“On the first day of 2018, a dozen cities in Germany, from Augsburg to Wiesbaden, celebrated a new year with concerts that included music by Leonard Bernstein,” writes Mark Swed in Thursday’s (1/11) Los Angeles Times. “Thus has begun—with nearly 2,500 events around the globe—Anno Leonardo, or the Year of Lenny. Aug. 25 is the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth…. For all kinds of reasons, Bernstein seems more necessary than ever today…. He wrote works that were uneven, but uneven for the right reasons, the grappling with life-and-death subjects…. The most transcendent performance of anything I have ever heard was Bernstein conducting Mahler’s Third Symphony at a New York Philharmonic concert in 1987.… Mahler’s Third ends with a hymn to love. Bernstein drew it out and out, but never let the tension subside. The rapture grew to the point where something happened I have never witnessed before or since. Not content with the obligatory standing ovation, the audience, as though driven by a magnetic force, slowly herded down the aisles toward the stage, just to get closer to the maestro as oracle. It was a communal moment when something bigger than ourselves swept us all away. Let Anno Leonardo begin.”

Posted January 16, 2018