January is not yet done and the daily diet of Bernstein material is starting to feel jaded.
Yesterday, the centennial machine dug up a late rehearsal video of Copland’s third symphony. Watch here.
It’s wonderful, exhilarating, nostalgic, moving and inimitable.
At the same time, it inspires a sense of definite déja vu. Aimed as it is at classical loyalists, it neither extends the Bernstein audience nor does it add to our understanding of a unique figure in American and western music.
The big books about Bernstein have all been written. His life is an open book and his works are a mixed bag. By the end of the year we will have heard everything he wrote. What bugs me is that the commercial machine driving the centennial has already made it feel stale, without any obvious benefit.
There are exhibitions, recordings, films and festivals to come. The BBC has a Total Immersion day this weekend. This summer will be wall-to-wall Bernstein.
I hesitate to open today’s mailbag for fear of more vaguely familiar, over-familiar LB. And I am a sworn admirer, someone who had the privilege of brief acquaintance with him. If I’m feeling a surfeit of Bernstein….
Anyone out there feel the same way?