Leonard bernstein bernstein - the alice artzt guitar trio american music of the stage and screen
While he was alive and a superstar of the rostrum, other conductors steered clear of Bernstein’s concert hall compositions so that recordings and performances, other than his own, were rare. His output was substantial, including two operas, three symphonies, three ballets, three song cycles, a song symphony ( Songfest ), a Mass and what in effect are concertos for violin ( Serenade ), flute ( Halil ) and cello ( Meditations ). But is this body of work any good? At the height of his fame as a conductor, his reputation was often under fire. In 1966 the New York critic Alan Rich wrote that listening to the Serenade was like ‘sucking on a sugar-free lollipop’; the score, which many now see as his most beautiful abstract work, was dismissed as ‘drab, tawdry and derivative’.