BBC Music Magazine

A hero’s welcome

The maestro, captured on film doing what he loved the most: sharing his passion for music


Bernstein at Schleswig-holstein Musik Festival

C Major DVD: 746608; Blu-ray: 746704

Listening to Bernstein’s music, or his musings, is one thing; being able to watch him on the podium takes things to another level. That’s the main draw of this Dvd/bluray release of the three-part documentar­y Leonard Bernstein in Salzau, which documents the inaugural Schleswig-holstein Musik Festival in 1988 – created as Germany’s answer to America’s Tanglewood. It provided a once-in-a lifetime opportunit­y for talented young musicians – selected from across the world – to perform with and learn from Bernstein, who worked closely with them during their stay. Part Two is the riveting highlight, as he rehearses Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with the orchestra, coaxing and caressing a thrilling performanc­e out of them. Part Three takes in the Internatio­nal Conductors’ Competitio­n, which saw the likes of Marin Alsop and Marc Albrecht compete for a place on tour with Bernstein. Neither actually got through, but to watch the process and feel the nerves of the candidates as they sweat through their auditions is both painful and entertaini­ng. Filmed just two years before his death, this is Lenny the legend, holding court, teaching and inspiring an adoring and sometimes awestruck group of young performers. Magical. ★★★★★

 ??  ?? Masterclas­s act: Bernstein on the podium in 1988
Masterclas­s act: Bernstein on the podium in 1988
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