The Leonard Bernstein Letters

CD - unabridged
Audio (19 discs)
Product Number: DD13599
Released: Oct 14, 2014
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781478985297
Narrator/s: George Guidall
Publisher: Hachette Audio
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Leonard Bernstein was a charismatic and versatile musician - a brilliant conductor who attained international super-star status, and a gifted composer of Broadway musicals ("West Side Story"), symphonies ("Age of Anxiety"), choral works ("Chichester Psalms"), film scores ("On the Waterfront"), and much more. Bernstein was also an enthusiastic letter writer, and this audiobook is the first to present a wide-ranging selection of his correspondence. The letters have been selected for the insights they offer into the passions of his life - musical and personal - and the extravagant scope of his musical and extra-musical activities. Bernstein's letters tell much about this complex man, his collaborators, his mentors, and others close to him. His galaxy of correspondents encompassed, among others, Aaron Copland, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, Thornton Wilder, Boris Pasternak, Bette Davis, Adolph Green, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and family members including his wife Felicia and his sister Shirley. The majority of these letters have never been published before. They have been carefully chosen to demonstrate the breadth of Bernstein's musical interests, his constant struggle to find the time to compose, his turbulent and complex sexuality, his political activities, and his endless capacity for hard work. Beyond all this, these writings provide a glimpse of the man behind the legends: his humanity, warmth, volatility, intellectual brilliance, wonderful eye for descriptive detail, and humor.

All formats/editions

Author(s): Nigel Simeone
Narrator(s): George Guidall
Product Number Z100086877
Released: Oct 14, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Hachette Audio
ISBN: #9781478932062

Professional reviews

"A volume of letters might seem a risky choice for an audiobookÑwill it hold your attention over time without a narrative through-line? The answer is a resounding yes, followed by many bravos. Narrator George Guidall has to catch the personality behind each letter (these are both from and to Bernstein) and understand if the writer is serious or being ironic, an acquaintance or an intimate. He has to know when Bernstein writes ÒI love youÓ to Aaron Copland, how differently he means it than when writing to, say, Judy Holliday. Bernstein was a true genius of American music and was loved by luminaries from the musical duo Comden and Green to Bette Davis and Jackie Kennedy. Guidall makes this treasure trove intimate, lively, funny, moving, and utterly fascinating. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"

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