Works

 
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."

Brass Music

Leonard Bernstein completed his suite of brass pieces on April 8, 1959. They were written for members of the New York Philharmonic and received their premier at Carnegie Hall. The pieces were commissioned by the Juilliard Musical Foundation. This set of pieces is rarely performed as a set and are …

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

Dance Suite for Brass Quintet

Bernstein's final composition, each of the five movements is dedicated to a choreographer-friend of his.

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…

A short fanfare for brass and percussion, composed for the 25th Anniversary of the High School of Music and Art in New York City.

A short fanfare for ensemble penned for a gala held in DC on the eve of John F. Kennedy's inauguration.

Four Sabras

The sabra is a cactus-type plant with tough thorns on the outside and sweet flesh inside. In common usage, it is applied to native-born Israelis. The Sabras in this piece are: 1) Ilana, the Dreamer; 2) Idele, the Hassidele (little Jew, the little Hassid); 3) Yosi, the Jokester; and 4) Dina, the To…

Halil: Nocturne

Bernstein dedicated Halil "to the spirit of Yadin [Tenenbaum] and his fallen brothers.” Tanenbaum was an Israeli flute student killed in his tank close to the Suez Canal during the 1973 war. The title "Halil" is the Hebrew word for flute.

I Hate Music!

I Hate Music!: A Cycle of Five Kid Songs is dedicated to Edys Merril, a friend of Bernstein's, as well as an artist and his flatmate in the 1940s. Apparently, when fed up with hearing Bernstein constantly coaching singers and playing piano, she often uttered the title phrase. The cycle was prem…

Four Recipes for Voice and Piano

Missa Brevis

Dedicated to longtime friend and colleague, Robert Shaw, Bernstein's Missa Brevis is the last full choral work that he composed, based on choruses from music previously written for the play "The Lark" in 1955.

My Twelve Tone Melody

Composed in honor of Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday, Bernstein mixes a twelve-tone row with a distorted version of two Berlin songs "My Russian Lullaby" - remembered nostalgically from LB's youth - and "Always".

Leonard Bernstein's score the Academy Award-winning On The Waterfont debuted when the film opened in New York City on July 28, 1954. His score for the film received wide popular and critical acclaim, and On The Waterfront won 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Leading Actor (Marlon Bra…

Bernstein composed his Piano Trio for piano, violin, and cello in 1937, while he was attending Harvard University.

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.

While this early Bernstein composition gives no indication of his eventual compositional style, it does reveal the musical environment to which he was exposed as a youngster at his family’s congregation—specifically the music of Solomon Braslavsky.

Shivaree

A fanfare for double brass ensemble and percussion, commissioned by and dedicated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in honor of its Centenary in 1969.

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…