking the job this eries inspired a new generation of young music lovers. and there is mr byrd. for class the gift of having leonard bernstein come to us from us and said ever since i can remember sousa television it was a great inspiration that's the one two three method it's like a three stage rocket or like the count out in a race on your mark get set go or in target practice ready aim fire or the same thing is true in mozart's hofmeyr symphony it goes ready. made. fire and. i do remember sitting in front of the t.v. and being told to watch this this is important and it was important in the fifty's in america culture was much more important than it is today and there was this idea
that that the middle class was pulling itself up and being more cultured so the young people's concerts on television fit right into that trend it was it was never sort of ok now kids i'm going to tell you something you know he made it. always enjoyable interesting fun there was things to look at visual things he would play. give her all my law. it's all a lie. and if you. love her to the. where that's a right that's what rabbi means teacher that's that was deeply rooted within it he had written accounts of stress and he likes to reach back into that part of himself
up as an expression of an inner linnaeus. when i teach or learn when i learn i'd. love to try to lead the world. you have to read. that. they want to. know that it shows. the teacher now found a new home a good live found a chance to costar music festival he conducted the festival orchestra which was composed of young musicians from all over the world. especially enough to share his knowledge with young students of conducting. well. as a top ten the heat was sweltering and those of us in his conducting course said we should go sailing with him is that i never forget that picture bernstein sat on the
deck and his students knelt and sat on the floor around him it was like jesus and his disciples and you can see how much these young people meant to him that i am. ok you see oh yes yes certainly. please say your part or. other why do that with making sure that they don't pump filters should do it do it or what they were dead in sales you heard. that bernstein was slowly losing the power of his early years yet he still continued touring around the world and still conducted many outstanding concerts with a very in radio orchestra and in london and piano. player . play he
was willing to push the envoy up and take chances. there were great concerts where he's just stuck conducting entirely. that was a way of saying to the musicians i trust you completely you trust me completely what better thing could the piano. player play. the shit out of on i asked him and he said the hardest thing of all was to keep his hands down to the very end which was one piece was. playing. i do feel
he had an idea of his. mortality and that was also part of that urgency and that sadness that he had in the last year of his life he went to japan he founded the pacific music festival but it was very difficult for him to do and to participate he was very ill man. it was very sad. my decision has been. to spend most of leave me me me me me and. the lord grants me. in education let's play the out that you know the script scared so. what you do get is a sort of sense of resignation almost. and a very strong sense to of wanting to possum was he no use to the next generation. can you feel sure about his heart when he was reading
that can you imagine what he was feeling god. what does a number of words a minor. do or what do i mean. what is this all of a sudden i can't i can't even walk up the stairs i can't remember that that's for that you know who needs it and i've completely forgotten why i stopped. that is the problem of getting old i mean five years ago i would know exactly what i meant. is only as of. age. eighty eight it you watch the physical decline opposite and it was inevitable because right to the end he smoked like a chimney i got a message. lenny wants to see the durable and so there were about ten people
in there and he said everybody leave the room now i have something very serious to speak to lenny about i'm going on. and i suppose the problem he said there's no problem. ugly few small. these people won't let me smoke my darling for a cigarette so we look in the cigarette and he little knew an account. was a follow up. to. the everybody thought. it was shattering at the end to watch with a concert see him backstage way to look tough day he'd walk out on the platform he'd conduct as if his life depended on resonances it was absolutely nothing wrong
with him great great performances then he'd work off and a life or just drain away from her. his favorite festival tanglewood in the summer of one thousand nine hundred bernstein had almost no strength left not even for home for the program. had an oxygen tank and a breathing machine and it was not going well he could see that it was for he was really in decline i could see that in the middle of the slow movement he had a coughing fit and. i thought you know what he may just go down right down. very interesting after his last concert tanglewood he went back to new york and i followed later with the materials and everything and i walked into his study and he was sitting at his desk and he looked almost angelic.
and he said it was a good run my first concert tanglewood and my last one i read in the paper of course it was in the new york times that he decided not to conduct anymore i knew that's when i knew. he was deeply moving of course to see all these machines around but again very impressive in that and we talked about a lot about the pleasures of life. i was in my father's apartment. at the dakota and i was in the other room most watching a football game i think. and the doctor's son ran in and said you better come. in and just asked. and i just couldn't believe that i knew i wasn't going to work with him again. the
world to salissa place looked like. just their. own son stop shining. i think he was ready said so often in the last years i'm so sick of leonard bernstein. because he had become this kind of industry. there he had to travel with this large entourage and it was always bliss city and you know for he always enjoyed being famous you loved it in love being famous but it really became. more pressure than fun. you know he was a man not blessed with many talents but cursed with i think as
a genius and it's not easy being a genius i wouldn't know that watching him if he never felt he was doing enough. and that he was. living up to his own inner standard whatever that was. couldn't get enough life he couldn't live enough life and if you tried. at he left nothing out. here. belief exists and up to. a a. one remains have been stymied superfoods the vitality to give us a ticket the sight of him on video the limitless optimist. i hate every turn
thirty mins to. barely feel. the scars on. the pain still tangible. the suffering for god. for c.b.s. and. they have survived but do they also have a future. i really understand people who say they don't want to stay here. but i also admire people who want to stay here and who decided to create something . in peace time what needs to happen if tolerance and reconciliation are to stand
a chance out of darkness cities after more start september second on t w. d w news live from berlin and a plea for a national unity after is involved way the new president is sworn in. god wanted to take the oath of office before thousands of supporters he now faces the difficult task of uniting the country after a narrow victory in the election and the opposition says. we'll go live to our correspondent in harare also coming up the man known as the maverick senator is dead senator john mccain has lost his battle again.