Friday, November 18, 2011

Music Library No. 5 - Bernstein's "Overture to Candide"

After Beethoven, I thought something more contemporary would be good. Leonard Bernstein, the legendary American conductor whose televised Young People's Concerts at Carnegie Hall introduced tens of thousands of families to classical music, composed the operetta Candide in 1953. Candide was based on Voltaire's satiric novella by the same name.

More info at History of Candide

The overture to Candide is infectious and is brilliant Bernstein at this best. Bernstein was said always to be composing - whether waiting for a plane or out late at a restaurant, the pen and the music paper were with him. His Broadway hit, West Side Story, was turned into a blockbuster movie and continues to be performed.

There is a great recording with Bernstein himself conducting the New York Philharmonic, where he began conducting at the age on 25 and eventually became its most famous music director.

The line in Candide that is often used in our family is from Dr. Pangloss who believes that everything that happens in this world is for the best, regardless of how terrible it seems. The musical refrain that gets sung over and over is "This is the best of all possible worlds, the best of all possible, possible worlds" which you will not hear in the overture (which has no words) but may someday if you go to a performance of Candide.

You can have the entire overture for 99-cents! Do you find the Amazon "BUY" links helpful?

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