Now THAT'S a piano.
October 16, 2015 12:23 AM   Subscribe

SLYT, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, 1976. Have fun. It's just a little joyful thing.
posted by disclaimer (21 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love how he conducts with his head because his hands are occupied.
posted by disclaimer at 12:24 AM on October 16, 2015


Nice. Me diggums. This is why we have Youtube download widgets. This is the stuff I want to keep. Murky buckets, disclaimersan.
posted by Drewstre at 1:05 AM on October 16, 2015


This is almost good enough to make up for the horrible associations in my mind between Rhapsody in Blue and United Airlines.
posted by zachlipton at 1:19 AM on October 16, 2015


What a fantastic performance! Thank you, disclaimer.
posted by bryon at 1:39 AM on October 16, 2015


It's been posted multiple times before, but Bernstein's series of music lectures at Harvard in 1972 is amazing. It was especially interesting to listen to the fifth one, on 20th century classical music, after reading The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross.
posted by kersplunk at 2:20 AM on October 16, 2015


I hate the fact that this song always makes me think of United Airlines jets & Gene Hackman's voice . Totally ingrained in my psyche.
posted by Frayed Knot at 5:16 AM on October 16, 2015


My roommate in college had a disk of Bernstein playing Gershwin that I played the hell out of. As mentioned above, I hate that this has been co-opted as a fucking marketing jingle.
posted by octothorpe at 5:17 AM on October 16, 2015


I don't know why I cry whenever I hear this, does anyone else do that? No? Just me?
Ok then.
posted by SPUTNIK at 5:31 AM on October 16, 2015 [6 favorites]



I don't know why I cry whenever I hear this, does anyone else do that? No? Just me?


It's just you. I've got.... Dust..... Be right back.
posted by chasles at 5:35 AM on October 16, 2015


For reference, Gershwin himself playing piano in front of Paul Whitemans's band.
posted by octothorpe at 5:49 AM on October 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love how he conducts with his head because his hands are occupied.

Or even when his hands aren't occupied because he's just that awesome.
posted by damayanti at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


The part where the elder gods take a solo was unexpected. And then ate the clarinet player's soul.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:02 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


A nice way to start my Friday.
posted by Wretch729 at 6:29 AM on October 16, 2015


I love how the video edits help me hear details I've never noticed before, like that bit of bass clarinet chortling about two-and-a-half minutes in.
posted by spacewaitress at 6:47 AM on October 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is so much fun to listen to. I tend to spend the whole thing thinking "This is my favourite part" then a couple of minutes later, "No, this is my favourite part." Then "No, this is my favourite part."

Also, has anyone but me read Oscar Levant's book "Memoirs of an Amnesiac"? He was great pals with the Gershwins and was an original player of this piece. Levant was what you call "a real character" and his memoir is a terrific and hilarious read if you like Hollywood and Broadway and the Gershwins and Bernstein and gangsters (and mental health issues and drug addiction.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:00 AM on October 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


My roommate in college had a disk of Bernstein playing Gershwin that I played the hell out of.

My dad had an 8-track of that performance when I was a kid and I played it all the time. It's still my favorite recording of Rhapsody in Blue and American in Paris (I have it on CD and consequently iPod still, though I own more technically-impressive performances as well, like the Andre Previn version, sharper but less soul).
posted by aught at 7:13 AM on October 16, 2015


I recently did some panel testing of speakers, digital radios and headphones, where a group of us (journos, musicians, producers et al) spent many days doing comparative listening to a set of audio files through a large selection of stuffs. (tl;dr - Bose in-ear noise cancelling phones are probably powered by dark magic)

One of the test files was Rhapsody in Blue. It's going to be a while before I need to hear it again, although I do now know every darn note of the first three minutes. It - at least the recording we used - is pretty good test material.

(Another was Gangham Style. We EARNED that money.)
posted by Devonian at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hahaha whoaa... my associations with this are as The Critic theme song. Don't I feel like uncultured swine.
posted by wyndham at 10:20 AM on October 16, 2015


Thank you so much for this. After an absolutely shit afternoon (culmination of which was scratching my car on the side of another car) and what I really needed was some Lenny. I seriously can not watch a performance of his and not smile.
posted by Megami at 10:40 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hahaha whoaa... my associations with this are as The Critic theme song. Don't I feel like uncultured swine.

Which was an intentional pastiche of Woody Allen's Manhattan opening.

Which is also why United Airlines chose the music.

Yet another horrible thing he has to answer for.
posted by aureliobuendia at 1:12 PM on October 16, 2015


For fans of our Lenny who've got access to BBC iPlayer, there's "Leonard Bernstein at the BBC" on tonight on BBC 4 - a selection of archive interviews and performances. Caught a bit of it, will catch up later, but it looked good.
posted by Devonian at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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