Bernstein Centenary: Lenny at the Keyboard, August 21st

Aug 21, 2018

Two years ago The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler devoted an episode of his ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys to Leonard Bernstein's piano artistry. Originally aired on May 2016, Episode 60 "Lenny at the Keyboard" will rerun on Tuesday August 21st, to celebrate what would have been the legendary musician's 100th birthday.

"Bernstein's great gifts as a composer, conductor and teacher were legion, yet I feel that his piano playing tends to be underrated, especially from the 1940s through the end of the 1960s," says Distler. "He had such natural facility, such a great sense of rhythm, and a palpable communicative presence at the keyboard. This program attempts to show many sides of Bernstein's dynamic pianism."

The selections include Bernstein's very first commercial recording (music of David Diamond), an excerpt from the 1949 broadcast premier of Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety" with the composer at the piano, concerto excerpts by Beethoven, Mozart, Ravel and Shostakovich, solo works by Copland and Bernstein, chamber music by Schumann, Mahler songs with baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, plus Bernstein and Michael Tilson-Thomas playing Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring at white heat.

Listen to Between the Keys this Tuesday night August 21st  at 10, on The Classical Network