Violinist Michael Barenboim is an exceptional young musician with a famous name who stands on his own two feet.
Leann Osterkamp’s playing is rhythmically alive and sympathetic to Leonard Bernstein’s style; Seong-Jin Cho shows that he is an important pianist to watch.
On the whole, this BSO Opening Night was a welcome overview Leonard Bernstein’s larger output and of his versatility as a composer.
If there’s an essential “Leonard Bernstein at 100” album, this one, so far, is it: excellent performances of relatively unknown music deserving to be heard.
An early highlight of the upcoming Leonard Bernstein centennial is Sony Classical’s 25-disc box set.
The Boston Conservatory production of Mass was mostly frustrating, but Leonard Bernstein’s score came across very strongly.
One takeaway from the concert: music can be forward-looking and even provocative without being off-putting and ugly.
Bernstein’s Songfest is Exhibit A in the argument that American orchestras and conductors need to champion the music of these shores.
Feel free to disagree, add to them, come up with your own list, etc. Above all, enjoy!
The bust of Leonard Bernstein was done by New England artist Penelope Jencks and commissioned by legendary film composer John Williams.