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Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts
May 16, 2013 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts: From 1958-1973, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Previously on MeFi) played live, educational concerts with the New York Philharmonic that were televised nationwide on CBS. Tapes of the broadcasts were eventually syndicated to 40 countries, introducing an entire generation of children to a wide range musical concepts, styles and composers. The first concert to air was "What Does Music Mean."

Bernstein led a total of fifty-three Young People's Concerts during those fourteen years, and covered a broad range of subjects. The works of the great composers were explored, including tributes to modern masters such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Paul Hindemith, Gustav Holst, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives. Bernstein discussed "Jazz in the Concert Hall," "Folk Music in the Concert Hall," and "The Latin-American Spirit." He explained the intricacies of Music Theory in programs such as "Musical Atoms: A Study of Intervals" and "What is a Mode?" He broached complex aesthetic issues such as "What Does Music Mean?" (his first program) with clarity and without condescension. Bernstein also used the Young People's Concerts to introduce young performers to the musical world. The sixteen year-old pianist André Watts made his debut in the concert of January 15, 1963.
25 of the 53 concerts are available on YouTube

1) What Does Music Mean? Playlist. Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
2) What is American Music? Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
3) What is Orchestration? Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
4) What Makes Music Symphonic? Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
5) What is Classical Music? Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
6) Humor in Music. Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
7) What is a Concerto? Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
8) Who is Gustav Mahler?
15) Folk Music in the Concert Hall. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
16) What is Impressionism? Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
18) Happy Birthday, Igor Stravinsky. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
21) What is Melody? Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
23) The Latin American Spirit. Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
27) Jazz in the Concert Hall. Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
28) What is Sonata Form? Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
31) A Tribute to Sibelius. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
32) Musical Atoms: A Study of Intervals. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
33) The Sound of an Orchestra. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
34) A Birthday Tribute to Shostakovich. Playlist. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
36) What is a Mode? Playlist. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
40) A Toast to Vienna in 3/4 Time. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
43) Quiz-Concert: How Musical Are You? Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
46) Berlioz Takes a Trip. Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4
47) Two Ballet Birds. Parts: 1, 2 3, 4, 5
48) Fidelio: A Celebration of Life. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Many of the linked videos are in black and white. While the programs are appropriate for children, the language used to describe various music forms is sometimes not politically correct, according to modern sensibilities.
posted by zarq (5 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
My parents made sure to have us watch these every time they came on.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2013


Wow! What a find!
posted by wittgenstein at 1:38 PM on May 16, 2013


Netflix has these on DVD as well.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:52 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fantastic! The "who is Gustav Mahler" briefly reminded me of Karl Haas radio show "Adventures in Good Music". He had a wry sense of humor and once asked rhetorically (on air) "...and where is Franz Joseph Hayden?".
posted by dbmcd at 4:23 PM on May 16, 2013


I *hated* this when I was a kid, but now that I am an old man, I will probably love it. Thanks as always for the links, zarq.
posted by briank at 5:45 AM on May 17, 2013


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