Leonard Bernstein

Photographic proof by Victor Kraft / Library of Congress

A manuscript of a J.S. Bach cantata casts a new light on how Bach intended the piece to be played. A singer gains insight from a line in a Porgy and Bess manuscript that differs from the final lyrics. The Music Division of the massive Library of Congress in Washington, DC,  is a place where performers, composers, scholars and the general public make discoveries of the musical kind.

A thriving classical music world involves not only composers and performers, but those who listen, and those who manage, connect, and promote the artists and the art form. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Musical America, a publication that has been celebrating and connecting classical musicians since 1898:

Does everything happen for the best? Not according to Voltaire’s satirical novella, which offers a dizzying display of human depravity, with a couple of natural disasters thrown in for good measure. Funny, fast-moving and philosophical, Candide includes such classic tunes as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

The votes are in...the WRTI audience has decided who should portray Lenny Bernstein in Martin Scorsese's  upcoming film. Thanks so much to everyone who voted! We had over 35 nominations, with some surprising opinions. What do you think of the results?

Leonard Bernstein often said: "Every author spends his entire life writing the same book." The same could apply to composers.

Leonard Bernstein was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like West Side Story, as well as symphonies and ballets. He was a teacher and television personality — his Young People's Concerts introduced generations of children to classical music.

Tune in on Sunday, December 2nd, 3 to 5 pm as Leonard Bernstein conducts his own music on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast, from the ensemble's vast recorded archive. It's Jewish-themed music in honor of the upcoming Hanukkah holiday that begins on December 8th.


BERNSTEIN: Chichester Psalms (World-premiere performance in 1965)

Columbus Boychoir

BERNSTEIN: Kaddish, Symphony No.3

Camerata Singers

It's all all-French program on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast - performances drawn from the Philharmonic's vast recorded archive.  Music by Massenet that includes an historic performance by the Philharmonic conducted by Josef Stransky (who became the orchestra's music director in 1911, following the death of Gustav Mahler), and appearances by Luciano Pavarotti and mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby.  Also on the program, works by Clause Debussy that include the Image pour Orchestra, and Le Martyre de Saint Sebastian.

Those funky, menacing chords can only belong to one piece of music: West Side Story, the Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical that updated the Romeo and Juliet story into the world of gang warfare to the streets of post-war New York City. The concert suite from the musical has often been played by The Philadelphia Orchestra, though this week it's performing the music in a different incarnation - as an accompaniment to the 1961 Oscar-winning film. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports that the enterprise isn’t nearly as simple as it looks.

I can't think of anything I loved more than talking to Leonard Bernstein. Or, more accurately, listening to him talk — about music or any topic under the sun. I remember a long discourse we had about one of my favorite books, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and Bernstein's summarizing statement: "Well, of course, every author spends his whole life writing the same book."