Monday, December 12, 2016

Dinner with Lenny

Dinner with Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein by Jonathan Cott  183 pp.

I have been a fan of Leonard Bernstein since childhood...remember the "Young People's Concerts" on television? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In November of 1989 Jonathan Cott was sent by Rolling Stone Magazine to do an interview with the master conductor, composer, and political activist. He met Bernstein in his home for dinner and to answer Cott's well-prepared questions. The visit stretched to a twelve hour conversation that covered many topics but mostly music, music, and more music. Cott then had to condense his cassette recorded material into an 8000 word article. Bernstein continued to conduct concerts all over the world during that last year of his life while secretly being treated for lung cancer. He collapsed in August 1990 while conducting the third movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony at Tanglewood, fifty years after his career began there. On October 9, 1990 he announced his retirement and died a few days later. I liked this book so much I ordered a copy for myself so I can highlight all the wonderful things he said.

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