Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Music Library No. 10: Bernstein's Overture to Candide
Leonard Bernstein was one of America's most charismatic musicians. Composer, conductor, educator - Bernstein excelled in every one. Many American's know Bernstein as the composer for West Side Story; others know him for his televised educational concerts at Carnegie Hall, a truly pioneering endeavor both from the standpoint of television and of music education. Bernstein was a young man in his 20s when the conductor of the New York Philharmonic got sick and Bernstein was called upon to stand in. The reviews the next morning were raves and the rest is history. Eventually, he became music director of the NY Philharmonic.
Bernstein composed the operetta Candide in the 1950s. It was based on Voltaire's novella of the same name. Many thought that it was too sophisticated for Broadway, but I encourage you to go see it live if you ever have the opportunity.
The overture is such a wonderful work, that it stands alone as a brilliant piece of musical composition.