Works

 

Seven Anniversaries, Four Anniversaries, Five Anniversaries, Thirteen Anniversaries Each set of Anniversaries consists of individual movements, each written for a different person in Bernstein’s life.

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 …

A pièce d’occasion written for songwriter-lyricist Adolph Green and actress-comedienne Phyllis Newman upon their marriage, the suite, “in 2 parts with 3 encores,” was intended to be played side by side by the Greens.

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…

Piano Sonata

One of Bernstein's earliest works, composed while he was a student, for solo piano.

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

Why are these dances called symphonic? Simply because the dance music, even in its original format, is symphonically conceived. Relatively few thematic ideas, combined with each other and metamorphosed into completely new shapes, are all that are necessary to meet the varying dramatic requirements…

Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety for piano and orchestra was commissioned by his long-time mentor Serge Koussevitzky in 1949. Based on an eponymous poem by W.H. Auden, the movements follow the narrative in which four lonely strangers who meet in a wartime New York bar and spend the e…

Touches

Composed for the Sixth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at Fort Worth, Texas, Bernstein's piece for solo piano cycles through a chorale, eight variations, and a coda.