Works

 

In 1976, Leonard Bernstein and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner collaborated on the musical "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue", which ran for only seven performances on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. The music has been reworked into an orchestral suite, a choral work, "A White House Cantata", and various…

Arias and Barcarolles

After Bernstein's performance at the White House in 1960, President Eisenhower remarked, "You know, I liked that last piece you played: it's got a theme. I like music with a theme, not all them arias and barcarolles."

One of Bernstein’s last works, the Concerto for Orchestra was written for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dybbuk, a ballet by Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins, is a fascinating exploration of Jewish mysticism, full of ghostly spirits and black magic. The score by Bernstein is among his most atonal and serialist compositions.

Facsimile

Facsimile, the second ballet by Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins, was commissioned by the American Ballet Theatre, and the music was composed by Bernstein in the three weeks between the close of the 1946 season at Tanglewood and the opening of the New York City Symphony season. The ballet depi…

Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins first collaborated in the mid-1940s on the instantly popular ballet Fancy Free, commissioned by American Ballet Theatre. First performed on April 18, 1944, this work, a piece about three sailors on shore-leave in New York City, served as inspiration for their n…

MASS

The eclecticism of MASS's music reflects the multifaceted nature of Bernstein's career, with blues, rock, gospel, folk, Broadway and jazz idioms appearing side by side with 12-tone serialism, symphonic marches, solemn hymns, Middle Eastern dances, orchestral meditations, and lush chorales, all un…

On the Town

On the Town has been a classic since its original Broadway run in 1944, the show highlights the fleeting encounters and visceral energy of youth as three young sailors find love and excitement while on leave in New York City during one 24-hour period.

Writen on the occasion of Karl Boehm's eighty-fifth birthday: "with affection from his admiring colleague," and completed in Munich, 25 August 1979, Bernstein's birthday. The nonsense worlds imply Hassidic vocalizations.

Silhouette (Galilee)

Bernstein wrote this piece in honor of the forty-first birthday of his friend mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel. The song incorporates an old Lebanese folksong, the Arabic words of which are paraphrased in the lyrics: “The boys in the dark olive groves assemble.” Bernstein can be heard singing this …

So Pretty

So Pretty is a 1968 anti-war song by Leonard Bernstein to lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, composed for a Broadway for Peace fundraiser at Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall to support the Congressional Peace Campaign Committee, which funded campaigns of congressional candidates opposing t…

In Songfest, Berstein encapsulated 300 years of his nation's history through the words of 13 American poets. The subject matter of their poetry is the American artist's experience as it relates to his or her crea­tivity, loves, marriages, or minority problems (blacks, women, homosexuals, expatria…

Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah

With his first symphony, Bernstein not only established himself as a major American symphonist, he began a musical and dramatic exploration of a theme that would continue to inspire many of his major works throughout his career. "The work I have been writing all my life," he said in 1977, "is abou…

Symphony No. 3: Kaddish

In his Kaddish Symphony, Leonard Bernstein exploits the dualistic overtones of the prayer: its popular connotation as a kind of requiem, and its celebration of like ( i.e. creation). He does this both in his speaker's text and in his music.

Two Love Songs

In 1949, Bernstein set a pair of texts by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the first of which, Extinguish My Eyes, was introduced that same year by mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel at Town Hall in New York. It wasn’t until 1963 that she premiered the second song, When My Soul Touches Yours.

The gem of Broadway musicals, West Side Story's commentary on love and prejudice is relevant to any time and place. This groundbreaking collaboration among Bernstein, Jerome Robbins (conception and choreography), Arthur Laurents (book), and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) captured the fiber of American …